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What is a LAN?

The typical definition of Local Area Network (LAN) is "two or more connected stations (PCs, servers, computer) in the same limited area, sharing data and peripheral devices, and operating at the speed of 1 Mbps (Million bits per second) to about 1 Gbps (Billion bits per second)." The most popular LANs include 10 Mbps & 100 Mbps Ethernet, 4 Mbps & 16 Mbps Token Ring. hat are the hardware components of a LAN? The hardware components of a LAN consist of: PCs/workstations and servers Network Interface Card (NIC) Cabling and connectors, for example, coaxial cable and BNC connector, Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) and RJ-45 connector Hub, concentrator, and more complicated network devices such as Bridge, LAN Switch and Router

What are the software components of a LAN? The software components of a LAN can be grouped into two categories: 1. Inside PCs/workstations and servers NIC Drivers Network Operating System for servers, for example, Novell Netware 4.1 or Microsoft Windows NT Network Operating System for clients (PCs/workstations), for example, Novell Netware 4.1 client or Microsoft Windows 95 Networking protocol software, for example, TCP/IP, Novell IPX Application software, for example, emails, Internet Web Browser

2. Inside network devices (Hub/Bridge/LAN Switch/Router) Network Management Software, for example, Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), Remote Network Monitoring (RMC) Forwarding/routing & control software, for examples, transparent bridging, spanning tree and IP routing software

What is a Network Interface Card (NIC)? A Network Interface Card, or NIC, is a circuit board inserted into each network station (PC/workstation or server) to allow communication with other stations. Depending on the stations, the bus of a NIC could be ISA, PCI, EISA, MCA, S-busand so on.

What is a Hub? A Hub is a central device used on star network topology that repeats or amplifies signals, allowing the network to be lengthened or expanded with additional stations. For example, an Ethernet hub normally has 8 or 12 or 16 RJ-45 ports, each port can be connected to a PC or workstation or server. Also, the hubs BNC port can be connected to a coaxial cable to lengthen the network.

What is a Bridge? A Bridge is a device used to connect two or more LANs. It operates at the Media Access Control Layer (layer 2), checking and forwarding data packets between different LANs.

What is a LAN Switch? A LAN Switch is a device using switching hardware to speed-up the checking and forwarding of data packets between LANs. LAN Switch is functionally like a bridge, but its speed and performance is faster and better than a bridge.

What is a Router? A Router is a device that operates at the network layer (layer 3), routing data between similar or dissimilar networks. A router is more powerful than a bridge or LAN Switch because the router checks the network protocols and addresses (for example, IP or IPX).

What is a Network Management? Network Management are functions that manage and control networks. It consists of five major functions: 1. 2. 3. 4. Fault Management Accounting Management Configuration Management Performance Management Security Management


What is SNMP? SNMP, or Simple Network Management Protocol, is a standard protocol adopted for the network management of Internet and TCP/IP based networks.

What is RMON? RMON are the functions that monitor the network performance, errors and other summary information. RMON functions can be implemented in a network device (HUB, LAN switch) or a station (PC, Server).

What is JAVA? JAVA is a network programming language designed to solve problems in the area of client-server programming. It is ideal for programming on the Internet. JAVA capability is included in most new generation Internet Web Browser, e.g. Netscape Navigator 2.0 and higher and Microsoft Explorer 3.0 and above.

Define a JAVA-based Network Management System. A JAVA-based Network Management System is an integration of JAVA language and network management functions. The network management software is written in JAVA language and stored in a network device (HUB, LAN switch). The user can manage the network by an Internet Web Browser. The operation of network management is as simple as browsing WWW server.

What is a RMON software probe? A RMON software probe is a RMON-like software that runs on PCS. The software can do the function of monitoring the network traffics, errors and other statistics. It can also store the records for later analysis.

Setting up a network

In order to create an Ethernet network, certain components are necessary for the computers within the network to communicate with each other. The required components to create an Ethernet network are: 10Base-T Ethernet Network Interface Card (NIC) Ethernet hub BNC T-connectors (usually provided) 50-Ohm terminators (usually provided) Thin Ethernet (Thinnest) coaxial cable (usually provided)

Network Interface Card A Network Interface Card (NIC) is an add-on adapter card that is installed to the PCI or ISA slot on the PCs motherboard. The NIC sorts data on the computer into bundles and transmits them to another computer while allowing the user to access the data within the bundle simultaneously. The most common NIC used today is the 10Base-T Ethernet card that is connected to an Ethernet hub.

Hub All Ethernet 10Base-T networks are connected with an Ethernet hub. The hub manages the traffic that passes between computers on a network and is connected to all computers that are part of the network.

Other networking components Other networking components are used to connect a PC or even a laptop to an Ethernet network. AUI-BNC transceivers can be used to connect a PC or a laptop to a different network interface. Some NIC can support a combination of interface, such as an AUI and a BNC as well as a RJ45. Sometimes a combo transceiver may be used to connect to a NIC on a PC or a laptop on one end and to another network system on the other over the supported interface. Most network interface cards today have PnP (Plug and Play) capability. The following procedures assume that your NIC is PnPcompatible and that your PCs operating system is Windows 95. Once the NIC is installed and you have powered on your compute r, Windows 95 will automatically detect the new modem and assist you with its configuration. If this is not the case, refer to the documentation that came with your NIC for proper configuration procedures such as setting IRQ settings.

LOCAL-AREA NETWORK HARDWARE The basic hardware components of a LAN are cables, network interface cards, network servers, peripherals, and workstations. These components are covered in the material that follows. CABLES Several types of cables can be used in LAN applications. The selection of the type of cable depends on several factors, such as maximum length of a single cable run, security requirements, and the capacity and speed of the system. Twisted-Pair Cable The twisted-pair cable is easy to install and costs little on a per-foot basis. In some cases, existing telephone cable may be used. Its disadvantages include limitations in capacity and speed. It is also susceptible to electrical interference unless it is shielded. Shielded Twisted-Pair Cable The shielded twisted-pair cable is encased in an RFI shield. The stranded wire used as a conductor is manufactured with greater precision and is capable of greater data transmission rates and longer cable runs. Coaxial Cable Coaxial cable networks have gained in popularity because of their use in cable television. The quantities of cable and connectors produced for cable television have greatly reduced the prices of these components for network users. Coaxial cable comes in various thicknesses and is designated by a number: RG-11, RG-58, RG-59, RG-62, and so forth. You can use either baseband or broadband transmission methods with coaxial cable. data transmission rates. One disadvantage is that they are limited to transmitting digital signals only.Baseband coaxial

systems transmit digital signals unchanged over a single channel and have several advantages. They are inexpensive, easy to install, and have low maintenance. They also allow very high In contrast, broadband coaxial systems require the digital signal to be converted to an analog signal before transmission and then back to digital by modem at the receiving device. Broadband systems support data, voice, and video signals that may be transmitted simultaneously. Disadvantages of broadband systems are their higher installation costs and complex maintenance. Fiber-Optic Cable Fiber-optic cable is the best choice if a secure network is needed. Because the cable transmits light, the transmissions are immune to interference caused by electrical or electronic devices. Also, if your network will run through an area of heavy industrial activity or a work place with strong radio frequency interference, fiber-optic cable is the most appropriate choice. Other advantages of the fiber-optic cable are that it lasts longer than other types of cable and can carry many more channels. Its disadvantages include its high price, poor connectivity, and low flexibility. NETWORK INTERFACE CARD To attach personal computers to the LAN, you must connect a network interface card (NIC) to each PC and attach the network cable to the NIC. The NIC is nothing more than a circuit board that normally plugs directly into one of the expansion slots inside a PC. Sometimes, the NIC comes as a separate unit. In this case, you plug it into the back of the PC. Most NICs have their own built-in microprocessor(s) designed to take care of network communications. This relieves the PCs main processor of this responsibility. The type of cable used on the network is determined by the type of LAN to be installed. NETWORK SERVERS Your understanding the concept of a server is important to understanding how LANs work. A server is a combination of hardware and software that is used to manage the shared resources of the network. The hardware may be a PC or a computer designed