NETLAB+ User Group Meeting, May 18, 2018

The NETLAB+ User Group had the opportunity to hear from Network Development Group (NDG), Shawn Monsen and Jim Cosentino from the Greater Sacramento Region, and Karen Stanton, Western Academy Support and Training Center. Meeting minutes and recorded video (available to members only) have been posted in this article.

Topics covered included:
  • Cisco Networking Academy CCNA Cyber Ops Pod and Labs
  • Palo Alto Networks Cyber Security Pod and Labs
  • Using NETLAB+ for the California Mayor’s Cyber Cup Competition
  • Custom Labs and Pods Workshop



Shawn Monsen, Welcome

  • Visit the NETLAB+ User Group website at for great content available; register for full access to site features, including the User Group Forum, and to receive monthly news updates and meeting invitations
  • Next NETLAB+ User Group meeting will be in the fall

Thomas Koslab, Network Development Group (NDG)
Cisco Networking Academy CCNA Cyber Ops Pod and Labs

Cyber Ops Video - Members Only

  • The topology is composed of 5 virtual machines; Cyber Ops Workstation, Kali, Metasploitable, Security Onion and WinClient
  • The machines provided by Cisco and can be downloaded from the curriculum.
  • Windows Client isn’t available because the curriculum assumes the user/client has Windows
  • Cisco recommends about 8 gigs of total RAM, and a little more if you’re powering on all 4 of the virtual machines at the same time
  • The only RAM needed is to power on the web browser that the user chooses; 2-4 gigs would be enough
  • Cyber Ops Workstation is a different layer using Mininet – a topology that runs on python scripting
  • NETLAB+ supported labs use Windows, Linux, Wireshark, Nmap, DNS, mySQL, DNS, and Cumulative Labs to name a few; there are a total of 35 labs available for NETLAB+
    • Will be available in next 2 weeks (June)
  • There are no hardware requirements as the course is written based on open source tools

Jason Zeller, Network Development Group (NDG)
Palo Alto Networks Cybersecurity Academy Pod and Labs

Palo Alto Video - Members Only

  • Two new courses are Cybersecurity Gateway (CG) and
  • Cybersecurity Essentials (CE) – both mapped to high school/college level/beginner level
  • CG has 11 labs and CE has 12 labs.
  • The topology is identical to what was in the PAN 8 EDU 210 labs
  • The goal is to release these 2 labs in the introductory level
  • Release date: June 15th tentatively. The NETLAB+ labs will be released along the same timeframe
  • Will be available on the NETLAB+ system, NETLAB+ VE, through the hosted service and through a package on Coursera.
Question: Is there a lab list yet for the new courses?
Response: (List displayed within presentation) – see below:

NLUG 5 18 18Question: In these labs, does the NETLAB have to be connected actively to the Internet?
Response: The labs do go on the Internet intermittently.

Shawn added that Palo Alto is the standard and that students can add to their resume that they can configure Palo Alto firewalls.

Question: Is the intention to break into 2 courses?
Response: Yes, the PAN 8 labs will be broken into two curriculums and courses based on their academic branch.

Question: Timeline for 210 labs?
Response: Possibly the fall.

Shawn Monsen, NETLAB+ User Group Lead & Jim Cosentino, Folsom Lake College
Using NETLAB+ for the California Mayors Cyber Cup Competition (MCCC)

Mayors Cup Video - Members Only

Shawn Monsen: Background on MCCC

  • The MCCC is run by the CA Cyber Hub
  • The MCCC is a regional competition in CA where cyber teams comprised of middle and high school students compete for a cyber cup trophy
  • This is important because it brings cybersecurity awareness to our communities, builds strong and ethical character in the participants, and builds our future cyber security workforce in CA.
  • 160 middle and high school students participated in April 2018 competition. There was a live video feed from the 4 locations (Sacramento, Orange County, Inland Empire/Desert and Central Valley)
  • Promoted a feeling of community within the teams
  • Those winners go to a Statewide Competition and the students are completely engaged in this process
  • The students compete using a Windows and Unix image and work in teams to find vulnerabilities within the images. They earn points in real time for the vulnerabilities that they find.
  • The images are fairly large, in the 3-7 Gigabyte range for each image.
  • Why move to NETLAB+? – Any student can have access, the amount of administrative work is reduced significantly, this can be used for CyberPatriot competitions, and can be used for summer cyber camps.

Jim Cosentino: Implementation in NETLAB+, Challenges and Lessons Learned

  • Took competition images and used the VMware tools to convert the format and put images directly on the system. The images are timed so a test ID was used to see if everything was talking. After that we took a new master, cloned it out, and hoped for the best
  • Ran into an issue with some of the Ubuntu VMs not booting up. We had to disconnect and re-clone it, but this caused an outage per team for about 5 minutes. The bigger problem was the scoring engine. We could not run on the competition VM the day of. The scoring engine wasn’t scoring what the students were doing. It was intermittent. We could not determine the root of this problem.
  • Going forward, NETLAB+ is still best to use, but we plan to use a Class B IP Address range and run the VM straight through the crash and burn network. We’re also considering putting VM player and the image on the desktop. This way it would exactly mimic the normal local environment.


Hope that this works well as it will make it easier for individuals in remote areas to participate
Great collegial cooperation from Cabrillo College

Karen Stanton, WASTC and Jason Zeller NDG
NETLAB+ Custom Labs and Pods Workshop

WASTC Video - Members Only

  • We host 2 professional development events: Winter Conference and the Summer Faculty Development Weeks (discussing today)
  • We have 16 workshops to choose from and breakfast and lunch are provided
  • Cabrillo College – registration is closed
  • Coastline College – Some space available. Workshop being done on custom Labs and Pods
  • NDG NETLAB+ Workshop will be covering: developing own curriculum, developing extra labs, ethical hacking, VE and latest products and include demonstrations. The labs are hands-on.
  • If interested in attending, contact Karen Stanton at or go to the website