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WHAT IS A COMPUTER NETWORK ?
Computer networks may be classified according to the scale: Personal area network (PAN), Local Area Network (LAN), Campus Area Network (CAN), Metropolitan area network (MAN), or Wide area network (WAN). As Ethernet increasingly is the standard interface to networks, these distinctions are more important to the network administrator than the end user. Network administrators may have to tune the network, based on delay that derives from distance, to achieve the desired Quality of Service (QoS). The primary difference in the networks is the size. Controller Area Networks are a special niche, as in control of a vehicle's engine, a boat's electronics, or a set of factory robots.

By connection method
Computer networks can also be classified according to the hardware technology that is used to connect the individual devices in the network such as Optical fiber, Ethernet, Wireless LAN, HomePNA, or Power line communication. Ethernets use physical wiring to connect devices. Often, they employ the use of hubs, switches, bridges, and routers. Wireless LAN technology is built to connect devices without wiring. These devices use a radio frequency to connect.

By functional relationship (Network Architectures)
Computer networks may be classified according to the functional relationships which exist between the elements of the network, e.g., Active Networking, Client-server and Peer-to-peer (workgroup) architectures.

By network topology
Computer networks may be classified according to the network topology upon which the network is based, such as Bus network, Star network, Ring network, Mesh network, Star-bus network, Tree or Hierarchical topology network, etc. Network Topology signifies the way in which intelligent devices in the network see their logical relations to one another. The use of the term "logical" here is significant. That is, network topology is independent of the "physical" layout of the network. Even if networked computers are physically placed in a linear arrangement, if they are connected via a hub, the network has a Star topology, rather than a Bus Topology. In this regard the visual and operational characteristics of a network are distinct; the logical network topology is not necessarily the same as the physical layout.

By protocol
Computer networks may be classified according to the communications protocol that is being used on the network. See the articles on List of network protocol stacks and List of network protocols for more information. For a development of the foundations of protocol design see Srikant 2004 [1] and Meyn 2007 [2]

Types of networks:
Below is a list of the most common types of computer networks in order of scale.

Personal Area Network (PAN)
A personal area network (PAN) is a computer network used for communication among computer devices close to one person. Some examples of devices that may be used in a PAN are printers, fax machines, telephones, PDAs or scanners. The reach of a PAN is typically within about 20-30 feet (approximately 6-9 Meters). PANs can be used for communication among the individual devices (intrapersonal communication), or for connecting to a higher level network and the Internet (an uplink). Personal area networks may be wired with computer buses such as USB[3] and FireWire. A wireless personal area network (WPAN) can also be made possible with network technologies such as IrDA and Bluetooth.

Local Area Network (LAN)
A network covering a small geographic area, like a home, office, or building. Current LANs are most likely to be based on Ethernet technology. For example, a library will have a wired or wireless LAN for users to interconnect local devices (e.g., printers and servers) connect to the internet. All of the PCs in the library are connected by category 5 (Cat5) cable, running the IEEE 802.3 protocol through a system of interconnection devices and eventually connect to the internet. The cables to the servers are on Cat 5e enhanced cable, which will support IEEE 802.3 at 1 Gbps. The staff computers (bright green) can get to the color printer, checkout records, and the academic network and the Internet. All user computers can get to the Internet and the card catalog. Each workgroup can get to its local printer. Note that the printers are not accessible from outside their workgroup.

Typical library network, in a branching tree topology and controlled access to resources All interconnected devices must understand the network layer (layer 3), because they are handling multiple subnets (the different colors). Those inside the library, which have only 10/100 Mbps Ethernet connections to the user device and a Gigabit Ethernet connection to the central router, could be called "layer 3 switches" because they only have Ethernet interfaces and must understand IP. It would be more correct to call them access routers, where the router at the top is a distribution router that connects to the Internet and academic networks' customer access routers. The staff have a VoIP network that also connects to both the Internet and the academic network. They could have paths to the central library system telephone switch, via the academic network. Since voice must have the highest priority, it is on the pink network. The VoIP protocols used, such as RSVP, are virtual circuits rather than connectionless forwarding paths. Depending on the circumstance, the computers in the network might be connected using cables and hubs. Other networks might be connected strictly wirelessly. It depends on the number of PCs that you are trying to connect, the physical layout of your workspace, and the various needs of network. Not shown in this diagram, for example, is a wireless workstation used when shelving books. The defining characteristics of LANs, in contrast to WANs (wide area networks), include their much higher data transfer rates, smaller geographic range, and lack of a need for leased telecommunication lines. Current Ethernet or other IEEE 802.3 LAN technologies operate at speeds up to 10 Gbit/s. This is the data transfer rate. IEEE has projects investigating the standardization of 100 Gbit/s, and possibly 40 Gbit/s. Inverse multiplexing is commonly used to build a faster aggregate from slower physical streams, such as bringing 4 Gbit/s aggregate stream into a computer or network element with four 1 Gbit/s interfaces.

Campus Area Network (CAN)
A network that connects two or more LANs but that is limited to a specific and contiguous geographical area such as a college campus, industrial complex, or a military base. A CAN, may be considered a type of MAN (metropolitan area network), but is generally limited to an area that is smaller than a typical MAN.

This term is most often used to discuss the implementation of networks for a contiguous area. For Ethernet based networks in the past, when layer 2 switching (i.e., bridging (networking) was cheaper than routing, campuses were good candidates for layer 2 networks, until they grew to very large size. Today, a campus may use a mixture of routing and bridging. The network elements used, called "campus switches", tend to be optimized to have many Ethernet-family (i.e., IEEE 802.3) interfaces rather than an arbitrary mixture of Ethernet and WAN interfaces.

Metropolitan Area Network (MAN)
A Metropolitan Area Network is a network that connects two or more Local Area Networks or Campus Area Networks together but does not extend beyond the boundaries of the immediate town, city, or metropolitan area. Multiple routers, switches & hubs are connected to create a MAN.

Wide Area Network (WAN)
A WAN is a data communications network that covers a relatively broad geographic area (i.e. one city to another and one country to another country) and that often uses transmission facilities provided by common carriers, such as telephone companies. WAN technologies generally function at the lower three layers of the OSI reference model: the physical layer, the data link layer, and the network layer.

Global Area Network (GAN)
Global area networks (GAN) specifications are in development by several groups, and there is no common definition. In general, however, a GAN is a model for supporting mobile communications across an arbitrary number of wireless LANs, satellite coverage areas, etc. The key challenge in mobile communications is "handing off" the user communications from one local coverage area to the next. In IEEE Project 802, this involves a succession of terrestrial Wireless local area networks (WLAN) [4]. INMARSAT has defined a satellite-based Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN). IEEE mobility efforts focus on the data link layer and make assumptions about the media. Mobile IP is a network layer technique, developed by the IETF, which is independent of the media type and can run over different media while still keeping the connection.

Internetwork
Two or more networks or network segments connected using devices that operate at layer 3 (the 'network' layer) of the OSI Basic Reference Model, such as a router. Any interconnection among or between public, private, commercial, industrial, or governmental networks may also be defined as an internetwork. In modern practice, the interconnected networks use the Internet Protocol. There are at least three variants of internetwork, depending on who administers and who participates in them:
 

Intranet Extranet

it must have at least one connection with an external network. although the Internet may serve as a portal for access to portions of an extranet.g. public. Bridges. Internet A specific internetwork . but not necessarily. The Internet itself is not considered to be a part of the intranet or extranet. Less common are microwave links (as in IEEE 802. trusted organizations or entities (e.S. an extranet cannot consist of a single LAN. Hubs. Service providers and large enterprises also exchange information on the reachability of their address ranges through the BGP Border Gateway Protocol. Intranet An intranet is a set of interconnected networks. or other type of network. Department of Defense – also home to the World Wide Web (WWW) and referred to as the 'Internet' with a capital 'I' to distinguish it from other generic internetworks. and Routers. some method of connecting these building blocks is required. although. and allows only specific users. Participants in the Internet. usually in the form of galvanic cable (most commonly Category 5 cable). or their service providers. Most commonly. using the Internet Protocol and uses IP-based tools such as web browsers.11) or optical cable ("optical fiber"). a company's customers may be given access to some part of its intranet creating in this way an extranet. that is under the control of a single administrative entity. and private networks based upon the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) developed by ARPA of the U. . an extranet may also be categorized as a CAN. while at the same time the customers may not be considered 'trusted' from a security standpoint). academic. an intranet is the internal network of a company or other enterprise. WAN. In addition. Technically."The" Internet  Intranets and extranets may or may not have connections to the Internet. consisting of a worldwide interconnection of governmental. That administrative entity closes the intranet to the rest of the world. the intranet or extranet is normally protected from being accessed from the Internet without proper authorization. MAN. If connected to the Internet. by definition. such as Network Interface Cards (NICs). Extranet An extranet is a network or internetwork that is limited in scope to a single organization or entity but which also has limited connections to the networks of one or more other usually. Basic Hardware Components All networks are made up of basic hardware building blocks to interconnect network nodes. use IP Addresses obtained from address registries that control assignments. Switches.

Repeaters A repeater is an electronic device that receives a signal and retransmits it at a higher level or higher power. Local bridges: Directly connect local area networks (LANs) 2. it is copied to all the ports of the hub. the destination address in the frame does not change to a broadcast address. the first layer of the OSI model. it simply copies the data to all of the Nodes connected to the hub. The first time that a previously unknown destination address is seen. It allows users to connect to each other either by using cables or wirelessly. but learns which MAC addresses are reachable through specific ports. they operate on the Physical layer. as hubs do. When the packets are copied. . Remote bridges: Can be used to create a wide area network (WAN) link between LANs. it will send traffic for that address only to that port. network adapter or NIC (network interface card) is a piece of computer hardware designed to allow computers to communicate over a computer network. so that the signal can cover longer distances without degradation. the bridge will forward the frame to all ports other than the one on which the frame arrived. its source address is stored and the bridge assumes that MAC address is associated with that port. When a packet arrives at one port. [5] Bridges A network bridge connects multiple network segments at the data link layer (layer 2) of the OSI model. Bridges do not promiscuously copy traffic to all ports. It does this in a rudimentary way.Network Interface Cards A network card. Once the bridge associates a port and an address. Bridges come in three basic types: 1. Bridges do send broadcasts to all ports except the one on which the broadcast was received. or onto the other side of an obstruction. and do not attempt to interpret the data being transmitted. Once a frame arrives through a port. It provides physical access to a networking medium and often provides a low-level addressing system through the use of MAC addresses. Hubs A hub contains multiple ports. Because repeaters work with the actual physical signal. largely have been replaced by routers. Bridges learn the association of ports and addresses by examining the source address of frames that it sees on various ports. 3. where the connecting link is slower than the end networks. Remote bridges. Wireless bridges: Can be used to join LANs or connect remote stations to LANs.

have been integrated with routers to allow multiple home computers to access the Internet. and routing protocols to select the best route between any two subnets.. network. not all of which are covered by OSI. Routers Routers are the networking device that forward data packets along networks by using headers and forwarding tables to determine the best path to forward the packets.. Many experienced network designers and operators recommend starting with the logic of devices dealing with only one protocol level. Routers work at the network layer of the TCP/IP model or layer 3 of the OSI model. Some switches are capable of routing based on IP addresses but are still called switches as a marketing term. as well as devices that may distribute traffic on load or by application content (e. commonly two LANs or WANs or a LAN and its ISP's network. Building a simple computer network A simple computer network may be constructed from two computers by adding a network adapter (Network Interface Controller (NIC)) to each computer and then connecting them together with a special cable called a crossover cable. data link. end-toend). and making a decision on the next hop to which it should be sent (RFC 1812) They use preconfigured static routes. Routers also provide interconnectivity between like and unlike media (RFC 1812) This is accomplished by examining the Header of a data packet. Switches may operate at one or more OSI layers. a switch is not capable of routing traffic based on IP address (layer 3) which is necessary for communicating between network segments or within a large or complex LAN. A switch normally has numerous ports with the intention that most or all of the network be connected directly to a switch. Strictly speaking.[6] This is distinct from a hub in that it only forwards the datagrams to the ports involved in the communications rather than all ports connected.Switches A switch is a device that does switching. including physical. a network between two computers can be established without dedicated extra hardware by using a standard connection such .e. or another switch that is in turn connected to a switch. Overemphasizing the ill-defined term "switch" often leads to confusion when first trying to understand networking. [7] "Switches" is a marketing term that encompasses routers and bridges. for home use.g. This type of network is useful for transferring information between two computers that are not normally connected to each other by a permanent network connection or for basic home networking applications. but multilayer switching is simply not a real-world design concept. Multilayer device selection is an advanced topic that may lead to selecting particular implementations. Some DSL and cable modems. Alternatively. a Web URL identifier). that is it forwards and filters OSI layer two datagrams chunk of data communication) between ports (connected cables) based on the Mac-Addresses in the packets. status of their hardware interfaces. A router is connected to at least two networks. A device that operates simultaneously at more than one of these layers is called a multilayer switch. or transport (i.

Survivability from severe accidents will require physically diverse. to diagnose failures or degradation. The broad factors that can bring down networks. Failures: these are in no way deliberate. without careful design. these are largely unpredictable events. connecting them to each other via a special crosslinked null modem cable. When networks are critical the general rule is that they should have no single point of failure. failures of electronic components. which can be activated and brought into the constellation. malicious hackers. Accidents: Ranging from spilling coffee into a network element to a natural disaster or war that destroys a data center. networks may have a wide-ranging amount of ancillary equipment. Examples of some of these special devices are hubs.g. Practical networks generally consist of more than two interconnected computers and generally require special devices in addition to the Network Interface Controller that each computer needs to be equipped with. and to circumvent problems. switches and routers.an appliance designed to protect electrical devices from voltage spikes. 2. A network as simple as two computers linked with a crossover cable has several points at which the network could fail: either network interface. 3. Providing Electrical Power Individual network components may have surge protectors . Large networks.as the RS-232 serial port on both computers. which either are continuously in the air. network elements may have uninterruptible power supplies (UPS). according to the Software Engineering Institute [9] at Carnegie-Mellon University: 1. computer criminals) as well as physical destruction of facilities. Among the extreme protections against both accidents and attacks are airborne command posts and communications relays[10]. but range from human error in entering commands. redundant facilities. Attacks: these include software attacks by various miscreants (e. Ancillary equipment used by networks To keep a network operating. can have many points at which a single failure could disable the network. and other things that involve deliberate human action or system design. In like manner. to an extensive network of generators and large battery banks that can protect the network for hours or days of commercial power outages. or take off on warning. which can be anywhere from a line-charged battery to take the element through a brief power dropout. . Surge protectors attempt to regulate the voltage supplied to an electric device by either blocking or shorting to ground voltage above a safe threshold. bugs in network element executable code.[8] Beyond the surge protector.. systems of communications satellites may have standby spares in space. and the cable.

Systems supplied with three-phase electric power also suffer brownouts if one or more phases are absent. for example. If the Power-Good signal is not present. as specified in RFC 3768. may have a variety of temporarily or permanently connected performance measurement and diagnostic equipment. may be nothing more complicated than a spare piece of equipment. motherboard and device configuration and power management. Such malfunctions are particularly damaging to electric motors. to isolate failures. depending on their criticality and the skill set available among the operators. called voltage reductions. or incorrectly phased. protection from power failures can range from simple filters against excessive voltage spikes. the problem has been diagnosed. but not true network elements such as routers. the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) specification is an open industry standard first released in December 1996 developed by HP. the computer shuts down. at reduced voltage. Microsoft. are made intentionally to prevent a full power outage.where the voltage level is below the normal minimum level specified for the system. Failures can be made transparent to user computers with techniques such as the Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol (VRRP). Depending on the criticality and budget of the network. to independent generators with large battery banks. to consumer-grade Uninterruptible Power Supplies(UPS) that can protect against loss of commercial power for a few minutes. These might include noncritical application and network management servers. Phoenix and Toshiba that defines common interfaces for hardware recognition. Intel. Its purpose is to tell the computer all is well with the power supply and that the computer can continue to operate normally. Diagnostic equipment. The Power-Good signal prevents the computer from attempting to operate on improper voltages and damaging itself To help standardize approaches to power failures. . Monitoring and Diagnostic Equipment Networks. Some brownouts. usually record the amount of traffic and errors experienced on their interfaces. Critical installations may switch from commercial to internal power in the event of a brownout. Unfortunately it is difficult to install sufficient and correct redundant equipment to prevent all predictable failures from impacting the (potentially very numerous) network users.Dealing with Power Failures One obvious form of failure is the loss of electrical power. UPS may provide a signal called the "PowerGood" signal. Routers and bridges intended more for the enterprise or ISP market than home use. More sophisticated and expensive installations will have redundant (duplicate) equipment active that can automatically take over from a failed unit. Some network elements operate in a manner to protect themselves and shut down gracefully in the event of a loss of power. If the problem disappears when the spare is manually replaced.

and provides a well-defined service to the upper layer protocols based on using services from some lower layers. It has also been referred to as the TCP/IP protocol suite. have revolutionized computing. namely LANs (Local Area Networks) and the Internet. Application layer DHCP · DNS · FTP · Gopher · HTTP · IMAP4 · IRC · NNTP · XMPP · POP3 · RTP · SIP · SMTP · SNMP · SSH · TELNET · RPC · RTCP · RTSP · TLS · SDP · SOAP · GTP · STUN · NTP · (more) 4. Network/Internet layer IP (IPv4 · IPv6) · OSPF · IS-IS · BGP · IPsec · ARP · RARP · RIP · ICMP · ICMPv6 ·IGMP · (more) 2. Each layer solves a set of problems involving the transmission of data. Physical layer .16 · Wi-Fi · WiMAX · ATM · DTM · Token ring · Ethernet · FDDI · Frame Relay · GPRS · EVDO · HSPA · HDLC · PPP · PPTP · L2TP · ISDN · ARCnet · (more) 1. Upper layers are logically closer to the user and deal with more abstract data.The Internet protocol suite is the set of communications protocols that implement the protocol stack on which the Internet and most commercial networks run. together with the invention of the World Wide Web by Tim Berners-Lee in 1989. Data link layer 802. which is named after two of the most important protocols in it: the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and the Internet Protocol (IP). which. The Internet Protocol suite—like many protocol suites—can be viewed as a set of layers. Today's IP networking represents a synthesis of two developments that began to evolve in the 1960s and 1970s. Transport layer TCP · UDP · DCCP · SCTP · RSVP · (more) 3. relying on lower layer protocols to translate data into forms that can eventually be physically transmitted. The TCP/IP reference model consists of four The five-layer TCP/IP model 5.11 (WLAN) · 802. which were also the first two networking protocols defined.

and then stability with TCP/IP v4 — the standard protocol still in use on the Internet today. a split into TCP v3 and IP v3 in the spring of 1978. and instead of the network being responsible for reliability. and the University College London to develop operational versions of the protocol on different hardware platforms. A computer called a router (a name changed from gateway to avoid confusion with other types of gateway) is provided with an interface to each network. [4] The idea was worked out in more detailed form by Cerf's networking research group at Stanford in the 1973–74 period. was also a significant technical influence. Kahn and Cerf had soon worked out a fundamental reformulation. By the summer of 1973. resulting in the first TCP specification (Request for Comments 675) [5] (The early networking work at Xerox PARC. where the differences between network protocols were hidden by using a common internetwork protocol.Ethernet physical layer · Modems · PLC · SONET/SDH · G. the eventual product of Cerf and Kahn's work. will run over "two tin cans and a string. Stanford University. joined Kahn to work on open-architecture interconnection models with the goal of designing the next protocol for the ARPANET.) With the role of the network reduced to the bare minimum. Kahn was hired at the DARPA Information Processing Technology Office. no matter what their characteristics were. After building the pioneering ARPANET in the late 1960s. Robert E. In the spring of 1973. and forwards packets back and forth between them. DARPA then contracted with BBN Technologies. much of which was contemporaneous. where he worked on both satellite packet networks and ground-based radio packet networks. DARPA started work on a number of other data transmission technologies. the developer of the existing ARPANET Network Control Program (NCP) protocol. which produced the PARC Universal Packet protocol suite. Four versions were developed: TCP v1. thereby solving Kahn's initial problem. people moved between the two). One popular saying has it that TCP/IP. it became possible to join almost any networks together.709 · Optical fiber · Coaxial cable · Twisted pair · (more) History The Internet protocol suite came from work done by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in the early 1970s. and recognized the value of being able to communicate across them. Requirements for routers are defined in (Request for Comments 1812). as in the ARPANET. TCP v2. Vinton Cerf. ." There is even an implementation designed to run using homing pigeons. In 1972. (Cerf credits Hubert Zimmerman and Louis Pouzin [designer of the CYCLADES network] with important influences on this design. IP over Avian Carriers (documented in Request for Comments 1149 [2] [3]). the hosts became responsible.

On November 9. a two-network TCP/IP communications test was performed between Stanford and University College London (UCL). . attended by 250 vendor representatives. by the IETF. FTP. The IETF makes no effort to follow the seven-layer OSI model and does not refer to it in standards-track protocol specifications and other architectural documents. 1983. Gopher. helping popularize the protocol and leading to its increasing commercial use. from the four layers defined in RFC 1122. UK. the US Department of Defense made TCP/IP the standard for all military computer networking.. DNS. Between 1978 and 1983. and Norway. Generally a protocol at a higher level uses a protocol at a lower level to help accomplish its aims.In 1975.[7] In 1985. several other TCP/IP prototypes were developed at multiple research centers. the Internet Architecture Board held a three day workshop on TCP/IP for the computer industry. a three-network TCP/IP test was conducted between the U. Layers in the Internet Protocol suite Sample encapsulation of data within a UDP datagram within an IP packet IP suite stack showing the physical network connection of two hosts via two routers and the corresponding layers used at each hop The IP suite uses encapsulation to provide abstraction of protocols and services. A full switchover to TCP/IP on the ARPANET took place January 1.S. 1977. The Internet protocol stack has never been altered.[6] In March 1982. In November. 2005 Kahn and Cerf were presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for their contribution to American culture. TFTP. TLS/SSL. HTTP.

contains a section entitled: "Layering Considered Harmful": Emphasizing layering as the key driver of architecture is not a feature of the TCP/IP model. Transport TCP. ATM. on Internet architecture. POP3. SNMP. RTP. RUDP Routing protocols like OSPF. which for a variety of reasons run over TCP.[8] . FDDI. SSH. UDP. DCCP. and the Internet layer is mapped to the OSI's Network layer. Much confusion comes from attempts to force OSI-like layering onto an architecture that minimizes their use. Wi-Fi. Internet IP (IPv4. IL. are also to be considered part of the network layer. which run over IP. NNTP. The IETF has repeatedly stated that Internet protocol and architecture development is not intended to be OSI-compliant. These textbooks are secondary sources that contravene the intent of RFC 1122 and other IETF primary sources[8]. rlogin. RFC 3439. Network access (combines Data link and Physical) Ethernet. SIP. ICMP and IGMP run over IP and are considered part of the network layer. ENRP Application Routing protocols like BGP. IPv6) ARP and RARP operate underneath IP but above the link layer so they belong somewhere in between. SCTP. TELNET. token ring. Frame Relay. SMTP. as they provide control information. SLIP.IMAP. SMDS Some textbooks have attempted to map the Internet Protocol suite model onto the seven layer OSI Model. IRC. may also be considered part of the application or network layer. ECHO. PPP. as they provide path selection. PNRP. but rather of OSI. The mapping often splits the Internet Protocol suite's Network access layer into a Data link layer on top of a Physical layer.

an open source stack designed for embedded systems and KA9Q NOS. History In 1977. the OSI model is an excellent place to begin the study of network architecture. Mac OS X. a layer that provides error-free communications across a network provides the path needed by applications above it. A layer is a collection of related functions that provides services to the layer above it and receives service from the layer below it. a stack and associated protocols for amateur packet radio systems and personal computers connected via serial lines The Open Systems Interconnection Basic Reference Model (OSI Reference Model or OSI Model for short) is a layered. For most users. Transport. while it calls the next lower layer to send and receive packets that make up the contents of the path. Network. work on a layered model of network architecture. The standard documents that describe OSI can be downloaded from ISO or ITU-T[citation needed]. the OSI Model consists of the Application. abstract description for communications and computer network protocol design. the term "OSI" came into use on 12 October 1979. and indeed OSI protocol work subsequent to the publication of the original architectural standards that have largely superseded it. Data Link. started in the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) working group on Distributed Systems (DISY). Unique implementations include Lightweight TCP/IP. which was to become the OSI model.Implementations Today. as well as Microsoft Windows. most commercial operating systems include and install the TCP/IP stack by default. and Physical layers. and may not fit cleanly into the OSI model. many beginners make the mistake of trying to fit every protocol they study into one of the seven basic layers. and all free-software Unix-like systems such as Linux distributions and BSD systems. there is no need to look for implementations. Session. It was developed as part of the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) initiative and is sometimes known as the OSI seven layer model. Not understanding that the pure seven-layer model is more historic than current. OSI has two major components: an abstract model of networking (the Basic Reference Model. From top to bottom.[1] With the DISY work and worldwide input. IEEE. This is not always easy to do as many of the protocols in use on the Internet today were designed as part of the TCP/IP model. . TCP/IP is included in all commercial Unix systems. the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) began to develop its OSI networking suite. Presentation. Even though newer IETF. For example. or seven-layer model) and a set of concrete protocols. [2] According to Bachman.

it also issues requests to the presentation layer. Presentation Data representation and encryption 5. Presentation Layer. Physical application services for the application processes. it defines a file transfer protocol. Within each layer. rather than refinements in such things as the Internal Organization of the Network Layer document.Parts of OSI have influenced Internet protocol development. Service definitions abstractly describe the functionality provided to an (N)-layer by an (N-1) layer. The OSI model does not include human interfaces. Session 4. and most of the Session Layer. signal and binary transmission performs Bit 1. Note carefully that this layer provides services to user-defined application processes. and not to the end user. The Internet Application Layer includes the OSI Application Layer. Its End-toEnd Layer includes the graceful close function of the OSI Session Layer as well as the Transport Layer. Data link directly to and layers Frame Media. In particular. Network layer interfaces Media Physical addressing (MAC & LLC) 2. In this model. where N is one of the seven layers inside the local host. documented in ISO 7498 and its various agenda. one or more entities implement its functionality. The common application services . These comparisons are based on the original sevenlayer protocol model as defined in ISO 7498. but none more than the abstract model itself. Its Internetwork Layer is equivalent to the OSI Network Layer. For example. Each entity interacts directly only with the layer immediately beneath it. and provides facilities for use by the layer above it. Application Network process to application Layer 7: Application layer 6. Transport Interhost communication End-to-end connections and reliability (TCP) This application Path determination and logical addressing (IP) Packet/Datagram 3. a networking system is divided into layers. but a common version of the TCP/IP model splits it into four layers. while its Interface layer includes the OSI Data Link and Physical Layers. Internet protocols are deliberately not as rigorously designed as the OSI model. Protocols enable an entity in one host to interact with a corresponding entity at the same layer in a remote host. Description of OSI layers Remembering The OSI Layers Other invented mnemonics are detailed at OSI layers (mnemonics) OSI Model Data unit Host Data layers Segment Layer Function 7. but the end user must go through an application process to invoke file transfer.

1 has a set of cryptographic encoding rules that allows end-to-end encryption between application entities. Session layers are commonly used in application environments that make use of remote procedure calls (RPCs).sublayer provides functional elements including the Remote Operations Service Element (comparable to Internet Remote Procedure Call). The OSI model made this layer responsible for "graceful close" of sessions. and error control. The transport layer controls the reliability of a given link through flow control. and establishes checkpointing. or simplex operation. and moved down the stack. is a session layer protocol increasingly used in Storage Area Networks and internally between processors and high-performance storage devices. Of the actual OSI protocols. there are five classes of transport protocols ranging from class 0 (which is also known as TP0 and provides the least error recovery) to class 4 (which is also known as TP4 . The original presentation structure used the Basic Encoding Rules of Abstract Syntax Notation One (ASN. which implements the Small Computer Systems Interface (SCSI) encapsulated into TCP/IP packets. the best known examples of a layer 4 protocol are the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and User Datagram Protocol (UDP). providing reliable data transfer services to the upper layers. half-duplex. segmentation/desegmentation. ASN. termination. Layer 6: Presentation layer The presentation layer establishes a context between application layer entities. This means that the transport layer can keep track of the segments and retransmit those that fail. as long as the Presentation Service understands both and the mapping between them. The presentation service data units are then encapsulated into Session Protocol Data Units. adjournment. Although it was not developed under the OSI Reference Model and does not strictly conform to the OSI definition of the Transport layer.1). and carries SCSI command descriptor blocks (CDB) as payload to create a virtual SCSI bus between iSCSI initiators and iSCSI targets. which is not usually used in the Internet protocols suite. It establishes. and also for session checkpointing and recovery. Layer 4: Transport layer The transport layer provides transparent transfer of data between end users. Some protocols are state and connection oriented. Layer 5: Session layer The session layer controls the dialogues/connections (sessions) between computers. iSCSI uses TCP for guaranteed delivery. which is a property of TCP. manages and terminates the connections between the local and remote application. in which the higherlayer entities can use different syntax and semantics. with capabilities such as converting an EBCDIC-coded text file to an ASCII-coded file. It provides for full-duplex. and Transaction Processing (according to the ACID requirements). or serializing objects and other data structures into and out of XML. Association Control. and restart procedures. iSCSI.

and. Local area network architecture. such as carrying non-IP protocols such as IBM's SNA or Novell's IPX over an IP network. if the encapsulation of the payload takes place only at endpoint. was developed independently of the ISO work. in IEEE Project 802. such as the graceful close. In modern practice. Class 4 is closest to TCP. Layer 2: Data Link layer The data link layer provides the functional and procedural means to transfer data between network entities and to detect and possibly correct errors that may occur in the physical layer. characteristic of wide area media in the telephone system. It is the function of the payload that makes these belong to the network layer. that a post office manages the outer envelope of mail. to router to router. which deals with the dispatch and classification of mail and parcels sent. Originally. this layer was intended for point-to-point and point-to-multipoint media. which included broadcast-capable multiaccess media. It manages the connectionless transfer of data one hop at a time.2 LLC layer is not used . These include routing protocols. When the medium of the next hop cannot accept a packet in its current length. IEEE work assumed sublayering and management functions not required for WAN use. Do remember. Higher layers may have the equivalent of double envelopes. not flow control using sliding window. the IEEE 802. or end-to-end encryption with IPsec. It is not responsible for reliable delivery to a next hop. and from egress router to destination end system. Perhaps an easy way to visualize the transport layer is to compare it with a Post Office. A number of layer management protocols. and network layer address assignment. not the protocol that carries them. on local area networks. belong to the network layer. and report delivery errors. GRE becomes closer to a transport protocol that uses IP headers but contains complete frames or packets to deliver to an endpoint. The best-known example of a layer 3 protocol is the Internet Protocol (IP). The addressing scheme is hierarchical. Routers operate at this layer—sending data throughout the extended network and making the Internet possible. While Generic Routing Encapsulation (GRE) might seem to be a network layer protocol. although TCP contains functions. This is a logical addressing scheme – values are chosen by the network engineer. such as cryptographic presentation services that can be read by the addressee only. IP is responsible for fragmenting into sufficiently small packets that the medium can accept it. tunneling protocols operate at the transport layer. multicast group management. Roughly speaking. network layer information and error. a function defined in the Management Annex. Layer 3: Network layer The network layer provides the functional and procedural means of transferring variable length data sequences from a source to a destination via one or more networks while maintaining the quality of service requested by the Transport layer. similar to the Internet). but only for the detection of errored packets so they may be discarded. The Network layer performs network routing functions. only error detection. L2TP carries PPP frames inside transport packets. however. is present in modern data link protocols such as Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP). ISO 7498/4. and might also perform fragmentation and reassembly. from end system to ingress router.and is designed for less reliable networks. which OSI assigns to the Session Layer.

that is the case for SDLC and HDLC. WAN Protocol Architecture Connection-oriented WAN data link protocols. it defines the relationship between a device and a physical medium. and derivatives of HDLC such as LAPB and LAPD. where the data link layer is concerned more with the interactions of multiple devices (i.3 is the dominant wired LAN protocol and IEEE 802.. from the physical layer. A WAN data link layer might implement a sliding window flow control and acknowledgment mechanism to provide reliable delivery of frames. but is still used in niches where X. obsolescent MAC layers include Token Ring and FDDI. This layer manages the interaction of devices with a shared medium. repeaters. This includes the layout of pins.25 offers performance advantages.e. which is the ancestor of IEEE 802. as some of these bits are purely intended for physical layer functions. Above this MAC sublayer is the mediaindependent IEEE 802. Not all physical layer bits necessarily go into frames. Obsolescent physical layer standards such as RS-232 do use physical wires to control access to the medium. network adapters. Layer 1: Physical layer The physical layer defines all the electrical and physical specifications for devices. and another device how to receive from it (in most cases it does not tell the device how to connect to the medium). IEEE 802 LAN Architecture Practical. The physical layer will tell one device how to transmit to the medium. In particular. and. They also are capable of controlling the rate of transmission. every fifth bit of the FDDI bit stream is not used by the data link layer. cable specifications. The MAC sublayer detects but does not correct errors. While IEEE 802. which deals with addressing and multiplexing on multiaccess media. To understand the function of the physical layer in contrast to the functions of the data link layer. in addition to framing. voltages.for most protocols on Ethernet. The major functions and services performed by the physical layer are: .11 the wireless LAN protocol. think of the physical layer as concerned primarily with the interaction of a single device with a medium. Host Bus Adapters (HBAs used in Storage Area Networks) and more. into logical sequences called frames. detect and may correct errors.2 Logical Link Control (LLC) sublayer. For example. Hubs. Sliding window flow control and acknowledgment is used at the transport layers by protocols such as TCP. which is the function of a Media Access Control sublayer. connectionless LANs began with the pre-IEEE Ethernet specification. at least two) with a shared medium. its flow control and acknowledgment mechanisms are rarely used.3. Both WAN and LAN services arrange bits. on other local area networks.

and Unix's Berkeley sockets and System V Transport Layer Interface. The same applies to other local-area networks. DAP RIP. FTAM. SIP. ISUP. NFS. although it must be remembered that the logical SCSI protocol is a transport-layer protocol that runs over this bus.Establishment and termination of a connection to a communications medium. Modulation. MAP.11. contention resolution and flow control. SMPP. Ethernet incorporates both this layer and the data-link layer. AFP. such as Token ring. Protocol specifications precisely define the interfaces between different computers. Various physical-layer Ethernet standards are also in this layer. ZIP. TCAP.400. For example. except for the physical layer to media. Gopher. Microsoft Windows' Winsock. Interface standards. but the software interfaces inside computers are implementationspecific. and IEEE 802. HTTP. Interfaces Neither the OSI Reference Model nor OSI protocols specify any programming interfaces. SSI. NBP TUP. Layer Misc. FDDI. SMTP. as well as personal area networks such as Bluetooth and IEEE 802. DHCP. SNMP. X. are interfaces between applications (layers 5 and above) and the transport (layer 4). NDIS and ODI are interfaces between the media (layer 2) and the network protocol (layer 3). are approximate implementations of OSI Service Specifications. INAP. RTMP. FTP. X.4. Parallel SCSI buses operate in this layer. These are signals operating over the physical cabling (such as copper and optical fiber) or over a radio link.500. examples # Name TCP/IP suite SS7 AppleTalk suite OSI suite IPX suite SNA UMTS HL7. CDP NNTP. Participation in the process whereby the communication resources are effectively shared among multiple users. 7 Application Modbus.15. For example. NTP. or conversion between the representation of digital data in user equipment and the corresponding signals transmitted over a communications channel. DNS. other than as deliberately abstract service specifications. SAP APPC .

MIME. Control). Q. SIP. IS-IS X. (Not a separate layer with standardized API. SSL. DDP L2TP RTP TP0. SCTP. ARP. Fibre Channel. ADSP. 802.LocalTalk. PPTP. CLNP IPX RRC (Radio Resource Contr PDCP (Packet D Convergence Protocol) and Broadcast/Mult Control (BMC) 2 Data Link 802. UDP. SPX TP2. ATM. nanoUDP TCP. X. PPP. SDP Sockets. NetBIOS.3 (Ethernet).Telnet.3 LLC (Logical L MTP.AppleTalk (LAPB).) ASP.25 (PLP). PAP ISO 8327. FDDI. X. TP1. Session establishment in TCP. separate MPEG layer) AFP ISO 8823. XDR. IPsec. SLIP 802. TDI. TP4 3 Network NBF.ATP (TokenTalk or OSPF. EBCDIC. nanoTCP. HDP.25 802. MTP.226 5 Session Named Pipes. ASCII.11a/b/g/n MAC/LLC.1Q (VLAN). MAC SDLC 2 Remote Access. PPP Token Ethernet (Media Access Bus II Control) framing . BGP. SCCP. 3 EtherTalk) IGMP. ICMP.931 IP. IEEE X. framing. TP3. SAP.225 NWLink DLC? 4 Transport NBF. 6 Presentation TLS (Not a MIDI. RIP.

It was created in the 1970s by DARPA for use in developing the Internet's protocols. DSL.RS-232. EIA/TIA449.430. V. 10BASE-T. SONET.11a/b/g/n PHY MTP. .703) Twinax UMTS L1 (UM Physical Layer) The TCP/IP model or Internet reference model. Token Ring 1 Physical RS-232. RS-422. and the IETF. While the basic OSI model (a seven-layer model) is widely used in teaching. ISL. it is not unreasonable to regard the occasional five-layer presentation as a teaching aid. has never felt obligated to be compliant with OSI. PPP. 802. I. PhoneNet X.Frame Relay. which is responsible for the model and protocols developed under it.921.35. 1 STP. E1. V. it does not reflect the realworld protocol architecture (RFC 1122) as used in the dominant Internet environment. Given the lack of acceptance of the five-layer model by the body with technical responsibility for the protocol suite. Q. IETF documents deprecate strict layering of all sorts. G.34. This model was developed before the OSI Reference Model. The original TCP/IP reference model consists of four layers. No Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standards-track document has accepted a five-layer model. is a layered abstract description for communications and computer network protocol design. POTS.21bis. sometimes called the DoD (Department of Defense) model or the ARPANET reference model. I. T1.25 (X. EIA-530.431. probably since physical layer and data link layer protocols are not standardized by IETF. 100BASETX. The structure of the Internet is still closely reflected by the TCP/IP model. EIA/TIA232. HDLC. making it possible to talk about non-IETF protocols at the physical layer.

Its original expression put the maintenance of state and overall intelligence at the edges. but refers to many other architectural principles not emphasizing layering. one frequently referenced document does not contain a stack of layers. End-to-End Principle: This principle has evolved over time.Key Architectural Principles An early architectural document. the OSI Data Link Layer) used to mediate access to shared media. Network Access Layer: this layer describes both the protocols (i. It only refers to the existence of the "internetworking layer" and generally to "upper layers". Even when layer is examined. such as TCP. SSH. [3] Robustness Principle: "Be liberal in what you accept. and assumed the Internet that connected the edges retained no state and concentrated on speed and simplicity. RFC 1122 on Host Requirements makes general reference to layering. less rigidly defined layers than the commonly referenced OSI model. Software on other hosts may contain deficiencies that make it unwise to exploit legal but obscure protocol features". Internet or Internetworking Layer: this layer defines IP addresses. the assorted architectural documents -. with many routing schemes for navigating packets from one IP address to another. web content caches and the like have forced changes in this Principle. It loosely defines a four-layer version. operate. There are versions of this model with four layers and with five[citation needed] layers. not numbers. another reason to deemphasize the emphasis on layering. it nevertheless seems useful to record a snapshot of the current principles of the Internet architecture. RFC 1122. The lack of emphasis on layering is a strong difference between the IETF and OSI approaches.. as Process Layer or Application Layer: this is where the "higher level" protocols such as SMTP.e. network address translators. the OSI Reference Model -.there is no single architectural model such as ISO 7498. rather than from a Grand Plan. with the layers having names.have fewer. emphasizes architectural principles over layering[2]. FTP. and thus provides an easier fit for real-world protocols. . Real-world needs for firewalls. and conservative in what you send. this document was intended as a 1996 "snapshot" of the architecture: "The Internet and its architecture have grown in evolutionary fashion from modest beginnings. Different names are given to the layers by different documents. Host-To-Host (Transport) Layer: this is where flow-control and connection protocols exist. HTTP. This layer deals with opening and maintaining connections. and different numbers of layers are shown by different documents." No document officially specifies the model. While this process of evolution is one of the main reasons for the technology's success. and the physical protocols and technologies necessary for communications from individual hosts to a medium. etc. ensuring that packets are in fact received. In point of fact.

which often results in confusion because the two models use different assumptions. The dotted line represents a virtual connection. the TCP/IP model has been compared with the OSI model numerous times in books and classrooms. and its layering model.The Internet protocol suite (and corresponding protocol stack). Since then. Layers in the TCP/IP model . were in use before the OSI model was established. IP suite stack showing the physical network connection of two hosts via two routers and the corresponding layers used at each hop. including about the relative importance of strict layering.

this is a subnetwork dependent convergence facility according to an extension to the OSI model. the original OSI Reference Model was extended to include connectionless services (OSIRM CL). as in the comment by David D." Criticisms of this model. or choose not to. often do not consider ISO's later extensions to that model. say. Again. This model lacks the formalism of the OSI Reference Model and associated documents. We believe in rough consensus and running code. "We don't believe in kings. which have been made with respect to the OSI Reference Model. TCP provides both data integrity and delivery guarantee (by retransmitting until the receiver receives the packet). This abstraction also allows upper layers to provide services that the lower layers cannot. while the lower layers avoid having to know the details of each and every application and its protocol.Sample encapsulation of data within a UDP datagram within an IP packet The layers near the top are logically closer to the user application (as opposed to the human user). the Internal Organization of the Network Layer (IONL) [5] . provide. Ethernet) an address mapping protocol is needed. but the IETF does not use a formal model and does not consider this a limitation. while those near the bottom are logically closer to the physical transmission of the data. presidents. IP is not designed to be reliable and is a best effort delivery protocol. Viewing layers as providing or consuming a service is a method of abstraction to isolate upper layer protocols from the nitty gritty detail of transmitting bits over. While the IETF does not use the terminology. Clark. in its Management Framework (OSIRM MF) [6] .g. Again. Such protocols can be considered to be below IP but above the existing link system. ICMP & IGMP operate on top of IP but do not transport data like UDP or TCP. This means that all transport layers must choose whether or not to provide reliability and to what degree. Ethernet and collision detection.[4] For example. or voting. UDP provides data integrity (via a checksum) but does not guarantee delivery. this functionality exists as layer management extensions to the OSI model. For multiaccess links with their own addressing systems (e.

ISO 7498/4 Management Framework).400. ASN. which. NFS. The IETF explicitly does not intend to discuss transmission systems. For example. such as X. specifically the transport layer gateways within the International Standardized Profile framework [7]. so it can run safely over the best-effort User Datagram Protocol (UDP) transport. which is part of text based protocols such as HTTP and SMTP TCP/IP model application layer protocols. IETF protocols can be applied recursively. which is a less academic but practical alternative to the OSI Reference Model. however. This is fine for discussing IP (since the whole point of IP is it will run over virtually anything). Since the IETF protocol development effort is not concerned with strict layering. which is considered as part of the transport layer in the TCP/IP model. in turn. without looking at the annexes to this model (e. In like manner.The SSL/TLS library operates above the transport layer (utilizes TCP) but below application protocols. some of its protocols may not appear to fit cleanly into the OSI model. 7 Application ECHO. however. The presentation layer has similarities to the MIME standard. the Network File System (NFS) application protocol runs over the eXternal Data Representation (XDR) presentation protocol. to comply with OSI architecture. there was no intention. Remote Procedure Call (RPC). SNMP. These conflicts. SMB. runs over a protocol with session layer functionality. While basic OSI documents do not consider tunneling. or the ISO 8648 Internal Organization of the Network Layer (IONL). The session layer roughly corresponds to the Telnet virtual terminal functionality. While some pure OSI protocol applications.the application layer.usually are lumped into one layer in the TCP/IP model. on the part of the designers of these protocols.1. RPC provides reliable record transmission. SIP.g. ENRP. AFP. Whois. NCP . SMTP. the presentation layer and the session layer . When the IONL and Management Framework documents are considered. there is no requirement that a TCP/IP protocol stack needs to be monolithic above the transport layer. which also is used in HTTP and SMTP. RTSP. ISO 7498. The associated OSI development effort. It also corresponds to TCP and UDP port numbering. SSH. also lumped them together. the ICMP and IGMP are neatly defined as layer management protocols for the network layer. The link is treated like a black box here. are more frequent when one only looks at the original OSI model. HTTP.. OSI and TCP/IP Layering Differences The three top layers in the OSI model . the IONL provides a structure for "subnetwork dependent convergence facilities" such as ARP and RARP. Gopher. Again. XMPP 6 Presentation XDR. Telnet. there is some concept of tunneling in yet another extension to the OSI architecture. has been abandoned given the real-world adoption of TCP/IP protocols. as demonstrated by tunneling protocols such as Generic Routing Encapsulation (GRE). FTP.

25 Ethernet. UDP. such as File Transfer Protocol and Telnet may set up a session using a well-known port. Data is passed from the program in an application-specific format. IPX. Some protocols. SSL. as with the Resource Reservation Protocol (RSVP).g. ISDN. along with error control.11 WiFi. This is usually done through libraries. The two most common end-to-end protocols are TCP and UDP. ATP. OSPF. Data sent over the network is passed into the application layer where it is encapsulated into the application layer protocol. IL IP. FDDI. 802.g UDP . the application layer must include any protocols that act like the OSI's presentation and session layer protocols. then encapsulated into a transport layer protocol. fragmentation and flow control. various 802. ISO 8327 / CCITT X. Common servers have specific ports assigned to them (HTTP has port 80. but then redirect the actual user session to ephemeral ports. Routers and switches do not utilize this layer but bandwidth throttling applications do. RTP. RPC. Frame relay. ICMP.225. From there. TLS. ATM. 100BASE-T. EIGRP. End to end message transmission or connecting applications at the transport layer can be categorized as either: connection-oriented e.11 physical layers The layers The following is a description of each layer in the IP suite stack. Telnet has port 23. Transport layer The transport layer's responsibilities include end-to-end message transfer capabilities independent of the underlying network.) while clients use ephemeral ports. ASP TCP. TCP connectionless e.709. RARP. HDLC. X. SONET/SDH. T-carrier/E-carrier. ARP. IGRP. the data is passed down into the lower layer protocol of the transport layer. NetBIOS. Since the IP stack has no layers between the application and transport layers. SCTP. G. Token ring. 1000BASE-T. Application layer The application layer is used by most programs for network communication. etc.5 Session 4 Transport 3 Network 2 Data Link 1 Physical ASAP. PPP 10BASE-T. RIP. SPX. IGMP.

such that if one fails. It was developed initially for telephony applications (to transport SS7 over IP).The transport layer can be thought of literally as a transport mechanism e. video. UDP is a connectionless datagram protocol. not transport. RTP is a datagram protocol that is designed for real-time data such as streaming audio and video. transport mechanism. the File Transfer Protocol expects a reliable connection. the connection is not interrupted. but can also be used for other applications. but not the reordering or delay that could be caused by retransmission. TCP and UDP are used to carry an assortment of higher-level applications.g. It is Messagestream-oriented — not byte-stream-oriented like TCP — and provides multiple streams multiplexed over a single connection. can tolerate some loss of packets. where the overhead of setting up a reliable connection is disproportionately large. TCP is a connection-oriented protocol that addresses numerous reliability issues to provide a reliable byte stream: data arrives in-order data has minimal error (i. Like IP. such as VoIP. For example. Reliability is addressed through error detection using a weak checksum algorithm. or for simple query/response applications like DNS lookups. (See List of TCP and UDP port numbers. Note that IP can run over a reliable data link protocol such as the High-Level Data Link Control (HDLC). For example. The transport layer provides this service of connecting applications together through the use of ports. Protocols above transport. such as RPC. It also provides multi-homing support. Since IP provides only a best effort delivery. but the Network File System assumes that the subordinate Remote Procedure Call protocol. UDP is typically used for applications such as streaming media (audio. it is a best effort or "unreliable" protocol. Other applications. Voice over IP etc) where on-time arrival is more important than reliability. a vehicle whose responsibility is to make sure that its contents (passengers/goods) reach its destination safely and soundly.) . in which a connection end can be represented by multiple IP addresses (representing multiple physical interfaces). The applications at any given network address are distinguished by their TCP or UDP port. By convention certain well known ports are associated with specific applications. The appropriate transport protocol is chosen based on the higher-layer protocol application. also can provide reliability.e correctness) duplicate data is discarded lost/discarded packets are resent includes traffic congestion control The newer SCTP is also a "reliable". connection-oriented. unless a higher or lower layer is responsible for safe delivery. the transport layer is the first layer of the TCP/IP stack to offer reliability. will guarantee reliable transfer.

additional functionality was added to this layer. On a local wired network. Host Bus Adapter cards and the associated network connectors: RJ-45. IP packets are usually transmitted using PPP. Some of the protocols carried by IP. For wide-area networks. as well as on firmware or specialist chipsets. On the receiving end. Ethernet is usually used. What makes them part of the network layer is that their payload is totally concerned with management of the network layer. The particular encapsulation of that payload is irrelevant for layering purposes.11 is usually used. Data link layer The link layer. frequencies. known as an internetwork or (lower-case) internet. BNC. These will perform data link functions such as adding a packet header to prepare it for transmission. fiber optic cable.[8] In the Internet protocol suite. because IP can run over a variety of different link layers. When this is done. network cards. For Internet access over a dial-up modem. illustrating an incompatibility between the Internet and the IP stack and OSI model. and the ARPANET's Host/IMP Protocol. coaxial cable. The link layer can also be the layer where packets are intercepted to be sent over a virtual private network. IEEE 802. . the data goes up the IP stack twice (once for routing and the second time for the VPN). IP performs the basic task of getting packets of data from source to destination. these protocols are each identified by a unique protocol number: ICMP and IGMP are protocols 1 and 2. For broadband Internet access such as ADSL or cable modems. such as OSPF. or packet over SONET/SDH (POS) are often used. the link layer data is considered the application data and proceeds back down the IP stack for actual transmission. such as ICMP (used to transmit diagnostic information about IP transmission) and IGMP (used to manage IP Multicast data) are layered on top of IP but perform internetwork layer functions. namely getting data from the source network to the destination network. With the advent of the concept of internetworking. This generally involves routing the packet across a network of networks. repeaters.25. ATM. respectively. which is made up of the actual physical network components (hubs. the Network layer solves the problem of getting packets across a single network. and the low level specifications for the signals (voltage levels. PPPoE is often used. etc). and RIP are also part of the network layer. etc). is not really part of the Internet protocol suite. which is the method used to move packets from the network layer on two different hosts. IP can carry data for a number of different upper layer protocols. Examples of such protocols are X.Network layer As originally defined. The link layer can also be considered to include the physical layer. Frame relay. either PPP over T-carrier or E-carrier lines. The processes of transmitting packets on a given link layer and receiving packets from a given link layer can be controlled both in the software device driver for the network card. All routing protocols. then actually transmit the frame over a physical medium. and on local wireless networks.

carrying out layer 3 switching. The Physical layer is also considered the domain of many hardware-related network design issues. the physical layer may partly be implemented using programmable DSP processors or software radio (soft radio) programmable chipsets. supported by a driver software in the operational system. Non-programmable analog and digital electronics are normally in charge of the physical layer. making it possible to emulate some modem standards. However. typically using an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) chipset for each radio interface or other physical standard. while the layer 3 and 4 protocols are services provided by the TCP/IP stack in the operating system. Microcontroller firmware in the network adapter typically handle layer 2 issues. The Apple Geoport concept was an example of CPU software implementation of the physical layer. repeaters. Ethernet. It operates with data in the form of bits that are sent from the Physical layer of the sending (source) device and received at the Physical layer of the destination device. . cables and connectors are standard network devices that function at the Physical layer.Physical layer The Physical layer is responsible for encoding and transmission of data over network communications media. and facilitating. such as LAN and WAN topology and wireless technology. In modern modems and wireless equipment. SCSI. hardware or software implementation is not stated in the protocols or the layered reference model. Token Ring. Hardware and software implementation Normally the application programmers are in charge of layer 5 protocols (the application layer). hubs. High-performance routers are to a large extent based on fast non-programmable digital electronics. allowing the chip to be reused in several alternative standards and radio interfaces instead of separate circuits for each standard.

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Typical PC hardware A typical personal computer consists of a case or chassis in a tower shape (desktop) and the following parts: Internals of typical personal computer Image:ASRock K7VT4A Pro Mainboard-eng-labels. It is in embedded systems in automobiles. needs to be changed and so is stored on hardware devices such as read-only memory (ROM) where it is not readily changed (and is. including the digital circuitry. compact disc players. if ever. modified or erased on the computer.Computer hardware is the physical part of a computer. therefore.jpg Typical Motherboard found in a computer . and other devices. which are "soft" in the sense that they are readily created. in comparison with software and hardware data. microwave ovens. electrocardiograph machines. The hardware of a computer is infrequently changed. "firm" rather than just "soft"). as distinguished from the computer software that executes within the hardware. Personal computers.2% of all new computers produced in 2003). Firmware is a special type of software that rarely. Most computer hardware is not seen by normal users. form only a small minority of computers (about 0. the computer hardware familiar to most people.

RAM attaches directly to the motherboard.Performs most of the calculations which enable a computer to function. being phased out and replaced by USB. attached to the internal buses. though it focuses more on individual parts rather than the overall temperature inside the chassis. Random Access Memory (RAM) .) ISA (outdated) EISA (outdated) MCA (outdated) . and is used to store programs that are currently running. and the computer case will generally have several fans to maintain a constant airflow.Fast-access memory that is cleared when the computer is powered-down. These ports may also be based upon expansion cards. a fan is almost always attached to the CPU. Liquid cooling can also be used to cool a computer. Firmware is loaded from the Read only memory ROM run from the Basic Input-Output System (BIOS) or in newer systems [[Extensible Firmware External Bus Controllers .Used to lower the temperature of the computer.Inside a Custom Computer Motherboard The motherboard is the "heart" of the computer.used to connect to external peripherals. such as printers and input devices. Computer fan . sometimes referred to as the "brain" of the computer. through which all other components interface. Central processing unit (CPU) . parallel port serial port USB firewire SCSI (On Servers and older machines) PS/2 (For mice and keyboards.

HD DVD . and supplies power to run the rest of the computer. including highdefinition video. It is the most common way of transferring digital video. Video display controller Produces the output for the computer display. such as a Disk array controller.Power supply A case that holds a transformer. voltage control. BD Writer .a device used for rapid writing and reading of data from a special type of DVD. DVD . All these interfaces are gradually being phased out to be replaced by SATA and SAS.a high-density optical disc format and successor to the standard DVD. IDE is usually integrated. CD-ROM and other drives like internal Zip and Jaz conventionally for a PC are IDE/ATA. or AGP). unlike SCSI which is found in most servers.the most common type of removable media. and (usually) a cooling fan. DVD Writer . Blu-ray .a device used for both reading and writing data to and from a DVD. BD-ROM Drive .0.a device used for reading data from a CD.a device used for reading data from a DVD.a popular type of removable media that is the same dimensions as a CD but stores up to times as much information.a device used for reading data from a Blu-ray disc. DVD-ROM Drive . CD Writer .a high-density optical disc format for the storage of digital information. CD-ROM Drive . DVD-RAM Drive . The floppy drive interface is a legacy MFM interface which is now slowly disappearing. This will either be built into the motherboard or attached in its own separate slot (PCI. in the form of a Graphics Card. the most common types of power supplies are AT and BabyAT (old) but the standard for PC's actually are ATX and micro ATX Storage controllers Controllers for hard disk. PCI-E 2.a device used for both reading and writing data to and from a CD. Removable media devices CD . the controllers sit directly on the motherboard (on-board) or on expansion cards. PCI-E. Currently . inexpensive but has a short life-span.a device used for both reading and writing data to and from a Blu-ray disc.

but containing no moving parts. typically small.an outdated storage device consisting of a thin disk of a flexible magnetic storage medium. connecting two computers together with their parallel ports.an outdated medium capacity removable disk storage system. USB flash drive .for medium-term storage of data.a device emulating a hard disk. usually used for long term storage. and/or connecting to other computers. first introduced by Iomega in 1994. though it is common for a user to install a separate sound card as an upgrade.a flash memory data storage device integrated with a USB interface. Networking Connects the computer to the Internet and/or other computers.Use of a null modem. to achieve performance or reliability improvement.a device that reads and writes data on a magnetic tape.for DSL/Cable internet.Floppy disk . Internal storage Hardware that keeps data inside the computer for later use and remains persistent even when the computer has no power.for dial-up connections Network card . Zip drive . lightweight. Disk array controller . removable and rewritable. Hard disk . Most modern computers have sound cards built-in to the motherboard. Sound card Enables the computer to output sound to audio devices.a device to manage several hard disks. as well as accept input from a microphone. Modem . Direct Cable Connection . Tape drive . connecting two computers together using their serial ports or a Laplink Cable. . Solid-state drive .

The most common English-language key layout is the QWERTY layout. Gaming devices Joystick . usually external to the computer system Input Text input devices Keyboard . Trackball . to input text and characters by depressing buttons (referred to as keys). to detect angles in two or three dimensions. similar to a typewriter. hardware devices can include external components of a computer system. Wheel mouse Includes various input and output devices. Xbox 360 Controller . Video input devices .A controller used for XBOX 360.Other peripherals In addition. Image. Which with the use of the application Switchblade(tm). Game controller . The following are either standard or very common.a pointing device that detects two dimensional motion relative to its supporting surface. Gamepad .a general game controller held in the hand that relies on the digits (especially thumbs) to provide input. Pointing devices Mouse .a device.a specific type of controller specialized for certain gaming purposes.a pointing device consisting of an exposed portruding ball housed in a socket that detects rotation about two axes. Can be be used as an additional pointing device with the left or right thumbstick.a general control device that consists of a handheld stick that pivots around one end.

memory address modes. processor registers. Microarchitecture.a device that converts analog audio signals into the equivalent air vibrations in order to make audible sound. In computer engineering. Audio output devices Speakers . It is a blueprint and functional description of requirements (especially speeds and interconnections) and design implementations for the various parts of a computer — focusing largely on the way by which the central processing unit (CPU) performs internally and accesses addresses in memory. and address and data formats. performance and cost goals.a device similar in functionality to computer speakers used mainly to not disturb others nearby.[2] The size of a computer's cache for instance. or an object. Video output devices Printer . Webcam .a low resolution video camera used to provide visual input that can be easily transferred over the internet. Monitor .device that displays a video signal.an acoustic sensor that provides input by converting sound into an electrical signal Output Image.a device that provides input by analyzing images. Computer architecture comprises at least three main subcategories[1] Instruction set architecture. Headset . It may also be defined as the science and art of selecting and interconnecting hardware components to create computers that meet functional. or ISA. Audio input devices Microphone . including the instruction set. computer architecture is the conceptual design and fundamental operational structure of a computer system. more concrete.a peripheral device that produces a hard (usually paper) copy of a document. to provide the user with information and an interface with which to interact. description of the system that involves how the constituent parts of the system are interconnected and how they interoperate in order to implement the ISA.Image scanner . handwriting. also known as Computer organization is a lower level. similar to a television. is the abstract image of a computing system that is seen by a machine language (or assembly language) programmer. . printed text. is an organizational issue that generally has nothing to do with the ISA.

the actual device needs to be designed into hardware.where the circuits are drawn out. Once both ISA and microarchitecture has been specified. Implementation is usually not considered architectural definition. clock distribution networks . but rather hardware design engineering.where the blocks that were defined in the microarchitecture are implemented as logic equations. the different circuit components are placed in a chip floor-plan or on a board and the wires connecting them are routed. Circuit Implementation/Design . such as cluster computing and Non-Uniform Memory Access (NUMA) architectures.System Design which includes all of the other hardware components within a computing system such as: system interconnects such as computer buses and switches memory controllers and hierarchies CPU off-load mechanisms such as direct memory access issues like multi-processing. Physical Implementation/Design . More specific usages of the term include more general wider-scale hardware architectures. PLLs. Overview CPU design focuses on these areas: datapaths (such as ALUs and pipelines) control unit: logic which controls the datapaths Memory components such as register files.where speed critical blocks or logic equations or logic gates are implemented at the transistor level. This design process is often called implementation. Implementation can be further broken down into three pieces: Logic Implementation/Design . the entire implementation process is often called CPU design. For CPUs. caches Clock circuitry such as clock drivers.

no longer common CMOS gate arrays . power-dissipation. no longer common) Device types used to implement the logic include: Transistor-transistor logic Small Scale Integration jelly-bean logic chips . they're so common that the term ASIC is not used for CPUs Field Programmable Gate Arrays .common for soft microprocessors.datapaths. no longer common except for CISC CPUs) programmable logic array (common in the 1980s.Pad transceiver circuitry Logic gate cell library which is used to implement the logic CPUs designed for high performance markets might require custom designs for each of these items to achieve frequency.what's commonly used today. logic) design and verification .no longer used for CPUs CMOS ASICs . CPUs designed for lower performance markets might lessen the implementation burden by: acquiring some of these items by purchasing them as intellectual property use control logic implementation techniques (logic synthesis using CAD tools) to implement the other components . and chip-area goals.no longer used for CPUs Programmable Array Logic and Programmable logic devices . register files.no longer used for CPUs Emitter Coupled Logic gate arrays . and more or less required for reconfigurable computing A CPU design project generally has these major tasks: architectural study and performance modeling RTL (eg. clocks Common logic styles used in CPU design include: unstructured random logic finite state machines microprogramming (common from 1965 to 1985.

emulators. microprogram. . chip manufacturability As with most complex electronic designs. Releasing a CPU on the same size die. Shrinking everything (a "photomask shrink").circuit design of speed critical components (caches. Each successive generation of CPU might be designed to achieve some of these goals: higher performance levels of a single program or thread higher throughput levels of multiple programs/threads less power consumption for the same performance level lower cost for the same performance level greater connectivity to build larger. Goals The first CPUs were designed to do mathematical calculations faster and more reliably than human computers. superscalar. CISC. improving performance and reducing overall system cost. multiple CPUs. registers. the logic verification effort (proving that the design does not have bugs) now dominates the project schedule of a CPU. improves performance (smaller transistors switch faster). and stack. virtual memory. ALUs) logic synthesis or logic-gate-level design timing analysis to confirm that all logic and circuits will run at the specified operating frequency physical design including floorplanning. keeps the cost about the same but allows higher levels of integration within one VLSI chip (additional cache. transistor-level and physical-level representatations are equivalent checks for signal integrity. RISC. reduces power (smaller wires have less parasitic capacitance) and reduces cost (more CPUs fit on the same wafer of silicon). instruction pipelining. Key CPU architectural innovations include cache. place and route of logic gates checking that RTL. gate-level. resulting in the same number of transistors on a smaller die. but with a smaller CPU core. or other components). more parallel systems more specialization to aid in specific targeted markets Re-designing a CPU core to a smaller die-area helps achieve several of these goals. virtual machine.

"performance per dollar". System designers building real-time computing systems want to guarantee worst-case response. the Intel IA-32 architecture dominates. most of them pick a particular CPU based on operating frequency (see Megahertz Myth). benchmarks were developed. the devices designed for one market are in most cases inappropriate for the other markets.Performance analysis and benchmarking Because there are too many programs to test a CPU's speed on all of them. [1][2] Some system designers building parallel computers pick CPUs based on the speed per dollar. Yearly. and vice versa. Some of these measures conflict. such as Google. hundreds of millions of IA-32 architecture CPUs are used by this market. The most famous benchmarks are the SPECint and SPECfp benchmarks developed by Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation and the ConsumerMark benchmark developed by the Embedded Microprocessor Benchmark Consortium EEMBC. In this market. Being relatively uninformed on computer benchmarks. laptop and server computers commonly used in businesses and homes. Markets There are several different markets in which CPUs are used. System designers building parallel computers. pick CPUs based on their speed per watt of power. The demands of being able to run a . Some important measurements include: Most consumers pick a computer architecture (normally Intel IA32 architecture) to be able to run a large base of pre-existing pre-compiled software. General purpose computing The vast majority of revenues generated from CPU sales is for general purpose computing. Since each of these markets differ in their requirements for CPUs. and "deterministic response" much worse. (DSP) Computer programmers who program directly in assembly language want a CPU to support a full featured instruction set. Since these devices are used to run countless different types of programs. In particular. That is. with its rivals PowerPC and SPARC maintaining much smaller customer bases. desktop. many design techniques that make CPU run faster make the "performance per watt". That is easier to do when the CPU has low interrupt latency and when it has deterministic response. these CPU designs are not specifically targeted at one type of application or one function. because the cost of powering the CPU outweighs the cost of the CPU itself.

. Previously much CPU design was done for this market.[citation needed] As of 2004. clocks. to stay competitive a company has to fund at least two of these large design teams to release products at the rate of 2. and having high power consumption. TSMC and Toshiba are a few examples of a companies doing manufacturing for another company's CPU chip design. Embedded processors sell in the volume of many billions of units per year. however. appliances. and infrastructure. As an example. Assuming that 100 engineers are needed to design a CPU and the project takes 4 years.000 US dollars/year. Only the personal computer mass market (with production rates in the hundreds of millions. etc.wide range of programs efficiently has made these CPU designs among the more advanced technically. Texas Instruments.000 US dollars. Scientific computing A much smaller niche market (in revenue and units shipped) is scientific computing. The design cost of a high-end CPU will be on the order of US $100 million. This includes salary. only four companies are actively designing and fabricating state of the art general purpose computing CPU chips: Intel.5 years per product generation. the typical loaded cost for one computer engineer is often quoted to be $250. high-end CPUs is a very costly proposition. The design teams for modern day general purpose CPUs have several hundred team members. CAD tools.000.[citation needed] Motorola has spun off its semiconductor division as Freescale as that division was dragging down profit margins for the rest of the company. computers. producing billions of dollars in revenue) can support such a large design and implementation teams. AMD. High-end processor economics Developing new. along with some disadvantages of being relatively costly. mostly at much lower price points than that of the general purpose processors. but the cost-effectiveness of using mass markets CPUs has curtailed almost all specialized designs for this market. Both the logical complexity (needing very large logic design and logic verification teams and simulation farms with perhaps thousands of computers) and the high operating frequencies (needing large circuit design teams and access to the state-of-the-art fabrication process) account for the high cost of design for this type of chip. vehicles. most CPUs are embedded in other machinery. The above amount is just an example. Total cost = $250. used in government research labs and universities. Since the design of such high-end chips nominally takes about five years to complete. office space rent. The main remaining area of active hardware design and research for scientific computing is for high-speed system interconnects. benefits. Embedded design As measured by units shipped.000/engineer-man_year X 100 engineers X 4 years = $100. IBM and Fujitsu. such as telephones.

as well as permit a direct interface with quantum computational devices. Soft microprocessor cores For embedded systems. In theory. Interrupt latency is more important to these embedded devices and their associated functions than to more general-purpose processors. Any particular version of desktop computing CPUs rarely stay in production for more than two years due to the rapid pace of progress. When the only allowed program memory is ROM. electronic devices are faster.e. as of 2006 is focused on electronic circuitry. and therefore even wave-guide based optical logic may be uneconomic compared to electronic logic. an optical computer's components could directly connect through a holographic or phased open-air switching system. giving quicker time-to-market. as well. See also optical computing. This allows for the use of processors which can be totally implemented by logic synthesis techniques. To give lower system cost. perhaps for a decade. This would provide a large increase in effective speed and design flexibility. The chief problem with this approach is that for the foreseeable future. Modern vertical laser diodes enable this change. Power dissipation is highly important as most embedded systems do not allow for fans. cheaper) and more reliable. . Optical communication One interesting possibility would be to eliminate the front side bus. the highest performance levels are often not needed or desired due to the power consumption requirements. a busless system might be more reliable.These single-function devices differ from the more familiar general-purpose CPUs in several ways: Low cost is of utmost importance. In theory. smaller (i. An important theoretical problem is that electronic computational elements are already smaller than some wavelengths of light. The program and data memories are often integrated on the same chip. Embedded Devices must be in production (or have stockpiles that can last) for long amounts of time. the device is known as a microcontroller. and a large reduction in cost. These synthesized processors can be implemented in a much shorter amount of time. peripherals are integrated with the processor on the same silicon chip. this could run about 30% faster and use less power. Optical processors Another farther-term possibility is to use light instead of electricity for the digital logic itself. Since a computer's connectors are also its most likely failure point. The majority of development effort.

In a clockless CPU. Instead. a central clock is unnecessary. It might be easier implement high performance devices in asynchronous logic as opposed to clocked logic: components can run at different speeds in the clockless CPU.Clockless CPUs Yet another possibility is the "clockless CPU" (asynchronous CPU)." Basically. In this way. dubbed MiniMIPS. no component can run faster than the clock rate. In a clocked CPU. when a stage finishes faster than normal. clockless processors have no central clock to coordinate the progress of data through the pipeline. or because it is running at a higher voltage or lower temperature than normal. For example. A smaller disadvantage is how these devices would operate with Automated Test Equipment chip testers that are more geared for synchronous behavior. A stage might finish faster than normal because of the particular data inputs (multiplication can be very fast if it is multiplying by 0 or 1). Asynchronous logic proponents believe these capabilities would have these benefits: lower power dissipation for a given performance level highest possible execution speeds Two examples of asynchronous CPUs are the ARM-implementing AMULET and the asynchronous implementation of MIPS R3000. the group that designs the aforementioned AMULET developed a tool called LARD to cope with the complex design of AMULET3. the next stage can immediately take the results rather than waiting for the next clock tick. . The biggest disadvantage of the clockless CPU is that most CPU design tools assume a clocked CPU (a synchronous circuit). Unlike conventional processors. In a clocked CPU. so making a clockless CPU (designing an asynchronous circuit) involves modifying the design tools to handle clockless logic and doing extra testing to ensure the design avoids metastable problems. stages of the CPU are coordinated using logic devices called "pipe line controls" or "FIFO sequencers. the clock can go no faster than the worst-case performance of the slowest stage. the pipeline controller clocks the next stage of logic when the existing stage is complete.

which gave the address of the host within that network. This format was picked before the advent of local area networks (LANs). large. the 32-bit IPv4 address consisted simply of an 8-bit network number field (which specified the particular network a host was attached to). note that all the networks (the ovals) have addresses which are single integers. There is no longer any such thing as a class A/B/C network.Classful networking is the name given to the first round of changes to the structure of the IP address in IPv4. Originally. and a rest field. The correct modern representation for what would have been referred to as a "Class B" prior to 1993 would be "a set of /16 addresses". Before Classes The prototype Internet in 1982. under the Classless Inter-Domain Routing (CIDR) system. when there were only a few. Classful networking is obsolete on the modern Internet. . networks such as the ARPANET. the rectangles are switches.

and very early on. which are not allowed): Class Leading Bit String Number of Networks Addresses Per Network Class A 0 126 16.777.This resulted in a very low count (256) of network numbers being available.097. Classes As a kludge. the definition of IP addresses was changed in 1981 by RFC 791 to allow three different sizes of the network number field (and the associated rest field).150 254 .214 Class B 10 16. as LANs started to appear.534 Class C 110 2. as specified in the table below: Class Leading Bit String Size of Network Size of Rest Number Bit field Bit field Class A 0 7 24 Class B 10 14 16 Class C 110 21 8 Class D (multicast) 1110 not defined not defined Class E (reserved) 1111 not defined not defined This allowed the following population of network numbers (excluding addresses consisting of all zeros or all ones. it became obvious that that would not be enough.382 65.

0 127. which contributed to the problem. Class Leading bits Start End CIDR equivalent Default subnet mask Class A 0 0.255 /8 255. With the rapid growth of the Internet. The larger network number field allowed a larger number of networks. For each address.0. the network number field size and its subsequent value were determined (the rest field was ignored). and received a "class B" number instead. however (see subnet).2 (where N is the number of bits used. for a class C address with 8 bits available for hosts.The number of valid networks and hosts available is always 2N . to solve this problem (and others). If they matched.255. Thus.0 . The IP address netmask (which is so commonly associated with an IP address today) was not required because the mask length was part of the IP address itself. The network numbers were then compared. Early allocations of IP addresses by IANA were in some cases not made very efficiently. most such allocations date to the period before the introduction of address classes. in the standard dotted decimal notation. the available pool of class B addresses (basically 214.255. or about 16. but an IP address shortage still developed. The replacement of classes This first round of changes was enough to work in the short run.0.0. when the only thing available was what later became known as "class A" network number. then the two addresses were on the same network. thereby accommodating the continued growth of the Internet. starting in about 1993.000 total) was rapidly being depleted. The method of comparing two IP address's physical networks did not change. The principal problem was that most sites were too big for a "class C" network number.0. the number of hosts is 254. Classful networking was replaced by Classless Inter-Domain Routing (CIDR). the commonly held notion that some American organizations unfairly or unnecessarily received class A networks is a canard.) Useful tables Class ranges The address ranges used for each class are given in the following table. Any network device could inspect the first few bits of a 32-bit IP address to see which class the address belonged to. (However. and the subtraction of 2 adjusts for the invalidity of the first and last addresses).

0 – 0.255.0.255.0.0.0.0 10.255. Addresses CIDR Equivalent Purpose RFC Class Total # of addresses 0.216 127.0.255.0.0 Class C 110 192.255.0/8 Private IP addresses RFC 1918 A 16.0.216 10.0.0 223.0 169.0.0.255 169.31.255.255.216 169.16.0 191.0.255 10.255.0/8 Zero Addresses RFC 1700 A 16.255 /24 255.777.0 127.0.255.255.777.0.254.Class B 10 128.255.0.0 255.0.255.254.255.255.0.536 172.255.16.0.255 /4 not defined Special ranges Some addresses are reserved for special uses (RFC 3330).0/12 Private IP addresses RFC 1918 B 1.0.255 127.255 /16 255.777.0/16 Zeroconf / APIPA RFC 3330 B 65.255.255 0.0.0.255.254.0.0 Class D (multicast) 1110 224.255.0/8 Localhost RFC 1700 Loopback Address A 16.0.255 /4 not defined Class E (reserved) 1111 240.0.255.576 .255 172.0.048.0 172.0.0 239.

0.99.192.0/4 Multicast RFC 3171 RFC 1700.0/4 Reserved E 268.nnnnnnnn. 0.255.HHHHHHHH.168.HHHHHHHH .168.255.00000000.168.0 192.2.072 224.255.0.255 192.0/24 Documentation and RFC 3330 Examples C 256 192.0/16 Private IP addresses RFC 1918 C 65.nnnnnnnn.0 192.255 192.255 = 11011111.0.HHHHHHHH Class C 192.0.88. 0 = 11000000.18. 0.255 = 01111111.2.00000000 191.00000000.0.456 240.0.99.00000000. 0.255 192.0.88. 0 = 10000000.0. X indicates a binary slot (without specified purpose))) Class A 0.255. 0.255 240.255.255 224.11111111.11111111.255 198.0.255.0 192. H indicates a binary slot used for host ID.0.00000000. 0 = 00000000.255.nnnnnnnn.11111111 10nnnnnn.0.255 = 10111111.456 Bit-wise representation In the following table: n indicates a binary slot used for network ID.0.HHHHHHHH Class B 128.0/15 Network Device Benchmark RFC 2544 C 131.00000000.0.255.11111111.435.0 255.00000000 223.255.255.99.11111111.255.11111111.0 198.435.0 239.HHHHHHHH. Fuller 240/4 space draft[1] D 268.11111111.0.88.00000000 127.536 198.0/24 IPv6 to IPv4 relay RFC 3068 Anycast C 256 192.0.18.11111111 110nnnnn. 0.2.11111111 0nnnnnnn.255.0.19.00000000.HHHHHHHH.

255.XXXXXXXX Classless Inter-Domain Routing Classless Inter-Domain Routing (CIDR.00000000.11111111.00000000.00000000. and. Aggregation hides multiple levels of subnetting from the Internet routing table. 0. It replaced the previous generation of IP address syntax.255. Specifically.255. CIDR encompasses: The VLSM technique of specifying arbitrary length prefix boundaries. 0 = 11100000.255. or 24-bit prefixes. 0 = 11110000. . it used the technique of variable-length subnet masking (VLSM) to allow allocation on arbitrary-length prefixes. A CIDR-compliant address is written with a suffix indicating the number of bits in the prefix length.00000000. but the longer address field of IPv6 made it unnecessary to practice great economy in allocating the minimum amount of address space an organization could justify.168.11111111 1111XXXX. rather than allocating address blocks on eight-bit (i. such as 192.00000000 239.XXXXXXXX. 0. The concept of class was never used in IPv6. 0. thus reducing the number of entries in the global routing table.11111111..e.11111111. The administrative process of allocating address blocks to organizations based on their actual and short-term projected need.XXXXXXXX. classful networks.XXXXXXXX Class E 240. octet) boundaries forcing 8.XXXXXXXX. 0.11111111 1110XXXX.XXXXXXXX. wherever possible in the Internet. 16. and reverses the process of "subnetting a subnet" with VLSM.0/16. The aggregation of multiple contiguous prefixes into supernets. IPv6 utilizes the CIDR convention of indicating prefix length with a suffix. advertising aggregates.Class D 224.00000000 255.11111111. pronounced "cider") was introduced in 1993 and is the latest refinement to the way IP addresses are interpreted. rather than the very large or very small blocks required by classful addressing schemes.0.255 = 11101111. This permits more efficient use of increasingly scarce IPv4 addresses.255 = 11111111.

while longer CIDR prefixes match fewer. Since the length of an IPv4 address is fixed at 32 binary bits. the dotted-decimal portion is sometimes omitted. An IP address is part of a CIDR block. commonly called CIDR blocks. The dotted decimal portion is interpreted.CIDR blocks CIDR is principally a bitwise.C. understanding CIDR requires that IP address be visualized in binary. meaning that 2(32 − N) IPv4 addresses match a given N-bit CIDR prefix. and is said to match the CIDR prefix if the initial N bits of the address and the CIDR prefix are the same. . thus a /20 is a CIDR block with an unspecified 20-bit prefix. then a number from 0 to 32: A. These groups. an N-bit CIDR prefix leaves 32 − N bits unmatched. counting from the left-hand side of the address. prefix-based standard for the interpretation of IP addresses. followed by a slash. share an initial sequence of bits in the binary representation of their IP addresses. like an IPv4 address. Shorter CIDR prefixes match more addresses. An address can match multiple CIDR prefixes of different lengths. It facilitates routing by allowing blocks of addresses to be grouped together into single routing table entries. Thus.B. the number of shared initial bits. as a 32-bit binary number that has been broken into four octets.D/N. The number following the slash is the prefix length. When speaking in abstract terms. IPv4 CIDR blocks are identified using a syntax similar to that of IPv4 addresses: a four-part dotted-decimal address. and there are 2(32 − N) possible combinations of these bits.

29.29. the 208.33 (since reassigned) was used by www. of which 208. directing traffic to the leased line serving ARS.33 was one.0/8. geographic area (such as Europe or North America). is administered by RIPE NCC.130. a Virginia VAR.29.0/22 would become visible. The RIRs. short-prefix CIDR blocks. 208.CIDR is also used with IPv6 addresses. leased an Internet connection from MCI and was assigned the 208. Assignment of CIDR blocks The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) issues to Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) large.128. then subdivide these blocks into smaller blocks and issue them publicly.0/11 prefix would be used to direct to MCI traffic bound not only for 208.0/24 prefix have been used. due to the larger number of bits in the address. ARS used a /24 block for its publicly accessible servers.128.0/11. Automation Research Systems. a large CIDR block containing over 2 million addresses. the European RIR. then subdivide them into smaller CIDR blocks for their subscribers. but also for any of the roughly two million IP addresses with the same initial 11 bits. where the prefix length can range from 0 to 128. A similar syntax is used: the prefix is written as an IPv6 address. All of these CIDR prefixes would be used. 62. For example.130. followed by a slash and the number of significant bits.0. had been assigned by ARIN (the North American RIR) to MCI.0.130.org.0/22 block.130. capable of addressing just over 1000 devices.33. An analysis of this address identified three CIDR prefixes. Within MCI's network. will often obtain independent CIDR blocks directly from the appropriate RIR. with over sixteen million addresses.0. Networks served by multiple ISPs. 208.28.130. on the other hand. each responsible for a single. Only within the ARS corporate network would the 208. the IP address 208. at different locations in the network. . Networks served by a single ISP are encouraged by IETF to obtain IP address space directly from their ISP.29. in the late 1990s. This subdividing process can be repeated several times at different levels of delegation. sized according to the size of the subscriber's network. For example.28. Outside of MCI's network.0.130. Large Internet service providers (ISPs) typically obtain CIDR blocks from an RIR.freesoft. large.

255.255 1 1/256 C a. For example.0 255.b.d/30 +0... and encoded in fourpart dotted-decimal format.0. Thus the network/host division can occur at any bit boundary in the address. An average desktop LAN user generally does not see them in practice.255.0..0. 254 a. with a portion of the address space being further divided into even smaller portions. although they are also used elsewhere.255. (8n) . starting with a number of 1 bits equal to the prefix length.255. 252 a. CIDR/VLSM network addresses are now used throughout the public Internet.255.. rather than some general network-wide rule. Two aligned contiguous /20s could then be aggregated to a /19..c. particularly in large private networks. through the use of masks which cover more bits.. Prefix aggregation Another benefit of CIDR is the possibility of routing prefix aggregation (also known as "supernetting" or "route summarization"). and so forth.0. This allows a significant reduction in the number of routes that have to be advertised over the Internet.255.255. ending with 0 bits. sixteen contiguous Class C (/24) networks could now be aggregated together.248 8 1/32 C d = 0 .b.c. 248 . but predates the advent of CIDR.b.d/32 +0. CIDR uses variable length subnet masks (VLSM) to allocate IP addresses to subnets according to individual need. as their LAN is usually numbered using special private network addresses. preventing 'routing table explosions' from overwhelming routers.3 255. CIDR IP/CIDR Ä to last IP addr Mask Hosts (*) Class Notes a.d/29 +0.1 255. and stopping the Internet from expanding further..c. (2n) .252 4 1/64 C d = 0 .c....254 2 1/128 C d = 0 . The process can be recursive.CIDR and masks A subnet mask is a bitmask that encodes the prefix length in a form similar to an IP address: 32 bits. A subnet mask encodes the same information as a prefix length.d/31 +0.0.0.0. and advertised to the outside world as a single /20 route (if the first 20 bits of their network addresses match).b.0..255.. (4n) .7 255.

000.0/20 +0..0/18 +0...0.224 32 1/8 C d = 0 .000 16. 128 a.. 254 ..d/26 +0. 128 a.000 1.. 128.048 8C c = 0 .0.c.0.0/16 +0.. 252 a. 192 a.000 65.0.b.c.0.192 64 1/4 C d = 0. 64.3..536 256 C = 1 B a.b.0. 224 a.b.b.0/19 +0.255.024 4C c = 0 .0.255.c.000 2.b.254.d/28 +0.255 255.c.000 512 2C c = 0 . (32n) .255.0.255 255.b..254..b..b.c.255.b.128.000....31 255.c.255. (4n) . (16n) .192 32 C c = 0 .255.c..255. 240 a..0. (2n) .. 128.000 4.0.255 255..0.240 16 1/16 C d = 0 .0/21 +0.128 128 1/2 C d = 0.1.768 128 C c = 0.0.072 2B b = 0 ..255 255..15...255.c.255..c.127.b.d/27 +0.b.b.255 255.0/22 +0.255. (8n) .63 255..15 255.000 256 1C a.255..240..127 255..0.255. 248 a. 240 a.000 8.0/24 +0.31.c.252. (16n) .248.255 255.d/25 +0.b.c.255 255.255.000 131.63.0.224.192.255.0.0.a.0.255.7.255..0/15 +0.1.255 255.0. 64.096 16 C c = 0 . (2n) . 224 a.. 254 a. 192 a.0/17 +0. (32n) .384 64 C c = 0.0.255.255.0.0/23 +0.b.255 255.255.255.c.255 255....000 32.

0.0..000..000 67.0.000 4..255.255.0.0/2 +63.000.288 8B b = 0 .255.0/11 +0.0..000.108.. (16n) .000 268.147.0.255 255...3.255 255.b.000 33. 128.483.255.0.0/8 +0.000.000.. 128 a.255 255.912 32 A a = 0 .777.255.000.0.0. (32n) .255 255.255...000. (32n) .7..0/10 +0.000.255.000.0.000.0/3 +31.240.b..741. 254 a. (2n) . 128 . 240 a. 192 a.000.127. (8n) .255 255.255.000... (4n) .255 224.255.0/14 +0. (16n) .255.255.255.435. 224 a..0.000.255 255.000 2.000..255.0/4 +15.000.000...000.648 128 A a = 0..073.000.000 16.000.864 4A a = 0 .0/9 +0.31.0/1 +127.255. 128.000 262.255 255.0.255..456 16 A a = 0 ..048.097.224.255.144 4B b = 0 .000 1.252.0.. (8n) .000.0...255.255 240. 224 a.b.000 536.63..870..728 8A a = 0 ...152 32 B b = 0 .b. 252 a.. 240 a.255. 252 a. 248 a.388.. 64.0/5 +7. 192 a.0.000 524.0.0.255.000 1.000 8.0. (4n) .255 248.000.554.432 2A a = 0 .255 252. 64.255.0/6 +3..0/12 +0.000 2.217..304 64 B b = 0.608 128 B b = 0.255 192.255 254.0/7 +1..b.255.0/13 +0.000..a.0.128. 248 a.824 64 A a = 0.192.216 256 B = 1 A a.000 134.248.b.255.0.15..0.194.255 128.576 16 B b = 0 ..0.

Without any way of specifying a prefix length or a subnet mask. Because the old class distinctions are ignored.0. the need for more flexible addressing schemes became increasingly apparent. As the experimental TCP/IP network expanded into the Internet during the 1980s. and BGP would evolve to BGP-4.000. 2 needs to be subtracted from the number of available addresses . and the host address (which identified a particular machine's connection or interface to that network). EIGRP. such as RIP-2. but is mostly in historical usage. This new feature was called Classless Inter-Domain Routing (CIDR). This division was used to control how traffic was routed in and among IP networks. It is supported by modern routing protocols. the technique for supernetting-subnetting the IP address space required a modification. With the new RFC 1338-style provider-based supernetting. it was possible to create multiple hierarchical tiers and most tiers were envisioned to be internet service providers. classful routing. IS-IS and OSPF.255.the largest address is used as the broadcast address. meaning that you would subtract 3 from the number of usable hosts that can be used on the subnet.000. Variable-Length Subnet Masking (VLSM) is the same concept as CIDR. such as RIP-1.255 000. The class.0. incorporating the RFC 1338 paradigm. and hence the length of the network address and the number of hosts on the network.255. routing protocols.967. Internet RFC 1338 was a major paradigm shift to establish a provider-based addressing and a routing hierarchy. For this shift to occur. Providerbased address space allocation was the new model. (Note that RFC 1338 was replaced by RFC 1519) . This led to the original system being called. necessarily used the class of the IP address specified in route advertisements to determine the size of the routing prefixes to be set up in the routing tables. by back-formation. and typically the smallest address is used to identify the network itself. See RFC 1812 for more detail. IGRP. where each class had a fixed size network address. could always be determined from the most significant bits of the IP address.0/0 +255.000 4. Historical background IP addresses were originally separated into two parts: the network address (which identified a whole network or subnet). It is also common for the gateway IP for that subnet to use an address.294. the IP address space was divided into three main 'classes of network'. the new system was called classless routing.296 256 A (*) Note that for routed subnets bigger than /31 or /32. Historically. This led to the successive development of subnetting and CIDR.0.