Networking fundamentals tutorial – introduction –


It is strange to talk about the 21’th century without mentioning the Internet and how does the Internet influence our lives in every way possible. The Internet is used today in almost every country, it has made our lives easier in many ways especially the way we communicate and the amount of information you can have access to. If we try to understand how does the Internet work or what exactly is the Internet without having any knowledge from where or how it evolved it is a little difficult to get the right picture. I will talk in the future posts in this category about the fundamentals of networking and every aspect that you need in order to have a whole picture of the Internet. It will be a full tutorial needed and I hope it will be helpful for many of you readers. I will start with the basics and slowly I will get to more complex things like routing or switching and even wan or wide area connections.
Internet is actually a collection of small networks interconnected that build a huge global network. There main aspects of a network are:
-the message that has to be transmitted
-the rules of how a message should be delivered
-the medium that the message crosses
-the devices that make up the network
In the following tutorials we will talk about components that make up a network and how each of them influence the behaviour of a network. I will use Ms Visio to draw network topologies so it’s crucial for you to know and understand each of the elements used. Underneath I will add an image with the most popular devices that make up a network and what each of them represent:

Network elements

The devices that form a network must be interconnected. Network connections can be either physical or wireless connections. There are two types of physical connections, cooper (carries electrical signals) and optical fibre (carries light signals). Typical physical connections are made with different types of cables like coaxial cable, UTP, optical fibre,twisted paired telephone wire and as wireless connections are made with the use of the microwave or infrared spectrum. Devices that make up the network were shown in the picture from above, they can be either a router or a switch or a computer. Protocols are rules created so that the network devices use them to have a standard in communication, without them the connectivity between devices cannot be possible. Protocols serve certain services like the HTTP (Hypertext Transport Protocol) serves the WWW (Word Wide Web), or SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) and POP (Post Office Protocol) serves the e-mail service. The message that has to be transmitted from one source to another is converted intro binary format and then it is transmitted for processing:

HTTP request

Fault Tolerant – a network has to be able to function even if a problem exist, this means that a network has to support redundancy. We will talk about this feature later.
Security – has to be able to protect itself by intrusions
Provide QoS (Quality of Service) – be able to transmit different services like voice, video, data etc.

Scalability – a network has to be able to expand quickly without disturbing the currently existing one
In this series, I will use some useful tools in order to simulate and to describe fundamentals of networking:
Cisco packet tracer software,
http://www.cisco.com/web/learning/netacad/course_catalog/PacketTracer.html
GNS3
http://www.gns3.net/
and Microsoft Visio 2010
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/hh973399.aspx

That’s it for our first post in networking fundamentals, I hope this introduction will make you understand the basics in networking and also what we are going to discuss in the following tutorials. For now have a nice day.

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