Network Communications and Protocols

AMIT Kr. BHARDWAJ, LMTSOM

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Objectives
• Explain the function of protocols in a network • Describe common protocol suites

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Protocols
• Strictly speaking, protocols are the rules and procedures for communicating
– For two computers to communicate, they must speak the same language and agree on the rules of communication

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The Function of Protocols
• As protocols serve their functions in the OSI model, they might work at one or many layers • When a set of protocols works cooperatively, it’s called a protocol stack or protocol suite
– The most common protocol stack is TCP/IP, the Internet protocol suite – IPX/SPX, used in older versions of Novell NetWare, is disappearing as companies upgrade to newer versions of NetWare – Levels of a protocol stack map to their functions in the OSI model
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Connectionless Versus Connection-Oriented Protocols
• Protocols that use connectionless delivery place data on the network and assume it will get through • Connection-oriented protocols are more reliable and, consequently, slower
• In a connection, data is sent in an orderly fashion

– Connectionless protocols aren’t entirely reliable – Are fast: little overhead, don’t waste time establishing/managing/tearing down connections

– Two computers establish a connection before data transfer begins – Ensures that all data is received and is accurate, or that suitable error messages are generated

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Routable Versus Nonroutable Protocols
• The network layer (OSI) is responsible for moving data across multiple networks
– Routers are responsible for routing process

• Protocol suites that function at Network layer are routable or routed protocols; otherwise, they are called nonroutable
– TCP/IP and IPX/SPX are routable protocols – An older and nearly obsolete protocol, NetBEUI, is a nonroutable protocol that works well in small networks, but its performance drops considerably as a network grows

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Protocols in a Layered Architecture

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Protocols in a Layered Architecture (continued)

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Network Protocols
• Some popular network protocols include:
– Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4 or simply IP)
• Provides addressing and routing information

– Internetwork Packet Exchange (IPX)
• Novell’s protocol for packet routing and forwarding • Belongs to the IPX/SPX protocol suite • Serves many of the same functions as TCP/IP’s IP

– Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6)
• A new version of IP that’s being implemented on many current networking devices and operating systems
– Addresses some weaknesses of IPv4

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Transport Protocols
• Transport protocols can be connectionoriented (reliable) or connectionless (besteffort) delivery
– Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)
• Responsible for reliable data delivery in TCP/IP

– Sequential Packet Exchange (SPX)
• Novell’s connection-oriented protocol used to guarantee data delivery

– NetBIOS/NetBEUI
• NetBIOS establishes/manages communications between computers and provides naming services • NetBEUI provides data transport services for these communications
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Application Protocols
• Application protocols provide services to client applications
– Simple Mail Transport Protocol (SMTP) in TCP/IP – File Transfer Protocol (FTP) in TCP/IP – Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP)
• Manages and monitors network devices (TCP/IP)

– NetWare Core Protocol (NCP)
• Novell’s client shells and redirectors

– AppleTalk File Protocol (AFP)
• Apple’s remote file-management protocol

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Common Protocol Suites
• Because most protocols contain a combination of components, these components are usually bundled as a protocol suite
– TCP/IP
• Dominates the networking arena to the point of making most of the other suites nearly obsolete

– IPX/SPX – NetBIOS/NetBEUI – AppleTalk

AMIT Kr. BHARDWAJ, LMTSOM

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Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)

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TCP/IP Network Layer Protocols
• Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) is a Network layer protocol that provides source and destination addressing and routing for the TCP/IP suite • Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) is a Network layer protocol used to send error and control messages between systems or devices
– Connectionless protocol; fast but unreliable

• Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) resolves logical (IP) addresses to physical (MAC) addresses

– The Ping utility uses ICMP to request a response from a remote host to verify availability

AMIT Kr. BHARDWAJ, LMTSOM

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IP, ICMP, and ARP in Action

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IP, ICMP, and ARP in Action (continued)

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TCP/IP Transport Layer Protocols
• Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) is the primary Internet transport protocol
– Connection oriented using a three-way handshake – Message fragmentation and reassembly – Uses acknowledgements to ensure that all data was received and to provide flow control

• User Datagram Protocol (UDP) is connectionless
– Generally faster, although less reliable, than TCP
• Doesn’t segment data or resequence packets • Doesn’t use acknowledgements for reliability • Used by NFS and DNS

AMIT Kr. BHARDWAJ, LMTSOM

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TCP/IP Application Layer Protocols
• Domain Name System (DNS) • Hypertext Transport Protocol (HTTP) • File Transfer Protocol (FTP) • Telnet
– Session layer name-to-address resolution protocol – To transfer Web pages from Web server to browser – For file transfer and directory and file manipulation – Remote terminal emulation; operates at layers 7-5 – Operates at layers 7-5; provides messaging services

• Simple Mail Transport Protocol (SMTP)

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IP Addressing
• Logical addresses are 32 bits (4 bytes) long
– Each byte is represented as an octet (decimal number from 0 to 255) – Usually represented in dotted decimal notation
• E.g., 172.24.208.192

– Address has two parts: network and host ID
• E.g. 172.24.208.192 (172.24.0.0 and 208.192)

– Categorized into ranges referred to as classes
• Class system provides basis for determining which part of address is the network and which is the host ID • The first octet of an address denotes its class

AMIT Kr. BHARDWAJ, LMTSOM

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Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)
• Detailed configuration of devices, keeping track of assigned addresses and to which machine they were assigned, etc., is difficult in large networks
– DHCP was developed to make this process easier – DHCP server must be configured with a block of available IP addresses and their subnet masks – Clients must be configured to use DHCP
• Broadcast request message is sent on boot
– Client leases the address the server assigns to it – If no answer is received, in an APIPA-enabled OS, the computer assigns itself an address (169.254.x.x)

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NetBIOS and NetBEUI

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IPX/SPX

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Summary
• Many protocols are available for network communications, each with its strengths/weaknesses • The TCP/IP protocol suite dominates network communication in part due to its use on the Internet • IP addressing involves several concepts, including address classes, subnetting, and supernetting • IPv6 will eventually replace IPv4 because it offers several advantages: 128-bit address space, autoconfiguration, built-in security, and QoS
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