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a. BASICS OF NETWORKING | CCNA Basics

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NETWORKING
August 1, 2012

1.1 Internetworking basics


INTERNETWORKING BASICS
What is a network?
A network is a group of two or more computer systems linked together
by some kind of transmission media i.e., cables.
Before the advent of networks, computers used to share data by copying
it to a disk and then transferring data to another computer.
Method of sharing data by copying it to a disk and carrying it from
computer to computer is called SNEAKERNET.

If a computer is not connected to a network, it is called STANDALONE COMPUTER.


Why do we need a network?
We need a network for 2 major reasons:
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1. Data sharing: to exchange information from one PC to another.


2. Resource sharing: to share data along with devices.

You must have seen in our college, there is one administration department. This department has 5 PCs
(say). All the PCs can share information among each other. This is data sharing. But you must have
also noticed that each PC does not have a separate printer. There is only one printer for all 5 PCs. Thus
they share a common device as well. As the department can share data as well as a device, this is called
resource sharing.
DATA SHARING allows groups of users to:
Exchange Information
Route data from user to user
Use E-mail to communicate
RESOURCE SHARING allows sharing peripheral devices such as:
Printers
Scanners
Fax
LOCAL AND REMOTE COMPUTERS
Local Computer: Computer on which a user is working
Remote Computer: Computer which a user controls or works on via a network connection
NETWORK TERMINOLOGIES: SOME IMPORTANT TERMS
NODE: anything device connected to a network is called a node. It may be a computer, printer or a
CD-ROM.
SEGMENT: the portion of the network separated by a switch or bridge or a router from other parts of
network is called a segment
BACKBONE: it is the main cabling of network that all segments connect to. It carries more
information that individual segments.

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TOPOLOGY: the computers can be connected in different ways. Various ways of connecting
computers together is called topology.
UNICAST: in unicast, communication is from a single host to another single host. There is one device
transmitting a message destined for one receiver. Example:

MULTICAST: it is a special protocol for use with IP. Multicast enables a single device to communicate
with a specific set of hosts. Example:

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Multicast resembles a conference call. Anyone from anywhere can join the conference, and everyone at
the conference hears what the speaker has to say. The speakers message isnt broadcasted everywhere,
but only to those in the conference call itself.
BROADCAST: Broadcast is when a single device is transmitting a message to all other devices in a
given address range. This broadcast could reach all hosts on the network. Example:

WORKSTATION: a workstation is generally an intelligent machine that can function without the help
of a network. Dumb Terminals and printers are not workstations as they always need to be connected
to a PC and cannot work without them.
PROTOCOL: It is a set of rules that governs the communication between computers in network.
SERVER: any machine (PC) sharing information with another machine is called a server.
CLIENT: any machine receiving information from the server and making use of it is called a client.
PACKET: a packet is the smallest chuck of data transmitted on a network.
Large files are segmented (broken into smaller pieces) and a trailer and header are attached.
Header: Contains information needed to get the packet from source to the destination.
Trailer: Contains techniques ensuring that errors do not occur during transmission.

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Packet structure: a packet consists of 3 parts:


Header
Data section
Trailer

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Function of packets in network communication:


Networks split data into packets because Large units of data sent across a network hamper effective
communications by saturating the network and networks can be unreliable
Packets provide more reliable data delivery and ease network traffic.
If errors occur during transmission, the receiving computer can request that only the packet with
errors be resent.
SOME IMPORTANT TERMS
ADDRESS RESOLUTION PROTOCOL (ARP)- ARP stands for address resolution protocol. It is
used to transform an IP address to its corresponding physical network address.
It is at the lower levels of networking protocol (layer 2 of OSI model) and it is usually run in the device
drivers of the network OS.
ARP is generally seen on Ethernet networks and on physical networks.
To setup ARP on an Ethernet network, the hardware present will be given a physical MAC address,
which will always be unique (6 bytes), this is essential to ensure delivery of the messages efficiently. The
sending devices will thus have to first find out the MAC address through the IP address (These IP-toMAC address mappings are derived from an ARP cache maintained on each device).
If an IP address is not given the device will have to get a new mapping before it is able to send
messages to a target. To get a new mapping the sending device will use the local subnet to send an
ARP request broadcast message. The IP address to which the message was sent will respond by the host
offering a reply which will allow the sending device to update its cache and continue to send messages
to the intended target.
Reverse ARP (RARP): it can be used by a host to discover its IP address. In this case, the host
broadcasts its physical address and a RARP server replies with the hosts IP address.
Proxy ARP: ARP works on LAN. It cannot communicate in different networks. If a PC in one network
sends a packet to a PC in other network, in that case, the router or gateway replies and not the
destination PC.
Proxy ARP is a technique by which a device on a given network answers the ARP queries for a network
address that is not on that network. The ARP Proxy is aware of the location of the traffics destination,
and offers its own MAC address in reply, effectively saying, send it to me, and Ill get it to where it
needs to go. Serving as an ARP Proxy for another host effectively directs LAN traffic to the Proxy. The
captured traffic is then typically routed by the Proxy to the intended destination via another
interface.
Gratuitous ARP: A gratuitous ARP is an ARP broadcast-type of packet that is used to make sure that
no other device on the network has the same IP address as the sending device. You should only see
gratuitous ARP requests going out; if you see a gratuitous ARP reply, that means another computer on
the network has the same your IP address.
ARP, a very simple protocol, consists of merely four basic message types:
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1. An ARP Request. Computer A asks the network, Who has this IP address?
2. An ARP Reply. Computer B tells Computer A, I have that IP. My MAC address is [whatever it
is].
3. A Reverse ARP Request (RARP). Same concept as ARP Request, but Computer A asks, Who
has this MAC address?
4. A RARP Reply. Computer B tells Computer A, I have that MAC. My IP address is [whatever it
is]
All network devices have an ARP table, a short-term memory of all the IP addresses and MAC
addresses the device has already matched together. The ARP table ensures that the device doesnt have
to repeat ARP Requests for devices it has already communicated with.

MEDIA ACCESS CONTROL ADDRESS (MAC ADDRESS): The MAC address is a unique value
associated with a network adapter (http://compnetworking.about.com/library/glossary/bldefadapter.htm). MAC addresses are also known as hardware addresses or physical addresses. They
uniquely identify an adapter on a LAN (http://compnetworking.about.com/library/glossary/bldeflan.htm).
MAC addresses are 12-digit hexadecimal numbers (48 bits in length). By convention, MAC addresses
are usually written in one of the following two formats:
MM:MM:MM:SS:SS:SS or MM-MM-MM-SS-SS-SS
The first half of a MAC address contains the ID number of the adapter manufacturer. These IDs are
regulated by an Internet standards body (ISBs). The second half of a MAC address represents the serial
number assigned to the adapter by the manufacturer.

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MAC address is burned into ROM on a network interface card (NIC). TCP/IP and other mainstream
networking architectures generally adopt the OSI model
(http://compnetworking.about.com/library/glossary/bldef-osi.htm). In this model, network
functionality is subdivided into layers: MAC addresses function at the data link layer (layer 2 in the
OSI model). They allow computers to uniquely identify themselves on a network at this relatively low
level.

MAC vs. IP Addressing


Whereas MAC addressing works at the data link layer, IP addressing functions at the network layer
(layer 3). One can think of IP addressing as supporting the software implementation and MAC
addresses as supporting the hardware implementation of the network stack. The MAC address
generally remains fixed and follows the network device, but the IP address changes as the network
device moves from one network to another.
IP networks maintain a mapping between the IP address of a device and its MAC address. This
mapping is known as the ARP cache or ARP table. ARP, the Address Resolution Protocol
(http://compnetworking.about.com/library/glossary/bldef-arp.htm), supports the logic for obtaining
this mapping and keeping the cache up to date.
DHCP (http://compnetworking.about.com/library/glossary/bldef-dhcp.htm) also usually relies on
MAC addresses to manage the unique assignment of IP addresses to devices.
MAC addresses provide end to end communication i.e., information is delivered from one network to
other and not from one device to another.
NIC: NIC Stands for Network Interface card. It is a computer network device that is used for the data
communication and to connect the computers with each other. It is plugged inside the computer either
in the PCI slot or it is built-in the motherboard.
A twisted pair UTP/STP with RJ45 connector is used to connect the computer with the Hub or Switch.
Fiber optic cable can also be used to connect the computer with the hub or switch.
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A NIC can be wired or wireless and it has digital circuitry and microprocessor. A wireless NIC is used
to connect the computers with each other wirelessly. There are different vendors of the NIC such as DLink, 3Com, Intel etc.
Before buying and installing a network interface card in your computer make sure that it is compatible
with the other network devices. NIC card operates on the Data Link and physical layer of the OSI
layers model.
For every computer in a network, it is required to have a NIC to communicate with other computers.
Every NIC has unique MAC address and no two NIC cards from two different vendors can have the
same MAC address. NIC has twisted pair, BNC and AUI sockets. The one end of the network cable is
used to connect with the NIC and the other end is used to connect with the hub or switch.
NIC provides the fulltime connectivity for the data transmission. Sometimes computers do not
communicate with each other due to the malfunctioning of the NIC. The network interface cards
problems can be resolved with the following tips.
Make sure that you have the updated and correct version of the LAN cards driver.
Ensure that the LEDs of the NIC are working properly.
Check that the network cable is properly connected at both ends.
Right click on the network status icon on the right bottom of the desktop and click repair.
Ensure that the TCP/IP settings are accurate.
Disable the antivirus and firewall.
If the problem still persists then try to replace the NIC with a new one.
Hub or a switch in a computer network acts as a relay that passes the information from one computer
to another. It is important that the LAN card is compatible with the hub or switch to make the data
flow faster to avoid the packet loss and network congestion.

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August 1, 2012

1.2 Network Topologies


NETWORK TOPOLOGY: a topology is the way of laying out the network. It is of 2 types:
Physical topology
Logical topology

PHYSICAL TOPOLOGY: It tells the physical arrangement of the nodes in a network. There are 5

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PHYSICAL TOPOLOGY: It tells the physical arrangement of the nodes in a network. There are 5
major physical topologies:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Bus
Star
Ring
Mesh
Hybrid

LOGICAL TOPOLOGY: it tells how the message travels in the network. There are 3 major ways of
data travelling in a network:
1. Ethernet
2. Token ring
3. FDDI
PHYSICAL TOPOLGY:
BUS TOPOLOGY:
In the bus topology, the network nodes (computers, printers, and other devices connected together
to share information) are connected to a common backbone cable. Ends of backbone cable are
terminated with a resistor.

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Data is sent to all computers on the network. Each computer examines EVERY packet on the wire
to determine who the packet is for and accepts only messages addressed to them.
Example: in the figure shown above, if laptop computer sends message for laser printer, the packets
header will have the address of laser printer. The packet will circulate to all devices through the
backbone. All the devices will receive the packet but since the packets header has address of laser
printer, only laser printer will accept the packet and other devices will reject it.
Advantages of bus topology:
Works well for small networks (fewer than 10 devices).
Inexpensive to implement on a small scale.
Requires less cable.
Easy to add another workstation.
Disadvantages of bus topology:
Management costs often too high.
Subject to congestion from network traffic.
Adding more computers to the network degrades the performance.
Only one node can transfer data at a time.
STAR TOPOLOGY: The star topology is a network configured with a central hub and individual
cable segments connected to the hub, resembling the shape of a star as shown in figure below.

A hub is a central device used in the star topology that joins single cable segments or individual LANs
into one network. Hub takes signal that comes from any node and passes it along to all other nodes in
the network.
Logically, star topology is a bus topology because here also the message is carried to all devices but the
device whose address matches the headers address accepts the packet while others reject it.
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Advantages of star topology:


Easier to manage than a bus.
Easier to locate node and cable problems.
Well suited for expansion into high-speed networking.
More equipment options.
Disadvantages of star topology:
Susceptible to a single point of failure.
Requires more network cable at the start than a bus.
RING TOPOLOGY: A ring topology is a network in the shape of a ring or circle, with nodes
connected around the ring as shown in figure below.

In the figure above, you have been shown a dual ring. A dual ring allows data to be sent in both
directions. Devices may be connected via single ring too. A single ring allows the data to be sent in one
direction only.
A frame travels round the ring, stopping at each node. If a node wants to transmit data, it adds data
and destination address to the frame. The frame continues travelling round the ring until it finds the
destination node which takes data out of the frame.
Advantages of ring topology:
Easier to manage than a bus.
Easier to locate node and cable problems.
Good over long distances.
Handles high-volume traffic well.
Very reliable.

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Disadvantages of ring topology:


Requires more network cable and equipment at the start than a bus.
Not as widely used as the bus topology.
Mesh topology: it connects all nodes to each other for redundancy and fault tolerance. It is used in
WANs to interconnect LANs.

Main features of mesh topology are:


Every device interconnected.
Most expensive.
Most Fault tolerant.
Cable fault tolerant.
Device fault tolerant.
The Internet is Mesh Topology.
Hybrid topology: it is a mixture of any 2 topologies. The figure below shows a bus-star topology.

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LOGICAL TOPOLOGY:
Ethernet: Ethernet is the most popular network architecture. It can be configured in a star or bus
topology.
In a star topology, all devices are connected to a central device. This device is usually a hub or
switch.
In a bus topology, each computer is connected to a single cable or a backbone.

HOW ETHERNET TRANSMITS DATA?


Ethernet communication steps:
1. The device will first listen to the media to determine if some other device on the network is
transmitting.
2. If no device is transmitting, then it can start transmitting.
3. While transmitting, the device will continue listening for other devices trying to transmit.
4. If it detects another device transmitting, it will signal a COLLISION.
5. If collision occurs both devices will stop transmitting, wait a random amount of time and start back
at step 1.
The Ethernet uses a protocol called CSMA/CD to transmit data.
CSMA/CD is Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detect. The meaning of this protocol is:
Carrier Sense The device must check the media to see if its free i.e., no other device is transmitting
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data.
Multiple Access check that more than one device is attached to the network.
Collision detect The ability to detect and respond to collisions.
TOKEN RING: we studied in ring topology that a frame circulates along the devices to deliver the
packet. Similarly, here a token Ring network uses a token (that is, a special signal) to control access to
the cable.

The Token is a special packet of data that floats around the network. The token can travel in either
direction around the ring, but only in one direction at a time carrying data.

Token ring communication steps:


1. As the Token passes a device, it can check to see if the Token is free.
2. If it is free, the device can attach its data.
3. The Token will then pass from device to devices. Each device will look at the data to determine if it
was meant for them.
4. When the destination device gets the Token, it strips off the data and attaches a reply to the Token
and sends it out.
5. The original sender strips off the reply and sends out the free Token.
FDDI: FDDI is Fiber Distributed Data Interface.

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Although FDDI normally uses fiber optic cable it can use UTP (unshielded twisted pair cable) as well.
Because of the cost, FDDI is usually used to connect LANs together and not devices. FDDI works very
much like Token Ring. However, FDDI allows multiple users to attach data to the Token.

FDDI is sometimes called Dual-Counter Rotating Rings. It uses the concept of dual ring we discussed in
ring topology. There are two pieces of fiber that carry data in opposite directions. One ring is called the
Primary the other the Secondary. Most data gets transmitted on the primary ring. The secondary ring
is usually reserved for system maintenance and if there is a failure of the primary ring. If one ring
breaks, any device can switch data from one ring to the other. This causes the data to travel in the
opposite direction.
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August 1, 2012

1.3 Network Classification


NETWORK CLASSIFICATION
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Based upon the size or range of the network, it has been classified into 3 major categories:
1. LAN: Local Area Network
2. WAN: Wide Area Network
3. MAN: Metropolitan Area Network
LOCAL AREA NETWORK:
A group of computers that share a common connection and are usually in a small area or even in the
same building use LAN. For example an office or home network. They are usually connected by
Ethernet cables and have high speed connections.
If it was a wireless setup it would be called a WLAN, which would have a lower connection speed.
WIDE AREA NETWORK:
This is the largest network and can interconnect networks throughout the world and is not restricted to
a geographical location. The Internet is an example of a worldwide public WAN. Most WANs exist to
connect LANs that are not in the same geographical area. This technology is high speed and very
expensive to setup.
METROPILITAN AREA NETWORK:
This is a larger network that connects computer users in a particular geographic area or region. For
example a large university may have a network so large that it may be classified as a MAN. The MAN
network usually exists to provide connectivity to 2 or more LANs. It is far larger than a LAN and
smaller than a WAN.
HOW TO SELECT WHICH NETWORK TO USE?
To build a network, following factors need to be discussed to decide the software and
hardware requirements.
Network model
Network topology
Network protocol
NETWORK MODEL: there are 2 types of network models
Peer to peer model
Client-server
PEER TO PEER NETWORK MODEL: it is also called P2P network model. P2P networking allows
computers to communicate directly with one another rather than through a central server. Any
computer can start information sharing process.
Every computer on a peer-to-peer network can function as both a server and a client

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CLIENT-SERVER NETWORK MODEL:


in this network model, any PC cannot act as server and clients like peer to peer networking.
There is one server which provides information.

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In the figure above, all 5 PCs are clients and they can communicate with each other only through the
server.
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