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What is the Computer Network?

A communication network is a set of nodes connected by links and able to communicate with one another. A computer network is a communication network in which nodes are computers.

Benefits of Computer Networks

Resource Sharing Hardware (computing resources, disks, printers) Software (application software) Information Sharing Easy accessibility from anywhere (files, databases) Search Capability (WWW) Communication Email Message broadcast

Problems with Computer Networks

Relaying of message over multiple communication links Sharing of communication links between many users Distributed control of the system

Networks Types Classification Based on Area and Ownership

Local Area Networks A LAN is a group of computers connected in small geographical area (a few kilometers) i.e. connect computers in an office building Privately owned LAN topologies-Bus, Star, Ring and Mesh Speed-100Mbps to 1Gbps Examples-Ethernet, Token Ring

Metropolitan Area Networks A MAN connects an area larger than a LAN (50km80km), such as a city, with dedicated or highperformance hardware i.e. coaxial cable, optic fibres Speed-1Gbps Privately owned or service provided by a telephone company

Wide Area Networks A WAN is a group of computers connected in large geographical area such as country

connect distant computers using microwaves, radio waves and fiber optic.
Costly hardware, routers, dedicated leased lines and complicated implementation procedures. Example: Internet - User using a telephone line to connect to an ISP (Internet Service Provider)

Network Topologies

Topology refers to the shape of a network, or the network's layout. How, different nodes in a network are connected to each other and how they communicate are determined by the network's topology.

The choice of topology is dependent upon

Type and number of equipments being used Cost

Network Topologies

Computer networks topologies

Bus Star Ring Mesh

Bus Topology

All devices are connected to a central cable, called the bus or backbone. Systems connect to this backbone using T connectors or taps

Bus Topology

Both ends of the network must be terminated with a terminator.

Bus Topology

The backbone functions as a shared communication medium Device wanting to communicate with another device on the network sends a message onto the backbone The message is heard by all stations, but only the intended recipient actually accepts and processes the message. Terminator absorbs frames at end of medium

Frame Transmission - Bus LAN

Station C want to transmit a frame to station A.

Bus Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages Simple, easy to use and construct Requires least amount of cable (less expensive)

Disadvantages A faulty cable will take the entire LAN down Difficult to troubleshoot Heavy network traffic can slow bus considerably Network disruption when computers are added or removed

Star Topology

Star Types

All computers/devices connect to a central device called hub or switch. Nodes communicate across the network by passing data through the central device Each device requires a single cable point-to-point connection between the device and hub. Most widely implemented Hub/Switch is the single point of failure

Star Advantages

Single computer failure doesnt bring down whole network Adding new devices to a Star network is very simple compared to any of the other topologies No disruptions to the network when connecting or removing devices. Centralized control i.e. Centralized network/hub monitoring Easy to troubleshoot

Star Disadvantages

If central device fails, the whole network fails Compared to the bus topology, a star network generally requires more cable More expensive than linear bus topologies because of the cost of the central device

Ring Topology

All devices are connected to one another in the shape of a closed loop, so that each device is connected directly to two other devices, one on either side of it. Data is passed one way from device to device.

Ring Topology

A short message (called a token) is circulated around the ring, being passed from station to station. The token originates from a controller or master station which inserts it onto the ring.

A station which wants to transmit waits for the token to arrive.

When the token arrives, the station changes it from a token to a connector message, and appends its message. This new message is then placed on the outgoing side of the ring.

Ring Topology

Each station passes on received tokens if they have nothing to transmit. They monitor connector messages to see if the message is addressed to them. If connector messages are addressed to them, they copy the message, modify it to signify its receipt, then send it on around the ring. Connector messages which are not addressed to them are passed directly on to the next station in the ring.

When the connector message travels full circle and arrives at the original sending station, it checks the message to see if it's been received. It then discards the message and replaces it with a token.

Frame Transmission - Ring LAN

Frame Transmission - Ring LAN

Frame Transmission - Ring LAN

Frame Transmission - Ring LAN

Ring Advantages and Disadvantages


Equal access for all users Perform well under heavy traffic


If one device/cable fails then the whole network goes down. Difficult to troubleshoot Adding/Removing computers disrupts the whole network

Mesh Topology

In a mesh topology each device/PC is connected to every other device/PC in the network by its own cable

Mesh Advantages and Disadvantages


Mesh topology boasts the highest fault tolerance of all of the network topologies The network can be expanded implementation without disruption to current uses


Because each connection needs its own cable a Mesh topology can get very expensive.

Complicated implementation

Communication modes


Data in a simplex channel is always one way. Simplex channels are not often used because it is not possible to send back error or control signals to the transmit end. An example of a simplex channel in a computer system is the interface between the keyboard and the computer, in that key codes need only be sent one way from the keyboard to the computer system. Example Keyboard, Monitor

Half Duplex

A half duplex channel can send and receive, but not at the same time. Its like a one-lane bridge where two way traffic must give way in order to cross. Only one end transmits at a time, the other end receives. Example Walkie-Talkie

Full Duplex

Data can travel in both directions simultaneously. There is no need to switch from transmit to receive mode like in half duplex. Its like a two lane bridge on a two-lane highway. Example Telephone network

OSI Layer Model

Network Protocols

Define format and order of messages sent and received among network entities, and actions taken on message transmission and receipt Govern all communication activities in a network control sending and receiving of messages Examples - TCP, IP, HTTP, FTP, MPEG

ISO - Organization for Standardization.

International standards organisation is responsible for a wide range of standards, including many that are relevant to computer networking. In 1984 , the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) Reference Model was approved as an international standard for communications architecture.

OSI - Open Systems Interconnection

Developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Seven layers - Application - Data link - Presentation - Physical - Session - Transport - Network

OSI - The Model

Layered Architecture Peer to Peer Process Interface between Layers Organization of the Layers ---------------------------------------------------------- Each layer performs a subset of the required communication functions Layer 1,2,3-Network support layer Layer 5,6,7-User Support Layer Layer 4-Links the two subgroups.

Layered Architecture
Layer architecture simplifies the network design. It is easy to debug network applications in a layered architecture network. The network management is easier due to the layered architecture.

The OSI model describes how information or data makes its way from application (such as spreadsheets) through a network medium (such as wire) to another application located on another network. The OSI reference model divides the problem of moving information between computers over a network medium into SEVEN smaller and more manageable problems . This separation into smaller more manageable functions is known as layering.

Layering Characteristics
Each layer relies on services from layer below and exports services to layer above Interface defines interaction Hides implementation - layers can change without disturbing other layers (black box)

Peer-to-Peer Communication

Network Architecture of OSI Model

OSI Model: 7 Protocol Layers

Physical: how to transmit bits Data link: how to transmit frames Network: how to route packets Transport: how to send packets end2end Session: how to tie flows together Presentation: byte ordering, security Application: everything else

OSI Layers and Locations

Application Presentation Session Transport Network Data Link Physical Host Switch Router Host


Application Layer


The top layer of the OSI model Provides a set of interfaces for sending and receiving applications to gain access to and use network services, such as: networked file transfer, message handling and database query processing Examples of application layer protocols: Telnet SMTP FTP SNMP

Application Layer.

Presentation Layer.

The presentation layer ensures that the information that the application layer of one system sends out is readable by the application layer of another system. The major duties of the presentation layer are: Format conversion: Convert message from one format into another format . Compression. Compress the message to take less bandwidth on the transmission media and less time for transmission. Encryption: Convert the message into a form that will not be readable by others. Provides security to the message. Protocols of the presentation layer are JPEG, MPEG, ASCII etc.

Presentation Layer.

Session Layer.

Enables two networked resources to hold ongoing communications (called a session) across a network Applications on either end of the session are able to exchange data for the duration of the session This layer is:

- Responsible for initiating, maintaining and terminating sessions - Responsible for security and access control to session information (via session participant identification) - Responsible for synchronization services, and for data checkpoint services - Responsible for Dialog control Session layer determines that which role is to be played at any given time by a host. Duplex: Two-way simultaneous. Half-Duplex: Two-way alternate. Simplex: One-way. Session layer protocols are SQL, ASP (AppleTalk Session Protocol), Remote Procedure Call (RPC), SSH

Session Layer.

Transport Layer (End-to- End)

The transport layer is responsible for process-to-process delivery of the entire message. The major duties performed by the transport layer are: Port address 16 bits - Computers often running several processes (running programs) at the same time Segmentation and reassembly - A message received form the upper layers is divided into transmittable segments, each segment contains a sequence number. - These number enables the transport layer to reassemble the message correctly upon arrival at the destination and to identify and replace packets that were lost in the transmission.

Transport Layer
Connection Control - The transport layer can be either connectionless or connection oriented. - Connection Oriented - Provides acknowledgements of successful transmissions and requests resends for packets which arrive with errors - Connectionless service no guarantee on the order of the messages (possibly with some errors) Flow-control Error control Multiplexes several low rate transmissions with different Service Access Points (SAPs) onto one virtual circuit

The PDU of network layer is segment

Transport layer protocols TCP, UDP

Transport Layer.

Reliable Process-to-Process Delivery.

Network Layer.

The network layer is responsible for the source -to-destination delivery of a packet possibly across multiple networks. If two systems are connected to the same link, there is usually no need for a network layer. However, if the two systems are attached to different networks with connecting devices between the networks, there is need for the network layer to accomplish the delivery.

Network Layer.
The major duties performed by the network layer are:

Logical addressing

Logical address is also called IP address which is of 32bits and represented in decimal format. To route the packets from the source to destination in an internetwork, the router uses network layer information.


The PDU of network layer is packet. Network layer protocols are IP, IPX, AppleTalk.

Network Layer.

Network Layer.

Data Link Layer.

The data link layer is responsible for moving frames from one hop (node) to the next. The major duties of the data link layer are: Framing Physical addressing Physical address is the MAC address, which is hard coded into NIC and is of 48-bit represented by Hexadecimal format. 00.27.AB.CC.EE.23 00.27.AB-Vendor CC.EE.23-User Flow control Error Control Access Control

Data Link layer protocols are CSMA/CD, CSMA/CA, HDLC

Data Link Layer.

Data Link divided into two sub layers

- Medium Access Control- MAC address will be

- Logical Link Control - CRC will be added

Data Link Layer.

Data Link Layer

OSI Layers (1)


Bottommost layer Uses synchronization bits to synchronize the receiver Specify the modulation scheme The physical layer defines the transmission rate, the number of bits sent each second.

Physical Layer


As the data flows down through the layers in the hierarchy, each layer adds some extra information to the data in the form of headers or tailors. This process of wrapping data with headers and tailors is called encapsulation.

Path of a Webpage Request and Encapsulation

Summary of the Layers.