Networking Lab

The networking laboratory runs 17 Linux coupled to Cisco routing equipment and is mainly used by Bachelor of Technology students. The laboratory is also used to conduct experiments on Internet of Things (IoT) and Internet of Everything (IoE) subjects. The software and hardware used for the IoT and IoE experiments includes Contiki OS – an open source operating system used for memory-constrained network embedded systems, VMware Workstation – a hypervisor that enable user to create, use, modify, and save virtual machines (VMs) on a single physical machine and Xm1000 – an integrated Temperature, Humidity, and Light sensor. 

BEng (Electronic and Communication Engineering) students and Postgraduate students are using this laboratory for network related units. It also has a first rate IDE for software development.

Below are some of the equipment used in the lab:

1. CISCO Catalyst 2960 Series Switches


Switches are used to connect multiple devices on the same network within a building or campus. For example, a switch can connect your computers, printers and servers, creating a network of shared resources. The switch, one aspect of your networking basics, would serve as a controller, allowing the various devices to share information and talk to each other. (Source)


2. CISCO 2911 Integrated Services Router


Routers, the second valuable component of your networking basics, are used to tie multiple networks together. For example, you would use a router to connect your networked computers to the Internet and thereby share an Internet connection among many users. The router will act as a dispatcher, choosing the best route for your information to travel so that you receive it quickly.

Routers analyze the data being sent over a network, change how it is packaged, and send it to another network, or over a different type of network. They connect your business to the outside world, protect your information from security threats, and can even decide which computers get priority over others. (Source)

3. CISCO Aironet 1260 Series Access Point


Access Points (APs or WAPs) are special-purpose communication devices on wireless local area networks (WLANs). Access points act as a central transmitter and receiver of wireless radiosignals. An access point receives data by wired Ethernet, and converts to a 2.4G or 5G Hz wireless signal. It sends and receives wireless traffic to and from nearby wireless clients. An access point is different from a wireless router, in that it does not have firewall functions, and will not protect your local network against threats from the Internet. (Source)

The Cisco Aironet 1260 Series is a component of the Cisco Unified Wireless Network, which can scale up to 18,000 access points with full Layer 3 mobility across central or remote locations on the enterprise campus, in branch offices, and at remote sites. The Cisco Unified Wireless Network is the industry’s most flexible, resilient, and scalable architecture, delivering secure access to mobility services and applications and offering the lowest total cost of ownership and investment protection by integrating seamlessly with the existing wired network. (Source)

4. CISCO ASA 5505 Adaptive Security Appliance (Firewall)


Firewalls provide the first line of defense in any organization’s network security infrastructure. They do so by matching corporate policies about users’ network access rights to the connection information surrounding each access attempt. If the variables don’t match, the firewall blocks the access connection. If the variables do match, the firewall allows the acceptable traffic to flow through the network.
In this way, the firewall forms the basic building block of an organization’s network security architecture. It pays to use one with superior performance to maximize network uptime for business-critical operations. The reason is that the rapid addition of voice, video, and collaborative traffic to corporate networks is driving the need for firewall engines that operate at very high speeds and that also support application-level inspection. While standard Layer 2 and Layer 3 firewalls prevent unauthorized access to internal and external networks, firewalls enhanced with application-level inspection examine, identify, and verify application types at Layer 7 to make sure unwanted or misbehaving application traffic doesn’t join the network. With these capabilities, the firewall can enforce endpoint user registration and authentication and provide administrative control over the use of multimedia applications.
The Cisco ASA 5500 Series Adaptive Security Appliance provides leading-edge firewall capabilities and expands to support other security services. (Source)

5. CISCO 2500 Series Wireless Controller


Wireless Lan Controller (WLC) is a device that assumes a central role in the Cisco Unified Wireless Network. Traditional roles of access points, such as association or authentication of wireless clients, are done by the WLC. Access points, called Lightweight Access Points (LAPs) in the unified environment, register themselves with a WLC and tunnel all the management and data packets to the WLCs, which then switch the packets between wireless clients and the wired portion of the network. All the configurations are done on the WLC. LAPs download the entire configuration from WLCs and act as a wireless interface to the clients.