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History and the Development of Computer Networking

Started by Kalyan, Apr 24, 2008, 04:16 PM

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Kalyan

History and the Development of Computer Networking

Computer Networking (also see Computer Networks) is the engineering discipline concerned with communication between computer systems or devices. Networking, routers, routing protocols, and networking over the public Internet have their specifications defined in documents called RFCs.

Communicating computer systems constitute a computer network and these networks generally involve at least two devices capable of being networked with at least one usually being a computer. The devices can be separated by a few meters (e.g. via Bluetooth) or nearly unlimited distances (e.g. via the Internet). Computer networking is sometimes considered a sub-discipline of telecommunications, and sometimes of computer science, information technology and computer engineering. Computer networks rely heavily upon the theoretical and practical application of these scientific and engineering disciplines.

A computer network is any set of computers or devices connected to each other. Examples of networks are the Internet, or a small home local area network (LAN) with two computers connected with standard networking cables connecting to a network interface card in each computer. All modern aspects of the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) are computer-controlled, and telephony increasingly runs over the Internet Protocol, although not necessarily the public Internet.

Views of networks

Users and network administrators often have different views of their networks. Often, users that share printers and some servers form a workgroup, which usually means they are in the same geographic location and are on the same LAN. A community of interest has less of a connotation of being in a local area, and should be thought of as a set of arbitrarily located users who share a set of servers, and possibly also communicate via peer-to-peer technologies.

Network administrators see networks from both physical and logical perspectives. The physical perspective involves geographic locations, physical cabling, and the network elements (e.g., routers, bridges and application layer gateways that interconnect the physical media. Logical networks, called, in the TCP/IP architecture, subnets , map onto one or more physical media. For example, a common practice in a campus of buildings is to make a set of LAN cables in each building appear to be a common subnet, using virtual LAN (VLAN) technology.

Both users and administrators will be aware, to varying extents, of the trust and scope characteristics of a network. Again using TCP/IP architectural terminology, an intranet is a community of interest under common administration, usually in the same enterprise. An extranet creates a community of interest that spans multiple enterprises and usually involves multiple administrators, but is not accessible by arbitrary users of the public Internet.

Informally, the Internet is the set of users, enterprises,and content providers that are interconnected by Internet Service Providers (ISP). From an engineering standpoint, the Internet is the set of subnets, and aggregates of subnets, which share the registered IP address space and exchange information about the reachability of those IP addresses using the Border Gateway Protocol. Typically, the human-readable names of servers are translated to IP addresses, transparently to users, via the directory function of the Domain Name System (DNS).

Over the Internet, there can be business-to-business (B2B), business-to-consumer (B2C) and consumer-to-consumer (C2C) communications. Especially when money or sensitive information is exchanged, the communications are apt to be secured by some form of communications security mechanism. Intranets and extranets can be securely superimposed onto the Internet, without any access by general Internet users, using secure Virtual Private Network (VPN) technology.

History

Before the advent of computer networks that were based upon some type of telecommunications system, communication between calculation machines and early computers was performed by human users by carrying instructions between them. Many of the social behavior seen in today's Internet was demonstrably present in nineteenth-century telegraph networks, and arguably in even earlier networks using visual signals.

In September 1940 George Stibitz used a teletype machine to send instructions for a problem set from his Model K at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire to his Complex Number Calculator in New York and received results back by the same means. Linking output systems like teletypes to computers was an interest at the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) when, in 1962, J.C.R. Licklider was hired and developed a working group he called the "Intergalactic Network", a precursor to the ARPANet.

In 1964, researchers at Dartmouth developed the Dartmouth Time Sharing System for distributed users of large computer systems. The same year, at MIT, a research group supported by General Electric and Bell Labs used a computer (DEC's PDP-8) to route and manage telephone connections.

Throughout the 1960s Leonard Kleinrock, Paul Baran and Donald Davies independently conceptualized and developed network systems which used datagrams or packets that could be used in a packet switched network between computer systems.

The first widely used PSTN switch that used true computer control was the Western Electric 1ESS switch, introduced in 1965.

In 1969 the University of California at Los Angeles, SRI (in Stanford), University of California at Santa Barbara, and the University of Utah were connected as the beginning of the ARPANet network using 50 kbit/s circuits. Commercial services using X.25, an alternative architecture to the TCP/IP suite, were deployed in 1972.

Computer networks, and the technologies needed to connect and communicate through and between them, continue to drive computer hardware, software, and peripherals industries. This expansion is mirrored by growth in the numbers and types of users of networks from the researcher to the home user.

Today, computer networks are the core of modern communication. The scope of communication has increased significantly in the past decade and this boom in communications would not have been possible without the progressively advancing computer network.

Networking methods

Networking is a complex part of computing that makes up most of the IT Industry. Without networks, almost all communication in the world would cease to happen. It is because of networking that telephones, televisions, the internet, etc. work.

One way to categorize computer networks are by their geographic scope, although many real-world networks interconnect Local Area Networks (LAN) via Wide Area Networks (WAN). These two (broad) types are:

Local area network (LAN)

A local area network is a network that spans a relatively small space and provides services to a small amount of people. Depending on the amount of people that use a Local Area Network, a peer-to-peer or client-server method of networking may be used. A peer-to-peer network is where each client shares their resources with other workstations in the network. Examples of peer-to-peer networks are: Small office networks where resource use is minimal and a home network.

A client-server network is where every client is connected to the server and each other. Client-server networks use servers in different capacities. These can be classified into two types: Single-service servers, where the server performs one task such as file server, print server, etc.; while other servers can not only perform in the capacity of file servers and print servers, but they also conduct calculations and use these to provide information to clients (Web/Intranet Server).

Computers are linked via Ethernet Cable, can be joined either directly (one computer to another), or via a network hub that allows multiple connections.

Historically, LANs have featured much higher speeds than WANs. This is not necessarily the case when the WAN technology appears as Metro Ethernet, implemented over optical transmission systems.

Wide area network (WAN)

A wide area network is a network where a wide variety of resources are deployed across a large domestic area or internationally. An example of this is a multinational business that uses a WAN to interconnect their offices in different countries. The largest and best example of a WAN is the Internet, which is the largest network in the world. The PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) also is an extremely large network that is converging to use Internet technologies, although not necessarily through the public Internet.

A Wide Area Network involves communication through the use of a wide range of different technologies. These technologies include Point-to-Point WANs such as Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) and High-Level Data Link Control (HLDC), Frame Relay, ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) and Sonet (Synchronous Optical Network). The difference between the WAN technologies is based on the switching capabilities they perform and the speed at which sending and receiving bits of information (data) occur.

For more information on WANs, see Frame Relay, ATM and Sonet.

Wireless networks (WLAN, WWAN)

A wireless network is basically the same as a LAN or a WAN but there are no wires between hosts and servers. The data is transferred over sets of radio transceivers. These types of networks are beneficial when it is too costly or inconvenient to run the necessary cables. For more information, see Wireless LAN and Wireless wide area network

In order for communication to take place between computers, mediums must be used. These mediums include Protocols, Physical Routers and Ethernet, etc. This is covered by Open Systems Interconnection which comprises all the processes that make information transport possible.

The network topology defines the way in which computers, printers, and other devices are connected. A network topology describes the layout of the wire and devices as well as the paths used by data transmissions. Commonly referred to as a linear bus, all the devices on a bus topology are connected by one single cable.

Ominto

Nice posts. Keep posting such needed information. Thank's!

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