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Welcome to PRD

18 Fevereiro 2018, 18:52 Fernando Manuel Valente Ramos

Hello All!

Welcome to PRD ("Protocolos em Redes de Dados", a course also known as "Advanced Computer Networks"). I am looking forward for the start of PRD. I hope you are too.

The main goal of this course is to make you aware of the challenges in designing and building computer networks - namely the Internet - and many of the recent advances to tackle them. The “death” of Moore’s law and the emergence of the “cloud” has led networking to play an increasingly central role in computer systems. As traditional networks were not keeping up, the networking community has responded with a change of paradigm, which will be the core of our course: a move from configurable networks, towards networks that are fully programmable!

We will cover the most recent advances from the networking industry and research, with a focus on the technology big enterprises, telecom operators, and large cloud companies are using to power their networks. In the end of this course I believe you will have the required networking skill set these high tech companies - and many emerging start ups - are looking for when hiring their top candidates. And you will also understand that there are still many challenges ahead, so maybe this will inspire you to create your own networking start up!

In short:

a) we will study the new networking technologies Google,  Microsoft, Facebook, and Amazon are using to build the datacenters that power cloud computing;

b) we will investigate how the operation of computer networks is moving from the decades-old paradigm of "manual, box-by-box configuration", to a brand new fully programmable network, and how this new paradigm enables new tools such as network programming languages and network verification to solve the problems that have been plaguing networks;

c) we will also see how VMware has developed systems capable of complete network virtualization, enabling, for the first time, virtualization of computing, storage, and networking.

d) finally, we will discuss topics that have made the headlines recently, such as the brittle security of today's networks (in particular the insecurity of BGP), the important issue of Internet censorship and how to avoid it, and even how to have WiFi without power sources (i.e., WiFi "out of thin air"!).

All this, and much more.

Just before closing, two quick notes before tomorrow’s lecture:

1) In this course you will have many interesting papers to read, and I would invite to start right now, with this one:

How to read a paper (S. Keshav)

This is a very short paper (2 pages) with a superb method to efficiently read papers. I use this technique always to read effectively and efficiently (i.e., quickly).

2) During the classes I will make use of an online tool to get instant feedback and promote discussions:

Socrative (choose student app)

This works in most mobile phones and tablets, and it even works using a browser so you can use it also with a laptop or PC. This is not mandatory for the course, but as it is really useful I highly recommend.

Looking forward to see you all tomorrow, to kick off PRD!



Corpo Docente

Fernando Manuel Valente Ramos