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Computer Network, Goals and Applications, Reference models OSI and TCP/IP. A Comparative
study. Network hardware LAN, MAN and WAN and topologies, LAN components File server,
Workstations, Network Adapter Cards. Connection Oriented and Connection less services.

1.1 Networking
Networking supports communication between two or more programs running on physically distant ma-
chines. For example all the following require network support:
a WWW browser client using a WWW server,
mail from a user agent program to a remote mail box,
remote access to a data-base,
a remote shared file server system,
downloading an MP3 music file.

What is computer Network?

A communication system for connecting computers/hosts.
A computer network is a number of computers ( also known as nodes) connected by some
communication lines.
Two computers connected to the network can communicate with each other through the other
nodes if they are not directly connected.
Some of the nodes in the network may not be computers at all but they are network
devices( Like switches, routers etc.) to facilitate the communication.
Uses of the computer Network
Exchange of information between different computers. (File sharing)
Interconnected small computers in place of large computers.
Communication tools (voice , video)
Some applications and technologies are examples of Distributed system. (Railway reservation
system, Distributed databases etc).

Advantages of Computer Network?

Better communication
Better connectivity
Better sharing of Resources
Bring people together

A form of communication in which signals are sent in only one direction. This is different from duplex
transmission, in which signals can simultaneously be sent and received by a station, and from half-
duplex transmission, in which signals can be sent or received but not both at the same time. Simplex
transmission occurs in many common communication applications, the most obvious being broadcast
and cable television. It is not used in true network communication because stations on a network
generally need to communicate both ways. Some forms of network communication might seem to be
simplex in nature, such as streaming audio or video, but the communication actually takes place using
bidirectional network traffic, usually Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) traffic. Simplex
communication is not included in the V series recommendations of the International
Telecommunication Union (ITU).
A telecommunications term referring to bidirectional communication. In full-duplex communication,
both stations send and receive at the same time, and usually two communication channels are
required. However, you can also achieve full-duplex communication using a multiplexing technique
whereby signals traveling in different directions are placed into different time slots. The disadvantage
of this technique is that it cuts the overall possible transmission speed by half.
In half-duplex communication, only one station can transmit at any given time while the other
station receives the transmission. The opposite of duplex communication is simplex communication,
which can occur only in one direction.

A mode of communication in which data can be transmitted or received, but cannot be transmitted and
received simultaneously. The simplest example is a walkie-talkie: You have to press a button to talk
and release the button to listen. When two people use walkie-talkies to communicate, at any given
moment, only one of them can talk while the other listens. If both try to talk simultaneously, a collision
occurs and neither hears what the other says.
Communication through traditional Ethernet networks is another example of half-duplex
communication. When one station on an Ethernet transmits, the other stations detect the carrier signal
and listen instead of transmitting. If two stations transmit signals simultaneously, a collision occurs
and both stations stop transmitting and wait random intervals of time before retransmitting.
In contrast, full-duplex communication enables stations to transmit and receive signals
simultaneously, with the advantage of providing twice the bandwidth of equivalent half-duplex
technologies. However, full-duplex requires two communication channels to achieve these results
one to transmit and one to receive signals.
A third mode of communication is called simplex, which involves transmission in one direction
only, with one station transmitting signals and the other receiving them.
Modes of communication:
In an IPv4 network, the hosts can communicate one of three different ways:
Unicast - the process of sending a packet from one host to an individual host
Broadcast - the process of sending a packet from one host to all hosts in the network
Multicast - the process of sending a packet from one host to a selected group of hosts
To request any service or exchange any information between 2 programs there must be an agreed set of
commands and data formats, this is a protocol. So, for example, the commands and data sent between
a World Wide Web browser and a remote server are a protocol. The browser (probably) uses the GET
command follow by the name of the required file (page), this protocol is recognised and understood by
the web server program which responds appropriately. Similarly the format of packets sent between
Ethernet cards and their drivers are a protocol. The programs exchanging messages are called peers.
Local Area Network (LAN)
The term LAN refers to a local network or a group of interconnected network that are under the same
administrative control. In the early days of networking, LANS are defined as small networks that
existed in a single physical location. While LANs can be a single network installed in a home or small
office, the definition of LAN has evolved to include interconnected local networks consisting of many
hundreds of hosts, installed in multiple buildings and locations.
LANs are designed to:
Operate within a limited geographic
area. Allow Multi-access to high
bandwidth media.

LANs consist of the following

Network interface cards
Peripheral devices
Networking media
Network devices
LANs allow businesses to locally
share computer files and printers
efficiently and make internal
communications possible. A good
example of this technology is e-mail.
LANs manage data, local
communications, and computing
equipment. Some common LAN
technologies include the following:
Token Ring

is a network that spans a city.
The network consists of
various buildings
interconnected via either
wireless or fiber optics
A metropolitan area network
(MAN) is a large computer
network that usually spans a
city or a large campus. A
usually interconnects a number of local area networks (LANs) using a high-capacity backbone
technology, such as fiber-optical links, and provides up-link services to wide area networks (or WAN)
and the Internet.

A network that spans broader geographical area than a local area network over public communication
network. WANs interconnect LANs, which then provide access to computers or file servers in other
locations. Because WANs connect user networks over a large geographical area, they make it possible
for businesses to communicate across great distances. WANs allow computers, printers, and other
devices on a LAN to be shared with distant locations. WANs provide instant communications across
large geographic areas.
Collaboration software provides access to real-time information and resources and allows meetings
to be held remotely. WANs have created a new class of workers called telecommuters. These people
never have to leave their homes to go to work.

WANs are designed to do the following:

Operate over a large and geographically separated area
Allow users to have real-time communication capabilities with other users
Provide full-time remote resources connected to local services
Provide e-mail, Internet, file transfer, and e-commerce services
Some common WAN technologies include the following:

Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN)
Digital subscriber line (DSL)
Frame Relay
T1, E1, T3, and E3
Synchronous Optical Network (SONET)


Connects host within a relatively small geographical Hosts may be widely dispersed.
area. Across Campuses
Same Building Acorss Cities/countries/continent
Same room
Same Campus

Faster Slower

Cheaper Expensive

Under a control of single ownership. Not under a control of a single person.

Typical Speeds: Typical Speed:

10 Mbps to 10Gbps 64 Kbps to 8 Mbps

The network formed by the co-operative interconnection of a large number of computer networks.
Network of Networks
No one owns the Internet
Every person who makes a connection owns a slice of the Internet.
There is no central administration of the Internet.
Internet is comprises of :
A community of people : who use and develop the network. A collection of resources:that can be
reached from those networks. A setup to facilitate collaboration: Among the members of the research
and educational communities world wide. The connected networks use the TCP/IP protocols:

important Internet applications: world wide web(WWW) File Transfer Protocol(FTP) Electronic
Mail Internet Relay Chat

A private TCP/IP internetwork within an organization that uses Internet technologies such as Web
servers and Web browsers for sharing information and collaborating. Intranets can be used to publish
company policies and newsletters, provide sales and marketing staff with product information, provide
technical support and tutorials, and just about anything else you can think of that fits within the
standard Web server/Web browser environment.

Intranet Web servers differ from public Web servers in that the public must have the proper permissions
and passwords to access the intranet of an organization. Intranets are designed to permit users who
have access privileges to the internal LAN of the organization. Within an intranet, Web servers are
installed in the network. Browser technology is used as the common front end to access information on
servers such as financial, graphical, or text-based data.
Extranets refer to applications and services that are Intranet based, and use extended, secure access to
external users or enterprises. This access is usually accomplished through passwords, user IDs, and
other application-level security. An extranet is the extension of two or more intranet strategies with a
secure interaction between participant enterprises and their respective intranets.

Part of a Company's Intranet that is extended to users outside the company(eg. Normally over the
Internet). In its simplest form, a private TCP/IP network that securely shares information using
Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and other Internet protocols with business partners such as
vendors, suppliers, and wholesale customers. An extranet is thus a corporate intranet that is exposed
over the Internet to certain specific groups that need access to it. Extranets built in this fashion follow
the client/server paradigm, with Web servers such as Apache.

Extranets are a powerful tool because they let businesses share resources on their own private networks
over the Internet with suppliers, vendors, business partners, or customers. Extranets are typically used
for supporting real-time supply chains, for enabling business partners to work together, or to share
information such as catalogs with customers. The power of the extranet is that it leverages the existing
technology of the Internet to increase the power, flexibility, and competitiveness of businesses utilizing
well-known and easily used tools such as Web servers and Web browsers. Extranets also save
companies money by allowing them to establish business-to-business connectivity over the Internet
instead of using expensive, dedicated leased lines. Extranets can also save money by reducing phone
and fax costs.

Ethernet is a family of LAN technologies,that may be best understood with the OSI reference model.

Ethernet technologies have three part names:

1. Speed
2. Signal Method (BaseBand and BroadBand).
3. Medium
Eg. 100BASET
100 Mbps
Unshielded Twisted Pair
10BASE5, 10Mbps, Baseband, 5*100Meters.
A signaling technology that sends digital signals over a single frequency as discrete electrical pulses.
The baseband signal is bidirectional so that a baseband system can both transmit and receive signals
simultaneously. Use time-division multiplexing (TDM) to accommodate multiple channels over a
single baseband transmission line. Baseband signals can be regenerated using repeaters in order to
travel longer distances before weakening and becoming unusable because of attenuation. Eg. Ethernet
A signaling technology that sends signals simultaneously over a range of different frequencies as
electromagnetic waves. These signals are unidirectionaltraveling in only one direction at a timeso
a broadband system can generally either transmit or receive but cannot do both simultaneously.
Broadband signals can be regenerated using amplifiers in order to travel longer distances before
becoming attenuated. Broadband transmissions are divided into multiple bands or channels by
multiplexers using a multiplexing scheme such as frequency-division multiplexing (FDM).
Eg.One good example of broadband signaling would be how you view different channels through your
cable box and a signal coaxial cable carrying multiple signals in cable television.

Physical Topology and Logical Topology:

Physical topology The term physical topology refers to the way in which a network is laid out
physically. The actual layout of the wire or media. Two or more devices connect to a link; two or more
links form a topology. Logical topology: Defines how the hosts access the media to send data. Shows
the flow of data on a network.
Bus Topology:
A networking topology that connects networking components along a single cable or that uses a series
of cable segments that are connected linearly. A network that uses a bus topology is referred to as a
bus network. Bus networks were the original form of Ethernet networks, using the 10Base5 cabling
standard. Bus topology is used for:
Small work-group local area networks (LANs) whose computers are connected using a
thinnet cable
Trunk cables connecting hubs or switches of departmental LANs to form a larger LAN
Backboning, by joining switches and routers to form campus-wide networks

Easy to install
Costs are usually low
Easy to add systems to network
Great for small networks
out of date technology.
include difficult reconnection and fault isolation
Can be difficult to troubleshoot.
Unmanageable in a large network
If cable breaks, whole network is down

Ring Topology
In a ring topology, each device has a dedicated point-to-point connection with only the two devices on
either side of it. A signal is passed along the ring in one direction, from device to device, until it
reaches its destination. Each device in the ring incorporates a repeater. When a device receives a signal
intended for another device, its repeater regenerates the bits and passes them along.
A ring is relatively easy to install and reconfigure. Each device is linked to only its immediate
neighbors (either physically or logically). To add or delete a device requires changing only two
connections. The only constraints are media and traffic considerations (maximum ring length and
number of devices). In addition, fault isolation is simplified. Generally in a ring, a signal is circulating
at all times. If one device does not receive a signal within a specified period, it can issue an alarm. The
alarm alerts the network operator to the problem and its location. However, unidirectional traffic can be
a disadvantage. In a simple ring, a break in the ring (such as a disabled station) can disable the entire
network. This weakness can be solved by using a dual ring or a switch capable of closing off the break.
However, unidirectional traffic can be a disadvantage. In a simple ring, a break in the ring (such as a
disabled station) can disable the entire network. This weakness can be solved by using a dual ring or a
switch capable of closing off the break.
Very orderly network where every device has access to the token and the opportunity to
Performs better than a bus topology under heavy network load
Does not require network server to manage the connectivity between the computers
One malfunctioning workstation or bad port in the MAU can create problems for the entire
Moves, adds and changes of devices can affect the network
Network adapter cards and MAU's a Multistation Access Unit are much more
expensive than Ethernet cards and hubs
Much slower than an Ethernet network under normal load

Mesh Topology:
In a mesh topology, every device has a dedicated point-to-point link to every other device. The term
dedicated means that the link carries traffic only between the two devices it connects. To connect n
nodes in Mesh topology, we require n(n-1)/2 duplex mode links.


1. The use of dedicated links guarantees that each connection can carry its own data load, thus
eliminating the traffic problems that can occur when links must be shared by multiple devices.
2. Robust, If one link becomes unusable, it does not incapacitate the entire system.
3. Advantage of privacy or security.
4. point-to-point links make fault identification and fault isolation easy , Traffic can be routed to
avoid links with suspected problems.

1. Required high amount of cabling and the number of I/O ports.
2. the sheer bulk of the wiring can be greater than the available space (in walls, ceilings, or floors)
can accommodate.
3. the hardware required to connect each link (I/O ports and cable) can be prohibitively expensive.

One practical example of a mesh topology is the connection of telephone regional offices in which
each regional office needs to be connected to every other regional office.
Star Topology:
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 one another. 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 .
Less Expensive than Mesh topology.
In a star topology, each device needs only one link and one I/O port to connect it to any number
of other devices. This factor also makes it easy to install and reconfigure.
Less Cabling, Addition and Deletion involves only one connection between the devices and the
Hub or Switch.
Easy for Fault identification and fault isolation. If one link fails, only that link is affected. All
other links remain active.
One big disadvantage of a star topology is the dependency of the whole topology on one single point,
the hub. If the hub goes down, the whole system is dead.

An extended star topology links individual stars together by connecting the hubs or switches.

A hierarchical topology is similar to an extended star. However, instead of linking the hubs or
switches together, the system is linked to a computer that controls the traffic on the topology.

Logical Topology:
The logical topology of a network determines how the hosts communicate across the medium. The two
most common types of logical topologies are broadcast and token passing.
The use of a broadcast topology indicates that each host sends its data to all other hosts on the
network medium. There is no order that the stations must follow to use the network. It is first come,
first serve. Ethernet works this way as will be explained later in the course.

The second logical topology is token passing. In this type of topology, an electronic token is passed
sequentially to each host. When a host receives the token, that host can send data on the network. If the
host has no data to send, it passes the token to the next host and the process repeats itself. Two
examples of networks that use token passing are Token Ring and Fiber Distributed Data Interface
(FDDI). A variation of Token Ring and FDDI is Arcnet. Arcnet is token passing on a bus topology.

Network Architecture:
Two types of Network Architecture:
1. Peer-to-Peer Model
2. Client-server Model

Peer-to-Peer Model:
In a peer-to-peer network, networked computers act as equal partners, or peers. As peers, each
computer can take on the client function or the server function. Computer A may request for a file from
Computer B, which then sends the file to Computer A. Computer A acts like the client and Computer B
acts like the server. At a later time, Computers A and B can reverse roles.

In a peer- to-peer network, individual users control their own resources. The users may decide to share
certain files with other users. The users may also require passwords before they allow others to access
their resources. Since individual users make these decisions, there is no central point of control or
administration in the network. In addition, individual users must back up their own systems to be able
to recover from data loss in case of
failures. When a computer acts as a server, the user of that machine may experience reduced
performance as the machine serves the requests made by other systems.

As networks grow, peer-to-peer relationships become increasingly difficult to coordinate. A peer-to-

peer network works well with ten or fewer computers. Since peer-to-peer networks do not scale well,
their efficiency decreases rapidly as the number of computers on the network increases. Also,
individual users control access to the resources on their computers, which means security may be
difficult to maintain. The client/server model of networking can be used to overcome the limitations of
the peer-to-peer network.

Peer-to- peer networks are relatively easy to install and operate. No additional equipment is necessary
beyond a suitable operating system installed on each computer. Since users control their own
resources, no dedicated administrators are needed.

The advantages of peer-to-peer:

No need for a network administrator
Network is fast/inexpensive to setup & maintain
Each PC can make backup copies of its data to other PCs for security.
Easiest type of network to build, peer-to-peer is perfect for both home and office use.

Client-server Model:
The term client-server refers to a popular model for computer networking that utilizes client and server
devices each designed for specific purposes. The client-server model can be used on the Internet as
well as local area networks (LANs). Examples of client-server systems on the Internet include Web
browsers and Web servers, FTP clients and servers, and DNS.

In a client/server arrangement, network services are located on a dedicated computer called a server.
The server responds to the requests of clients. The server is a central computer that is continuously
available to respond to requests from clients for file, print, application, and other services. Most
network operating systems adopt the form of a client/server relationship. Typically, desktop computers
function as clients and one or more computers with additional processing power, memory, and
specialized software function as servers.
Servers are designed to handle requests from many clients simultaneously. Before a client can access
the server resources, the client must be identified and be authorized to use the resource. Each client is
assigned an account
name and password that is verified by an authentication service. The authentication service guards
access to the network. With the centralization of user accounts, security, and access control, server-
based networks simplify the administration of large networks. The concentration of network resources
such as files, printers, and applications on servers also makes it easier to back-up and maintain the
data. Resources can be located on specialized, dedicated servers for easier access. Most client/server
systems also include ways to enhance the network with new services that extend the usefulness of the

The centralized functions in a client/server network has substantial advantages and some
disadvantages. Although a centralized server enhances security, ease of access, and control, it
introduces a single point of failure into the network. Without an operational server, the network cannot
function at all. Servers require a trained, expert staff member to administer and maintain. Server
systems also require additional hardware and specialized software that add to the cost.

Client/server describes the relationship between two computer programs in which one program, the
client, makes a service request from another program, the server, which fulfill the request. Although
programs within a single computer can use the client/server idea, it is a more important idea in a
network. In a network, the client/server model provides a convenient way to interconnect programs
that are distributed efficiently across different locations. Computer transactions using the client/server
model are very common. For example, to check your bank account from your computer, a client
program in your computer forwards your request to a server program at the bank. That program might
in turn forward the request to its own client program that sends a request to a database server at another
bank computer to retrieve your account balance. The balance is returned back to the bank data client,
which in turn serves it back to the client in your personal computer, which displays the information for

Advantages: Flexibility of the system, scalability, cost saving, centralized control and implementation
of business rules, increase of developers productivity, portability, improved network and resource
Client-server Vs Peer-to-Peer Network:

Advantages of a Peer-to-Peer Network Advantages of a client-server Network

Less Expensive to implementation Provides of better security.

Does not require additional specialized network Easier to administer when the network is large because
administration softwares. administration is centralized.

Does not require a dedicated network administrator. All date can be backed up on one central location.

Disadvantages of a Peer-to-Peer Network Disadvantage of a Client-server Network

Does not scale well to large network and Requires expensive, specialized network
administration become unmanageable. administrative and operational software.

Less Secure Requires a professional administrator.

All machine sharing the resources negatively impact Has a single point of failure. User data is unavailable if
the performance. the server is down.

Each user must be trained to perform administrative Requires more expensive, more powerful hardware for
tasks. the server machine.

Wireless LAN:
The infrastructure less network where, there is not required of any physical cable for network
connection. In wireless LAN each client computer is connected to the Access Point though which they
can share the file and access to the Internet.

These days People are becoming more mobile and want to maintain access to their business LAN
resources from locations other than their desks. Workers in the office want to take their laptops to
meetings or to a co-worker's office. When using a laptop in another location, it is inconvenient to rely
on a wired connection.

Characteristics 802.11 Wireless LAN 802.3 Ethernet LANS

Physical Layer Radio Frequency (RF) Cable

Media Access Collision Avoidance (CSMA/CA) Collision Detection(CSMA/CD)

Availability Anyone with a radio NIC in range of an Cable connection required

Access point

Signal interference Yes Inconsequential

Regulation Additional regulation by local authorities IEEE standard dictates

RF does not have boundaries, such as the limits of a wire in a sheath. The lack of such a boundary
allows data frames traveling over the RF media to be available to anyone that can receive the RF
RF is unprotected from outside signals, whereas cable is in an insulating sheath. Radios operating
independently in the same geographic area but using the same or a similar RF can interfere with
each other.
RF transmission is subject to the same challenges inherent in any wave-based technology, such as
consumer radio. For example, as you get further away from the source, you may hear stations
playing over each other or hear static in the transmission. Eventually you may lose the signal all
together. Wired LANs have cables that are of an appropriate length to maintain signal strength.
RF bands are regulated differently in various countries. The use of WLANs is subject to
additional regulations and sets of standards that are not applied to wired LANs
Pros of 802.11a - fast maximum speed; regulated frequencies prevent signal interference from
other devices
Cons of 802.11a - highest cost; shorter range signal that is more easily obstructed

Pros of 802.11b - lowest cost; signal range is good and not easily obstructed
Cons of 802.11b - slowest maximum speed; home appliances may interfere on the
unregulated frequency band

Pros of 802.11g - fast maximum speed; signal range is good and not easily obstructed
Cons of 802.11g - costs more than 802.11b; appliances may interfere on the unregulated signal
Pros of 802.11n - fastest maximum speed and best signal range; more resistant to signal
interference from outside sources
Cons of 802.11n - standard is not yet finalized; costs more than 802.11g; the use of multiple signals
may greatly interfere with nearby 802.11b/g based networks.

The reference models

Given the growing complexity of computer networks, during the 1970s network researchers proposed
various reference models to facilitate the description of network protocols and services. Of these, the Open
Systems Interconnection (OSI) model [Zimmermann80] was probably the most influential. It served as the
basis for the standardisation work performed within the ISO to develop global computer network standards.
The reference model that we use in this book can be considered as a simplified version of the OSI reference
2.2.1 The five layers reference model

Our reference model is divided into five layers, as shown in the figure below.
Starting from the bottom, the first layer is the Physical layer. Two communicating devices are
linked through a physical medium. This physical medium is used to transfer an electrical or
optical signal between two directly connected devices. Several types of physical mediums are
used in practice :
electrical cable. Information can be transmitted over different types of electrical cables. The most
common ones are the twisted pairs that are used in the telephone network, but also in enterprise
networks and coaxial cables. Coaxial cables are still used in cable TV networks, but are no longer
used in enterprise networks. Some networking technologies operate over the classical electrical cable.
optical fiber. Optical fibers are frequently used in public and enterprise networks when the distance be-
tween the communication devices is larger than one kilometer. There are two main types of optical fibers :
multimode and monomode. Multimode is much cheaper than monomode fiber because a LED can be





used to send a signal over a multimode fiber while a monomode fiber must be driven by a laser. Due to
the different modes of propagation of light, monomode fibers are limited to distances of a few kilometers
while multimode fibers can be used over distances greater than several tens of kilometers. In both cases,
repeaters can be used to regenerate the optical signal at one endpoint of a fiber to send it over another fiber.
wireless. In this case, a radio signal is used to encode the information exchanged between the communi-
cating devices. Many types of modulation techniques are used to send information over a wireless channel
and there is lot of innovation in this field with new techniques appearing every year. While most wireless
networks rely on radio signals, some use a laser that sends light pulses to a remote detector. These optical
techniques allow to create point-to-point links while radio-based techniques, depending on the directionality
of the antennas, can be used to build networks containing devices spread over a small geographical area.
An important point to note about the Physical layer is the service that it provides. This service is usually an
unreliable connection-oriented service that allows the users of the Physical layer to exchange bits. The unit
of information transfer in the Physical layer is the bit. The Physical layer service is unreliable because :
the Physical layer may change, e.g. due to electromagnetic interferences, the value of a bit being
the Physical layer may deliver more bits to the receiver than the bits sent by the sender
the Physical layer may deliver fewer bits to the receiver than the bits sent by the sender
The last two points may seem strange at first glance. When two devices are attached through a cable, how is
it possible for bits to be created or lost on such a cable ?
This is mainly due to the fact that the communicating devices use their own clock to transmit bits at a given
bit rate. Consider a sender having a clock that ticks one million times per second and sends one bit every
tick. Every microsecond, the sender sends an electrical or optical signal that encodes one bit. The senders
bit rate is thus 1 Mbps. If the receiver clock ticks exactly 5 every microsecond, it will also deliver 1 Mbps to
its user. However, if the receivers clock is slightly faster (resp. slower), than it will deliver slightly more
(resp. less) than one million bits every second. This explains why the physical layer may lose or create bits.

Bits per
Bit rate second
1 Kbps 103
1 Mbps 106
1 Gbps 109
1 Tbps 1012
The physical layer allows thus two or more entities that are directly attached to the same transmission
medium to exchange bits. Being able to exchange bits is important as virtually any information can be
encoded as a sequence of bits. Electrical engineers are used to processing streams of bits, but computer
scientists usually prefer to deal with higher level concepts. A similar issue arises with file storage. Storage
devices such as hard-disks also store streams of bits. There are hardware devices that process the bit stream
produced by a hard-disk, but computer scientists have designed filesystems to allow applications to easily
access such storage devices. These filesystems are typically divided into several layers as well. Hard-disks
store sectors of 512 bytes or more. Unix filesystems group sectors in larger blocks that can contain data or
inodes representing the structure of the filesystem. Fi-nally, applications manipulate files and directories that
are translated in blocks, sectors and eventually bits by the operating system.
Computer networks use a similar approach. Each layer provides a service that is built above
the underlying layer and is closer to the needs of the applications.
The Datalink layer builds on the service provided by the underlying physical layer. The Datalink layer
allows two hosts that are directly connected through the physical layer to exchange information. The unit of
information exchanged between two entities in the Datalink layer is a frame. A frame is a finite sequence of
bits. Some Datalink layers use variable-length frames while others only use fixed-length frames. Some
Datalink layers provide a connection-oriented service while others provide a connectionless service. Some
Datalink layers provide reliable delivery while others do not guarantee the correct delivery of the
An important point to note about the Datalink layer is that although the figure below indicates that two
entities of the Datalink layer exchange frames directly, in reality this is slightly different. When the Datalink
layer entity on the left needs to transmit a frame, it issues as many Data.request primitives to the underlying
physical layer as there are bits in the frame. The physical layer will then convert the sequence of bits in an
electromagnetic or optical signal that will be sent over the physical medium. The physical layer on the right
hand side of the figure will decode the received signal, recover the bits and issue the corresponding
Data.indication primitives to its Datalink layer entity. If there are no transmission errors, this entity will
receive the frame sent earlier.

Datalink Frames Datalink

Physical Physical

The Datalink layer allows directly connected hosts to exchange information, but it is often necessary to
exchange information between hosts that are not attached to the same physical medium. This is the task of
the network layer. The network layer is built above the datalink layer. Network layer entities exchange
packets. A packet is a finite sequence of bytes that is transported by the datalink layer inside one or more
frames. A packet usually
contains information about its origin and its destination, and usually passes through several
intermediate devices called routers on its way from its origin to its destination.
Network Packets Network Packets Network
Datalink Datalink Datalink Physical layer Physical layer Physical layer

Figure 2.31: The network layer

Most realisations of the network layer, including the internet, do not provide a reliable service. However,
many applications need to exchange information reliably and so using the network layer service directly
would be very difficult for them. Ensuring the reliable delivery of the data produced by applications is the
task of the transport layer. Transport layer entities exchange segments. A segment is a finite sequence of
bytes that are transported inside one or more packets. A transport layer entity issues segments (or sometimes
part of segments) as Data.request to the underlying network layer entity.
There are different types of transport layers. The most widely used transport layers on the
Internet are TCP ,that provides a reliable connection-oriented bytestream transport service,
and UDP ,that provides an unreliable connection-less transport service.

Transport Segments Transport

Network Network Network
Datalink Datalink Datalink
Physical layer Physical layer Physical layer

Figure 2.32: The transport layer

The upper layer of our architecture is the Application layer. This layer includes all the mechanisms and data
structures that are necessary for the applications. We will use Application Data Unit (ADU) to indicate the
data exchanged between two entities of the Application layer.

Application ADU Application

Transport Transport
Network Network Network
Datalink Datalink Datalink
Physical layer Physical layer Physical layer

Figure 2.33: The Application layer

The OSI reference model

Compared to the five layers reference model explained above, the OSI reference model
defined in [X200] is divided in seven layers. The four lower layers are similar to the four
lower layers described above. The OSI reference model refined the application layer by
dividing it in three layers :
the Session layer. The Session layer contains the protocols and mechanisms that are necessary to
organize and to synchronize the dialogue and to manage the data exchange of presentation layer
entities. While one of the main functions of the transport layer is to cope with the unreliability of the
network layer, the sessions layer objective is to hide the possible failures of transport-level
connections to the upper layer higher. For this, the Session Layer provides services that allow to
establish a session-connection, to support orderly data exchange (including mechanisms that allow to
recover from the abrupt release of an underlying transport connection), and to release the connection in
an orderly manner.
the Presentation layer was designed to cope with the different ways of representing information on
comput-ers. There are many differences in the way computer store information. Some computers store
integers as 32 bits field, others use 64 bits field and the same problem arises with floating point
number. For textual information, this is even more complex with the many different character codes
that have been used 6. The situation is even more complex when considering the exchange of
structured information such as database records. To solve this problem, the Presentation layer contains
provides for a common representation of the data transferred. The ASN.1 notation was designed for
the Presentation layer and is still used today by some protocols.
the Application layer that contains the mechanisms that do not fit in neither the
Presentation nor the Session layer. The OSI Application layer was itself further divided
in several generic service elements.

Note: Where are the missing layers in TCP/IP reference model ?

The TCP/IP reference places the Presentation and the Session layers implicitly in the Application layer. The
main motivations for simplifying the upper layers in the TCP/IP reference model were pragmatic. Most
Internet applications started as prototypes that evolved and were later standardised. Many of these
applications assumed that they would be used to exchange information written in American English and for
which the 7 bits US-ASCII character code was sufficient. This was the case for email, but as well see in the
next chapter, email was able to evolve to support different character encodings. Some applications
considered the different data representations explicitly. For example, ftp contained mechanisms to convert a
file from one format to another and the HTML language was defined to represent web pages. On the other
hand, many ISO specifications were developed by committees composed of people who did not all
participate in actual implementations. ISO spent a lot of effort analysing the requirements and defining a
solution that meets all of these requirements. Unfortunately, some of the specifications were so complex that
it was difficult to implement them completely and the standardisation bodies defined recommended profiles
that contained the implemented sets of options...

Figure 2.34: The seven layers of the OSI reference model

Seven Layers of OSI Reference Model:
1. Physical Layer:
physical layer is the bottom layer of the OSI reference model. The physical layer has four improtant
Mechanical. Relates to the physical properties of the interface to a transmission medium. Typically, the
specification is of a pluggable connector that joins one or more signal conductors, called circuits.
Electrical. Relates to the representation of bits (e.g., in terms of voltage levels) and the data transmission
rate ofbits. It defines the voltage, current, modulation, bit synchronization, connection activation and
deactivation, andvarious electrical characteristics for the transmission media (such as unshielded or shielded
twisted-pair cabling,
coaxial cabling, and fiber-optic cabling).
Functional. Specifies the functions performed by individual circuits of the physical interface between a
systemand the transmission medium.
Procedural. Specifies the sequence of events by which bit streams are exchanged across the physical
2. Data Link Layer:
The physical layer provides only a raw bit-stream service, the data link layer attempts to make the physical
linkreliable while providing the means to activate, maintain, and deactivate the link .
For LANs, the Project 802 standards of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) separate
the data-link layer into two sublayers:
The logical link control
(LLC) layer, the upper of the two layers, which is responsible for flow control, error correction, and
resequencing functions for connection-oriented communication, but which also supports connectionless
The media access control (MAC) layer, the lower of the two layers, which is responsible for providing a
method for stations to gain access to the medium
Framing. The data link layer divides the stream of bits received from the network layer into manageable
data units called frames.
Physical addressing. If frames are to be distributed to different systems on the network, the data link layer
addsa header to the frame to define the sender and/or receiver of the frame. If the frame is intended for a
systemoutside the sender's network, the receiver address is the address of the device that connects the
network to the next one.
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Flow control. If the rate at which the data are absorbed by the receiver is less than the rate at which data are
produced in the sender, the data link layer imposes a flow control mechanism to avoid overwhelming the
Error control. The data link layer adds reliability to the physical layer by adding mechanisms to detect and
retransmit damaged or lost frames. It also uses a mechanism to recognize duplicate frames. Error control is
normally achieved through a trailer added to the end of the frame.
Access control. When two or more devices are connected to the same link, data link layer protocols are
necessary to determine which device has control over the link at any given time
Examples of data-link protocols for local area networking include the following:
IEEE 802.3, which provides the Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection (CSMA/CD)
access method for baseband Ethernet networks
IEEE 802.5, which provides the token-passing access method for baseband token ring implementations
For WANs, data-link layer protocols encapsulate LAN traffic into frames suitable for transmission over
links. Common data-link encapsulation methods for WAN transmission include the following:
Point-to-point technologies such as Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) and High-level Data Link Control
(HDLC) protocol
Multipoint technologies such as frame relay, Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM), Switched
Multimegabit Data Services (SMDS), and X.25
3. Network Layer:
Layer 3 of the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) reference model for networking. The network layer is
responsible for functions such as the following:
Logical addressing and routing of packets over the network
Establishing and releasing connections and paths between two nodes on a network
Transferring data, generating and confirming receipts, and resetting connections
The network layer also supplies connectionless and connection-oriented services to the transport layer above
it.The network layer functions closely with the physical layer (layer 1) and data-link layer (layer 2) in most
real world network protocol implementations.
On TCP/IP-based networks, IP addresses and network numbers are used at the network layer, and IP
routersperform their routing functions at this layer. An example of an OSI model network layer protocol is
the X.25packet-switching network layer protocol, which is built on the X.21 physical layer protocol.
4. Transport Layer:
Layer 4 of the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) reference model. The transport layer is responsible for
providing reliable transport services to the upper-layer protocols. These services include the following:
Flow control to ensure that the transmitting device does not send more data than the receiving device can
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Packet sequencing for segmentation of data packets and remote reassembly.
Error handling and acknowledgments to ensure that data is retransmitted when required.
Multiplexing for combining data from several sources for transmission over one data path.
Virtual circuits for establishing sessions between communicating stations.
The Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) of the TCP/IP protocol suite resides at the transport layer.
A connection between two devices that acts as though it's a direct connection even though it may physically
be circuitous. The term is used most frequently to describe connections between two hosts in a packet-
switching network. In this case, the two hosts can communicate as though they have a dedicated connection
even thoug hthe packets might actually travel very different routes before arriving at their destination. An
X.25 connection isan example of a virtual circuit.Virtual circuits can be either permanent (called PVCs) or
temporary (called SVCs).
5. Session Layer:
Layer 5 of the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) reference model, which enables sessions between
computerson a network to be established and terminated. The session layer does not concern itself with
issues such as thereliability and efficiency of data transfer between stations because these functions are
provided by the first fourlayers of the OSI reference model.
Dialog control: The session layer allows two systems to enter into a dialog. It allows the communication
between two processes to take place in either half- duplex (one way at a time) or full-duplex (two ways at a
time) mode.
Synchronization: The session layer allows a process to add checkpoints, or synchronization points, to a
stream of data. For example, if a system is sending a file of 2000 pages, it is advisable to insert checkpoints
after every100 pages to ensure that each 100-page unit is received and acknowledged independently. In this
case, if a crash happens during the transmission of page 523, the only pages that need to be resent after
system recovery are not be resent.
6. Presentation Layer:
The presentation layer is concerned with the syntax and semantics of the information exchanged between
two systems .
Specific responsibilities of the presentation layer include the following:
Translation. The processes (running programs) in two systems are usually exchanging information in the
form of character strings, numbers, and so on. The information must be changed to bit streams before being
transmitted. Because different computers use different encoding systems, the presentation layer is
responsible for interoperability between these different encoding methods. The presentation layer at the
sender changes the information from its sender-dependent format into a common format. The presentation
layer at the receivingmachine changes the common format into its receiver-dependent format.
Encryption. To carry sensitive information, a system must be able to ensure privacy. Encryption means that
the sender transforms the original information to another form and sends the resulting message out over the
network.Decryption reverses the original process to transform the message back to its original form.
Compression. Data compression reduces the number of bits contained in the information. Data compression
becomes particularly important in the transmission of multimedia such as text, audio, and video.
7. Application layer:
Layer 7 of the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) reference model, in which network-aware, user-
controlled software is implementedfor example, e-mail, file transfer utilities, and terminal access. The
application layer represents the window between the user and the network. Examples of protocols that run at
the application layer include File Transfer Protocol (FTP), Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), telnet, and
similar protocols that can be implemented as utilities the user can interface with.
File transfer, access, and management. This application allows a user to access files in a remote host (to
make changes or read data), to retrieve files from a remote computer for use in the local computer, and to
manage or control files in a remote computer locally.
Mail services. This application provides the basis for e-mail forwarding and storage.
Directory services. This application provides distributed database sources and access for global information
about various objects and services.
Physical Layer: How to transmit bits.
Data Link Layer: How to transmits frames
Network: How to route packets to the node.
Transport: How to send packets to the applications.
Session: Manage connections.
Presentation: Encode/Decode messages, security.
Application: Everything else.
Devices and Protocols on each Layer: Layer Protocols Devices

Physical :Hub, Repeater, Cables

Data-link :LLC,MAC,Ethernet Switch
Network :IP,Routing protocol(RIP, OSPF) Router
Transport :TCP,UDP
Presentation ASCII,Encryption, Decryption
LAN is the most common type of network. LAN stands for local area network. It covers a small area. Most
LANs are used to connect computers in a single building, campus, office or room etc. hundreds or thousands
of computers may be connected through LAN. There are many types of LANs. Ethernet is the most common
for PCs.

The above figure shows a LAN. All computers are connected to a central node in star topology. The central
node is a special device called a network hub. All links are made up of UTP cables. The maximum
recommended length of a UTP connection in LAN is 100 meters. No compute should be more than 100
meters away from hub.

All computers in LAN can communicate with each other at a high speed. The speed of communications
between any two devices on an Ethernet LAN can be 2 to 1000 millions bits per second (Mbps). LAN can
transmit data in a limited distance.

Uses and advantages of LAN

1. One copy of a software can be shared by all users in a LAN.
2. System resources such as printers can be shared between several people in network.
3. It is easy to manage the data stored on a centralized computer in the network.
4. The data is more secure from being copied or destroyed.
5. Data can be shared by all users using the network.
Local area network does not use telephone network. Different components of a local area network are as

1. Communication Media
Communication media is used to transfer data from one computer to another computer. Low-cost LANs are
connected with twisted wire pair. Many LANs use coaxial or fiber-optic cables. These cables are expensive
but provide faster communication. Some LANs use wireless transmission media. It uses infrared or radio
waves to connect computers. Wireless networks are easy to setup and maintain. However, they have low
transmission rates and limited distance between two communication devices.

2. NIC
NIC stands for network interface card. It is also known as network adapter. A network interface card is a
device that physically connects each computer to a network. It controls the flow of information between the
network and the computer. It is a circuit board that fits in expansion slot on motherboard. Some computers
contain built-in network cards.

3. Bridge
Bridge is a device that connects two network segments. It si used to connect similar types of networks.

4. Router
A router is a device that connects multiple networks using similar or different protocols. It manages the best
route between two communication networks. Routers are used when several networks are connected
together. They can connect networks of different countries. They transfer data in less time.

5. Gateway
Gateway is a device that connects two or more networks with different types of protocols. Two different
types of networks require a gateway to communicate with each other. It receives data from one network and
converts it according to the protocol of other network. For example, the computers on a LAN require
gateway to access the internet.

Unit 2:
Data communication system, data communication links, character codes, digital data rates, serial
data formats, encoded data formats, error detection & correction. Transmission media- guided and
unguided media, Switching Techniques Circuit Switching, Packet Switching, Message