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Data Communication & Networking.

Data comm. & networking has changed the way we do live & do business. Business today rely on computer & internet. PC has changed business, industry, comm. science & education for better. Research has become easier. Exchange of data, text, audio, video being done all over the world. This has been made possible due to data comm., networks, internet, protocols & standards.

When we comm., we share info. Tele far off. Data refers to info. presented in whatever form is agreed upon by the parties creating and using data. The effectiveness of data comm. Depends on 4 fundamental Characteristics.


Data Comm.

to correct destination. Accuracy Timeliness Jitter free. Time arrival.

Components of Data comm. system

Message. Sender. Device like computer, tel, camera. Receiver. Device like PC, TV, Tel Transmission medium. Wires, fibre optics Protocol. It is set of rules that govern data comm. It represents an agreement between the comm. Devices. Without protocol, two devices may be connected but not communicating, like one speaking French other Chinese.

Data Presentation

Text. Text is represented as a bit pattern, sequence of bits. Each word, symbol & letter is represented by 32 bits coding system called Unicode. 127 characters were developed by American standard code for info. Interchange (ASCII). Numbers. These are not part of Unicode. These are directly represented by binary nos. Images. These are also represented by bit patterns. Image is composed of matrix of pixels (picture elements). An image can be represented by 1000 or 10,000 pixels. Second image have better resolution but will need more memory. Audio. Video.

Data Flow

Simplex. unidirectional like keyboard & monitor. Half Duplex. both ways but one at a time. Walkie-talkies. Full duplex. both stations can transmit & receive simultaneously. Like tel network.


Network is a set of devices (nodes) connected. It can be computer, printer or any device. Most networks use distributed processing, in which task is divided among multiple computers. Network Criteria.

Including transit & response time. Performance depends on no of users, type of transmission medium, capability of connecting hardware & efficiency of software. Reliability. Security.

Physical Structure

Point to point. Dedicated link between two devices. Link can be wires or microwave or satellite links or even a remote control. Multipoint or Multi-drop. In this more than two specific devices share a single link. In this capacity of channel is shared. If several devices share link simultaneously, it is spatially shared connection. If users must take turn, it is time shared connection.

Physical topology
It is way in which a network is laid out. 2 or more devices connect to a link: 2 or more link form topology.

Dedicated links, robust, fault identification easy. Disadvantage is cabling too many I/O



One hub. Not directly linked to each other. Less expensive, easy to install, less I/O ports. Robust Easy fault tracing. Disadvantage is dependency on one hub. High speed LAN uses this.

One long cable as back bone. drop lines. Easy to install. less cabling. Disadvantage is difficult of reconnection and fault isolation. Cable break will stop all. Less used


Hybrid. It is
star plus Bus.

Categories of Network

LAN. Local area network, up to few Kms. It is usually

privately owned. Links offices, buildings, campuses depending on needs of org. One of the computers may be given large capacity disk drive & may become a server to clients. Software can be stored on server and used by group as needed. Most common topologies are bus, ring or star. It has speeds of 100 to 1000 Mega bits per second. Wireless LAN are also available.

WAN. Wide area network. It provides long distance

transmission of data over large geographic areas that may comprise a country, continent or whole world. WAN can be as complex as internet or as simple as dial up line that connects a home computer to network. The first one connects the end systems of another LAN/WAN through routers.

The point to point WAN is normally a line leased from tel or cable TV provider that connects a home computer or a small LAN to an internet service provider (ISP). Wireless WAN is also available. MAN. Metropolitan area network. It has size between LAN & WAN. It normally the area inside a big town or city. It is designed for customers who need a high speed connectivity, normally to internet. A good example is a tel coy network that can provide high speed DSL ( digital subscriber line) to customers. Cable TV network is also utilised for high speed data comm. To internet.

Interconnection of Networks: Internet

Today it is very rare to see a LAN/MAN in isolation. They are interconnected. When two or more networks are connected, they become an internet. See a major companys 2 offices spread over thousands of Kms apart from HQ. To create a backbone WAN for connecting three entities we need a switched WAN operated by service provider like tel coy. To connect the LANs to this switched WAN, we need three point to point WANs. These point to point WANs can be high speed DSL line offered by tel. coy or cable modem line offered by cable TV providers.

The Internet

Internet has revolutionized the way we live & work. E mail, do business, shop, utility bills, read newspapers, see movies, research, book hotels, book aircrafts seats, money transfer or Google to find answer to any query. Internet is a collaboration of more than thousands of thousands of interconnected networks. Private individuals as well as org. like govt. agencies, universities, corporations, libraries of more than 100 countries use it. It is extraordinary comm. system that came into being in 1969. Internet is structured, organized system.


In mid 60s mainframe computers in research org. were stand alone devices. Computer from diff. manuf. were unable to comm. with each other. The Advanced Research Projects Agencies (ARPA) in DoD was interested in finding a way to connect computers, so that researchers could share their efforts and reduce cost. In 1967 idea of ARPANET was floated to computer manuf. In 1969 ARPANET was a reality & four universities were connected. Software called Network Control Protocol (NCP) provided comm. Between hosts. In 1972 internetting project was launched and paper on Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) giving concepts of encapsulation, the datagram & functions of a gateway was presented. Shortly afterward TCP was split in to two protocols. TCP & IP (internet working). IP was to handle datagram routing while TCP was responsible for higher level functions such as segmentation, reassembly, and error detection. The protocol became TCP/IP.

Protocols in data comm.

A protocol is a set of rules that govern data comm. A protocol defines what is comm., how is comm. & when is comm. The key elements of a protocol are syntax, semantic & timing. Syntax. It refers to structure or format of the data, meaning the order in which they are presented. For example protocol might expect the first 8 bit of data to be address of sender, next 8 bit address of receiver & rest stream the message. Semantic. Semantic means meaning of each section of bits. How interpreted and what action to be taken. For example the address is the path or the final destination. Timings. When data should be sent and how fast they can be sent. If sender sends 100 Mbps but receiver can process only 1 Mbps, the transmission will overload the receiver & some data will be lost.

Standards in data communication

Standards are essentials in creating and maintaining an open competitive market for equipment manuf. & in guaranteeing national & international interoperability of data & telcomm. Technology & processes. Standards provide guidelines to manuf, vendor, govt & other service providers to ensure the type on interconnectivity necessary in the market. Data comm. Standards fall into two categories: de facto (meaning by fact or by convention) & de jure (meaning by law or by regulation) De facto standards have not been approved by an organised body but have been adopted as standards through widespread use. De Jure are those standards that have been legislated by an officially recognised body.


Forums. Many special-interest groups have developed forums made up of representatives from interested corporations. Forum work with univ. & users to test, evaluate and standardize new technologies. Regulatory Bodies. All comm. Tech. is subject to regulations by Govt. agencies such as Fedral comm commission in USA. The purpose of these agencies is to protect the public interest by regulating radio, TV, cable comm. The FCC has authority over interstate & international commerce as it relates to comm.