CN8824: Server Networks




William Zereneh and Roger Ehrlich




Course Overview

The last decade has introduced a number of changes to the way that computing facilities are organized and used. The Internet became a strong motivating factor to decentralize computing and storage facilities. The new network-based computing architectures have emerged that enable combining multiple, sometimes geographically distributed resources to create powerful data centers. The processing power and the storage resources of these new systems can be efficiently distributed among the end users through specialized networks forming virtual data centers.

The individual building blocks of this new generation datacenters represent a mix of networking, computing and storage technologies. The ability to design and manage such data center environment requires a solid understanding of theory and implementation procedures associated with each of the technologies. The goal of this course is to explore the individual building blocks and the integration procedures of the technologies driving the transformation towards the new datacenter paradigm: from the traditional server-centric to the virtual computing architectures.

The Server Networks course will first explore the types and approaches to data center virtualization. It will look at virtualization methods of CPU, memory, storage and network. It will further explore the details and policies for network virtualization and interconnection of virtualized data centers with physical networks. In order to have a complete picture of an enterprise-level data center, it will also look at the shared storage, backup and network security requirements. Finally, the delivery mechanisms of the computing resources and services to the end-user as well as the concepts of utility computing and the Cloud Computing will be discussed.

Course Prerequisites

CN8810: Introduction to Computer Networks

Course Topics and Laboratory Experiments

  Server Hardware and Management  

Unified Computing System

Logical vs Physical Servers
LAN Connectivity
SAN Connectivity
System Resources and Pools
Server Mobility
Server Templates
Server Cloning


Labs: Exploring UCS Manager
Managing Service Profiles
Advanced Service Profiles


Server Virtualization

Types of Server Virtualization
CPU Virtualization
Memory Virtualization
Network Virtualization
Server Clustering
High Availability

Labs: Implementing Virtualized Data Center Cluster
Implementing DVS and Nexus 1000v

Data Center Networking

Virtual Port Channel (VPC, VPC+)
Overlay Transport Virtualization (OTV)

Labs: VPC Implementation
OTV Implementation


Recommended Texts

  • Data Center Fundamentals (ISBN-10: 1-58705-023-4)
  • NX-OS and Cisco Nexus Switching (ISBN-10: 1-58705-892-8)
  • Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) (ISBN-10: 1-58714-193-0)
  • I/O Consolidation in the Data Center (ISBN-10: 1-58705-888-X)
  • Storage Networking Fundamentals (ISBN-10: 1-58705-162-1)
  • Building Clustered Linux Systems by Robert W. Lucke, Prentice Hall, 2004, ISBN 0-13-144853-6
  • High Performance Linux Clusters with OSCAR, Rocks, OpenMosix, and MPI by Joseph D. Sloan, O'Reilly, 2004, ISBN 0-596-00570-9
  • Grid Computing by Joshy Joseph, Craig Fellenstein, IBM Press, 2003, ISBN 0-13-145660-1
  • Storage Networking Protocol Fundamentals by James Long, Cisco Press, 2006, ISBN 1-58705-160-5
  • Designing Storage Area Networks: A Practical Reference for Implementing Fibre Channel and IP SANs , Second Edition by Tom Clark, Addison Wesley Professional, 2003, ISBN 0-321-13650-0
  • Storage Virtualization: Technologies for Simplifying Data Storage and Management by Tom Clark, Addison Wesley Professional, 2005, ISBN 0-321-26251-4
  • IP SANs: A Guide to iSCSI, iFCP, and FCIP Protocols for Storage Area Networks by Tom Clark, Addison Wesley Professional, 2001, ISBN 0-201-75277-8
  • Storage Networking Fundamentals: An Introduction to Storage Devices, Subsystems, Applications, Management, and Filing Systems by Marc Farley, Cisco Press, 2004, ISBN 1-58705-162-1
  • InfiniBand Network Architecture by MindShare, Inc. , Tom Shanley, Addison Wesley Professional, 2002 ISBN 0-321-11765-4
  • Virtualization with VMware ESX Server by Al Muller, Seburn Wilson, Syngress, 2005, ISBN 1-59749-019-9
  • Running Xen by Jeanna N. Matthews, Prentice Hall, 2008, ISBN10: 0-13-234966-3
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Administrator's Companion , Second Edition by Charlie Russel, Sharon Crawford, Jason Gerend, Microsoft Press, 2006, ISBN 0-7356-2047-4
  • Information Storage and Management: Storing, Managing, and Protecting Digital Information by EMC, Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated, 2009, ISBN 0470294213

Course Evaluation


Lab Participation

not graded


Mid-Term Test



Final Exam