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ABSTRACT In this world, it is no longer enough to simply have and use PCs; today it is imperative that you also

"get connected." The real power and usability of PCs becomes apparent only when they are linked so that they can communicate with one another. From the simple two-computer home or small office local-area network (LAN) to the ever-growing global Internet, networking is the future of computing, and that future is here today. Because network communications is quickly becoming a part of our lives, even those not directly involved in the information technology (IT) industry should know something about the basics of networking. Just as it would be difficult to function in today's world if you knew nothing about a telephone and its features, in the not-too-distant future, knowing how to "get on the network" will be a requirement for many individuals, both at work and at home. So to establish the better Network across the world all the components /things have to be integrated properly. The Network Hardware and Software course introduces me to Network Administration and provides necessary information to administer a network. INTRODUCTION Networking hardware and software is the study that involves how a group of two or more computers that intelligently share hardware and/or software devices with each other. This module provided an introduction to essential networking terminology, standards and protocols, local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and the open systems interconnection and TCP/IP models. Moreover, it developed practical working knowledge of networking tools and networking hardware and software including hubs, switches and routers-and their configuration/troubleshooting- and layer2 and 3 topologies (OSI model) and addressing formats.

access points, network interface cards and other related hardware. The most common kind of networking hardware today is copper-based Ethernet adapters, helped largely by its standard inclusion on most modern computer systems. Wireless networking has become increasingly popular, however, especially for portable and handheld devices. Other hardware prevalent within computer networking is data center equipment (such as file servers, database servers and storage areas), network services (such as DNS, DHCP, email etc) as well as other specific network devices such as content delivery. Other diverse devices which may be considered Networking hardware include mobile phones, PDAs and even modern coffee machines. As technology grows and IPbased networks are integrated into building infrastructure and household utilities, network hardware becomes an ambiguous statement owing to the increasing number of 'network capable' endpoints. These network devices are used to extend cable connections, concentrate connections, convert data formats and manage data transfers. The fallowing are networking devices that I experienced with- during my practical work. REPEATERS: A repeater is a network device used to amplify signals from one cable segment and pass those signals to other segments without changing the data.802.3 and Ethernet systems can be extended using repeaters.infact, 10BASE T concentrators are actually a specific type of multi-port repeater. It doesn't make intelligent decisions concerning forwarding packets like a router. A good example of the use of repeaters would be in a local area network using a star topology with unshielded twisted-pair cabling. The length limit for unshielded twisted-pair cable is 100 meters. The most common configuration is for each workstation to be connected by twisted-pair cable to a multi-port active concentrator. The concentrator amplifies all the signals that pass through it allowing for the total length of cable on the network to exceed the 100 meter limit.

NETWORKING HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE To network computers together, we need to install networking hardware and software. This section describes various networking hardware and software components that I confronted while building the local area network connection. NETWORKING HARDWARE

HUBS: HUBS concentrate connections. they take a group of hosts and allow the network to see them as a single unit. This is done passively without effect on the data transmission. active hubs concentrate hosts and also regenerate signals.

Networking hardware typically refers to equipment facilitating the use of a computer network. Typically, this includes hubs, bridges, routers, switches,

SWITCHES: A SWITCH is a device that provides a central connection point for cables from workstations, servers, and peripherals. In a star topology, twisted-pair wire is run from each workstation to a central switch/hub. Most switches are active, that is they electrically amplify the signal as it moves from one device to another. Switches no longer broadcast network packets as hubs did in the past, they memorize addressing of computers and send the information to the correct location directly. ROUTERS: A router is network device that translate information from one network/PC to another; it is similar to a super intelligent bridge. Routers select the best path to route a message, based on the destination address and origin. The router can direct traffic to prevent head-on collisions, and is smart enough to know when to direct traffic along back roads and shortcuts. Routers can even "listen" to the entire network to determine which sections are busiest -- they can then redirect data around those sections until they clear up. They can route messages between any two protocols, and between bus, star, and ring topologies. WIRELESS NETWORKING HARDWARE Wireless networking has become increasingly popular, however, especially for portable and handheld devices. People and businesses use wireless networks to send and share data quickly whether it be in a small office building or across the world. Another important use for wireless networks is as an inexpensive and rapid way to be connected to the Internet in countries and regions where the telecom infrastructure is poor or there is a lack of resources, like most Developing Countries. The most commonly used network hardware components are: wireless routers and bridges AND Access points. ACCESS POINTS: Access points are stationary wireless device that receives and retransmits data, extending the range of wireless computers on the network. Access points can also connect to an Ethernet network, linking wireless computers to other computers connected with cables. WIRELESS ROUTERS: A wireless router is router represents with built-in access point. This device may also be constructed With two or more built-in Ethernet switch ports. The wireless router functionalities are similar to the wired routers. WIRELESS BRIDGE: A wireless bridge represents an access point and an antenna that are physically separated from one another. The

access point is connected to a wired LAN and the antenna is generally mounted on the top of the building. The access point is then cabled to the antenna and rest of the functionalities are similar to bridge. WIRELESS LANs: A wireless LAN or WLAN is a wireless local area network, which is the linking of two or more computers without using wires. WLAN utilizes spread-spectrum or OFDM modulation technology based on radio waves to enable communication between devices in a limited area, also known as the basic service set. This gives users the mobility to move around within a broad coverage area and still be connected to the network.

NETWORKING SOFTWARE A computer operating system is the software that provides the foundation on which the computer's applications and services run. Similarly, a network operating system (NOS) enables devices to communicate with other devices and to share resources across the network. NOS is sometimes used to describe any operating system that has built-in networking components. This is in contrast to a standalone operating system, which is designed to be used in isolation. Generally, however, an NOS is an operating system, such as NetWare or NT Server, that runs on a network server. This section describes most commonly used Cisco internetwork operating system software and Netware operating system software. CISCO IOS SOFTWARE Cisco technology is based on the Cisco IOS, which is the software that controls the routing and switching functions of network devices. A solid understanding of the IOS is essential for a network administrator. As with a computer, a router or switch cannot function without an operating. It is the embedded software architecture in all of the Cisco routers and is also the operating system of the catalyst switches. Without an operating system, the hardware does not have any capabilities. The Cisco IOS provides the following network services: -basic routing and switching functions. -Reliable and secure access to networked resources -Network scalability. The IOS is core technology that extends across most of the Cisco product line. Its operation details may vary on different internetworking devices. The IOS provides a command interpreter service known as the command Executive(EXEC). As a security feature the Cisco IOS software separates the EXEC sessions into two

access levels. These levels are user EXEC mode and privileged EXEC mode. Cisco continues to develop different IOS software images to optimize the Cisco IOS software that these various platforms require. Each image represents a different feature set that serves the various device platforms, available memory resources, and customer needs. Although there are numerous IOS images for different Cisco device models and feature sets, the basic configuration command structure is the same. The configuration and troubleshooting skills that are acquired for any device will apply to a wide range of products. The naming convention for the different Cisco IOS releases contains three parts: * The platform on which the image runs * The special features supported in the image * Where the image runs and whether it has been zipped or compressed One of the main considerations when selecting a new IOS image is compatibility with the router flashes and RAM memory. In general, the newer the release and the more features that it provides, the more flash and RAM memory it requires. Use the show version command on the Cisco device to check the current image and available flash. The Cisco support site has tools available to help determine the amount of flash and RAM required for each image. For example, specific IOS features can be selected using the Cisco Software Advisor, which is available to registered Cisco.com users. The Cisco Software Advisor is an interactive tool that provides the most current information and allows users to select options that meet network requirements.

support of client/server applications. TCP/IP PROTOCOL SUITE TCP/IP reference model has four layers: the application layer, transport layer, Internet layer, and the network access layer. The application layer handles highlevel protocols, issues of representation, encoding, and dialog control. The transport layer provides transport services from the source host to the destination host. The purpose of the Internet layer is to select the best path through the network for packet transmissions. The network access layer is concerned with the physical link to the network media. Although some layers of the TCP/IP reference model correspond to the seven layers of the OSI model, there are differences. The TCP/IP model combines the presentation and session layer into its application layer. The TCP/IP model combines the OSI data link and physical layers into its network access layer. The following protocols operate at the TCP/IP Internet layer: • IP provides connectionless, best-effort delivery routing of packets. IP is not concerned with the content of the packets but looks for a path to the destination. • Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) provides control and messaging capabilities. • Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) determines the data link layer address, or MAC address, for known IP addresses. • Reverse Address Resolution Protocol (RARP) determines the IP address for a known MAC address. TCP is used extensively by many of the Internet's most popular application protocols and resulting applications, including the World Wide Web, E-mail, File Transfer Protocol, Secure Shell, and some streaming media applications. However, because TCP is optimized for accurate delivery rather than timely delivery, TCP sometimes incurs long delays while waiting for out-of-order messages or retransmissions of lost messages, and it is not particularly suitable for real-time applications such as Voice over IP. For such applications, protocols like the Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP) running over the User Datagram Protocol (UDP) are usually recommended instead. The following diagram summarizes the list of protocols.

NETWARE OPERATING SYSTEM Netware was originally developed as a server operating system for Novell's S-net, star network. There are two main product lines-NetWare 2.x designed to run on an Intel 80286 platform and above, and Netware 3.xm designed to run on an Intel 80386 platform and above. Netware 386 is a real-time operating system that manages memory, access, and all the network transactions. Internetworking is achieved on NetWare386 by the integration of different networking hardware within a single logical network. In terms of software required, Netware 386 contains all the software necessary to install and operate the network server and connect up to active workstations on the network. It includes a C-library Application programming Interface (API) to support Network Loadable Modules (NLM) developement,the streams environment, Transport level interface library for interprocess communications, Btrieve 386 NLM for record management and tools for the

PROTOCOL SUMMARY

Protocol Cable Speed Topology Ethernet Twisted Pair, Coaxial, Fiber 10 Mbps Linear Bus, Star, Tree Fast Ethernet Twisted Pair, Fiber 100 Mbps Star LocalTalk Twisted Pair .23 Mbps Linear Bus or Star Token Ring Twisted Pair 4 Mbps - 16 Mbps Star-Wired Ring FDDI Fiber 100 Mbps Dual ring ATM Twisted Pair, Fiber 155-2488 Mbps Linear Bus, Star, Tree
BUILDING LARGER LANs AND WANS Larger LANs and WANs can be constructed by using the LAN servers such as Terminal servers, gateway servers, disk and file servers and switches. Larger LANs are characterized by their use of redundant links with switches using the spanning tree protocol to prevent loops, their ability to manage differing traffic types via quality of service, and to segregate traffic via VLANing. LANs may have connections with other LANs via leased lines, leased services, or by 'tunnelling' across the Internet using VPN technologies. LOCAL AREA NETWORKS A local area network can be defined as data transmission system that aids intercommunication between people or applications, by the use of terminals or personal computers within the confines of a restricted geographical area. Today LANs within a company can also be viewed as a layered system of interconnected workgroups. LANs consist of the following components: * Computers * 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: * Ethernet * Token Ring * FDDI WIDE-AREA NETWORKS Wide Area Network (WAN) is a computer network that covers a broad area (i.e., any network whose communications links cross metropolitan, regional, or national boundaries ).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. The practical knowledge gained while working on networking hardware and software module includemaking LAN connections within my college roof, configuring and managing routers for the communication purpose by using the Hyper Terminal command-line interface and various connections and interfaces such as serial/Fast Ethernet and their configuration. And also the experience of various protocols (such as CDP) configuration and their management and routing algorithms helps me to control the traffic across the network. By the end I used PING, TRACEROUTE AND TELNET CONNECTIONS to test the end-to-end connectivity, to find where data is sent along the network and to test remote login connections. CAREER IN NETWORKING Many view computer networking as one of the best and hottest career fields available today. The basic job titles one sees for computer networking and networking related positions include: Network Administrator, Network Engineer, Network (service) Technician, Network Programmer/Analyst, Network/information Systems manager. • Network Administrators configure manage LANs and sometimes WANs. He will be responsible for analysis, installation and configuration of company networks. Other activities include assisting customers with operating systems and network adapters, configuring routers, switches, and firewalls, and evaluating third-party tools. • Network Engineers focus primarily on system upgrades, evaluating vendor products, security testing, and so on. • Network Technician tends to focus more •

on the setup, troubleshooting, and repair of specific hardware and software products. Network programmers generally write software programs or scripts that aid in network analysis, such as diagnostics or monitoring utilities. Managers supervise the work of administrators, engineers, technicians, and/or programmers. They also focus on longer range planning and strategy considerations.

As I explained earlier the experiences gained from Networking Hardware and Software module makes me comfortable and confident that I can do the functionalities/jobs of a network administrator. Also I am confident that my professor will guide me and incorporate the skills required to become a complete Network Professional by the end of this course.

CONCLUSION In this paper I have presented the various networking hardware and software components that I have confronted during my lab practice and the most commonly used hardware and software components in today’s networking applications. I also presented how my skills are useful to build larger LANs and WANs .Also, the experiences that I have gathered ranging from LANs connections, router configurations/troubleshooting to various protocols to control traffic across the network ,makes me enough confident to compete in this networking field.

REFERENCES [1] [2] [3] [4] Patrick H.Corringan: Building Local Area Networks. Andrews. Tanenbaum: Computer Networks. M Devargas : Local Area Networks. Bradley Mitchell: Networking complete through About.com . [5] Gilbert Held: Ethernet Networks, Design, Implementation, Operation, Management 4th Edition. [6] Georgios I. Papadimitriou, Andreas S. Pomportsis, P. Nicopolitidis, Mohammed S. Obaidat: Wireless – Networking.