The mission of the Center for Convergence and Emerging Network Technologies is to understand the future of networking technologies, and to engage students, faculty and industry in the process of defining and shaping that future. Convergence refers to the power of digital media to provide unified communications and new applications, devices and networks involving voice, video, data, text and money. Emerging Network Technologies refers to the other economic and technological trends affecting networking, such as new architectures and protocols and new forms of wireless broadband access. The Center’s research is interdisciplinary and applied, focusing on the management and use of networks and communication as well as relevant public policy and industrial organization issues. The Center serves three distinct constituencies:
- It provides a platform for faculty research on digital convergence and networking.
- It provides experiential learning for graduate and advanced undergraduate student teams.
- It serves as a mutually beneficial learning interface between the networking technology industries and the School of Information Studies.
- Wireless networking (802.11n): The work on this testbed has focused on elaborating product performance tests for wireless devices. In the fall, the researchers focused on evaluating the performance of 802.11n devices from several vendors. Laboratory exercises and demos for iSchool courses on wireless technologies were also conducted.
- Network Security: Researchers conduct experiments that demonstrate information security vulnerabilities, and test and evaluate IT security products and technologies. In this process, they create laboratory modules that can be used in courses on information security at the iSchool. Their aim is to enhance the iSchool’s evolving curriculum by continuously coming up with comprehensive support manuals that aid students’ understanding of topics in information security.
- Unified Communication Systems: This group studies technologies for communication systems that integrate voice, data, and video services. Currently, they are focusing on software-based PBX systems that support voice-over-IP services. CCENT’s phones will be working under one of these systems as a case study. Additionally, demonstrations of the capabilities and quality of service issues surrounding voice-over-IP technology have been developed for use in iSchool courses.
- Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6): Researchers in this area investigate the inner workings of the IPv6 protocol with a focus on its security vulnerabilities. IPv6 is the updated version of one of the main protocols that makes the Internet work. They have configured a small IPv6 network in which they perform several security attacks in order to characterize their impact on a network and possible counter-measures. The study of similar issues on Mobile IPv6 networks is underway this semester. This work will also result in the creation of demos and lab exercises about the IPv6 protocol.