About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 714-721
Publication year: 2012
ISBN: 978-84-695-3491-5
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2012
Location: Barcelona, Spain

EXPERIMENTING WITH DIFFERENT VIRTUALIZATION TOOLS FOR THE PRACTICAL LEARNING OF COMPUTER NETWORKS

The practical learning of computer networks is known to be a critical process in order to allow students to consolidate the concepts introduced in theoretical lessons. The main problem that arises is the high price and limited number of network devices the students can work with in the laboratories. However, nowadays, thanks to the use of virtualization technologies it is feasible to overcome this limitation. In fact, these technologies are becoming popular since they allow to set up a computer network laboratory with a reduced deployment and management cost. For this reason, numerous tools have been recently developed for the virtualization of network infrastructures.

In this paper we mention the main advantages of virtualization technologies and how some authors are using them in the teaching of basic network concepts such as routing, filtering, firewalls or network services. We also present how we are using them to teach not only basic concepts but also advanced ones such as mobility, load balancing and high availability. In particular, we describe the experience we have developed with two different open source tools (VNUML and GNS3) that have been used for setting up virtual network laboratories that support the teaching-learning process in the Computer Networks Architecture and Advanced Computer Networks Architecture subjects of the Computer Engineering degree at the University of Murcia.

This analysis considers different aspects such as suitability for the learning of key concepts of the subject, easy operation, consumed resources and the possibility of using the tool either in the University premises or at home. To enrich the study, we have carried out the comparison from two viewpoints. On the one hand, authors explain the findings obtained after developing virtual laboratories based on both tools. On the other hand, we provide the students’ opinion obtained through a poll consisting of several questions intended to evaluate issues related to the use and learning of both virtualization tools.

The main conclusions extracted from this study reveal that each virtualization tool presents numerous qualities depending on the type of laboratory developed. While GNS3 excels in aspects such as usability and efficiency for the virtualization of computer network scenarios, which is ideal for students not familiar with virtualization environments, VNUML offers a flexible environment that allows experimenting advanced features such as load balancing or high availability.
@InProceedings{PERENIGUEZGARCIA2012EXP,
author = {Pereniguez-Garcia, F. and Ruiz-Mart{\'{i}}nez, A. and Ros Mu{\~n}oz, F.J. and Mar{\'{i}}n-L{\'{o}}pez, R. and Ruiz-Mart{\'{i}}nez, P.M.},
title = {EXPERIMENTING WITH DIFFERENT VIRTUALIZATION TOOLS FOR THE PRACTICAL LEARNING OF COMPUTER NETWORKS},
series = {4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN12 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-695-3491-5},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {2-4 July, 2012},
year = {2012},
pages = {714-721}}
TY - CONF
AU - F. Pereniguez-Garcia AU - A. Ruiz-Martínez AU - F.J. Ros Muñoz AU - R. Marín-López AU - P.M. Ruiz-Martínez
TI - EXPERIMENTING WITH DIFFERENT VIRTUALIZATION TOOLS FOR THE PRACTICAL LEARNING OF COMPUTER NETWORKS
SN - 978-84-695-3491-5/2340-1117
PY - 2012
Y1 - 2-4 July, 2012
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN12 Proceedings
SP - 714
EP - 721
ER -
F. Pereniguez-Garcia, A. Ruiz-Martínez, F.J. Ros Muñoz, R. Marín-López, P.M. Ruiz-Martínez (2012) EXPERIMENTING WITH DIFFERENT VIRTUALIZATION TOOLS FOR THE PRACTICAL LEARNING OF COMPUTER NETWORKS, EDULEARN12 Proceedings, pp. 714-721.
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