Auditing Introduction to Computer Networks

September 10, 2012

Today, I registered for the on-line course, Introduction to Computer Networks, presented by Stanford University.

The class, which starts on October 8, is a massive open online course. One of the instructors, Nick McKeown, co-founded and sold three technology companies of which the most notable is Nicara, which focused on Software Defined Networks. So, I hope that, even though this is an introductory course, we will get some unique insights from this distinguished professor and/or a different way of looking at this topic.

Professor McKeown is probably doing this because he wants to present this topic in a new way. At least, I hope he is. He definitely does not need to do it for the money because Nicara sold for over 1.5 billion dollars. So, I am looking forward to the experience of seeing a familiar (to me) topic presented by a visionary like Professor McKeown.

Stanford is a university closely associated with many Silicon Valley success stories and is also a pioneer in on-line training. It is a major contributor to the new concept of Software Defined Networking and OpenFlow, which some people think will be the “next big thing” in networking and is also the home of the Clack Graphical Router and the VNS project, both of which are open-source network simulators that I am interested to try. I hope they will be used in the course so I can personally experience how a world-class professor uses these tools to teach networking in a virtual-class environment.

I will try to “blog” the class, similar to the way blogged Stanford’s famous Machine Learning class last year. We will see how that goes.

3 responses to Auditing Introduction to Computer Networks

  1. The best network emulator is at, but mpls is not possible on it since mpls has never found its way into the official kernel.
    I suppose that with openvswitch arrival inside the kernel, mpls could be rewritten using this new technology and be at last availlable in a vanilla kernel soon.

    I knew a Brian a few years ago, he gave me good ideas and helped with cloonix, are you him?

  2. Thank you for your comment. No, I am not the same person who helped you with cloonix. I definitely intend to try cloonix. It looks like a very capable network simulator.

    • by the way, I think it is nicira, the firm about virtual network sold for a big sum to vmware, you spelt it nicara in the introduction, but nicara is also a firm, so I may be the one making a mistake…