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iLabX - the Virtual Internet Laboratory

iLab - Build your own Internet (since 2004), iLab2 - You set the Focus! (since 2010), and iLabX - The virtual Internet Laboratory (since 2018) are lab courses that I designed that run very successfully with more than 2000 participants at different German Universities.

What is it about?

"iLabX – the Virtual Internet Laboratory" is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) that teaches people all over the world from spring 2019 on how the backbone of today’s Internet technically works. The course runs takes about six weeks. It runs on edX.

If you are at Technical University of Munich you have the chance to participate in the iLabX block course, running after each semester!

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 ;-)

If you want to be informed about the course start, write us an email to ilabx AT ilabxp DOT com.

When will it start?

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!

What are the topics?

The iLabX covers the fundamental technologies that drive today's Internet:

  1. Week 1:Layer 1+2: Basics, Physics
  2. Week 2: Layer 3: IPv6, IPv4
  3. Week 3: Layer 3:Routing
  4. Week 4: TCP, UDP
  5. Week 5: DNS, HTTP(s)
  6. Week 6: Firewall, NAT64

Here is our trailer sequence that starts each week:

The trailer introduces the iLab.owl and of course the iLabee ;-)

Interview with Vint Cerf on why the MOOC 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 in summer 2018

The iLabX will be offered as a block course from 17.7.-31.8.2018.

  • 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)
    • 17.07.2018, 2pm: 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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