National Institute of Technology, Fukui CollegePosition –
Traditionally, the purpose to learn network technology has been training engineers who can build and operate networks. In recent years, however, students who learn network technology do not always hope to be engineers, because their study purpose is investigating cybercrime or promoting security skill. We categorized them into two groups. The former are the engineer-oriented students, and the latter are the non-oriented group.
Network technology training often comes in classroom lecture and practical training; hands-on. The lectures are for learning the concepts necessary for network technology, and do not differ between engineer-oriented learners and non-engineer-oriented learners. The hands-on are to aim to learn the configuration skills of specific network vendor's equipment. However, device configuration is not a necessary skill for the non-oriented learners. Therefore, this tends to result in classroom-only training that omits hands-on for the for the non-oriented learners. However, since the daily work of non-engineers is not engineering, the lectured knowledge is quickly forgotten. So, hands-on is necessary for them. What kind of environment and content should be used for the hands-on of the non-engineer-oriented learner? This is the subject of this paper.
An example of such a non-oriented learner would be a police officer who does not specialize in cybercrime, but works in the criminal division, non-cyber security or a police department.
As a prerequisite for the development of hands-on materials, organizations of non-engineers do not have a test bed, space or budget to install network equipment, etc. So, we would like to do the hands-on using only PCs. The PCs should not have free access to the Internet for security reasons. The participants are not familiar with advanced command operations, but they hope to be able to use a minimum of commands through the practical training.
We present virtual machine environment working standalone PCs to learn network technologies. This environment contains three virtual machines running Linux, but it requires PC to come with 8GB memory and 50GB space in storage. This is not severe conditions, and they can do this practice with ordinary home PCs. In this material, participants could learn data link layer connection between machines, IP address assignment, difference between IP routing, NAT and proxy, and cache and load balancer functionality in reverse proxies in half day class of a police academy.