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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Future Network Architectures
Module Code EE521
School School of Electronic Engineering
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Martin Collier
Semester 2: Martin Collier
Autumn: Martin Collier
Module TeachersMartin Collier
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 7.5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Repeat examination
Resit terminal examination and resubmit CA

This module will equip students to operate and design future data networks with aggregate capacities in the petabit/s region. The principles of network architecture design to achieve the necessary scale and efficiency of operation will be developed, as will the range of acceleration techniques required to inject data into and extract it from the network at tomorrow’s wire speeds. Techniques for the orchestration of resources and network reconfiguration in data centre networks and at the network edge will be explored, and their use in deploying virtual networks and network slices will be evaluated.

Learning Outcomes

1. understand the principles of data centre network design
2. select an appropriate network topology for a data centre network, given its predicted load
3. apply methods of packet acceleration to achieve wire speed on the fastest network interfaces
4. partition networks in the control plane using layer 2 and layer 3 approaches
5. select appropriate packet scheduling algorithms to support network slicing and traffic engineering
6. specify techniques for intrusion detection and firewalling appropriate to future network architectures
7. evaluate a range of new approaches to content delivery in future networks

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture36No Description
Assignment Completion30No Description
Independent Study122No Description
Total Workload: 188

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Data centre network design
switch architectures, Clos networks, fat trees, VLANs and VXLAN, open vSwitch, InfiniBand, RDMA, data centre bridging, P4, content delivery networks

Control Plane processes
signalling protocols, OpenFlow, SDN, SDN controllers, network slicing, BGP

Data Plane and packet acceleration
packet aggregation, bypass, eXpress Data Path, DPDK, vector packet processing, hardware accelerators, longest prefix match, NFV, NFV MANO, queueing disciplines

Firewalls and security
intrusion detection, eBPF, firewall appliances, BGP security, deep packet inspection

Emerging network protocols
IPv6, IoT protocols, 5G, multihoming and multipath networking, information-centric networking, time-sensitive networking,

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment25% Examination Weight75%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
AssignmentA written report addressing a problem in the design of future network architectures. Students must demonstrate that their solution meets the security, reliability and performance requirements posed in the problem, and must compare technical approaches in arriving at their solution.25%Week 10
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Steven Noble: 2017, Building Modern Networks, Packt Publishing, 9781786466976
  • Deep Medhi, Karthik Ramasamy: 2018, Network Routing: Algorithms, Protocols, and Architectures, 2nd, Morgan Kaufmann, 978012800737
  • Rajendra Chayapathi, Syed F. Hassan, Paresh Shah: 2017, Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) with a Touch of SDN, Addison-Wesley Professional [ISBN-13: 9780134464336],
  • Gary Lee: 2014, , Cloud Networking: Developing Cloud-Based Data Center Networks, Morgan Kaufmann, [ISBN 978-0-12-800728-0],
  • Paul Göransson, Chuck Black and Timothy Culver: 2017, Software Defined Networks: A Comprehensive Approach, 2nd, Morgan Kaufmann, [ISBN: 978-0-12-804555-8],
  • Ken Gray, Thomas Nadeau: 2016, Network Function Virtualization, Morgan Kaufmann, [ISBN: 9780128021194],
Other Resources

43913, ebook, William James Dally, Brian Towles, 2004, Principles and Practices of Interconnection Networks, Morgan Kaufman, https://dl.acm.org/doi/pdf/10.5555/2821589, 43914, vendor whitepaper, Ericsson, 0, Future network architecture, https://www.ericsson.com/en/future-technologies/architecture, 43915, vendor whitepaper, Huawei, 0, 5G Network Architecture, https://carrier.huawei.com/~/media/CNBG/Downloads/Program/5g_nework_architecture_whitepaper_en.pdf, 43916, vendor whitepaper, Nokia, 0, IP/optical interworking for 5G, https://pf.content.nokia.com/t004ok-webscale-ip-optical-integration/ip-optical-interworking-white-paper,
Programme or List of Programmes
ECEIMMasters of Eng in Elec & Comp Eng
GCECEGrad Cert. in Electronic & Computer Eng
MCMECMicro-Credential Modules Eng & Comp
MECEMEng Electronic & Computer Engineering
MEQMasters Engineering Qualifier Course
SMPECSingle Module Programme (Eng & Comp)

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