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DataCommunicationsNetworks

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DataCommunicationsNetworks

Datacommunicationsisthemovementofcomputerinformationfromonepointtoanotherbymeansofelectricaloropticaltransmissionsystems.Suchsystemsare
oftencalleddatacommunicationsnetworks.Thisisincontrasttothebroadertermtelecommunications,whichincludesthetransmissionofvoiceandvideo(imagesand
graphics)aswellasdataandusuallyimplieslongerdistances.Ingeneral,datacommunicationsnetworkscollectdatafrommicrocomputersandotherdevicesandtransmit
thatdatatoacentralserverthatisamorepowerfulmicrocomputer,minicomputer,ormainframe,ortheyperformthereverseprocess,orsomecombinationofthetwo.
Datacommunicationsnetworksfacilitatemoreefficientuseofcomputersandimprovethedaytodaycontrolofabusinessbyprovidingfasterinformationflow.They
alsoprovidemessagetransferservicestoallowcomputeruserstotalktooneanotherviaelectronicmail,chat,andvideostreaming.

InternetDomainNames
TECHNICALFOCUS
Internetaddressnamesarestrictlycontrolledotherwise,someonecouldaddacomputertotheInternetthathadthesameaddressasanothercomputer.Eachaddress
namehastwoparts,thecomputernameanditsdomain.ThegeneralformatofanInternetaddressisthereforecomputer.domain.Somecomputernameshaveseveralparts
separatedbyperiods,sosomeaddresseshavetheformatcomputer.computer.computer.domain.Forexample,themainuniversityWebserveratIndianaUniversity(IU)
iscalledwww.indiana.edu,whereastheWebserverfortheKelleySchoolofBusinessatIUiswww.kelley.indiana.edu.

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SincetheInternetbeganintheUnitedStates,theAmericanaddressboardwasthefirsttoassigndomainnamestoindicatetypesoforganization.SomecommonU.S.
domainnamesare
EDU foraneducationalinstitution,usuallyauniversity
COM foracommercialbusiness
GOV foragovernmentdepartmentoragency
MIL foramilitaryunit
ORG foranonprofitorganization
AsnetworksinothercountrieswereconnectedtotheInternet,theywereassignedtheirowndomainnames.Someinternationaldomainnamesare
CA forCanada
AU forAustralia
UK fortheUnitedKingdom
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DE forGermany
Newtopleveldomainsthatfocusonspecifictypesofbusinessescontinuetobeintroduced,suchas
AERO

foraerospacecompanies

MUSEUM formuseums
NAME

forindividuals

PRO

forprofessionals,suchasaccountantsandlawyers

BIZ

forbusinesses

ManyinternationaldomainsstructuretheiraddressesinmuchthesamewayastheUnitedStatesdoes.Forexample,AustraliausesEDUtoindicateacademicinstitutions,
soanaddresssuchasxyz.edu.auwouldindicateanAustralianuniversity.
Forafulllistofdomainnames,seewww.iana.org/root/db.

ComponentsofaNetwork
Therearethreebasichardwarecomponentsforadatacommunicationsnetwork:aserverorhostcomputer(e.g.,microcomputer,mainframe),aclient(e.g.,
microcomputer,terminal),andacircuit(e.g.,cable,modem)overwhichmessagesflow.Boththeserverandclientalsoneedspecialpurposenetworksoftwarethat
enablesthemtocommunicate.
Theserver(orhostcomputer)storesdataorsoftwarethatcanbeaccessedbytheclients.Inclientservercomputing,severalserversmayworktogetheroverthe
networkwithaclientcomputertosupportthebusinessapplication.
Theclientistheinputoutputhardwaredeviceattheusersendofacommunicationcircuit.Ittypicallyprovidesuserswithaccesstothenetworkandthedataand
softwareontheserver.
Thecircuitisthepathwaythroughwhichthemessagestravel.Itistypicallyacopperwire,althoughfiberopticcableandwirelesstransmissionarebecomingcommon.
Therearemanydevicesinthecircuitthatperformspecialfunctionssuchasswitchesandrouters.
Strictlyspeaking,anetworkdoesnotneedaserver.Somenetworksaredesignedtoconnectasetofsimilarcomputersthatsharetheirdataandsoftwarewitheachother.
Suchnetworksarecalledpeertopeernetworksbecausethecomputersfunctionasequals,ratherthanrelyingonacentralserverorhostcomputertostoretheneededdata
andsoftware.
Figure1.1showsasmallnetworkthathasfourmicrocomputers(clients)connectedbyahubandcables(circuit).Inthisnetwork,messagesmovethroughthehubtoand
fromthecomputers.Allcomputerssharethesamecircuitandmusttaketurnssendingmessages.Therouterisaspecialdevicethatconnectstwoormorenetworks.The
routerenablescomputersonthisnetworktocommunicatewithcomputersonothernetworks(e.g.,theInternet).
ThenetworkinFigure1.1hasthreeservers.Althoughoneservercanperformmanyfunctions,networksareoftendesignedsothataseparatecomputerisusedto
providedifferentservices.Thefileserverstoresdataandsoftwarethatcanbeusedbycomputersonthenetwork.Theprintserver,whichisconnectedtoaprinter,
managesallprintingrequestsfromtheclientsonthenetwork.TheWebserverstoresdocumentsandgraphicsthatcanbeaccessedfromanyWebbrowser,suchas
InternetExplorer.TheWebservercanrespondtorequestsfromcomputersonthisnetworkoranycomputerontheInternet.Serversareusuallymicrocomputers(often
morepowerfulthantheothermicrocomputersonthenetwork)butmaybeminicomputersormainframes.

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TypesofNetworks
Therearemanydifferentwaystocategorizenetworks.Oneofthemostcommonwaysistolookatthegeographicscopeofthenetwork.Figure1.2illustratesfour
typesofnetworks:localareanetworks(LANs),backbonenetworks(BNs),metropolitanareanetworks(MANs),andwideareanetworks(WANs).Thedistinctions
amongthesearebecomingblurry.SomenetworktechnologiesnowusedinLANswereoriginallydevelopedforWANs,whereassomeLANtechnologieshave
influencedthedevelopmentofMANproducts.Anyrigidclassificationoftechnologiesiscertaintohaveexceptions.

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Figure1.1Exampleofalocalareanetwork(LAN)
Alocalareanetwork(LAN)isagroupofmicrocomputerslocatedinthesamegeneralarea.ALANcoversaclearlydefinedsmallarea,suchasonefloororworkarea,a
singlebuilding,oragroupofbuildings.LANsoftenusesharedcircuits,whereallcomputersmusttaketurnsusingthesamecircuit.TheupperleftdiagraminFigure1.2
showsasmallLANlocatedintherecordsbuildingattheformerMcClellanAirForceBaseinSacramento.LANssupporthighspeeddatatransmissioncomparedwith
standardtelephonecircuits,commonlyoperating100millionbitspersecond(100Mbps).
MostLANsareconnectedtoabackbonenetwork(BN),alarger,centralnetworkconnectingseveralLANs,otherBNs,MANs,andWANs.BNstypicallyspanfrom
hundredsoffeettoseveralmilesandprovideveryhighspeeddatatransmission,commonly100to1,000Mbps.TheseconddiagraminFigure1.2showsaBNthat
connectstheLANslocatedinseveralbuildingsatMcClellanAirForceBase.
Ametropolitanareanetwork(MAN)connectsLANsandBNslocatedindifferentareastoeachotherandtoWANs.MANstypicallyspanbetweenthreeand30miles.
ThethirddiagraminFigure1.2showsaMANconnectingtheBNsatseveralmilitaryandgovernmentcomplexesinSacramento.

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Figure1.2Thehierarchicalrelationshipofalocalareanetwork(LAN)toabackbonenetwork(BN)toametropolitanareanetwork(MAN)toawidearea
network(WAN)
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SomeorganizationsdeveloptheirownMANsusingtechnologiessimilartothoseofBNs.Thesenetworksprovidemoderatelyfasttransmissionratesbutcanprove
costlytoinstallandoperateoverlongdistances.Unlessanorganizationhasacontinuingneedtotransferlargeamountsofdata,thistypeofMANisusuallytoo
expensive.Morecommonly,organizationsusepublicdatanetworksprovidedbycommoncarriers(e.g.,thetelephonecompany)astheirMANs.WiththeseMANs,data
transmissionratestypicallyrangefrom64,000bitspersecond(64Kbps)to100Mbps,althoughnewertechnologiesprovidedataratesof10billionbitspersecond(10
gigabitspersecond,10Gbps).MANsarediscussedindetailinnexttopic.
Wideareanetworks(WANs)connectBNsandMANs(seeFigure1.2).MostorganizationsdonotbuildtheirownWANsbylayingcable,buildingmicrowavetowers,
orsendingupsatellites(unlesstheyhaveunusuallyheavydatatransmissionneedsorhighlyspecializedrequirements,suchasthoseoftheDepartmentofDefense).
Instead,mostorganizationsleasecircuitsfromIXCs(e.g.,AT&T,MCI,Sprint)andusethosetotransmittheirdata.WANcircuitsprovidedbyIXCscomeinalltypes
andsizesbuttypicallyspanhundredsorthousandsofmilesandprovidedatatransmissionratesfrom64Kbpsto10Gbps.
Twoothercommontermsareintranetsandextranets.AnintranetisaLANthatusesthesametechnologiesastheInternet(e.g.,Webservers,Java,HTML[Hypertext
MarkupLanguage])butisopentoonlythoseinsidetheorganization.Forexample,althoughsomepagesonaWebservermaybeopentothepublicandaccessibleby
anyoneontheInternet,somepagesmaybeonanintranetandthereforehiddenfromthosewhoconnecttotheWebserverfromtheInternetatlarge.Sometimesan
intranetisprovidedbyacompletelyseparateWebserverhiddenfromtheInternet.TheintranetfortheInformationSystemsDepartmentatIndianaUniversity,for
example,providesinformationonfacultyexpensebudgets,classschedulingforfuturesemesters(e.g.,room,instructor),anddiscussionforums.
Anextranetissimilartoanintranetinthatit,too,usesthesametechnologiesastheInternetbutinsteadisprovidedtoinvitedusersoutsidetheorganizationwho
accessitovertheInternet.Itcanprovideaccesstoinformationservices,inventories,andotherinternalorganizationaldatabasesthatareprovidedonlytocustomers,
suppliers,orthosewhohavepaidforaccess.Typically,usersaregivenpasswordstogainaccess,butmoresophisticatedtechnologiessuchassmartcardsorspecial
softwaremayalsoberequired.ManyuniversitiesprovideextranetsforWebbasedcoursessothatonlythosestudentsenrolledinthecoursecanaccesscoursematerials
anddiscussions.
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