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CNDS/DCC Project


Module number

CO32006 (MM32021/EE42006)

Module name:   

Computer Networks and Distributed Systems/  Data and Computer Communications


UK (requires localisation) - Ask a Question? Questions Answered!

WWW reference:


The Universities around the UK attach onto a common network, which is known as SuperJANET (Joint Academic NETwork).  SuperJANET is mainly constructed using MANs (Metropolitan Area Networks), which connect to one of four main hubs (see Figure 1). The hub points are in Leeds, Bristol, London and Manchester. The universities in Edinburgh connect onto the EaStMAN (Edinburgh and Stirling MAN), as shown in Figure 2, and Table 1 outlines some of the currently developed MANs around the UK. Normally after data is routed out of the SuperJANET network it will be routed onto one of the main Internet backbones, such as:

Teleglobe network. []

C&W backbone. []

UUNET backbone (Europe/USA/Asia), and latency statistics.[]

BBNPlanet backbone [USA]. []


JANET is the UK’s academic and research network, which is funded by the JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee) of the Higher Education Funding Councils of England (HEFCE), SHEFC (Scotland), Wales (HEFCW) and the Department of Education for Northern Ireland (DENI). JANET is managed and developed by UKERNA.

The JANET network connects to many higher education and research institutes. It also provides a connection onto the Internet, other National Research Networks (NRNs) in Europe, the US and the rest of the world. Gateways out of the network to the rest of the world are located within SuperJANET.


Figure 1:   Connections onto SuperJANET

SuperJANET was initiated in 1989 and provided a broadband fibre optic based network. It was envisaged as a network of networks formed by a national network complemented by a number of regional networks (MANs) serving areas where several HE institutions are located closely together. The SuperJANET project has transformed the JANET network from one primarily handling data to a network capable of simultaneously transporting video and audio as well as data.


The EaStMAN (Edinburgh and Stirling MAN) network connects all of the universities around Edinburgh (Figure 2). It consists of two rings on ATM and FDDI, which run around the Edinburgh sites. This also connects to the University of Stirling through a 155Mbps SDH connection. The main connection to the SuperJANET network is at the University of Edinburgh.

The 100Mbps FDDI dual rings link 10 Edinburgh city sites. This ring provides for IP traffic on SuperJANET and also for high-speed metropolitan connections. Initially a 155Mbps ATM network connected five Edinburgh sites and the University of Stirling. The main connected sites are:

Figure 2:   EaStMAN connections

University of Edinburgh (King’s Buildings/ Old College/ New College/ Pollock Halls).

Heriot Watt University (Riccarton Campus).

Napier University (Sighthill/Merchiston).

Edinburgh College of Art.

Moray House (Holyrood Campus).

Queen Margaret’s College (Corstorphine).

The network is now being expanded to connect the other Scottish MANs, such as FatMAN, AbMAN and ClydeNET. This will support a Virtual Campus around Scotland. With this, lectures can be transmitted from one of the sites, and viewed by students on other campuses and institutions.


The aims of the assignment are:

To investigate the connection of Napier University to the Internet.

To investigate the connection from SuperJANET onto the Internet.

To investigate how IP data packets are routed from Napier University onto the Internet.


Select a single organisation which has at least three WWW servers which are distributed over a large geographical area (possibly in three different continents).  For example Intel has a site in Australia (, in Brazil ( and in the USA ( Trace the route that data packets take to reach these three severs. If possible, identify:

The common route that all the data packets take after they leave a PC in Napier and go to their external destination.

How the data is routed out of the UK, and onto a destination.

The differences in the routes to the destination WWW servers.

Possible other investigation might include:

Whether data packets take different routes at different times of the day.

The delays that data packets take for them to reach the destination.

The main routes the data packets take when they traverse across a country/continent.


TCP/IP programs, such as ping, telnet, and so on.

Windows 95/NT network utilities (such as NetLab 1.4, Wsock, Ping Pro, and so on).

PC and a network connection.

Assessment Criteria

A report should be submitted which will normally have less than 30 pages of typed A4 (quality is more important than quantity). This report should investigate the connection of the Napier network to three remote WWW servers.

Marking Schedule

The assignment will count for 60% (CNDS) or 20% (DCC) of the final mark of the module. The marking schedule which will be used is:





Network Connections


Test Results 





A possible structure for the report could be:


Introduction [10%]
Objectives, background, methods used.


Theory [15%]
TCP/IP, TCP/IP commands (Ping, nslookup, tracert).


Network connections [20%]
SuperJANET backbone, Connections onto SuperJANET, External connections from SuperJANET. Outline of the routes taken to the remote WWW servers.


Test results [35%]
Discussion of why you have chosen the destination WWW servers. Listing of your three traceroutes with an outline description of each of the routes.


Conclusions [20%]
Strong conclusions which summarise your main findings.


Table 1 MANs in the UK


Universities connected

WWW link


Edinburgh, Heriot Watt, Stirling, Napier and Queen Margaret College.


Dundee, St Andrews, Abertay and Northern College


Aberdeen, Northern College of Education, Robert Gordon’s University, Aberdeen College and Scottish Agricultural College.


University of Glasgow, University of Strathclyde, University of Paisley, Glasgow Caledonian University

London MAN

ULCC, UCL, Telehouse, Greenwich, South Bank, Imperial College

Bristol and West of England


South Wales MAN

University of Wales, University of Glamorgan, University of Wales College, University of Wales Institute, University of Wales College of Medicine, Swansea Institute of Higher Education


Newcastle and Northumbria Universities on Tyneside linking the Universities of Sunderland, Durham, Teesside, and Durham's University College Stockton.

Net North West

Liverpool University, Salford University, Keele University, Staffordshire University, Liverpool John Moores University, Manchester University, UMIST, Manchester Metropolitan University