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COLOR-CODE STANDARDS

Last updated: 8/9/2004

Again, please bear with me... Let's start with simple pin-out diagrams of the two types of UTP Ethernet cables and watch how committees can make a can of worms out of them. Here are the diagrams:

Note that the TX (transmitter) pins are connected to corresponding RX (receiver) pins, plus to plus and minus to minus. And that you must use a crossover cable to connect units with identical interfaces. If you use a straight-through cable, one of the two units must, in effect, perform the cross-over function. Two wire color-code standards apply: EIA/TIA 568A and EIA/TIA 568B. The codes are commonly depicted with RJ-45 jacks as follows (the view is from the front of the jacks):

If we apply the 568A color code and show all eight wires, our pin-out looks like this:

Note that pins 4, 5, 7, and 8 and the blue and brown pairs are not used in either standard. Quite contrary to what you may read elsewhere, these pins and wires are not used or required to implement 100BASE-TX duplexing--they are just plain wasted. However, the actual cables are not physically that simple. In the diagrams, the orange pair of wires are not adjacent. The blue pair is upside-down. The right ends match RJ-45 jacks and the left ends do not. If, for example, we invert the left side of the 568A "straight"-thru cable to match a 568A jack--put one 180 twist in the entire cable from end-to-end--and twist together and rearrange the appropriate pairs, we get the following can-of-worms:

This further emphasizes, I hope, the importance of the word "twist" in making network cables which will work. You cannot use an flat-untwisted telephone cable for a network cable. Furthermore, you must use a pair of twisted wires to connect a set of transmitter pins to their corresponding receiver pins. You cannot use a wire from one pair and another wire from a different pair. Keeping the above principles in mind, we can simplify the diagram for a 568A straight-thru cable by untwisting the wires, except the 180 twist in the entire

cable, and bending the ends upward. Likewise, if we exchange the green and orange pairs in the 568A diagram we will get a simplified diagram for a 568B straight-thru cable. If we cross the green and orange pairs in the 568A diagram we will arrive at a simplified diagram for a crossover cable. All three are shown below.

Every computer that communicates over the Internet is assigned an IP address that uniquely identifies the device and distinguishes it from other computers on the Internet. An IP address consists of 32 bits, often shown as 4 octets of numbers from 0-255 represented in decimal form instead of binary form. For example, the IP address 168.212.226.204 in binary form is 10101000.11010100.11100010.11001100. But it is easier for us to remember decimals than it is to remember binary numbers, so we use decimals to represent the IP addresses when describing them. However, the binary number is important because that will determine which class of network the IP address belongs to. An IP address consists of two parts, one identifying the network and one identifying the node, or host. The Class of the address determines which part belongs to the network address and which part belongs to the node address. All nodes on a given network share the same network prefix but must have a unique host number. Class A Network -- binary address start with 0, therefore the decimal number can be anywhere from 1 to 126. The first 8 bits (the first octet) identify the network and the remaining 24 bits indicate the host within the network. An example of a Class A IP address is 102.168.212.226, where "102" identifies the network and "168.212.226" identifies the host on that network. Class B Network -- binary addresses start with 10, therefore the decimal number can be anywhere from 128 to 191. (The number 127 is reserved for loopback and is used for internal testing on the local machine.) The first 16 bits (the first two octets) identify the network and the remaining 16 bits indicate the host within the network. An example of a Class B IP address is 168.212.226.204 where "168.212" identifies the network and "226.204" identifies the host on that network. Class C Network -- binary addresses start with 110, therefore the decimal number can be anywhere from 192 to 223. The first 24 bits (the first three octets) identify the network and the remaining 8 bits indicate the host within the network. An example of a Class C IP address is 200.168.212.226 where "200.168.212" identifies the network and "226" identifies the host on that network. Class D Network -- binary addresses start with 1110, therefore the decimal number can be anywhere from 224 to 239. Class D networks are used to support multicasting. Class E Network -- binary addresses start with 1111, therefore the decimal number can be anywhere from 240 to 255. Class E networks are used for experimentation. They have never been documented or utilized in a standard way.

PRI vs. BRI


In the Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN), there are two levels of service: the Basic Rate Interface (BRI), intended for the home and small enterprise, and the Primary Rate Interface (PRI), for larger users. Both rates include a number of B-channels and a Dchannel. Each B-channel carries data, voice, and other services. The D-channel carries control and signaling information. The Basic Rate Interface consists of two 64 kbit/s Bchannels and one 16 kbit/s D-channel. Thus, a Basic Rate Interface user can have up to 128 kbit/s service. The Primary Rate Interface consists of 23 B-channels and one 64 kbit/s D-channel using a T1 line (North American standard) or 30 B-channels and one Dchannel using an E1 line (Europe/Rest of World). Thus, a Primary Rate Interface user on a T1 line can have up to 1.544 Mbit/s service or up to 2.048 Mbit/s service on an E1 line. PRI uses the Q.931 protocol over the D-channel

T1 vs. E1 Systems
North America and Japan use a T1 system of 23 B channels and one D channel which corresponds to a T1 line. Europe, Australia and most of the rest of the world use the slightly higher capacity E1 system, which is composed of 30 B channels, one synchonization channel and one D channel

In Internet terminology, a private network is typically a network that uses private IP address space, following the standards set by RFC 1918 and RFC 4193. These addresses are common in home and office local area networks (LANs), as using globally routable addresses is seen as impractical or unnecessary. Private IP addresses were originally created due to the shortage of publicly registered IP addresses created by the IPv4 standard, but are also a feature of the next generation Internet Protocol, IPv6. These addresses are private because they are not globally assigned, meaning they aren't allocated to a specific organization--instead, any organization needing private address space can use these addresses without needing approval from a regional Internet registry (RIR). Consequently, they are not routable on the public Internet, meaning that if such a private network wishes to connect to the Internet, it must use either a Network Address Translation (NAT) gateway, or a proxy server. The most common use of these addresses is in home networks, since most Internet Service Providers (ISPs) only allocate a single IP address to each customer, but many homes have more than one networking device (for example, several computers, or a printer). In this situation, a NAT gateway is almost always used to provide Internet connectivity. They are also commonly used in corporate networks, which for security reasons, are not connected directly to the internet, meaning globally routable addresses are unnecessary. Often a proxy, SOCKS gateway, or similar is used to provide restricted internet access to internal users. In both cases, private addresses are seen as adding security to the internal network, since it's impossible for an Internet host to connect directly to an internal system. Because many internal networks use the same private IP addresses, a common problem when trying to merge two such networks (e.g. during a company merger or takeover) is that both organizations have allocated the same IPs in their networks. In this case, either one network must renumber, often a difficult and time-consuming task, or a NAT router must be placed between the networks to translate one network's addresses before they can reach the other side. It is not uncommon for private address space to "leak" onto the Internet in various ways. Poorly configured private networks often attempt reverse DNS lookups for these addresses, putting extra load on the Internet's root nameservers. The AS112 project mitigates this load by providing special "blackhole" anycast nameservers for private addresses which only return "not found" answers for these queries. Organizational edge routers are usually configured to drop ingress IP traffic for these networks, which can occur either by accident, or from malicious traffic using a spoofed source address. Less commonly, ISP edge routers will drop such ingress traffic from customers, which reduces the impact to the Internet of such misconfigured or malicious hosts on the customer's network.

A common misconception is that these addresses are not routable. While not routable on the public Internet, they are routable within an organization or site. The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has directed IANA to reserve the following IPv4 address ranges for private networks, as published in RFC 1918: largest CIDR block (subnet mask) 10.0.0.0/8 (255.0.0.0) host id size 24 bits 20 bits

RFC1918 name

IP address range

number of addresses

classful description

24-bit block

10.0.0.0 16,777,216 10.255.255.255 172.16.0.0 1,048,576 172.31.255.255

single class A

20-bit block

16 contiguous 172.16.0.0/12 class Bs (255.240.0.0) 256 contiguous class Cs

16-bit block

192.168.0.0 65,536 192.168.255.255

192.168.0.0/16 (255.255.0.0)

16 bits

Note that classful addressing is obsolete and no longer used on the Internet. For example, while 10.0.0.0/8 would be a single class A network, it is not uncommon for organisations to divide it into smaller /16 or /24 networks

The OSI Model

Introduction
Compatible interconnection of network devices is fundamental to reliable network communications. Developing a set of standards that equipment manufacturers could adhere to went a long way towards providing an open environment for network communications.

In the late 1970s the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) worked on a seven layer model for LAN architectures by defining the Open Systems Interconnection Basic Reference Model (OSI). Alongside this The ISO developed a set of protocols that fit within this model. Since then, other models such as the 5 layer TCP/IP model were developed, however the OSI model is still used to map and categorise protocols because of its concise and clear way of representing network functions.

The IEEE formed the 802 committee in February 1980 with the aim of standardising LAN protocols. This resulted in the IEEE 802 series of committees that sit to develop worldwide standards for communications. Within the OSI model, the Data Link layer was split into two, the Media Access Control (MAC) sub-layer and the 802.2 Logical Link Control (LLC) sub-layer.

You can make up expressions to remember the order of the 7 layers, for example, 'Angus Prefers Sausages To Nibbling Dried Pork' or 'A Pretty Silly Trick Never Does Please'. I remember it best using the natty expression 'Application, Presentation, Session, Transport, Network, Datalink, Physical'. It just rolls off the tongue!

The OSI protocol set is rarely used today, however the model that was developed serves as a useful guide when referencing other protocol stacks such as ATM, TCP/IP and SPX/IPX.

Application Layer 7
It is employed in software packages which implement client-server software. When an application on one computer starts communicating with another computer, then the Application layer is used. The header contains parameters that are agreed between applications. This header is often only sent at the beginning of an application operation. Examples of services within the application layer include: FTP DNS SNMP

SMTP gateways Web browser Network File System (NFS) Telnet and Remote Login (rlogin) X.400 FTAM Database software Print Server Software

Presentation Layer 6
This provides function call exchange between host operating systems and software layers. It defines the format of data being sent and any encryption that may be used, and makes it presentable to the Application layer. Examples of services used are listed below: MIDI HTML GIF TIFF JPEG ASCII EBCDIC

Session Layer 5
The Session layer defines how data conversations are started, controlled and finished. The Session layer manages the transaction sequencing and in some cases authorisation. The

messages may be bidirectional and there may be many of them, the session layer manages these conversations and creates notifications if some messages fail. Indications show whether a packet is in the middle of a conversation flow or at the end. Only after a completed conversation will the data be passed up to layer 6. Examples of Session layer protocols are listed below: RPC SQL NetBIOS names Appletalk ASP DECnet SCP

Transport Layer 4
This layer is resonsible for the ordering and reassembly of packets that may have been broken up to travel across certain media. Some protocols in this layer also perform error recovery. After error recovery and reordering the data part is passed up to layer 5. Examples are: TCP UDP SPX

Network Layer 3
This layer is responsible for the delivery of packets end to end and implements a logical addressing scheme to help accomplish this. This can be connectionless or connection-oriented and is independent of the topology or path that the data packets travel. Routing packets through a network is also defined at this layer plus a method to fragment large packets into smaller ones depending on MTUs for different media (Packet Switching). Once the data from layer 2 has been

received, layer 3 examines the destination address and if it is the address of its own end station, it passes the data after the layer 3 header to layer 4. Examples of Layer 3 protocols include: Appletalk DDP IP IPX DECnet

Data Link Layer 2


This layer deals with getting data across a specific medium and individual links by providing one or more data link connections between two network entities. End points are specifically identified, if required by the Network layer Sequencing. The frames are maintained in the correct sequence and there are facilities for Flow control and Quality of Service parameters such as Throughput, Service Availability and Transit Delay.

Examples include: IEEE 802.2 IEEE 802.3 802.5 - Token Ring HDLC Frame Relay FDDI ATM PPP

The Data link layer performs the error check using the Frame Check Sequence (FCS) in the trailer and discards the frame if an error is detected. It then looks at the addresses to see if it

needs to process the rest of the frame itself or whether to pass it on to another host. The data between the header and the trailer is passed to layer 3. The MAC layer concerns itself with the access control method and determines how use of the physical transmission is controlled and provides the token ring protocols that define how a token ring operates. The LLC shields the higher level layers from concerns with the specific LAN implementation.

Physical Layer 1
This layer deals with the physical aspects of the media being used to transmit the data. The electrical, mechanical, procedural and functional means This defines things like pinouts, electrical characteristics, modulation and encoding of data bits on carrier signals. It ensures bit synchronisation and places the binary pattern that it receives into a receive buffer. Once it decodes the bit stream, the physical layer notifies the data link layer that a frame has been received and passes it up. Examples of specifications include: V.24 V.35 EIA/TIA-232 EIA/TIA-449 FDDI 802.3 802.5 Ethernet RJ45 NRZ NRZI

You will notice that some protocols span a number of layers (e.g. NFS, 802.3 etc.). A benefit of the seven layer model is that software can be written in a modular way to deal specifically with one or two layers only, this is often called Modular Engineering.

Each layer has its own header containing information relevant to its role. This header is passed down to the layer below which in turn adds its own header (encapsulates) until eventually the Physical layer adds the layer 2 information for passage to the next device which understands the layer 2 information and can then strip each of the layers' headers in turn to get at the data in the right location. Each layer within an end station communicates at the same layer within another end station.