A Comprehensive Overview on Networking
For those who are in Networking Field, here is an article describing essentials of Networking. According to WikiPedia, A computer network is a type of telecommunications network between data processing nodes for the purpose of data communications. It is a communications network in which the end points are computers.
SAN (System Area Network):
Smallest networks covering usually a single room are termed system area networks (SAN). They are used to interconnect PCs or workstation clusters forming server systems and to connect data vaults to the system.
LAN (Local Area Network):
Smaller networks, typically spanning less than 1 km, are called local area networks (LAN). LANs are generally used to connect nodes within a few buildings and are privately owned. They are used to connect work stations for resource sharing (printer, database server) and for information exchange among each other and often employ multi-access links to connect all of the computers. LANs can run at speeds from 10 megabits per second (Mbps) up to few hundreds Mbps and have low delay and usually low bit error rates.
Man (Metropolitan Area Network):
The next in size are metropolitan area networks (MAN), which usually extend up to tens of kilometers and serve nearby corporate offices or interconnect a city. The last type, wide area networks (WAN), has no size limit and can be worldwide.
WAN (Wide Area Network):
WAN spans a large geographical area, often a country or continent. Because of the great number of hosts and the distance among them, WANs are in general not broadcast-type networks, but they can provide broadcast operations. WANs use the point-to-point principle and employ a set of nodes dedicated to internetwork communication.
These nodes are usually called routers, and the set of routers is called subnet. When a host wants to communicate with another host, it sends the message, often divided into several packets, to the closest router. That router stores the packets and forwards them to a router that is closer to the destination host. This repeats until the packets reach a router that is connected to the destination node. This router will then deliver the packets to the destination or to the LAN the destination is connected to.
Topology of Network:
Another common classification of networks is based on the topology of how the nodes and the links are interconnected. The topology of the network is represented by a graph in which nodes are vertices and links are edges. The network graph can be symmetric or irregular. Symmetric ones are used mainly in LANs, such as the star topology, in which all the nodes are connected to one center node, the bus topology, in which all nodes are attached to a single cable/bus, the ring network, in which nodes are connected to form a ring, or the fully connected topology, in which every node is connected to every other node. WANs are likely to have irregular topology, since they have too many links to enforce a symmetric topology.
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