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Course Plan in a Nutshell

The focus of this course is on the theoretical and practical aspects of Local Area Networks. The theory will be covered during the early part of the quarter followed by hands-on training during the latter part of the quarter.

The theoretical and practical components are based partly on various topics covered in the Microsoft's curriculum for the Microsoft Certified Network Administrator (MCSA) certification. Further information on MCSA certification can be obtained at:


The practical component of the course will be presented under the following sections:

  • Peer-to-Peer Networking: Networking with Windows XP

  • Network Security: Hardware and software firewall implementations

  • Wireless Networking

  • Client-Server Networking: Basic Windows 2003 Networking

  • Network Infrastructure Services: DNS and DHCP Services

  • Application Servers: Internet Information Services and Windows Media Services

  • Remote Computing: Terminal Services, FTP and Telnet

  • Other Servers: Choice of servers to be determined during the quarter

For the practical part, networking with Windows XP Professional and Windows 2003 Server will be covered. Students will initially be required to set up a peer-to-peer network using Windows XP Professional. It will be followed by the installation and configuration of a client-server network using the Windows 2003 Server operating system. In the case of Windows 2003 networking, the students will undertake some of  the functions of a typical network administrator that include setting up user accounts, controlling and managing access to the resources and managing the server components.  


At the end of the quarter, the students are expected to have acquired the following:

  • A good understanding of the functional features of different network architectures such as the  peer-to-peer, client-server and thin-client network architectures

  • A grasp of the physical network architectures used in practice such as the bus, ring and star architectures 

  • An awareness of the basic hardware and software components used for building networks

  • Knowledge of various practical implementations of the Ethernet and Token Ring networks

  • Exposure to a range of topics covered in some courses that constitute part of the curriculum for Microsoft certification 

  • Ability to set up a peer-to-peer network and understand the concepts relating to the sharing of resources on the network

  • Understanding of the functioning of a client-server network based on the Windows Server operating system

  • Ability to configure, install and administer an entry level Windows client-server network

  • Practical understanding of web hosting, media streaming and remote computing

Delivery of Instruction

The delivery of instruction will be partly based on a DVD produced by the instructor. It will be distributed free of charge in the class. The students are required to return the DVD immediately after they make one legal copy for personal use. 

This evolving website will also play an important role in the dissemination of course related information. The in-class meetings may be reduced by a certain percentage of time to enable the students to take full advantage of Technology Mediated Learning (TML) implemented by the use of audio and video learning aides. 


The primary reference is the course material contained in this website and the course material on the instructor's DVD. The course material is also presented in the form of PowerPoint slides posted under the web page entitled Lecture Notes. A selected set of references are also posted under the web page entitled References on this website for the convenience of the students. Websites hosted by computer magazines and companies involved with network related hardware and software are provided as supplementary references.  

For those wanting to further specialize in a topic covered in the course, the relevant books and CD-ROMs published by the Microsoft Press and other publishers are recommended. Links to additional references can be found on the Reference page of this website.

Text Book

To be announced in class.

(c) Professor N. Ganesan, All Rights Reserved.