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Basic definition

a. a computer network?
b. data communications?
c. telecommunications?
d. a local area network?
e. a personal area network?
f. a metropolitan area network
g. a wide area network?
f. network management?
Computer network: interconnection of computers and computing equipment using either
wires or radio waves over small or large geographic areas.
Data communications: transfer of digital or analog data using digital or analog signals.
Usually the lower two or three layers of the OSI model.
Telecommunications: study of telephones and the systems that transmit telephone signals.
Many variations here – some refer to telecommunications as the study of all
communication systems.
Local area network: networks that are small in geographic size spanning a room, a
building, or a campus.
Personal area network: networks that are a few meters in size and use wireless
communication between laptops, PDAs, music devices, etc.
Metropolitan area network: networks encompassing a metropolitan area and are based on
high-speed, fiber-based transmissions.
Wide area network: large networks encompassing parts of states, multiple states,
countries, and the world.
Network management: design, installation, and support of a network and its hardware and
software.
2. What is the relationship between a subnet and a node?
Subnet (the old definition) is composed of nodes and communication links.
3. What kind of applications might use a computer terminal to mainframe computer
connection?
Service industry, retail industry.
4. What kind of applications might use a microcomputer to mainframe computer
connection?
Many businesses support microcomputer to mainframe connections such as colleges and
universities.
5. What language does a microcomputer have to talk to interface to the Internet?
Some form of TCP/IP.
6. What kind of applications might use a sensor to local area network connection?
Assembly line.
7. Why is a network architecture model useful?
Allows for compatibility between products and allows products to interoperate.
8. List the seven layers of the OSI model.
Physical, data link, network, transport, session, presentation, application.
9. List the four layers of the Internet model.
Interface, network, transport, application.
10. How do the layers of the OSI model compare with the layers of the Internet model?
The interface layer covers OSI physical and data link layers; Internet application layer
covers OSI presentation and application layers; no session layer in Internet; other layers
similar between two models.
11. What are some of the more common applications found in the Internet model?
FTP, Telnet, mail, web browsing.
12. What is the difference between a logical connection and a physical connection?
Logical connection exists in software but physical connection is a communication link.
Suggested Solutions to Exercises
1. Create a list of all the things you do in an average day that use data communications
and computer networks.
Answers will vary. Could include riding mass transit, driving on highway, 24-hour
banking withdrawal, work on homework on computer, and check your e-mail.
2. If you could design your own home, what kinds of computer network or data
communications labor-saving devices would you incorporate?
Answers will vary. Could include alarms, remote control of appliances, remote
monitoring of windows and doors, indoor and outdoor video surveillance, motion
sensors, and distributed video and music systems.
3. Two companies consider pooling resources to perform a joint venture. The CEO of the
first company meets with his legal team, and the legal team consults a number of middle
managers in the proposed product area. Meanwhile, the CEO of the first company sends
an email to the CEO of the second company to offer a couple suggestions concerning the
joint venture. Does this scenario follow the OSI model? Explain.
No, this does not follow the OSI model. Upper layers do not communicate directly. All
physical communications proceed only through the lowest layer.
4. Using a laptop computer with a wireless connection into the company’s local area
network, you download a Web page from the Internet. List all the different network
configurations involved in this operation.
Possible answers might include:
Laptop to receiving antenna – wireless configuration
Receiving antenna to local area network – microcomputer to LAN configuration
Corporate network connections – LAN to LAN configuration
Corporate connection to Internet – LAN to WAN configuration
5. You are working from home using a microcomputer, a dial-up modem, and a telephone
connection to the Internet. Your company is connected to the Internet and has both local
area networks and a mainframe computer. List all the different network configurations
involved in this operation.
Microcomputer-to-wide area network (Internet)
Wide area network-to-local area network
Local area network-to-local area network
Local area network-to-mainframe
6. Someone decided that seven layers in the OSI model is too much. You have been
asked to reduce the number to four layers. Which layers would you eliminate? Of those
layers eliminated, should the functions provided by those layers be placed in some other
layers? If yes, which layers?
Answers may vary. Session layer would be a good candidate for removal. Could
incorporate presentation layer elsewhere. Could combine physical and data link layers
like Internet model.
7. If the data link layer provides error checking, and the transport layer provides error
checking, isn’t this redundant? Explain.
No. The data link layer performs the error checking when the data arrives at the next
computer on the transmission path. The transport layer performs the error checking only
when the data arrives at the final destination machine.
8. Similarly, the data link layer provides flow control, and the transport layer provides
flow control. Are these different forms of flow control? Explain.
Yes. Data link layer flow control is between devices or nodes. Transport layer flow
control is between sender and receiver (the two ends of the connection)
9. You are watching a television show and somebody is suing somebody else. The
lawyers for both parties meet and try to work out a settlement. Is there a logical or
physical connection between the lawyers? What about between the two parties?
Physical between the lawyers but logical between the two parties.
10. You want to download a file from a remote site using the File Transfer Protocol
(FTP). To perform the file transfer, your computer issues a Get File command. Show the
progression of messages as the Get File command moves from your computer, through
routers, into the remote computer, and back.
Answer should be very similar to Figure 1-19. Replace “Get Web Page” in application
layer with “Get File” and at all other similar points.
11. What characteristics separate a personal area network from other types of
networks?
Short distances
Primarily wireless
12. Isn’t a metropolitan area network just a big local area network? Explain.
Maybe not. Fiber is used extensively on MANs. LANs are usually broadcast networks
while MANs are not. MANs can usually recover very quickly from failures.
13. List the OSI layer that performs each of the following functions:
a. data compression
b. multiplexing
c. routing
d. definition of a signal’s electrical characteristics
e. error detection
f. end-to-end flow control
Presentation, physical and transport, network, physical, data link and transport, transport
14. For each of the functions described in the previous exercise, list the Internet
layer that performs that function.
Application, interface and transport, network, interface, interface and transport, transport
Data Communication

1. Why is twisted pair wire called twisted pair?


Very often contains one or more pairs of wires and they are twisted around each other.
2. How does crosstalk occur in twisted pair wire?
Electromagnetic radiation is emitted from one wire which is picked up by a second wire.
3. What are Category 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 twisted pair wire used for?
Cat 1: telephone lines; Cat 2: T-1 and ISDN; Cat 3, 4 and 5: LANs.
4. What are the advantages and disadvantages of shielded twisted pair?
Advantages: provides better level of isolation from noise.
Disadvantages: cost.
5. What is the primary advantage of coaxial cable compared to twisted pair?
Can carry a signal or signals with a wide range of frequencies. Less noise.
6. What is the difference between baseband coaxial and broadband coaxial cable?
Baseband: digital signals; Broadband: analog signals.
7. Why is fiber optic cable immune to electromagnetic interference?
Cable is made of glass.
8. What are the advantages and disadvantages of fiber optic cable?
Advantages: High speeds, long distances, low noise.
Disadvantages: cost.
9. What are the different costs of a conducted media?
Initial cable costs, costs of supporting devices, and maintenance costs.
10. What is the difference between data transmission speed and propagation speed?
Data transmission speed is the time between successive bits; propagation speed is the
time for one bit to traverse from one end of the medium to the other end.
11. What is the difference between terrestrial microwave and satellite microwave?
Terrestrial is land based; satellite is not.
12. What is an average distance for transmitting terrestrial microwave?
Line of sight which is roughly 20-25 miles depending upon intervening obstacles.
13. What kind of objects can interfere with terrestrial microwave transmissions?
Trees, mountains, buildings, bad weather.
14. List a few common applications for terrestrial microwave.
Long haul telecommunications and building-to-building communications.
15. What are the three orbit levels for satellite systems?
LEO, MEO, GEO.
16. List a few common application areas for each orbit level satellite system.
LEO: mobile phones, pagers.
MEO: GPS systems.
GEO: cable and direct television.
17. What is the sequence of events when placing a call from a cellular telephone?
Phone turned on, phone locates nearest tower, phone number dialed, tower passes phone
number to MTSO, MTSO checks account, phone number passed to central office (if
necessary), connection established.
18. What is the function of a mobile telephone switching office?
Handles all mobile telephone calls, assigns channels, makes connections, performs
billing.
19. What is the primary difference between AMPS and D-AMPS cellular systems?
AMPS: older analog system.
D-AMPS: newer digital features added onto AMPS.
20. What is the primary difference between AMPS (or D-AMPS) cellular systems and the
newer PCS mobile telephones?
PCS is all digital.
21. What are the three competing technologies used in PCS mobile telephones?
CDMA, TDMA, GSM.
22. What is a hybrid mobile telephone?
Can support multiple technologies.
23. With what system does CDPD share its frequencies?
Cellular telephone system.
24. What is a common application area of CDPD?
Data transfer for police and emergency services.
25. Which of the following are true concerning pagers:
a. they transmit in one direction only
b. they transmit in two directions
Both types of pages exist.
26. Infrared transmission can be used for which type of applications?
Short distance device-to-device data transfer.
27. Broadband wireless service supports what kind of applications?
Most popular right now is Internet access.
28. What are the main advantages and disadvantages of Bluetooth?
Advantages: High speed, goes through non-metal objects, can support multiple
simultaneous transmissions.
Disadvantages: Short range.
29. List three possible application areas of Bluetooth.
Wireless computer systems; wireless stereo headsets; PDA to laptop to workstation
transmissions; remote entry systems
30. What are the main advantages and disadvantages of WAP?
Advantages: Access to Internet via handheld device.
Disadvantages: Speed?; size of display.

Telecommunication

1. Table 3-3 shows Category 1 wire transmitting a signal for 2-3 miles but Category
5 for only 100 meters (328 feet). Is Category 1 the best wire for long distance
transmissions? Explain.
No. Cat 1 can go 2-3 miles but only at very low data transfer rates.
2. List three different examples of crosstalk that don’t involve wires and electric
signals. (Hint: look around you.)
Hearing the students or instructor in the next classroom. Hearing traffic on the road
outside. Many separate conversations in the same room.
3. What characteristics of Category 5/5e unshielded twisted pair make it the most
commonly found conducted wire?
High data rate, low cost, flexibility, easy to work with.
4. Can you transmit a video signal over twisted pair wire? Explain. Be sure to
consider multiple scenarios.
More than likely you can but noise is going to be a serious factor. The signal may be very
fuzzy or distorted, making it impractical.
5. The local cable TV company is considering removing all the coaxial cable and
replacing it with fiber optic cable. List the advantages and disadvantages of this
plan.
Higher data rates, more channels, less noise.
6. The local cable TV company has changed its mind. It is now going to replace all
the existing coaxial cable with unshielded twisted pair. List the advantages and
disadvantages of this plan.
Bad choice – too much noise.
7. Terrestrial microwave is a line-of-sight transmission. What sort of objects are tall
enough to interfere with terrestrial microwave?
Buildings, trees and mountains.
8. Your company has two offices located approximately one mile apart. There is a
need to transfer data between the two offices at speeds up to 100 Mbps. List as many
solutions as possible to interconnect the two buildings. Is each solution technically
feasible? Financially feasible? Defend your position.
Cat 5/5e/6, coaxial cable : won’t support 100 Mbps for one mile.
Fiber optic: may support 100 Mbps for one mile but do you have the right of way?
Microwave: may work, but are there buildings in the way?
Satellite: too expensive.
Bluetooth: too far.
9. Given that a satellite signal travels at the speed of light, exactly how long does it
take for a signal to go from the earth to a satellite in geosynchronous orbit and back
to earth?
22,300 miles / 186,428 miles per second = 0.12 seconds times 2
10. How long does it take a signal to reach a satellite in low earth orbit?
500 miles (average) / 186,428 miles per second = 0.0027 seconds times 2
11. You are walking down the street and your cell phone rings. What was the
sequence of events that allowed a person with a conventional telephone to call you
on your cellular telephone?
Your cell phone must be turned on, which means the system recognizes what cell you are
currently in. Someone places a call, it goes to the mobile switching office, the call goes to
the cell you are in and your cell phone rings.
12. Which of the wireless technologies can transmit through solid objects? Which
wireless technologies cannot?
Bluetooth, WAP, LMDS, MMDS
Microwave, satellite, infrared
13. You are talking on your mobile telephone as you pass from one cell to another.
Will your mobile telephone use the same set of frequencies in the new cell as it was
using in the previous cell? Explain.
No. Each cell uses a different set of frequencies. The cell phone system will hand off
your call to the next cell.
14. Why do mobile telephone systems only need seven sets of frequencies in a
metropolitan area?
The market is divided into cells that appear somewhat like a honeycomb pattern. It is
common to reuse seven sets of frequencies.
15. What is one potentially serious problem with using your personal digital
assistant and Bluetooth to unlock doors wirelessly?
What happens if you lose your device?
16. There is a company in your community that is starting to offer an MMDS
service for Internet access. The company promises 2 Mbps downloads. If the
company predicts that this new service will generate 2000 customers, what is the
bandwidth necessary to support this service?
How many users do you anticipate will use the service simultaneously? What type of
encoding is being used? Multiply the number of simultaneous users by 2 Mbps by the
encoding technique.
17. A T-1 service offered by voice and data communications companies is capable of
supporting 1.5 Mbps of continuous data transfer over a high quality telephone wire.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of such a service when compared with
services such as WAP, Bluetooth, and terrestrial microwave?
Advantages: T-1 stable, high speed; reasonably priced for short distances; always-on
connection.
Disadvantages: Usually requires a physical phone line (not always); may not be fast
enough; can be expensive for long distances; always-on connection may be wasted if not
used.

Modems
1. What are the basic characteristics of modern modems?
Transmission rates, standard telephone operations, connection negotiation, compression,
error correction, facsimile transmission, security, loop-back testing, and internal versus
external.
2. What is meant by fall forward and fallback negotiation?
Can automatically recalculate transfer speed between modems.
3. Why is the modem for a laptop different than a modem for another type of
computer?
Must be much smaller.
4. Why are the 56 Kbps modems faster than the older 33,600 bps modems?
They use digital signaling techniques.
5. Why don’t the 56 Kbps modems transmit at 56 Kbps?
Too much noise, lowered power levels, and analog / digital conversions.
6. What are the alternatives to traditional modems?
ISDN, DSL, cable modems.
7. What is the primary advantage of a modem pool?
Can have fewer modems than one per machine.
8. What is a DTE, and what is a DCE?
Data terminal equipment and data circuit-terminating equipment.
9. What are the four components of an interface?
Mechanical, electrical, functional, procedural.
10. What three circuits are needed, at minimum, to create an EIA-232F connection?
Transmit, receive, ground.
11. What are the primary differences between X.21 and EIA-232F?
In X.21, a pin can have multiple functions. In EIA-232F each pin has a single function.
12. What is the significance of the Bell standards and the Hayes standards?
They paved the way for the first modems.
13. FireWire and USB are standards to interconnect what to what?
Computers to different peripheral devices.
14. What are the advantages of FireWire and Universal Serial Bus?
Advanced, fast, modern, can daisy-chain, can auto-configure (with aid from OS).
15. What are the primary differences between asynchronous connections and
synchronous connections?
Asynchronous sends one character at a time with stop, start and optional parity bit.
Synchronous sends multiple characters at one time with beginning and ending flags,
control, address info, and cyclic checksum.
16. In asynchronous connections, what additional bits are added to a character to
prepare it for transfer?
Start, stop, parity (optional).
17. In asynchronous connections, how many characters are placed into one frame?
One.
18. What are the advantages and disadvantages of asynchronous communication?
Advantages: simple.
Disadvantages: slow, inefficient, poor error checking.
19. What is the basic block diagram of a synchronous frame?
See Figure 4-16.
20. What are the advantages and disadvantages of synchronous communication?
Advantages: fast, efficient, good error checking.
Disadvantages: a little more complex.
21. What is the difference between half duplex and full duplex communications?
Half duplex: both sides can talk but only one at a time; Full duplex: both sides can talk
and at the same time.
22. What is the difference between a point-to-point connection and a multipoint
connection?
Point-to-point: each terminal has its own connection to the mainframe; Multipoint:
terminals share a connection.
23. How does a mainframe computer ask a terminal to send it data?
Poll.
Modems
1. If you install a 56 Kbps modem into your computer and dial into a remote
network that only has 33,600 bps modems, is your modem useless?
No, the 56K modem will fallback to the appropriate speed.
2. You are in charge of a highly sensitive application which accepts requests and
supplies confidential data. You don’t want unauthorized individuals to access the
data. But you do want to allow remote dial in using a modem. What security feature
will allow an authorized remote user to access the database?
Callback security is probably one of the best security techniques. You can also use a very
good password protection system.
3. You dial into your Internet service provider using your 56K modem. Once
connected, your data rate is shown as 42,000 bps. Why not 56K bps? List all
possible reasons.
Noise on the line, analog / digital conversions, FCC requiring a lower power level.
4. The next day you dial into an Internet service provider different than the one
used in Exercise 3. This time you get connected at 24,000 bps. Could there be
different reasons for this slower connection? Explain your response.
A second A/D conversion at the Internet service provider’s end. Lots of noise?
5. Cable modems, like 56K modems, create asymmetric connections. What does this
mean, and why doesn’t this affect the average web user?
Downstream speed is different (usually faster) than upstream speed. Most web users
download more than they upload.
6. List as many reasons as possible for a company using a modem pool.
Do not have to place a modem into each machine. Do not have to have one telephone line
for each machine. For incoming calls, the next call automatically goes to the next
available modem. All modems are kept in one location making security and maintenance
easier.
7. List which of the EIA-232F interface signals are used only between a DTE and its
DCE and list which signals travel over the phone line to the remote side.
Essentially all signals are only between a DTE and its DCE.
8. Who issues the Request to Send signal? For whom is the signal intended?
The local DTE. The local DCE. Or the Remote DTE, and the remote DCE.
9. Which EIA-232F signals must be active before actual data transfer can take
place?
This depends on a number of factors, such as half-duplex connection or full-duplex
connection, but if we follow the example from the book:
DTR, DCE Ready, Received line signal detector, RTS, CTS
10. What is the major advantage of the FireWire interface over the Universal Serial
Bus 1.1 interface?
Speed (FireWire is faster).
11. Create a table that compares the advantages and disadvantages of the Universal
Serial Bus to the RS-232 interface.
USB advantages: modern, fast, can provide electrical power, can daisychain.
12. Show the sequence of start, data, and stop bits that are generated during
asynchronous transmission of the character string “LUNCH.”
Start, L, stop, start, U, stop, start, N, stop, start, C, stop, start, H, stop.
13. List two examples each of simplex, half duplex, and full duplex connections not
mentioned in the book.
Simplex: Broadcast TV, cable TV, radio, most pagers, telegraph.
Half duplex: Walkie talkies, CB radio, ham radio, local area networks.
Full duplex: Telephone system, cable modems.
14. Terminals A, B, and C are connected to a mainframe computer. Only terminal C
has data to transmit. Show the sequence of messages sent between the mainframe
and the three terminals using roll call polling.
Mainframe polls A.
A responds NO.
Mainframe polls B.
B responds NO.
Mainframe polls C.
C responds with data.
Mainframe acknowledges data.
15. Suppose you want to send 1000 seven-bit characters of data. How many check
bits will you need using asynchronous transmission? How many check bits will you
need using synchronous transmission? Assume that all 1000 characters will fit
within one synchronous transmission frame.
Asynchronous: 1000 characters * 3 check bits per character (start, stop, parity) = 3000
check bits.
Synchronous: Start flag (8 bits) + Address (8 bits) + Control (8 bits) + CRC (16 bits) +
End flag (8 bits) = 48 check bits.
16. List two features of the asynchronous connection that allow the receiver to stay
in sync with the incoming data stream.
Short frame (one character), and start bit.
17. How does the receiver in a synchronous connection stay in sync with the
incoming data stream?
Can use Manchester-type encoding, separate clock signal, or some form of clocking
signal inherent in the analog signal.

Radio Modems

1. List three common examples of frequency division multiplexing.


Broadcast television, radio, cable television
2. Is frequency division multiplexing associated with analog signals or digital
signals?
Analog signals.
3. In what order does synchronous time division multiplexing sample each of the
incoming signals?
Round robin order.
4. What would happen if a synchronous time division multiplexor sampled the
incoming signals out of order?
The demultiplexor would not know what was what.
5. How does a synchronous time division multiplexor stay synchronized with the
demultiplexor on the receiving end?
There are synchronous bits inserted in the transmission stream at regular intervals.
6. How many separate channels does a T-1 multiplexor multiplex into one stream?
24.
7. How many channels does Basic Rate ISDN support over a single connection?
Three (2 B channels and 1 D channel)
8. What are the main differences between statistical time division multiplexing and
synchronous time division multiplexing?
Synchronous: continuous bit stream, never out of order.
Statistical: packets or frames of data, order may vary.
9. If a statistical multiplexor is connected to 20 devices, does it require a high-speed
output line that is equivalent to the sum of the 20 transmission streams?
No. Assume that only a percentage of all input streams will have data to transmit at one
given time.
10. Why is addressing of the individual data streams necessary for statistical
multiplexing?
Because the order of data streams can vary depending on demand.
11. What type of medium is required to support dense wavelength division
multiplexing?
Fiber optic cable.
12. How many different wavelengths can dense wavelength division multiplexing
place onto one connection?
Potentially 100s to 1000s.
13. How does code division multiplexing distinguish one signal from another?
By adding the incoming signals and performing mathematical calculations on the sums.

LAN

1. What is the definition of a local area network?


A communication network that interconnects a variety of data communicating devices
within a small geographic area and broadcasts data at high data transfer rates with very
low error rates.
2. List the primary activities and application areas of a local area network.
File serving, print serving, connection to other networks and mainframes.
3. List the advantages and disadvantages of local area networks.
Advantage: Share files and devices, intercommunication.
Disadvantage: Maintenance, complexity, costs.
4. What are the basic topologies of local area networks? List two advantages that
each topology has over the others.
Bus: Uses low noise coaxial cable, inexpensive taps.
Star-wired bus: Simple to interconnect, easy to add components, most popular.
Star-wired ring: Simple to interconnect and easy to add components (but no more so than
star-wired bus).
5. What is meant by a passive device?
A signal that enters is neither amplified nor regenerated. The signal is simply passed on.
6. What is meant by a bidirectional signal?
A signal that propagates in either direction on a medium.
7. What are the primary differences between baseband technology and broadband
technology?
Baseband is a single digital signal while broadband is analog and may carry many
signals.
8. What purpose does a hub serve?
The hub is a collection point for workstations.
9. What purpose does a MAU serve?
Same as a hub.
10. How are hubs and MAUs different? How are they alike?
Both are collection points but a hub performs an immediate broadcast while a MAU
preserves the ring topology.
11. What is meant by nomadic operation?
A nomadic operation is one that moves from location to location (often wireless).
12. What is a medium access control protocol?
The software that allows a workstation to insert its data onto the LAN.
13. What are the basic operating principles behind CSMA/CD?
Listen to medium, if no one transmitting, transmit. Continue to listen for collisions. If
someone is transmitting, wait.
14. What is the purpose of the token in a token ring?
To control who gets to transmit next.
15. List three examples of what can go wrong with a token.
Token disappears, token is hogged, duplicate token appears.
16. What is meant by a non-deterministic protocol?
You cannot exactly determine when a workstation will get a chance to transmit.
17. What does the term 100BaseT stand for?
One hundred mega-bits per second transmission over baseband (digital) signals, using
twisted pair wiring.
18. What is the difference between Fast Ethernet and regular Ethernet?
Fast Ethernet transmits at 100 Mbps while regular Ethernet transmits at 10 Mbps.
19. List three advantages of FDDI over token ring.
Faster, dual rings, fiber optic specification.
20. What are the principle characteristics of 100VGAnyLAN?
Uses reservation protocol over a hierarchical topology.

21. If a network is described as 1000BaseT, list everything you know about that network.
CSMA/CD LAN, 1000 Mbps transmission, baseband or digital signaling, twisted pair
wiring.
22. A FDDI network has been described as having multiple tokens. What does this mean?
Would a multiple token concept work on 16 Mbps token ring?
Since the token is attached to the end of the outgoing data packet, the next workstation
can seize the token and begin its transmission. 16 Mbps token ring doesn’t have a fast
enough transmission speed to support the concept of multiple tokens.
23. The Internet model doesn’t have a data link layer. Does it have a medium access
control sublayer? Explain.
The interface layer of the Internet model performs the same basic functions as the data
link layer or medium access control sublayer. Some descriptions of the Internet model
show a separate network access layer between the physical layer and the Internet layer.
24. Suppose workstation A wants to send the message HELLO to workstation B. Both
workstations are on an IEEE 802.3 local area network. Workstation A has the binary
address “1" and workstation B has the binary address “10." Show the resulting MAC
sublayer frame (in binary) that is transmitted. Don’t calculate a CRC; just make one up.
HEADER 10 1 5(data length) HELLO PAD(33 bytes) CHECKSUM
25. What is the difference between the physical representation of a ring LAN and the
logical representation? What is the difference between the physical representation of a
star-wired bus LAN and the logical representation?
A ring LAN physically looks like a star but logically acts like a ring. A star-wired bus
physically looks like a star but logically acts like a bus.
26. Are collisions possible in token ring local area networks? Explain.
No they are not. You can only transmit if you possess the token, and there is only one
token.
27. Which of the wireless LAN protocols can support data rates as high as 54 Mbps?
IEEE 802.11a and 802.11g (and HiperLAN)
28. Your company wants to create a wireless network for the entire office building.
The building is 10 stories high, and the company wants to incorporate IEEE 802.11a
by placing one access point on the 10th floor. Will this layout work?
Probably not. Wireless LANs do not transmit for very long distances, often under 100
meters. A ten story building would more than likely require multiple access points. IEEE
802.11a has a shorter transmission distance than IEEE 802.11g.
29. Give two examples of how a company might use an ad hoc wireless layout.
Meeting rooms, collaborative workspaces
30. In wireless CSMA/CD, if a user device is trying to transmit standard data and
an access point device is trying to issue a poll at the same time, which device will
transmit first and why?
The poll will get a chance to transmit before the standard data because the interframe
space is shorter for polls.
31. Explain the different between 1000BaseSX and 1000BaseLX.
1000BaseSX is designed to interconnect devices in close proximity using multimode
fiber optic cable, while 1000BaseLX is designed for longer-distance connections and uses
either single mode fiber optic cables or multimode fiber.
32. Describe an application that would operate more effectively using a peer-to-peer
network.
An application that requires a high degree of intercommunication or collaboration.

LAN Devices
1. What are the primary reasons for interconnecting two or more networks?
Sharing hardware resources, passing data, connecting geographic and organizational
units.
2. What are the basic functions of a bridge?
To filter out unnecessary packets; to perform an interconnection between two LANs.
3. What is meant by a filter?
To stop a packet from traversing to the next network.
4. How does a transparent bridge work?
It observes traffic on a LAN and creates a set of routing tables.
5. What is backward learning?
Watching where packets are coming from and assuming they are on that particular
segment.
6. How does a bridge encapsulate a message for transmission?
Only remote bridges encapsulate wide area network headers onto an existing data packet.
7. How is a source-routing bridge different from a transparent bridge?
Data packet must have the full sequence of workstation – bridge – workstation address.
8. What is the purpose of a discovery frame?
To help a data packet on a source-routing bridge determine the destination address.
9. In what situations does one use a remote bridge?
When two LANs are interconnected with a WAN in between.
10. What is the basic function of a hub?
To accept data from a workstation and broadcast it out all links.
11. What is the difference between a managed hub and an unmanaged hub?
A managed hub responds to commands / requests from a managed agent.
12. What are the basic functions of a switch?
A switch examines a packet’s destination address and routes the packet to the appropriate
workstation.
13. How does a switch differ from a hub? From a bridge?
A switch examines addresses, a hub does not. A switch has multiple ports and takes the
place of a hub. A bridge only has two ports and interconnects two LANs.
14. What is cut-through architecture?
The device is passing the data packet on before it has even finished entering the device.
15. How is a full-duplex switch different from a switch?
A full duplex switch has one set of lines for receiving and one set of lines for
transmitting, thus it can do both operations at the same time.
16. What are the basic features of a network server?
It holds the network operating system and network software. It may acts as a mass
storage device. And may also perform routing, bridging and switching.
17. What are the basic functions of a router?
To interconnect a LAN to a WAN or to interconnect two communication lines within a
WAN.
18. State whether each of the following is a reason to or not to segment a LAN into
smaller pieces:
large number of network collisions
administrators decide it is time to add an additional web server
users complain of very slow response time
large number of packet runts
a new network operating system is installed
Yes; no; yes; yes; no
19. How is a bridge similar to a switch? How are they different?
Similar: both perform frame forwarding based upon MAC-layer addresses; Dissimilar:
bridges usually have only two ports
20. Are bridges and switches interchangeable? Explain.
You could probably replace a bridge with a switch (depends on exactly what function the
bridge was performing), but it is unlikely you could replace a switch with a bridge (not
enough ports on a bridge).
21. A transparent bridge is inserted between two local area networks ABC and
XYZ. Network ABC has workstations 1, 2 and 3, and network XYZ has
workstations 4, 5, and 6. Show the contents of the two routing tables in the bridge as
the following packets are transmitted. Both routing tables start off empty.
· Workstation 2 sends a packet to workstation 3.
· Workstation 2 sends a packet to workstation 5.
· Workstation 1 sends a packet to workstation 2.
· Workstation 2 sends a packet to workstation 3.
· Workstation 2 sends a packet to workstation 6.
· Workstation 6 sends a packet to workstation 3.
· Workstation 5 sends a packet to workstation 4.
· Workstation 2 sends a packet to workstation 1.
· Workstation 1 sends a packet to workstation 3.
· Workstation 1 sends a packet to workstation 5.
· Workstation 5 sends a packet to workstation 4.
· Workstation 4 sends a packet to workstation 5.
At the end:
Routing table on ABC’s port: 1, 2
Routing table on XYZ’s port: 4,5,6
22. A CSMA/CD network is bridged to a token ring network. A user on the
CSMA/CD network sends an e-mail to a user on the token ring network. Show how
the e-mail message is encapsulated as it leaves the CSMA/CD network, enters and
leaves the bridge, and arrives at the token ring network.
The CSMA/CD frame going into the bridge: Header, Destination Address, Source
Address, Data Length, Data, Pad, Checksum. Header, Data Length, and Pad are
discarded. Preamble, Starting Delimiter, Frame Control, and Ending Delimiter are created
and applied. Addresses are converted if necessary, and checksum is recalculated.
The token ring frame as it leaves the bridge: Preamble, Starting Delimiter, Frame
Control, Destination Address, Source Address, Data, Checksum, and Ending Delimiter.
23. You have three token ring LANs, X, Y and Z, with one source-routing bridge (A)
connecting LAN X to LAN Y and a second source-routing bridge (B) connecting
LAN Y to LAN Z. A workstation on LAN X wants to send data to a workstation on
LAN Z, but does not know the correct path. Show the sequence of messages as a
discovery frame makes its way across the networks and returns with the
appropriate path sequence.
LAN X, Bridge A, LAN Y, Bridge B, LAN Z.
24. Is the hub the only device on a local area network that can be managed?
Explain.
No, any device (routers, bridges, switches, printers) on a network can be managed.
25. a. The local area network shown in Figure 8-21 has two hubs (X and Y)
interconnecting the workstations and servers. What workstations and servers will
receive a copy of a packet if the following workstations/servers transmit a message:
· Workstation 1 sends a message to workstation 3:
· Workstation 2 sends a message to Server 1:
· Server 1 sends a message to workstation 3:
All devices will receive all messages.
b. Replace hub Y with a switch. Now what workstations and servers will receive a copy
of a packet if the following workstations/servers transmit a message:
· Workstation 1 sends a message to workstation 3:
· Workstation 2 sends a message to Server 1:
· Server 1 sends a message to workstation 3:
Workstations 1, 2 and 3.
Workstations 1, 2 and the server.
Only workstation 3.
26. What does it mean when a switch or device is cut-through? What is the main
disadvantage of a cut-through switch? Is there a way to solve this disadvantage of a
cut-through switch without losing the advantages?
Cut-through means the beginning of the data packet is leaving the switch before the end
of the packet has entered the switch. The disadvantage is that errors are propagated. Not
if you want to keep it truly cut-through.
27. Give a common business example that mimics the differences between a shared
network segment and a dedicated network segment.
Wide range of possible answers here.
28. The bridge between two of your company’s networks just died. You have a
router lying on your desk that is not currently being used. Will the router work in
place of the broken bridge? Explain.
Yes, most routers can be programmed to interconnect multiple network segments.
29. A CSMA/CD network is connected to the Internet via a router. A user on the
CSMA/CD network sends an e-mail to a user on the Internet. Show how the e-mail
message is encapsulated as it leaves the CSMA/CD network, enters the router, and
then leaves the router.
Leaving the LAN:
Data
App + Data
TCP + App + Data
IP + TCP + App + Data
MAC + IP + TCP + App + Data + MAC
Entering router:
MAC + IP + TCP + App + Data + MAC
IP + TCP + App + Data
Leaving router
IP + TCP + App + Data
WAN + IP + TCP + App + Data + WAN
Operating System
1. List the six basic functions of an operating system.
Manages all programs and resources, handles I/O, security, memory management, storage
management, and communicates status of system.
2. What separates a multitasking operating system from a non-multitasking
operating systems?
Multitasking can “run” multiple processes at the same time.
3. List the primary differences between a network operating system and an
operating system.
NOS manages network servers, printers, multiple networks, and potentially large
numbers of local and remote users.
4. What is the definition of a client/server system?
A distributed system consisting of a server and one or more clients which request
information from the server.
5. What is the purpose of a NetWare loadable module?
A loadable module is a piece of executable code that is not loaded until it is needed, then
unloaded when finished.
6. What is meant by disk mirroring?
Splitting data over multiple disk drives.
7. What is the purpose of IPX/SPX?
Network and transport layer software, respectively, for NetWare NOS.
8. What is the function of NetWare directory service NDS?
To manage all files, users, and resources in a powerful and efficient manner.
9. What are the primary features of NetWare version 4? Version 5? Version 6?
Version 4 introduced NDS; version 5 introduced native IP; version 6 introduced a
reduced client codeset, iPrint, and iFolder
10. What are the main advantages of Windows 2000 over NT version 4?
More powerful, flexible, manageable.
11. What is the function of Windows’ Active Directory?
Same as NDS for NetWare.
12. What are the strengths of Unix?
Fast, powerful, popular, stable.
13. List the reasons for Linux’s popularity.
Free, stable, fast.
14. What are the disadvantages of Linux?
No one company supports the code. Might not work well on very large systems.
15. What are the conditions often stated in a software license agreement?
Single user single station or single user multiple station.
16. List the types of software license agreements.
Single user single station, single user multiple station, interactive user, network server,
site, corporate.
17. What are the five most common groups of network utility software?
Anti-virus, backup, crash protection, remote access, uninstall.
18. What are the primary functions of an Internet web page server?
To accept requests from clients for web pages and to return the web pages to the clients.
19. What are the different types of hardware support devices for local area
networks?
Bridges, routers, switches, hubs, servers, UPS, tape drives, printers, media converters,
modems, workstations.
C/C++ Questions

1. What is the output of printf("%d")


2. What will happen if I say delete this
3. Difference between "C structure" and "C++ structure".
4. Difference between a "assignment operator" and a "copy constructor"
5. What is the difference between "overloading" and "overriding"?
6. Explain the need for "Virtual Destructor".
7. Can we have "Virtual Constructors"?
8. What are the different types of polymorphism?
9. What are Virtual Functions? How to implement virtual functions in "C"
10. What are the different types of Storage classes?
11. What is Namespace?
12. What are the types of STL containers?
13. Difference between "vector" and "array"?
14. How to write a program such that it will delete itself after execution?
15. Can we generate a C++ source code from the binary file?
16. What are inline functions?
17. Talk some timing about profiling?
18. How many lines of code you have written for a single program?
19. What is “strstream”?
20. How to write Multithreaded applications using C++?
21. Explain "passing by value", "passing by pointer" and "passing by reference"
22. Write any small program that will compile in "C" but not in "C++"
23. Have you heard of "mutable" keyword?
24. What is a "RTTI"?
25. Is there something that I can do in C and not in C++?
26. Why pre increment operator is faster than post increment?
27. What is the difference between "calloc" and "malloc"?
28. What will happen if I allocate memory using "new" and free it using "free" or
allocate sing "calloc" and free it using "delete"?
29. What is Memory Alignment?
30. Explain working of printf.
31. Difference between "printf" and "sprintf".
32. What is "map" in STL?
33. When shall I use Multiple Inheritance?
34. What are the techniques you use for debugging?
35. How to reduce a final size of executable?
36. Give 2 examples of a code optimization.

Java Interview Questions


1. Meaning - Abstract classes, abstract methods
2. Difference - Java, C++
3. Difference between == and equals method
4. Explain Java security model
5. Explain working of Java Virtual Machine (JVM)
6. Difference: Java Beans, Servlets
7. Difference: AWT, Swing
8. Disadvantages of Java
9. What is BYTE Code?
10. What gives java its "write once and run anywhere" nature?
11. Does Java have "go to"?
12. What is the meaning of "final" keyword?
13. Can I create final executable from Java?
14. Explain Garbage collection mechanism in Java
15. Why Java is not 100% pure object oriented language?
16. What are interfaces? Or How to support multiple inheritances in Java?
17. How to use C++ code in Java Program?
18. Difference between "APPLET" and "APPLICATION"

Visual Basic Interview Questions

1. 3 main differences between flexgrid control and dbgrid control


2. ActiveX and Types of ActiveX Components in VB
3. Advantage of ActiveX Dll over Active Exe
4. Advantages of disconnected recordsets
5. Benefit of wrapping database calls into MTS transactions
6. Benefits of using MTS
7. Can database schema be changed with DAO, RDO or ADO?
8. Can you create a tabletype of recordset in Jet - connected ODBC database engine?
9. Constructors and distructors
10. Controls which do not have events
11. Default property of datacontrol
12. Define the scope of Public, Private, Friend procedures?
13. Describe Database Connection pooling relative to MTS
14. Describe: In of Process vs. Out of Process component. Which is faster?
15. Difference between a function and a subroutine, Dynaset and Snapshot,early and
late binding, image and picture controls,Linked Object and Embedded
Object,listbox and combo box,Listindex and Tab index,modal and moduless
window, Object and Class,Query unload and unload in form, Declaration and
Instantiation an object?
16. Draw and explain Sequence Modal of DAO
17. How can objects on different threads communicate with one another?
18. How can you force new objects to be created on new threads?
19. How does a DCOM component know where to instantiate itself?
20. How to register a component?
21. How to set a shortcut key for label?
22. Kind of components can be used as DCOM servers
23. Name of the control used to call a windows application
24. Name the four different cursor and locking types in ADO and describe them
briefly
25. Need of zorder method, no of controls in form, Property used to add a menus at
runtime, Property used to count number of items in a combobox,resize a label
control according to your caption.
26. Return value of callback function, The need of tabindex property
27. Thread pool and management of threads within a thread pool
28. To set the command button for ESC, Which property needs to be changed?
29. Type Library and what is it's purpose?
30. Types of system controls, container objects, combo box
31. Under the ADO Command Object, what collection is responsible for input to
stored procedures?
32. VB and Object Oriented Programming
33. What are the ADO objects? Explain them.
34. What are the different compatibility types when we create a COM component?
35. What do ByVal and ByRef mean and which is the default?
36. What does Option Explicit refer to?
37. What does the Implements statement do?
38. What is OLE and DDE? Explain.
39. What is the difference between Msgbox Statement and MsgboxQ function?
40. What keyword is associated with raising system level events in VB?
41. What methods are called from the ObjectContext object to inform MTS that the
transaction was successful or unsuccessful?
42. What types of data access have you used.
43. What was introduced to Visual Basic to allow the use of Callback Functions?
44. Which controls can not be placed in MDI?
45. Which controls have refresh method, clear method
46. Which Property is used to compress a image in image control?
47. Which property of menu cannot be set at run time?
48. Which property of textbox cannot be changed at runtime and What's the
maximum size of a textbox?
49. Which tool is used to configure the port range and protocols for DCOM
communications?

Object-Orientation Concepts, UML interview Questions

1. What is inheritance?
2. Difference between Composition and Aggregation.
3. Difference: Sequence Diagrams, Collaboration Diagrams.
4. Difference: 'uses', 'extends', 'includes'
5. What shall I go for Package Diagram?
6. What is Polymorphism?
7. Is class an Object? Is object a class?
8. Comment: C++ "includes" behavior and java "imports"
9. What do you mean by "Realization"?
10. What is a Presistent, Transient Object?
11. What is the use of Operator Overloading?
12. Does UML guarantee project success?
13. Difference: Activity Diagram and Sequence Diagram.
14. What is association?
15. How to resolve many to many relationship?
16. How do you represent static members and abstract classes in Class Diagram?
17. Can we use UML for user interface (UI) design?
18. Every object has : state, behavior and identity - explain
19. How to reverse engineer C++ code in UML?
20. What are the tools you used for OOAD?
21. Difference: Object Oriented Analysis (OOA) and Object Oriented Design
(OOD)?
22. What are the four phases of the Unified Process ?
23. How do you convert uses cases into test cases?
24. Explain Class Diagram in Detail.
25. What are the Design Patterns you know.
26. When do you prefer to use composition than aggregation?
27. UML: IS it a process, method or notation?
28. Does a concept HAVE to become a class in Design?
29. What are the good practices to use while designing for reuse?
30. Can you think of some nice examples where *multiple* actors are associated with
a use case ?
31. How to use CRC Cards for Class Design?
32. What is the difference between static and dynamic Classificaition.Give some
examples.
33. Explian following terms: Constraint Rules, Design by contract.
34. What is Object Constraint Language (OCL)?
35. Difference Between Attribute and Association.
36. What are associative classes?

Operating Systems

1. What is MUTEX ?
2. What isthe difference between a 'thread' and a 'process'?
3. What is INODE?
4. Explain the working of Virtual Memory.
5. How does Windows NT supports Multitasking?
6. Explain the Unix Kernel.
7. What is Concurrency? Expain with example Deadlock and Starvation.
8. What are your solution strategies for "Dining Philosophers Problem" ?
9. Explain Memory Partitioning, Paging, Segmentation.
10. Explain Scheduling.
11. Operating System Security.
12. What is Semaphore?
13. Explain the following file systems : NTFS, Macintosh(HPFS), FAT .
14. What are the different process states?
15. What is Marshalling?
16. Define and explain COM?
17. What is Marshalling?
18. Difference - Loading and Linking ?

Networking, Socket Programming, Inter-Process Communication

1. User(s) are complaining of delays when using the network. What would you do?
2. What are some of the problems associated with operating a switched LAN?
3. Name some of the ways of combining TCP/IP traffic and SNA traffic over the
same link.
4. What sort of cabling is suitable for Fast Ethernet protocols?
5. What is a Class D IP address?
6. Why do I sometimes lose a server's address when using more than one server?
7. What is Firewall?
8. How do I monitor the activity of sockets?
9. How would I put my socket in non-blocking mode?
10. What are RAW sockets?
11. What is the role of TCP protocol and IP protocol.
12. What is UDP?
13. How can I make my server a daemon?
14. How should I choose a port number for my server?
15. Layers in TCP/IP
16. How can I be sure that a UDP message is received?
17. How to get IP header of a UDP message
18. Writing UDP/SOCK_DGRAM applications
19. How many bytes in an IPX network address?
20. What is the difference between MUTEX and Semaphore?
21. What is priority inversion?
22. Different Solutions to dining philosophers problem.
23. What is a message queue?
24. Questions on Shared Memory.
25. What is DHCP?
26. Working of ping, telnet, gopher.
27. Can I connect two computers to internet using same line ?

Database Questions

1. What are the different types of joins?


2. Explain normalization with examples.
3. What cursor type do you use to retrieve multiple recordsets?
4. Diffrence between a "where" clause and a "having" clause
5. What is the difference between "procedure" and "function"?
6. How will you copy the structure of a table without copying the data?
7. How to find out the database name from SQL*PLUS command prompt?
8. Tadeoffs with having indexes
9. Talk about "Exception Handling" in PL/SQL?
10. What is the diference between "NULL in C" and "NULL in Oracle?"
11. What is Pro*C? What is OCI?
12. Give some examples of Analytical functions.
13. What is the difference between "translate" and "replace"?
14. What is DYNAMIC SQL method 4?
15. How to remove duplicate records from a table?
16. What is the use of ANALYZing the tables?
17. How to run SQL script from a Unix Shell?
18. What is a "transaction"? Why are they necessary?
19. Explain Normalizationa dn Denormalization with examples.
20. When do you get contraint violtaion? What are the types of constraints?
21. How to convert RAW datatype into TEXT?
22. Difference - Primary Key and Aggregate Key
23. How functional dependency is related to database table design?
24. What is a "trigger"?
25. Why can a "group by" or "order by" clause be expensive to process?
26. What are "HINTS"? What is "index covering" of a query?
27. What is a VIEW? How to get script for a view?
28. What are the Large object types suported by Oracle?
29. What is SQL*Loader?
30. Difference between "VARCHAR" and "VARCHAR2" datatypes.
31. What is the difference among "dropping a table", "truncating a table" and
"deleting all records" from a table.
32. Difference between "ORACLE" and "MICROSOFT ACCESS" databases.
33. How to create a database link ?

Requirements Management

1. What is your project about? What stage or phase is it currently in? What is your
current role in your project?
2. Explain how you manage requirements in your project?
3. Where and how do you document your requirements?
4. What and where are the policy statements for requirement management?
5. How do you ensure that you base your software plans, work items and products
on the requirement?
6. If during some stage down the life cycle, the initial requirements change, what
will you do? How will you handle any changes in the requirements?
7. Who reviews the requirements and the changes to the requirements?
8. Explain the contract review process followed in your project?
9. When requirements change, how do you handle the changes it may lead to project
progress and schedule?
10. How do you handle any risk that might arise due to changes in requirements?
11. How do you ensure that you are consistently meeting the requirements during
various stages in the life cycle of the software product?
12. How do internal quality audits cover requirements management activities in the
project?
13. Who is responsible for managing the requirements in your project?
14. What will you do if you find that you cannot meet the requirements?
15. While doing HLD/LLD/Coding/Testing, how do you know that a specific
HLD/LLD component, program code unit, or test case relates to a particular
requirement?

Software Project Planning

1. What is the project management structure in your project? Is a PL assigned to the


project?
2. How do you know that a particular individual is the project leader (or) how do
you know that you are the Project Leader?
3. What and where are the policy statements for software project planning?
4. Explain the various activities you do (as a PL) when the project is started up.
5. How do you know what you need to deliver or do in your project?
6. How do you create the Software Project Management Plan (SPMP)?
7. What training have you undergone in project planning?
8. How do you ensure that your project plan is available for others to see? Where
will you find the plans of other projects executed (in the past or currently) in the
center?
9. How did you choose the appropriate lifecycle for your project?
10. What are the documents that you will refer to create the plan?
11. How do you estimate the effort for your project? Where is the estimation
procedure documented?
12. What procedures do you follow to arrive at the project schedule?
13. Where and how are the risks associated with your project identified and
documented?
14. When you come in to the office, how do you know what you have to do during
the day?
15. How do you report the status of your project?
16. How are the team members kept informed about the current status of the project?
17. How do the audits cover planning activities?
18. How does the senior management review your project's progress?
19. How do you track the technical activities in your project? How is the status of the
project communicated to the team?
20. How do you track the size or changes to size of the work products in your project?
21. When do revise your project plan? When do you know you have to revise your
project plan? Where is the plan revision frequency documented?
22. How do you ensure that you and all the other team members in your project have
the required technical skills to execute the project?
23. How do you assign tasks to your team members? ?
24. What is the document that should be consulted to know about your project, the
activities you do, your schedules and milestones?

Software Quality Assurance

1. What and where are the policy statements that dictate quality assurance in your
project?
2. What are the functions of the Quality Assurance Group (QAG)?
3. How are the quality assurance activities planned ?
4. What is a non-conformance report (NCR)?
5. When a non-conformance is noted during these "reviews", what happens next?
6. What is is External Quality Assurance (EQA) and Final Inspection (FI)?
7. Is the quality assurance group (for the QAG) audited? Who does these audits?
8. How frequently is your project audited? How do you know the result of these
audits?
9. What is an internal quality audit? What happens during this audit?

The World of WWW

1. What is HTTP? Explain its working?


2. What is DNS?
3. Why do I need a domain name like 'OneSmartClick.Com'?
4. What happens when I type in some url and press enter?
5. How does CGI work? Can I use 'C' language to write a CGI?
6. Working of Proxy Server, Cookies, types of cookies?
7. What is Firewall?
8. How to redirect to another page?
9. Some questions on web servers.
10. What is DOM?
11. Connection Pooling in IIS 3.0 and 4.0
12. What is Code Base, Style Sheets?
13. Need for CSS
14. DHTML: Difference between FontSize and Font Size?
15. Layers in TCP/IP
16. Some sites work with "http://sitename.com" but for some sites we need to specify
"www" - like "http://www.sitename.com". Why?
17. Explain "URL Encoding",HTML "entity", GET method, POST method
18. If we force XML for web design, the browzer size will reduce. How?
19. How does DTD work?
20. Difference between ASP and DHTML?
21. How to create virtual directory in IIS?
22. Can I host muliple sites on same machine?
23. Administration of IIS.
24. Some questions on ODBC and internet.
25. XML and propritory databbases.
26. Working of ping, telnet, gopher.
27. Some questions about cross-browser compatibility.
Interview Questions for Network Administrator and Support Staff
I suggest you group your questions by general topic: reporting and organization, architecture and hardware, policies
and user requirements, backup and security, and so on… Make up your own categories.
• What is your role as a Network Administrator as part of [company name]’s Information
Technology department? Please describe your job responsibilities.
• Who do you report to? Who reports to you?
• Do you have an organizational chart that shows the relationship of people in your
organization?
• Who does strategic planning for information systems in your company? Is there a committee
to support this activity?
• What are some major network securities issues Network Administrators face on job daily?
• What are the most common networking problems that you as a Network Administrator deal
with on a daily basis?
• What are some of the more common user problems that Network Technicians face on a daily
basis?
• Does [company name] have a WAN infrastructure?
• Does [company name] have an operating Intranet? What is the Intranet for?
• Do you feel [company name]’s basic LAN infrastructure is secure from outside attacks?
• What type of network topology does [company name] currently use (i.e. token ring, star, bus,
etc.)? What hardware standards are in use for the network?
• Does [company name]’s network have one main server or multiple servers for data backup?
What kind of backup or redundancy is used to protect data?
• What type of OS are you running on workstations and your desktop currently? Is there a
company standard for Operating Systems and/or other software?
• What transmission medium does [company name] use for its network?
• How old is the company’s infrastructure?
• How many users does this network support? Are all workstations in the immediate area?
• If all workstations and company servers are not in one location, what technologies are used
for WAN connectivity?
• How many gateways, proxy servers, web servers, and mail servers does [company name]
have?
• What protocols and standards does [company name] demand for its network?
• How is often does [company name] perform backups and restoration of data?
• How often is security auditing performed?
• What actions are taken for Load Balancing?
• What is [company name]’s current security policy?
• Does [company name] have a security response policy?
• Does [company name] allow for the use of remote access for telecommuters?
• Does [company name] employ a public key encryption?

SYSTEM Administrator/ISSO Interview Questions


This section lists questions that must be asked of the System Administrator or the
Information Systems Security Officer (ISSO) in an interview prior to the SRR.

C/C++ Questions........................................................................................................................................18
Java Interview Questions...........................................................................................................................18
Visual Basic Interview Questions..............................................................................................................19
Object-Orientation Concepts, UML interview Questions.........................................................................20
Operating Systems.....................................................................................................................................21
Networking, Socket Programming, Inter-Process Communication...........................................................22
Database Questions....................................................................................................................................22
Requirements Management.......................................................................................................................23
Software Project Planning..........................................................................................................................24
Software Quality Assurance......................................................................................................................24
The World of WWW.................................................................................................................................25
Interview Questions for Network Administrator and Support Staff........................26
SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR/ISSO INTERVIEW QUESTIONS..............................................................27
[M] Controlling Access to Automated Information Systems (AISs).........................................................29
[M] Users with Administrative Privileges.................................................................................................29
[M] Users with Backup Operator Privileges..............................................................................................30
[M] Shared Accounts.................................................................................................................................30
[M] Access to Security Event Log.............................................................................................................30
[M] Audit Logs..........................................................................................................................................32
[M] CMOS Configuration .....................................................................................................................32
[M] Emergency Backups...........................................................................................................................33
[M] Mobil USB Disk Devices ..................................................................................................................33
[M] Windows Security Configuration Tools.............................................................................................33
[M] Active Directory Backup Policy (Windows 2003 domain controllers)..............................................34
[M] System Configuration Changes ........................................................................................................34
[M] Network Interface Card (NIC) ...........................................................................................................35
[M] Unencrypted Remote Access .............................................................................................................35
[M] Intrusion Detection ............................................................................................................................35
Basic navigation ........................................................................................................................................39
Users and permissions practicum ..............................................................................................................39
Local security ............................................................................................................................................39
Filesystem .................................................................................................................................................39
/etc 39
Processes ...................................................................................................................................................39
Shells .........................................................................................................................................................39
Startup .......................................................................................................................................................40
Social .........................................................................................................................................................40
Totally miscellaneous ...............................................................................................................................40
______________________________________________________________________________________
_______
A “” symbol appearing in a section title indicates a Platinum Standard setting.

The label “(Future Check)” next to a section title is to alert sites that this is a new check
that will become active in the near future. This is meant to give sites sufficient time to
incorporate these changes prior to being held accountable in a Security Readiness
Review.

Note: Each check is coded with its Gold Disk or Script automation status on the title line
as follows:

[A] – Fully Automated (No reviewer interaction).


[AP] - Partially Automated (May require review of output).
[MA] - Currently a manual check, but could be automated or partially
automated.
[M] - Manual check (Cannot be automated)
[M] Controlling Access to Automated Information Systems (AISs)
This check verifies, by observation, that the equipment and all ancillary devices are
adequately protected.

Note: Critical servers should be located in rooms, or locked cabinets, that are
accessible only to authorized systems personnel. User workstations containing
sensitive data should be in access controlled areas.

Category/ II / 1-CSP, 2-CSP, 3-CSP / PECF-1, PECF-2


MAC/IA:
PDI: 1.001: Physical security of Windows Server/Workstation does not meet
DISA requirements.
Reference: DISA FSO Windows 2003 Addendum: Section 7.2

[M] Users with Administrative Privileges


This check verifies that each user with administrative privileges has been assigned a
unique account, separate from the built-in “Administrator” account. This implementation
permits the auditing of administrative actions by individual. This check also verifies that
the default “Administrator” account is not being used. Administrators should be properly
trained before being permitted to perform administrator duties. The ISSO will maintain a
list of all users belonging to the Administrator’s group.

If any of the following conditions are true, then this is a finding:

____ Each System Administrator does not have a unique userid dedicated for
administering the system.
____ Each System Administrator does not have a separate account for normal user
tasks.
____ The built-in Administrator account is used to administer the system.
____ Administrators have not been properly trained.
____ The ISSO does not maintain a list of users belonging to the Administrator’s
group.

Category/ II / 1-CSP, 2-CSP, 3-CSP / ELCP1, ECPA-1


MAC/IA:
PDI: 1.006: Users with Administrative privilege are not documented or do not
have separate accounts for administrative duties and normal operational
tasks.
Reference: DISA FSO Windows 2003 Addendum: Section 7.1
[M] Users with Backup Operator Privileges
This check verifies that each user with backup operator privileges has been assigned a
unique account with membership in the “Backup Operators” group, separate from their
standard user account, has been identified, and has been properly trained.

____ Each BackupOperator does not have a unique userid dedicated for backing up
the system.
____ Each Backup Operator does not have a separate account for normal user tasks.
____ Backup Operators have not been properly trained.
____ The ISSO does not maintain a list of users belonging to the Backup Operator’s
group.

Category/ II / 1-CSP, 2-CSP, 3-CSP / ELCP1, ECPA-1


MAC/IA:
PDI: 1.007: Members of the Backup Operators group do not have separate
accounts for backup duties and normal operational tasks.
Reference: DISA FSO Windows 2003 Addendum: Section 7.1

[M] Shared Accounts


This check verifies that all shared accounts on the system are documented and justified.

Any shared account must be documented with the IAO. Documentation should include
the reason for the account, who has access to this account, and how the risk of using a
shared account, which provides no individual identification and accountability is
mitigated.

Note: A shared account may be permitted for a help desk or site security personnel
machine, if that machine is stand-alone and has no access to the network.

Category/ II / 1-CSP, 2-CSP, 3-CSP / IAIA-1


MAC/IA:
PDI: 1.008: Shared user accounts are permitted on the system.
Reference: DISA FSO Windows 2003 Addendum: Section 7.1

[M] Access to Security Event Log


This check verifies that access to the Security Event Log is restricted to members of an
“auditors” group, or other restricted-membership group that serves this purpose.

Category: II
PDI: 1.010: Access to the Windows Security Event Log has not been restricted
to an Auditors group.
Reference: DISA FSO Windows 2003 Addendum: Section 6.1.2
[M] Audit Logs
This check verifies that Audit logs are reviewed and archived.

If a site does not have a policy in place that defines procedures for reviewing and
archiving audit logs, then this is a finding.

Category/ II / 1-CSP, 2-CSP, 3-CSP / ECAT-1, ECRG-1, ECRR-1, ECTB-1


MAC/IA:
PDI: 1.029: Audit logs are not archived or reviewed.
Reference: DISA FSO Windows 2003 Addendum: Section 6.1

[M] CMOS Configuration 


This check verifies that the CMOS configuration, often treated synonymously with the
term “BIOS configuration,” provides a mechanism to restrict how the system may be
booted, and who may boot the system. Do not take a server off-line to verify this setting.
If necessary, question the System Administrator and/or the ISSO to verify that the CMOS
is configured properly.

Note: A CMOS password must always be set. If the system BIOS doesn’t provide for a CMOS
password, then a BOOT password must be set to meet the Platinum Standard. A BOOT password
is not a requirement for workstations, or for servers that must remain available on a 24 X 7 basis.

____ The CMOS configuration permits the system to boot from a floppy or CD-ROM
device.

____ A password is not required to make configuration changes to the CMOS.

Category/ III / 1-CSP, 2-CSP, 3-CSP / IAIA-1


MAC/IA:
PDI: 1.012—The CMOS configuration does not conform to DISA requirements.
Reference: DISA FSO Windows 2003 Addendum: Section 7.2.1
[M] Emergency Backups
This check verifies that System information backups are maintained in accordance with
DISA standards. Any System information backups should be created to include the
registry.

____ The site does not maintain emergency system recovery data.

____ The emergency system recovery data is not protected from destruction and stored
in locked storage container.

____ There is no emergency system recovery data for each W2K3 system created at the
time of system installation.

____ The emergency system recovery data has not been updated following the last
system modification.

Category/ III / 1-CSP, 2-CSP, 3-CSP / COBR-1, CODB-1


MAC/IA:
PDI: 1.013: Emergency Repair Disk(s) (ERD) or System information backups
are not created, updated, and protected according to DISA requirements.
Reference: DISA FSO Windows 2003 Addendum: Section 9.2

[M] Mobil USB Disk Devices


This check verifies that the site has a clearly defined local policy on the use of Mobile
USB Disk Devices.

If no local policy exists, then this is a finding.

If the policy doesn’t require the following, then this is a finding:


• Devices will be formatted with the NTFS file system.
• Devices will have file ACLs and auditing configured in accordance with
DOD requirements.

Category/ II / 1-CSP, 2-CSP, 3-CSP / ECCD-1, ECCD-2


MAC/IA:
PDI: 2.017: A local policy for the use of Mobile USB Disk Devices doesn’t exist.
Reference: FSO NT/WIN2K/XP Addendum, Sect. 7.3.1

[M] Windows Security Configuration Tools


The Microsoft Security Configuration Toolset that is integrated in W2K3 should be used
to configure platforms for security compliance. If an alternate method is used to
configure a system (e.g. manually), that achieves the same configured result, then this is
acceptable.

Category/ III / 1-CSP, 2-CSP, 3-CSP / DCCS-1, DCCS-2


MAC/IA:
PDI: 1.016: The Microsoft Security Configuration Manager is not being used to
configure platforms to security compliance.
Reference: MS Server 2003 Security Settings Guide, Chap 2

[M] Active Directory Backup Policy (Windows 2003 domain controllers)


This check verifies that the Active Directory is backed up in accordance with DISA
standards. The System State data on each Windows 2003 Domain Controller should be
backed up on a frequent basis.

If the System State data (Active Directory and services upon which it is dependent) for
each
Windows 2003 Domain Controller is not included in the Site’s daily system backups,
then, this is
a finding.

Category/ II / 1-CSP, 2-CSP, 3-CSP / COBR-1, CODB-1


MAC/IA:
PDI: 1.023: The Active Directory is not being backed up according to DISA
requirements.
Reference: DISA FSO Windows 2003 Addendum: Section 9.3

[M] System Configuration Changes


If the site does not use a tool to compare system files (*.exe, *.bat, *.com, *.cmd and
*.dll) on servers against a baseline, on a weekly basis, then this is a finding.

Category/ II / 1-CSP, 2-CSP, 3-CSP / DCSL-1


MAC/IA:
PDI: 1.024: System files are not checked for unauthorized changes.
Reference: DISA FSO Windows 2003 Addendum: Section 2.1
[M] Network Interface Card (NIC)
If the computer does not require network access, and contains NIC Card, then this is a
finding. Unneeded network interfaces that are built into the motherboard should be
disabled through the BIOS hardware settings. Unused NIC cards should be removed.

Category/ III / 1-CSP, 2-CSP, 3-CSP /


MAC/IA:
PDI: 1.026: A computer that does not require network access has a NIC.
Reference: DISA FSO Windows 2003 Addendum: Section 7.2

[M] Unencrypted Remote Access


This check applies to machines whose services are accessed remotely. (e.g. FTP, Telnet,
etc.).

If the User account used for unencrypted remote access within the Enclave (premise
router) has administrator privileges, then this is a finding.

If User ID and Password information used for remote access to system services from
outside the Enclave is not encrypted, then this is a finding.

Category/ I / 1-CSP, 2-CSP, 3-CSP / ECCT-1, ECCT-2


MAC/IA:
PDI: 3.061: Unencrypted remote access is permitted to system services.
Reference: DISA FSO Windows 2003 Addendum: Section 7.6

[M] Intrusion Detection


If a Server does not have a host-based intrusion detection (HID) system installed and
enabled, then this is a finding.

Note1: A finding can be downgraded to a Category III, if there is an active JIDS or


Firewall protecting the network.

Note2: A HID device is not required on a system that has the role as the Network
Intrusion Device (NID). However, this exception needs to be documented with the site
IAO.
Category/ II / 1-CSP, 2-CSP, 3-CSP / ECID-1
MAC/IA:
PDI: 1.025: A Server does not have a host-based Intrusion Detection System.
Reference: DISA FSO Windows 2003 Addendum: Section 2.1
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This interview is meant to be used with some easier questions that aren't revealed to the
candidate beforehand. These are to distinguish between experience and Google fluency.

This interview assumes use of the commandline, since we don't keep graphical
environments on our servers.

Basic navigation

• To display a list of all manual pages containing the keyword "date", what
command would you type?
• What command will display the first several lines of a file called "junk"?bvbv

Users and permissions practicum

• Rig it so everything in the folder gets deleted tonight at 10pm. Every night at
10pm.

Local security

• How do you feel about sudo?


• What's the difference between telnet and ssh? What's a good use for each?
• How do you ensure your users have hard-to-guess passwords?

Filesystem

• What is the difference between a symbolic and hard link? When would you use
each?
• I have a file named -fr. How do I get rid of it?
• Why did I just ask that question?
• To partition or not? How?
• What are RAID 0, 1, 5, 0+1? What level would you use for a web server and
why? A database server?

/etc

• ls -l /etc. What is all this stuff?


• You added a line to /etc/aliases, but it doesn't seem to be working. Why?
• You've created a zope user to run Zope under. How do you secure it so someone
doesn't guess its password, log in with it, and mess with stuff?
• Bring up /etc/passwd. What is all this junk?
• What are shadow passwords?

Processes

• How many processes are running on your machine right now?

Shells
• Name as many shells as you can.
• What's your favorite shell? Why?
• Write a shell script to append "snork" to the file "test" but only if "test" already
exists.
• A user performed a cd; chmod 644 . before logging out. What problem occurs
when he logs in the next time, and what level of privilege is required to correct
the problem?

Startup

• Describe the boot process of your favorite Linux in as much detail as you can.
• What are runlevels?

Social

• Describe an experience you had with a difficult user.


• How do you keep up with current tools and practices?
• How did you document your work at your last job so someone else could pick up
where you left off?

Totally miscellaneous

• When debugging a core in gdb, what does the command bt give: core memory,
heap usage, or calling stack?
• A user complains the web site is slow. What do you do?