About NEAT

User documentation

The NEAT (Network Engineering Apprenticeship Training) program is designed to introduce the fundamentals of network engineering, routing and switching, virtualization and storage to high school and college students. Students will gain considerable exposure to the Linux operating system, KVM hypervisor, essentials of IPv4 networking and basic Cisco routing and switching.

The first unit breaks down the essential curriculum into 5 units:

(1) Intro to Linux & IP concepts
(2) KVM hypervisor & Cisco hardware
(3) IP Routing - static and dynamic
(4) Firewalling
(5) Bonus Section is a Voice over IP Lab with phones and a PBX

Sections 2-5 are hands on; each unit consists of a lab part designed to reinforce concepts learned in the readings. Students will build and configure virtual machines that act as routers using BIRD opensource routing software. PFSENSE is used for learning about firewall security appliances. Students will also setup host software like web servers and ssh servers to simulate guests on the networks. Students will learn to use the cli (command line) via ssh and gain experience in monitoring and troubleshooting systems.

A Cisco router and Cisco switch are included as well. Each lab will integrate VLANs and bridging into the hypervisor stack so students will learn the basics of cisco switch configuration. Section 3 delves deeper into Cisco routing.

With the knowledge gained in this program, students will have a significant leg up in the workforce as well as preparation for advanced computer engineering college courses and research opportunities.

For more information about the program or questions regarding curriculum, email:

Richweb CTO Jon Larsen:


NEAT program managers:
Peyton Walters:
Conner Steenrod: .