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Computer Networks

Computer Networks

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Published by: shamini on Jul 09, 2011
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 "Computer networks" redirects here. For the periodical, see Computer Networks (journal)."Datacom" redirects here. For other uses, see Datacom (disambiguation).A
computer network 
, often simply referred to as a network, is a collection of computers anddevices interconnected by communications channels that facilitate communications and allowssharing of resources and information among interconnected devices.
[1]
Put more simply, acomputer network is a collection of two or more computers linked together for the purposes of sharing information, resources, among other things.
Computer networking
or 
DataCommunications
(
Datacom
) is the engineering discipline concerned with computer networks.Computer networking is sometimes considered a sub-discipline of electrical engineering,telecommunications, computer science, information technology and/or computer engineeringsince it relies heavily upon the theoretical and practical application of these scientific andengineering disciplines. Networks may be classified according to a wide variety of characteristics such as
medium
usedto transport the data,
communications protocol
used,
scale
,
topology
,
organizational scope
,etc.A
communications protocol
defines the formats and rules for exchanging information via anetwork. Well-known communications protocols are Ethernet, which is a family of protocolsused in LANs, the Internet Protocol Suite, which is used not only in the eponymous Internet, buttoday nearly ubiquitously in any computer network.
 
Contents
y
 
1 History
y
 
2
Properties
y
 
3
Communication media
o
 
3
.1 Wired technologies
o
 
3
.
2
Wireless technologies
o
 
3
.
3
Exotic technologies
y
 
4
Communications protocol
o
 
4
.1 Ethernet
o
 
4
.
2
Internet Protocol Suite
o
 
4
.
3
SONET/SDH
o
 
4
.
4
Asynchronous Transfer Mode
y
 
5
Scale
o
 
5
.1 Local area network 
 
5
.1.1 Personal area network 
 
5
.1.
2
Home network 
o
 
5
.
2
Wide area network 
 
5
.
2
.1 Campus network 
o
 
5
.
3
Metropolitan area network 
 
5
.
3
.1 Enterprise private network 
 
5
.
3
.
2
Virtual private network 
 
5
.
3
.
3
Internetwork 
o
 
5
.
4
Backbone network 
y
 
6
Organizational scope
o
 
6
.1 Intranets and extranets
o
 
6
.
2
Internet
y
 
7
Network topology
o
 
7
.1 Common layouts
o
 
7
.
2
Overlay network 
y
 
8
Basic hardware components
o
 
8
.1 Network interface cards
o
 
8
.
2
Repeaters and hubs
o
 
8
.
3
Bridges
o
 
8
.
4
Switches
o
 
8
.
5
Routers
o
 
8
.
6
Firewalls
y
 
9
Network performance
y
 
10 Network security
y
 
11 Network resilience
y
 
1
2
Views of networks
y
 
1
3
References
y
 
1
4
Further reading
y
 
1
5
External links
 
H
istory
This section requires expansion.Before the advent of computer networks that were based upon some type of telecommunicationssystem, communication between calculation machines and early computers was performed byhuman users by carrying instructions between them. Many of the social behaviors seen in today'sInternet were demonstrably present in the nineteenth century and arguably in even earlier networks using visual signals.
y
 
In September 1
94
0 George Stibitz used a teletype machine to send instructions for a problemset from his Model at Dartmouth College to his Complex Number Calculator in New York and received results back by the same means. Linking output systems like teletypes tocomputers was an interest at the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) when, in1
962
, J.C.R. Licklider was hired and developed a working group he called the "Intergalactic Network", a precursor to the ARPANET.
y
 
Early networks of communicating computers included the military radar system Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE), started in the late 1
95
0s
y
 
The commercial airline reservation system Semi-Automatic Business Research Environment(SABRE) which went online with two connected mainframes in 1
96
0.
[
2
][
3
]
 
y
 
In 1
964
, researchers at Dartmouth developed the Dartmouth Time Sharing System for distributed users of large computer systems. The same year, at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a research group supported by General Electric and Bell Labs used a computer to route and manage telephone connections.
y
 
Throughout the 1
96
0s Leonard Kleinrock, Paul Baran and Donald Davies independentlyconceptualized and developed network systems which used packets that could be used in anetwork between computer systems.
y
 
1
965
Thomas Merrill and Lawrence G. Roberts created the first wide area network (WAN).
y
 
The first widely used telephone switch that used true computer control was introduced byWestern Electric in 1
965
.
y
 
In 1
969
the University of California at Los Angeles, the Stanford Research Institute,University of California at Santa Barbara, and the University of Utah were connected as the beginning of the ARPANET network using
5
0 kbit/s circuits.
[
4
]
 
y
 
Commercial services using X.
25
were deployed in 1
972
, and later used as an underlyinginfrastructure for expanding TCP/IP networks.Today, computer networks are the core of modern communication. All modern aspects of thePublic Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) are computer-controlled, and telephonyincreasingly runs over the Internet Protocol, although not necessarily the public Internet. Thescope of communication has increased significantly in the past decade, and this boom incommunications would not have been possible without the progressively advancing computer network. Computer networks, and the technologies needed to connect and communicate throughand between them, continue to drive computer hardware, software, and peripherals industries.This expansion is mirrored by growth in the numbers and types of users of networks from theresearcher to the home user.

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