Wide Area Networking Essay

1930 words - 8 pages

Wide Area NetworksIntroductionThe following paper is a report into the characteristics and construction of a Wide Area Network (WAN). It will start by giving a basic description of a Wide Area Network and then go on to investigate, in detail, the actual structure and workings of a WAN. The intended purpose of the report is to allow individuals with or without prior knowledge of the researched area to have better understanding of the report subject.Basic ConceptsCharacteristics of a WANThe term WAN (Wide Area Network) refers to a network, which covers a large geographical area, and use communications circuits to connect the intermediate nodes. WAN's are used across a city, country or even around the globe. Typical transmission rates are 2 Mbps, 34 Mbps, 45 Mbps, 155 Mbps, and 625 Mbps but can be even more than this. A WAN consists, basically, of two or more LANs (Local Area Network), which are connected to each other using WAN technologies under a high-speed communication. The largest and probably the best example of a Wide Area Network is the Internet. WAN technologies generally function at the lower three layers of the OSI Model: the Physical Layer, the Data Link Layer, and the Network Layer (all layers are shown in order below). . Bridges, routers and multiplexers and other devices are used for correct data transmission. Some WANs are extremely widespread (global), but most do not provide true global coverage. Organizations supporting WANs using the Internet Protocol are known as Network Service Providers (NSP's). These form the core of the Internet.The OSI (Open System Interconnection) Model: -ApplicationPresentationSessionTransportNetworkData LinkPhysicalAddressing and routingOn a Wide Area Network, the routing of data is done mainly using TCP/IP (Transmission Control protocol/Internet Protocol).TCP is the protocol, which "enables two hosts to establish a connection and exchange streams of data. TCP guarantees delivery of data and also guarantees that packets will be delivered in the same order in which they were sent."Every device on a network, or indeed any device in general, has it's own individual IP Address. An IP Address is a unique number in the format of four sets of digits, each ranging from 0 to 255, for example 195.194.202.70. Hardware used to assist the correct routing and flow of network traffic would consist of devices like Hubs, Bridges, Routers, Switches and Multiplexers.Congestion ControlThis is a technique(s) used to detect if there is any other traffic on the network before data is sent. Devices that are communicating data across a network rely on congestion control to determine when to send or delay the transmission of data packets in order to stop contention and collisions. The main technology used for doing this is CSMA/CD Carrier Sense Multiple Access/Collision. If a collision is detected then the sending device will wait for a certain length of time and then attempts to re-send the message.PTO switched servicesCircuit...

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