The Electronics Research Group operates its own dedicated research network, the Internet Network Engineering Testbed (INET). This page gives an overview of the arrangement of the core of the testbed. The testbed often has purpose-built extensions and provides many services to researchers that may not be detailed here.
The testbed feeds all research laboratories and an applications lab via CAT-6, remote test sites on campus linked via fibre, and has connection to the main campus network. The links use Ethernet operating at 100/1000/10000 Mbps supported by a range of switches and routers, forming a number of "sandboxed" test networks. The network fully supports IPv4 and IPv6 and is multicast enabled. QoS support may be supplied when needed within the network.
The primary use of the testbed is to investigate communications systems and identify potential performance problems, suggest appropriate techniques which may improve performance, and to analyse the impact of implementing specific techniques. A range of tools (constructed either in-house, purchased, or on loan) are available and may be used to assist in the design, analysis, implementation and evaluation of communications protocols. The testbed supports active development of open standards, and contribution to open source software projects.
The testbed provides experimental application services for evaluating the use of communications protocols with real applications. The testbed also provides services for network simulation, emulation and virtualisation. High-speed local storage is provided to researchers to assist in dealing with large network traces or simulation results.
Since March 2012, the core of INET is hosted in purpose-built accomodation. It operates in climate-controlled room with researchers granted remote access to control, logging, and monitoring functions.