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Internet of Things Smart Space Research Team (IoT-s2o)

iLabX - the Virtual Internet Laboratory

The iLabs are a very successful teaching series about distributed systems and networking. Together, the iLabs reached far more than 2000 students between 2004 and 2018. The iLabs currently consist of five courses:

What is it about?

"iLabX – the Virtual Internet Laboratory" is a block course at Technical University of Munich. iLabX - The Virtual Internet Laboratory combines gems from both worlds: online and on-site. In the first half you will have flexible time to go through the iLabX - The Internet Masterclass MOOC on edX. In the second part we run you through several on-site course modules.

Among the many special things about this course are:

  • It is for diverse audience from non-computer experts to networking professionals.
  • It does not only explain how the Internet works but it also makes you practically explore the technologies you learn about.
  • It is made by people having more than 15 experience in teaching.
  • The instructors are the best ;-)

Why should I participate?

iLabX - The virtual Internet Laboratory is special because of many reasons including offering:

  • vLab - a novel virtual testbed for a virtual hands-on on your PC.
  • iLab - a well-approved and multiple times awarded teaching concept.
  • A highly motivated fantastic team!

Interview with Vint Cerf on why knowing about the Internet matters

At the occasion of the Heidelberg Laureate Forum, I had the chance to interview Vint Cerf. Together with Bob Kahn, Vint designed the internet in the early 1970s. In the interview we talk about why understanding the basics of the Internet matters.

Concrete Details for the course run at TUM

The iLabX will be offered as a block course starting in the last week of the semester, followed by roughly 4 weeks online part where you can be wherever you want, and then about three weeks on-site part at TUM. It counts as:

  • Praktikum - Internet-Praktikum - iLabX (IN0012, IN2106, IN4240) 
  • 10 ECTS for Bachelor or Master (possibly also EE)
  • A challenge for teams of two.

The course has two parts: the first is an online part. In the online part you work on your own and have one month to complete the six challenges. You will practically explore the basics of how today's Internet works in a virtual laboratory.

In the second physical hands-on part we will meet at TUM for two week in August. In this on-site part you will solve four exercises in our physical laboratory.

  • Phase I: Online MOOC with virtual lab (4 weeks around the end of the semester at your own disposal)
    • Introduction to the MOOC part that you will do on your own until the beginning of the on-site part.
    • 1: Layer 1+2: Basics, Physics (at your own schedule until August 15, 2018)
    • 2: Layer 3: IPv6, IPv4 (at your own schedule until August 15, 2018)
    • 3: Layer 3:Routing (at your own schedule until August 15, 2018)
    • 4: Layer 4: TCP, UDP (at your own schedule until August 15, 2018)
    • 5: Layer 5: DNS, HTTP(s) (at your own schedule until August 15, 2018)
    • 6: Layer 5. Firewall, NAT64 (at your own schedule until August 15, 2018)
  • Phase II: On-Site Phase at TUM with physical lab
    • Introduction to the TUM on-site part. First lecture: TCP/ UDP.
    • Bridging to the physical hands-on/ IPv6.
    • BGP.
    • WWW Security.
    • 1 Minilab of your choice, e.g. the Snowden revealed Quantum Insert attack, HTTP/2: Make the Web fast again)
    • Wrap-Up.
Video of the info event in the GRNVS lecture on June 18, 2018

The video gives you info about the course. Please excuse the bad audio. We did not have a microphone for the laptop with us.


For the creation of the MOOC I built a great team consisting of:

  • Marc-Oliver Pahl (lead)
  • Stefan Liebald (course development)
  • Edwin Cordeiro (course development)
  • Lars Wüstrich (course development)
  • Moritz Sichert (virtual lab environment)
  • Lucas Wolf (course development)
  • Donika Mirdita (course development)
  • Kirill Kldiashvili (course development)
  • Jonas Andre (testing)
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