- Network Model
- Physical Media
- Wireless Media
- Network Card
- Outside Connections
- Wide Area Network Connections
- Repeaters, Bridges, Routers
- Network Types
- Token Ring
- Architecture Comparisons
- Suites and Network Layers
- Installing Drivers
- Network Operating Systems
- Applications, mail, groupware, DBMS
- Backing up the network
- Web, SNMP, admin, firewalls
- Networking Terms and Definitions
Wide Area Networks (WAN)
The size of a network is limited due to size and distance constraints. However networks may be connected over a high speed communications link (called a WAN link) to link them together and thus become a WAN. WAN links are usually:
- Dial up connection
- Dedicated connection - It is a permanent full time connection. When a dedicated connection is used, the cable is leased rather than a part of the cable bandwidth and the user has exclusive use.
- Switched network - Several users share the same line or the bandwidth of the line. There are two types of switched networks:
- Circuit switching - This is a temporary connection between two points such as dial-up or ISDN.
- Packet switching - This is a connection between multiple points. It breaks data down into small packets to be sent across the network. A virtual circuit can improve performance by establishing a set path for data transmission. This will shave some overhead of a packet switching network. A variant of packet switching is called cell-switching where the data is broken into small cells with a fixed length.
WAN Connection Technologies
- X.25 - This is a set of protocols developed by the CCITT/ITU which specifies how to connect computer devices over an internetwork. These protocols use a great deal of error checking for use over unreliable telephone lines. They establish a virtual communication circuit. It uses a store and forward method which can cause about a half second delay in data reception when two way communications are used. Their speed is about 64Kbps. Normally X.25 is used on packed switching PDNs (Public Data Networks). A line must be leased from the LAN to a PDN to connect to an X.25 network. A PAD (packet assembler/disassembler) or an X.25 interface is used on a computer to connect to the X.25 network. CCITT is an abbreviation for International Telegraph and Telephone Consultative Committee. The ITU is the International Telecommunication Union.
- Frame Relay - Error checking is handled by devices at both sides of the connection. Frame relay uses frames of varying length and it operates at the data link layer of the OSI model. A permanent virtual circuit (PVC) is established between two points on the network. Frame relay speed is between 56Kbps and 1.544Mbps. Frame relay networks provide a high-speed connection up to 1.544Mbps using variable-length packet-switching over digital fiber-optic media. Frame relay does not store data and has less error checking than X.25.
- Switched Multi-megabit Data Service (SMDS) - Uses fixed length cell switching and runs at speeds of 1.533 to 45Mbps. It provides no error checking and assumes devices at both ends provide error checking.
- Telephone connections
- Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) - May be used over a variety of media with both baseband and broadband systems. It is used for audio, video, and data. It uses fixed length data packets of 53 8 bit bytes called cell switching. 5 bytes contain header information. The cell contains path information that the packet is to use. It uses hardware devices to perform the switching of the data. Speeds from 155Mbps to 622 Mbps are achieved. Error checking is done at the receiving device, not by ATM. A permanent virtual connection or circuit (PVC) is established. It may also use a switched virtual circuit (SVC). Service classes:
ATM can be embedded in other protocols such as ATM-25, T1, T3, OC-1, OC-3, OC-12, and OC-48. Some ATM technologies include:
- Constant bit rate for data.
- Variable bit rate for audio or video.
- Connection less for data.
- Connection oriented for data.
- ATM-25 - 25Mbps speed.
- STS-3 - 155Mbps on fiber or category 5 cable.
- STS-12 - 620 Mbps on fiber cable for campus wide network.
- STS-48 - 2.2 Gbps on fiber cable on a MAN.
- STS-192 - 8.8 Gbps on fiber cable on intercity long distance. This is normally used by phone companies.
- Synchronous Optical Network (SONET) - A physical layer standard that defines voice, data, and video delivery methods over fiber optic media. It defines data rates in terms of optical carrier (OC) levels. The transmission rate of OC-1 is 51.8 Mbps. Each level runs at a multiple of the first. The OC-5 data rate is 5 times 51.8 Mbps which is 259 Mbps. SONET also defines synchronous transport signals (STS) for copper media which use the same speed scale of OC levels. STS-3 runs at the same speed of OC-3. Mesh or ring topology is used to support SONET. SONET uses multiplexing. The ITU has incorporated SONET into their Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) recommendations.
WAN Technology comparisons
|Switched 56||56Kbps||Switched line, not dedicated|
|X.25||64Kbps||Packet switching, error correction, store and foreward, with round trip delay|
|Frame Relay||56Kbps to 1.544Mbps||Varying length frames with permanent virtual circuit|
|SMDS||1.533 to 45Mbps||Fixed cell length with no error checking|
|T1||1.544Mbps||24 Multiplexed channels|
|T3||44.736Mbps||672 Multiplexed channels|
|SONET||51.8Mbps (OC-1)||OC2 is 2X OC1, OC3 is 3X OC1|
|ATM||155Mbps to 622 Mbps ||Fixed length packets. works on SONET and T carrier lines. Uses virtual circuits|
- Circuit switching - Physical switched connection.
- Message switching - A store and forward mechanism where messages are treated as individual units.
- Packet switching - Messages are broken down into smaller packets with individual destination information. Independent routing is used which allows the packets to use any route between the source snd destination. Much RAM and processing power is required to support this switching type.
- Datagram packet switching - Uses independent paths.
- Virtual circuit packet switching - This is used for audio and video streaming. A set path is established between the source and destination and a connection oriented service is made.