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(Subject) (Student's Name) (Name of the Institution) (Unit name) (Instructor's Name) (Date) 1. What are some foundational concepts and components of

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  1. What are some foundational concepts and components of a computer network?

A computer network is made up of a collection of computers, printers, equipment and intelligent devices connected using a communication media, such as cables and wireless media, to achieve communication. Computer networks are used in various aspects life, and its applications are growing every day. Nowadays, computer networks in institutions of learning and corporatesconnect geographically separatestations. The state and local governmentalso uses the computer networks to link medical facilities, military organizations and various departments(Gifford, 2015).

There are various categories of computer networks. These include: the local area networks (LANs), the metropolitan area networks (MANs), and the wide area networks (WANs). The main differences among LANs, WANsand MANsare the coverage distance, the speed of transmission, error rateand media. A local area network refers to a computer network which covers a small geographical area, for instance, a campus, a building or a room. A LAN is commonly owned by a one organization and is in one physical locationin the organization’s building(Tanenbaum, 1996).A MAN is just like a LAN but it covers the entire city. It is made up of various LANS. A WAN is a network which covers a wide geographical area. It is consists of LANs and MANs. It ensures that all the computers and user can communicate with other users in other locations across the world.

Hardware and software are required to implement a LAN. MS Windows 2003 or Novell NetWare can be used as s network operating system (NOS). Such software should be installed in the server PC.  The client software should be installed on all the workstations which will be connected to the network. All the servers and workstations should have the network interface card (NIC). This allows them to communicate over the network. Cables are used to connect the NICs to the LAN’s switchorhub. The plan for the design and implementation of a LAN include:  network architecture, the access channel protocols (such as the token passing or Ethernet CSMA/CD), the size of the network (i.e., number of workstations, servers and printers), and the devices used in connection (for example hubs or switches).

Hubs are devices used toconnect PCs to the networks. Theirmajor functionis to direct information inthe network. This ensures that there is communication between the devices in the network. However, in new connections, switches are used instead of the hubs since they are more effective and perform better than the hubs. A switch is usually referred to as a ‘smart hub'(Gifford, 2015).

Wireless network are used in some cases. They use standard network protocols, but cables are not used to connect the computers. Computers in this network use wireless radio signals to transmit information. Wireless local area networks (WLANs) are made up of two major components: a wireless card and anaccess point (also referred to as a base station). Components can exchange information as long as the components are relatively close together.

  • What are the components of an internet protocol version four (IPv4) IP address?

IPV4 offers a technique which uniquely identifiesthe host using the IP addressing scheme. It uses the best effort delivery method. This implies that it cannot guarantee thatall the packets would be delivered to the destination but it will try all the best toensure that the packet reaches the destination. IPV4 utilizes the 32-bit logical address. The following shows the IP encapsulation(Medhi & Ramasamy, 2007).

The data encapsulated is referred to as the IP Payload. IP header has all the information needed to successfully deliver a packet of data across a network to the destination.The IP header has a lot of relevant information including the IP Version Number. In this case the version number is 4. Additional details are as follows:

  • Total Length: The Length of the whole  IP Packet (including IP Payload and IP header)
  • Identification:  It identifies where the original IP packet fragments belong to.
  • Flags: They indicate whether the IP packets are to be fragmented or not.
  • Version: The internet protocol version number( IPv4 in this case)
  • IHL: The Internet Header Length which refers to the Length of the entire IP header
  • Protocol: It informs the network layer of the protocols of the packet.
  • Header Checksum: It is used to check error in the transmitted packets.
  • Source Address: It refers to the 32-bit address of the packet source.
  • DSCP: The Differentiated Services Code Point. It indicates the Type of Service.
  • ECN: The Explicit Congestion Notification. This contains the information regarding the congestion in the route.
  • Destination Address: It is a 32-bit address of packet destination.
  • Options: This field is optional and only used when the IHL is higher than five. It may contain details such as, Record Route, Security or the Time Stamp.
  • Fragment Offset: This offset tells the exact position of the fragment in the original IP Packet.
  • Time to Live: It assists in avoiding looping in the network.
  • When should a network administrator assign static IP addresses to network devices?

In static IP addressing, the addresses are manually assigned. The assigning of the addresses is done carefully to avoid overlap. When a new device is connected, manual configuration has to be done byentering the IP address, the default gateway, the subnet mask and the DNS server(s).

The DCHP on the other hand offers a true “plug and play” kind of networking. However, this comes at a cost. The level of control over the addresses in the network is very low(Gifford, 2015).Since DHCP is a more of an automated system, there is a risk of someone planting an unapproved DHCP server, which would direct the traffic to a router which is under other person’s control. This will allow one to hijack the network. Also, new devices can be easily added to the network in DHCP. This will allow unauthorized devices to be added to the network(Tanenbaum, 1996).

References

Davies, D. W. (1979). Computer networks and their protocols. New York : Wiley.

Gifford, C. ( 2015). Computer networks. New York: Crabtree Publishing.

Medhi, D., & Ramasamy, K. (2007). Network routing : algorithms, protocols, and architectures. Boston: Elsevier/Morgan Kaufmann Publishers.

Tanenbaum, A. S. (1996). Computer networks. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall PTR.

 
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