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A. Sierszeń1, L. Sturgulewski1, S. Przyłucki2, D. Czerwiński2

1Lodz University of Technology (POLAND)
2Lublin University of Technology (POLAND)
Teaching computer networks requires modern laboratories which are very expensive both in terms of equipment and maintenance. This is the main reason why many technical universities do not have such laboratories and why graduates are unable to improve their qualifications in computer network administration.
Simulation and emulation environments open up a new quality of learning. They allow great reduction of costs of building laboratories for large groups of students as they allow individual and free access to them.

The article presents both emulation and simulation environments, comparing them as to the cost of installation and maintenance of simulated and emulated service provider networks. Such networks include a large variety of equipment of different manufacturers, so the above mentioned environments are also compared in terms of the ability to build networks involving multiple suppliers at the same time.

The labour market forces employees to improve their qualifications continuously and to learn skills necessary to acquire certificates needed to get or keep a job. The opportunity to build similar network topologies has also been analysed as compared to dedicated certification trainings of Cisco Corporation and Juniper Networks.