Course detail

Hardware of Computer Networks

FEKT-BKC-HWSAcad. year: 2019/2020

The course deals with the description and importance of the required hardware and selected protocols used for service and management of wired and wireless data networks. Following the hierarchical division of a network, switching nodes designed for individual hierarchical levels are described in more detail. The inner structure of the switch and router is described in more detail and also the operations performed on the data units are discussed. The issues of inner blocking, output port competition, queue blocking, multicast transfer, and cell selection algorithms are discussed. The key-properties of selected distance vector and link-state routing protocols are analyzed. Finally, the mechanisms ensuring quality of service in data networks and possible implementation of these mechanisms in switching nodes, and techniques ensuring the security and protection of the data network are also discussed.

Learning outcomes of the course unit

After completing the course, students will have the necessary knowledge and be able to describe the principles and inner architecture of active elements used in communication networks, to describe the control mechanisms and protocols, and be familiar with the basic setup and use of current network elements.


The basic knowledge in the area of data communication and the used means of the data communication is expected.


Not applicable.

Recommended optional programme components

Not applicable.

Recommended or required reading

MOLNÁR, K. Hardware počítačových sítí, Skriptum VUT, 2012, ISBN 978-80-214-4449-2, 157 stran (CS)
KOTON, J. Aktivní prvky datových sítí pro integrovanou výuku VUT a VŠB- TUO. Brno: Vysoké učení technické v Brně, 2014. s. 1-94. ISBN: 978-80-214-5066- 0. (CS)
MEDHI D. , RAMASAMY K. Network routing: algorithms, protocols, and architectures, Morgan Kaufmann, San Francisco, 2007 (EN)
KOTON, J. Hardware of Computer Networks for Joint Teaching Programme of BUT and VSB- TUO. Brno: Vysoké učení technické v Brně, 2014. s. 1-158. ISBN: 978-80-214-5068- 4. (EN)
CHAO H. J. Broadband Packet Switching Technologies: A Practical Guide to ATM Switches and IP Routers, Wiley-Interscience, 2001. (EN)

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Techning methods include lectures and laboratory exercises. Course is taking advantage of e-learning (Moodle) system.

Assesment methods and criteria linked to learning outcomes

For work during the course, it is possible to get up to 100 points. Elaborating 10 protocols and passing one test, up to 30 points can be gained during the laboratory exercises. The course is finished by taking a written exam, for which up to 70 points can be obtained.
The exam of the course will be in distand form via Moodle system.

Language of instruction


Work placements

Not applicable.

Course curriculum

1. Introductory description of the data network hardware and its usage
2. Passive components of communication networks
3. Hierarchical division of a network, properties of the switching nodes according to their hierarchical level
4. Addressing, basics of routing in data networks
5. Inner architecture of the switch and router
6. Operations done by switch while processing frames
7. Operations done by router while processing packets
8. Data traffic classification, the importance and definition of queuing systems in active nodes
9. Firewalls, data traffic control, network infrastructure protection
10. Hardware of wireless local area networks and communication procedure
11. Wireless networks and standards for WPAN and WMAN
12. Tools for configuration and maintenance of the network


The aim of the course is to make students familiar with components used mainl yin local area networks, inner principles of active elements, their configuration and key communication protocols of wired and wireless networks used by these active elements.

Specification of controlled education, way of implementation and compensation for absences

Attendance at laboratory exercises is compulsory, justified absence in a laboratory exercise can be made up during the credit week after prior arrangement with the instructor.

Classification of course in study plans

  • Programme BKC-TLI Bachelor's, 3. year of study, summer semester, 5 credits, compulsory-optional

  • Programme EEKR-CZV lifelong learning

    branch ET-CZV , 1. year of study, summer semester, 5 credits, compulsory-optional

Type of course unit



26 hours, optionally

Teacher / Lecturer

Laboratory exercise

26 hours, compulsory

Teacher / Lecturer