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Prométhée Spathis
Head of the CNI program at SU

courriel :



Network Evolution with Virtualization and Automation


Person Responsible for Module (Name, Mail address):

Stefano SECCI

Credit Points (ECTS): 6 Module-ID: MU5IN056
University: Sorbonne Université Department: Master Informatique

Prerequisites for Participation

  • Internet Protocols & Algorithm
  • Advanced Routing in Large Networks

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students who have successfully finished this module will acquire the following skills:

  • Network architect, designer and administrator of enterprise networks, data-center networks, provider networks.
  • Ethernet Carrier Grade architecture and protocols
  • IP/MPLS architecture and advanced protocols
  • SDN/NFV technologies and 5G architectures and platforms.


The goal of this course is to present new technologies designed for advanced operations of IP networks in the last twenty years. The course starts with the evolution of IP switching and routing architectures, with a particular focus in traffic engineering and quality-of-service architectures. Then, the evolution of the Ethernet architecture and layer-2 protocols in general is presented, showing the extensions applied to let layer-2 protocols scale going from local area to metropolitan and data-center network segments. The course shows how IP and Ethernet evolutions recently converged in novel softwarized network environments, making use of data-plane programmability, network virtualization, cloud-native systems and automation frameworks.

Topics :

  • High availability: infrastructure planning, redundant systems, computing standards for availability and reliability.
    • Technologies : CEI 61078, MTTF, MTBF.
  • Internet routing: advanced Internet routing and network mapping protocols.
    • Technologies : BGP, LISP.
  • Label switching, MPLS : history and principles of label switching, label distribution protocols, label stacking, and multi-layer generalizaitons.
    • Technologies : ATM, MPLS, LDP, MP-BGP, MPLS-VPN, GMPLS, T-MPLS.
  • Traffic engineering: traffic engineering in link-state routing protocols, IP/MPLS traffic engineering and inter-domain extensions, centralized control plane.
    • Technologies : OSPF/ISIS-TE, MPLS-TE, PCE, SDN.
  • Ethernet carrier-grade : Ethernet evolution from shared Ethernet to switched Ethernet and Ethernet routing, Ethernet carrier grade extensions for metropolitan area and data-center networks.
    • Technologies : IEEE 802.1 family, STP, RSTP, VLAN; PB, PBB, MSTP, LAG; PBB-TE, OpenFlow, TRILL, L2LSP, PWE3; VPLS.
  • Network Virtualization: virtual briding, data-center architecture, reliability and node-path redundancy, virtualization of network functions, network operating systems, cloud network overlay protocols, cloud quality of experience.
    • Technologies : NFV, VMM, VXLAN, NVGRE, STT, OpenStack, Kubernetes.
  • Orchestration and Automation : NFV orchestration, 5G slicing, virtual machine mobility, differences between automation and orchestration, automation from script-based management to autonomous networks and zero-touch management. Review of recent advances in standardization bodies and open source communities.
    • Technologies : ZSM, ETI, ONAP.
  • Network Optimization: revisiting studied routing and traffic engineering problems (IP-TE, MPLS-TE, MSTP-TE, SDN, NFV) with mathematical programming, formulation and understanding of mixed integer linear programs.

Teaching and Learning Methods

  • 2h weekly hours lecture
  • 2h weekly hours integrated interactive tutorials (problem solving, assignments discussion, lab sessions)

Assessment and Grading Procedures

The teaching program is organized in lessons, industrial seminars, technical laboratories, and mini-projects. Three technical lab sessions take place on advanced BGP, MPLS and applications, and SDN controllers (ONOS, OpenDayLight). Mini-projects are advanced SDN projects leveraging on the platform used for the SDN lab. Labs and mini-projects are evaluated by means of reports, oral defences and technical demonstrations. A final exam terminates the course.

Workload calculation (contact hours, homework, exam preparation,..)

  • 4h weekly contact hours x 14 weeks = 56 h
  • 5h weekly hours preparation and afterwork x 14 weeks = 70 h
  • Exams preparation: 24h
  • Total: 150 h

Frequency and dates

Offered every Fall semester:

  • Classes start mid-September and end end-January;
  • Final exam at the beginning of February;
  • Makeup exam for those who failed the first session in next September.

Max. Number of Participants


Enrolment Procedures

Request to the head of CNI program

Recommended Reading, Course Material