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CAP306: Computer Networks




1. Networks provide the benefits to the user. Is there any area where networks are not beneficial? ANSWER: There are two basic types of networks: peer-to-peer and client/server. A peer-to-peer network (1) A network of computers configured to allow certain files and folders to be shared with everyone or with selected users. Peer-to-peer networks are quite common in small offices that do not use a dedicated file server. Is a system of interconnected personal computers? Each computer in the network acts as both client and server, enabling the computers to exchange files and electronic mail directly with every other computer. Access to personal files can be controlled by each individual user. "Peer-to-Peer networking makes it easier for people to collaborate. It is the best choice for small businesses". They are cheaper than server-based networks but cannot easily handle the exchange of large amounts of data. Nor do they generally have the security and administration capabilities of server-based networks. Peer-to-peer networks are connected with cables and the proper networking software. Client/server networks (1) a communications network that uses dedicated servers. In this context, the term is used to contrast it with a peer-to-peer network, which allows any client to also be a server. (2) A network that is processing applications designed for client/server architecture. Are indispensable for businesses with over 25 users who share files and resources. Server-based networking software is more costly than peer-to-peer and is best suited for larger organizations with extensive computing needs. In a client/server network a high-powered central computer, the server, is the focal point focal point n. See focus. Of the network. The server is connected to many less powerful client or workstation computers. Clients run programs that are stored on the server, and they can easily access this data. Whatever the needs of your particular organization, as it continues to grow, it's wise to take a look at installing a networked system--if you haven't already. Cost-effectiveness is the key. Networking will have a beneficial effect on the bottom line of any organization that values the sharing of information and collaboration between staff members.

2. What does negotiation mean while discussing network protocols? Give example.

ANSWER: Negotiation refers to the speed of data transmission. A pre-boot multicast addresses management protocol for a computer network. This novel protocol includes an address conflictclearing process that ensures that the same multicast address is not given to separate clients desiring different boot information. This address conflict-clearing technique alleviates any addressing conflicts and addresses duplication problems and enables multiple boot negotiation server processes to be present on the same network. The novel protocol of the present invention also provides a means for a boot negotiation server process and a multicast files server process to communicate in a bi-directional manner. Thus, the boot negotiation server process and the multicast file server process can communicate by sending messages and responses back and forth between each other. This communication feature allows the boot negotiation server process and the multicast file server process to reside on separate computers within the network. Since this is so important, the SCSI protocol builds in support for a method by which the host adapter can interrogate all devices on the bus to find out what speeds they support. This process is called negotiation and is one of the first tasks performed by the SCSI host adapter when the system power is applied. Under conventional SCSI rules, this negotiation is done with each device; the host adapter records the maximum transfer speed that each device claims to support, and then uses that information when the device is accessed. Regular negotiation just "trusts" that everything will work at the speed the hardware decides is possible, but it may not actually work. If there are difficulties, they may manifest themselves in the form of data errors or reliability problems. To improve negotiation the SPI-3 standard introduced a new feature called domain validation, sometimes abbreviated DV. After a device tells the host adapter that it is capable of transfers at a particular speed, the host adapter tests the device by sending write requests to the device's internal buffer at that speed. 3. How does data transfer takes place between two end users? ANSWER: Files are transferred only via the data connection. The control connection is used for the transfer of commands, which describe the functions to be performed, and the replies to these commands. Several commands are concerned with the transfer of data between hosts. These data transfer commands include the MODE command which specify how the bits of the data are to be transmitted, and the structure and TYPE commands, which are used to define the way in which the data are to be represented. The transmission and representation are basically independent but the "stream" transmission mode is dependent on the file structure attribute and if "Compressed" transmission mode is used, the nature of the filler byte depends on the representation type.

SENDER sender




4. Match the following functions with different layers of OSI model.(with reason) a) Segmentation. b) Provide security. c) Error control. d) Syntax and semantics e) Multiplexing. ANSWER: Segmentation: The transport layer provides transparent transfer of data between end users, providing reliable data transfer services to the upper layers. The transport layer controls the reliability of a given link through flow control, segmentation/desegmentation, and error control. Some protocols are state and connection oriented. This means that the transport layer can keep track of the segments and retransmit those that fail. The transport layer provides: • Message segmentation: accepts a message from the (session) layer above it, splits the message into smaller units (if not already small enough), and passes the smaller units down to the network layer. The transport layer at the destination station reassembles the message. Message acknowledgment: provides reliable end-to-end message delivery with acknowledgments. Message traffic control: tells the transmitting station to "back-off" when no message buffers are available. Session multiplexing: multiplexes several message streams, or sessions onto one logical link and keeps track of which messages belong to which sessions (see session layer).

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Typically, the transport layer can accept relatively large messages, but there are strict message size limits imposed by the network (or lower) layer. Consequently, the transport layer must break up the messages into smaller units, or frames, prepending a header to each frame. Provide Security: The presentation layer provides: Character code translation: for example, ASCII to EBCDIC. Data conversion: bit order, CR-CR/LF, integer-floating point, and so on. Data compression: reduces the number of bits that need to be transmitted on the network. Data encryption: encrypt data for security purposes. For example, password encryption. Error control: The data link layer provides: • Link establishment and termination: establishes and terminates the logical link between two nodes. • Frame traffic control: tells the transmitting node to "back-off" when no frame buffers are available. • Frame sequencing: transmits/receives frames sequentially. • Frame acknowledgment: provides/expects frame acknowledgments. Detects and recovers from errors that occur in the physical layer by retransmitting non-acknowledged frames and handling duplicate frame receipt. • Frame delimiting: creates and recognizes frame boundaries. • Frame error checking: checks received frames for integrity. Syntax and Semantics: Physical layer provides: Data encoding: modifies the simple digital signal pattern (1s and 0s) used by the PC to better accommodate the characteristics of the physical medium, and to aid in bit and frame synchronization. Transmission technique: determines whether the encoded bits will be transmitted by baseband (digital) or broadband (analog) signaling. Physical medium transmission: transmits bits as electrical or optical signals appropriate for the physical medium, and determines:
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What physical medium options can be used How many volts/db should be used to represent a given signal state, using a given physical medium


1. Under what circumstances you will use TCP/IP protocol suite and under what circumstances you will use OSI model. Compare and contrast both these models and which model is better and why? ANSWER:

TCP/IP Architecture Model: 4-Layers vs. OSI 7 Layers
TCP/IP architecture does not exactly follow the OSI model. Unfortunately, there is no universal agreement regarding how to describe TCP/IP with a layered model. It is generally agreed that TCP/IP has fewer levels (from three to five layers) than the seven layers of the OSI model. We adopt a four layers model for the TCP/IP architecture. TCP/IP architecture omits some features found under the OSI model, combines the features of some adjacent OSI layers and splits other layers apart. The 4-layer structure of TCP/IP is built as information is passed down from applications to the physical network layer. When data is sent, each layer treats all of the information it receives from the upper layer as data, adds control information (header) to the front of that data and then pass it to the lower layer. When data is received, the opposite procedure takes place as each layer processes and removes its header before passing the data to the upper layer. The TCP/IP 4-layer model and the key functions of each layer are described below:

Application Layer The Application Layer in TCP/IP groups the functions of OSI Application, Presentation Layer and Session Layer. Therefore any process above the transport layer is called an Application in the TCP/IP architecture. In TCP/IP socket and port are used to describe the path over which applications communicate. Most application level protocols are associated with one or more port number. Transport Layer In TCP/IP architecture, there are two Transport Layer protocols. The Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) guarantees information transmission. The User Datagram Protocol (UDP) transports datagram swithout end-to-end reliability checking. Both protocols are useful for different applications. Network Layer The Internet Protocol (IP) is the primary protocol in the TCP/IP Network Layer. All upper and lower layer communications must travel through IP as they are passed through the TCP/IP protocol stack. In addition, there are many supporting protocols in the Network Layer, such as ICMP, to facilitate and manage the routing process. Network Access Layer In the TCP/IP architecture, the Data Link Layer and Physical Layer are normally grouped together to become the Network Access layer. TCP/IP makes use of existing Data Link and Physical Layer standards rather than defining its own. Many RFCs describe how IP utilizes and interfaces with the existing data link protocols such as Ethernet, Token Ring, FDDI, HSSI, and ATM. The physical layer, which defines the hardware communication properties, is not often directly interfaced with the TCP/IP protocols in the network layer and above.

TCP/IP ARCHITECTURE MODEL: 4-LAYERS VS. OSI 7 LAYERS The OSI model has seven layers, each of which has a different level of abstraction and performs a well-defined function. The principles that were applied to arrive at the seven layers are as follows : A layer should be created where a different level of abstraction is needed. Each layer should perform a well-defined function. The function of each layer should be chosen with an eye toward defining internationally standardized protocols. The layer boundaries should be chosen to minimize the information flow across the interfaces. The number of layers should be large enough that distinct functions need not be thrown together in the same layer out of necessary, and small enough that the architecture does not become unwieldy.

The seven OSI layers are defines as follows: 7. Application: Provides different services to the application 6. Presentation: Converts the information 5. Session: Handles problems which are not communication issues 4. Transport: Provides end to end communication control 3. Network: Routes the information in the network 2. Data Link: Provides error control 1. Physical: Connects the entity to the transmission media

Which model is best: On OSI: OSI's major contribution to networking theory is in its distinct separation between three fundamental concepts:

1. Services: A service defines what a layer does, but abstracts the details of implementation from higher levels in the protocol stack.

2. Interfaces: The interface makes the layer available to higher layers. It defines the conventions of communication - what to send and what to expect, but also does not deal with implementation details. 3. Protocols: These are private methods of implementation which the higher layers have no access to or knowledge of. Thus, they can be changed (i.e. to allow adding support for a new hardware technology) without altering the basic functioning of higher layers.

On TCP/IP: TCP/IP's differences from the OSI model stem from its design requirements:
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A common application set Implicit support for dynamic routing Connectionless networking level Implicit support for packet-switching Universal connectivity

Problems with OSI OSI was a poor performer in implementation, and there are definite flaws in the protocols. Flow control is a problem at every layer and error control must be implemented all layers as well. Network management is problematic and was actually omitted from the original OSI model. Semantic confusion about the Presentation and Application layers created so many major headaches that data security and encryption were eventually taken out altogether! Problems with TCP/IP: Far from blameless, TCP/IP has some problems as well, the primary one being that it speaks only its own language:
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It can't be used to intelligently describe another type of protocol stack (like SNA). Its network layer is more of an interface than a true layer of its own. There is no distinction between the Physical and Data Link layers. This is a poor choice from an engineering standpoint. Many of the original protocol implementations were hacks (in the "oldskool" sense, of course) with very limited usefulness and arbitrary constraints based on hardware limitations or on simplifying the coding task.

The terminology of the OSI reference model is widely-used to describe behavior and design of networks. •The implementations of that model are basically crap.

•The protocols of TCP/IP are generally well-thought-out and widely-used. •Those protocols are usually best described by the design terminology of the OSI reference model. 2. If the unit at the data link layer means a frame and the unit at the network level is packet. Do frames encapsulate packets or packets encapsulate frames? ANSWER: If the unit exchanged at the data link level is called a frame and the unit exchanged at the Network layer level is called a packet. When a packet arrives at the data link layer, the entire thing, header, data, and all, is used as the data field of a frame. The entire packet is put in an envelope (the frame), so Frames encapsulate packets.

3. Find out the kinds of networks used in the campus. Describe them on following aspects network type, topologies and the kind of transmission media?

ANSWER: Today when we speak of networks, we are generally referring to three primary categories: local area networks, metropolitan area networks, and wide area networks. In the campus mostly used network is LAN. Local Area Network (LAN) A local area network (LAN) is usually privately owned and links the devices in a single office, building, or campus. Depending on the needs of an organization and the type of technology used, a LAN can be as simple as two PCs and a printer in someone's home office, or it can extend throughout a company and include voice, sound, and video peripherals. Currently, LAN size is limited to a few kilometers.

Figure (4) - LAN LANs are designed to allow resources to be shared between personal computers or workstations. The resources to be shared can include hardware e.g., a printer, software e.g., an application program, or data. A common example of a LAN, found in many business environments, links a work group of task-related computers, for example, engineering workstations or accounting PCs. One of the computers may be given a large-capacity disk drive and become a server to the other clients. Software can be stored on this central server and used as needed by the whole group. In this example, the size of the LAN may be determined by licensing restrictions on the number of users per copy of software, or by restrictions on the number of users licensed to access the operating system. In addition to size, LANs are distinguished from other types of networks by their transmission media and topology. In general, a given LAN will use only one type of transmission medium. The most common LAN topologies are bus, ring, and star. Traditionally, LANs have data rates in the 4 to 16 Mbps range. Today, however speeds are increasing and can reach 100 Mbps with gigabit systems in development. Wireless LAN is the newest evolution in LAN technology.

TOPOLOGY The most common LAN topology is that of a "star." In a star topology, each computer, or "node", is connected to a central hub. This is more reliable than a more classical "ring" topology, because a node failing will not bring down the entire network. A bus topology is arguably more reliable, but has poorer performance.

In a star topology, each device has a dedicated point-to-point link only to a central controller, usually called a hub. The devices are not directly linked to each other. Unlike a mesh topology, a star topology does not allow direct traffic between devices. The controller acts as an exchange. If one device wants to send data to another, it sends the data to the controller, which then relays the data to the other connected device.


Figure (5) - Star topology A star topology is less expensive than a mesh topology. In a star, each device needs only one link and one I/O port to connect it to any number of others. This factor also makes it easy to install and reconfigure. Far less cabling needs to be housed, and additions, moves, and deletions involve only one connection: between that device and the hub. Other advantages include robustness. If one link fails, only that link is affected. All other links remain active. This factor also lends itself to easy fault identification and fault isolation. As long as the hub is working, it can be used to monitor link problems and bypass defective links. However, although a star requires far less cable than a mesh, each node must be linked to a central hub. For this reason more cabling is required in a star than in some other topologies (such as tree, ring, or bus).

Transmission Media The three main types of transmission medium used in LANs are twisted pair, coaxial cable and optic fiber. Twisted pair is mostly used in connections of star and hub networks. It is easier to install twisted pair than coaxial or optic fiber because it is more flexible and does not require new cable ducts. Generally, twisted pair is used to connect DTEs to hubs and coaxial cable or optic fiber is used to link the hub to the others.

There are some limitations on the length of twisted pair cable according to the bit rate used. Normally at 1Mbps, the length limit is 100m. With additional circuits, 100m cable can be used at 10Mbps also. Coaxial cable is one of the most important kinds of transmission medium used in LANS. It is used mainly in bus networks with baseband or broadband transmission. Baseband Transmission: Two kinds of coaxial cables are used in baseband transmission: thin wire and thick wire. Thin wire, also known as 10 Base 2, is of 0.25" diameter and 10Mbps bit rate where thick wire, also known as 10 base 5, is of 0.5" diameter and 10Mbps bit rate. The length limit of thin wire is 200m between repeaters. Thick wire has greater signal attenuation and the length limit is 500m for thick wire. Thin wire is usually used for interconnecting DTEs which are close to each other. Physically, thin wire is directly connected to the DTEs with connectors. As an example, the computers in the same lab can be interconnected with thin wire. Thick wire is not useful for DTEs that are close to each other because it is not as flexible as thin wire. It can be installed as a main line in a corridor and the DTEs can be connected to it with drop cables and transceivers that are used as transmit and receive devices, but this is rather expensive. Other than that, thick wire is used between different offices and for interconnecting thin wires in baseband transmission. Broadband Transmission: In broadband transmission, with the help of rf modems, the whole frequency width of the cables are used for transmission. Length limits are very high in broadband transmission. One of the most well-known applications of broadband transmission is the community antenna television(CATV). Using broadband transmission, lots of TV channels are transmitted on a single cable. TV users tune their TV to the appropriate frequency to select the channel from the ones transmitted on the cable. Optic fiber is the fastest transmission medium among the ones listed. Unlike the others, the data is not transferred using electric pulses but it is transferred using beams of light. This requires us to use special converter electronics are used at the ends of optic fiber to convert electrical pulse to optical and vice versa. Despite being a fast transmission medium, optic fibers are expensive. The cable itself, the converter and tapping electronics cost much more than other solutions. That is why optic fibers are used in hub configurations, high speed rings and fast point-to-point transmissions.

4. Is an oil pipeline a simple, half duplex or full duplex or none of the above system?

ANSWER: A simple duplex is that which provide the communication only one direction. So the pipeline is a simple duplex system. A another example of simple duplex is radio.


Discuss different networking devices with the appropriate layer they fall in OSI Model. Also give their limitations.

ANSWER: There are following devices which fall in OSI model.

Device Gateway NIC Hub Router IEEE 802.x

OSI layer Application-transport layer Physical layer Physical layer Network layer Physical and data-link layers


A device that connects multiple computers to a single cable or DSL line for Internet access. It includes a broadband router and an Ethernet switch for attaching four or more computers by wire. Also called a "residential gateway," "home gateway" and "Internet gateway," the device may also include an access point for wireless transmission as well as the cable or DSL modem. A router provides: IP address routing network address translation (NAT) DHCP functions firewall functions LAN connectivity like a Network switch Most routers are self-contained components, using internally-stored firmware. They are generally OS-independent (i.e. can be used with any operating system). Wireless routers perform the same functions as a router, but also allows connectivity for wireless devices with the LAN, or between the wireless router and another wireless router. (The wireless router-wireless router connection can be within the LAN or can be between the LAN and a WAN.) A modem (e.g. DSL modem, Cable modem) provides none of the functions of a router. It merely allows Ethernet traffic to be transmitted across telephone lines, cable wires, optical fibers, or wireless radio frequencies. On the receiving end is another modem that re-converts the transmission format back into digital data packets. This allows network bridging using telephone, cable, optical, and radio connection methods. The modem also provides handshake protocols, so that the devices on each end of the connection are able to recognize each other. However, a modem generally provides few other network functions. A USB modem plugs into a single PC and allow connection of that single PC to a WAN. If properly configured, the PC can also function as the router for a home LAN. An internal modem can be installed on a single PC (e.g. on a PCI card), also allowing that single PC to connect to a WAN. Again, the PC can be configured to function as a router for a home LAN. A wireless access point can function in a similar fashion to a modem. It can allow a direct connection from a home LAN to a WAN, if a wireless router or access point is present on the WAN as well.

The IEEE 802.x Standard The bottom two layers of the OSI reference model pertain to hardware: the NIC and the network cabling. To further refine the requirements for hardware that operate within these layers, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has developed enhancements specific to different NICs and cabling. Collectively, these refinements are known as the 802 project. The 802 specifications set standards for:
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Network interface cards (NICs). Wide area network (WAN) components. Components used to create twisted-pair and coaxial cable networks.