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Computer Communication


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• Communications – activity associated with
distributing or exchanging information
• Telecommunications – technology of
communications at a distance that permits
information to be created any where and used
everywhere with little delay
• Today it, involves
—Data: digital and analog (how analog data is
—Voice: spoken word, music..
—Video: telelcommunication imaging

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Communication Services &
• A communication service enables the exchange of
information between users at different locations.
• Communication services & applications are


server Exchange of text messages via servers

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Communication Services &

Web Browsing

Web server

Retrieval of information from web servers

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Communication Services &

Instant Messaging

Direct exchange of text messages

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Communication Services &


Real-time bidirectional voice exchange

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Communication Services &

Cell phone

Real-time voice exchange with mobile users

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Communication Services &

Short Message Service

Fast delivery of short text messages

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• Two or more than two computer

systems connected by means of a
communication medium like cables is
termed as a Network.
• Computer Network is a
communication system, which links
computers and their resources.

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Why we need Networking?
• Sharing of data and resources
• Distributing computation
among nodes
• Remote I/O devices
• To share data/files access.
• Personal Communication (Chat,
E-mail, now VOIP)

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Following are the benefits of

networking. Information Sharing
• Printer Sharing
• Hard Disk Sharing
• Modem Sharing

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• Hardware Sharing
• Software Sharing
• Service Access
• Easy Back-Up Management
• Security
• Centralized Administration and
‘Networking’ helps to increase
the productivity
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Many other examples!

• Peer-to-peer applications
—File exchange
—Searching for Extraterrestrial
Intelligence (SETI)
• Audio & video streaming
• Network games
• On-line purchasing
• Text messaging in PDAs, cell phones
• Voice-over-Internet
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What is a communication

• The equipment (hardware & software) and facilities that provide the basic
communication service
• Virtually invisible to the user; Usually represented by a cloud

• Facilities
• Equipment
—Copper wires,
—Routers, servers, coaxial cables,
switches, optical fiber
multiplexers, hubs, —Ducts, conduits,
modems, … telephone poles …

How are communication networks designed and operated?

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Communication Network

• Network architecture: the plan that

specifies how the network is built and
• Architecture is driven by the network
• Overall communication process is complex
• Network architecture partitions overall
communication process into separate
functional areas called layers

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Networking: Why do we need
• Direct point-to-point communication is not
always possible/practical/efficient:
— Communicating entities can be too far apart for a single
— A large set of communicating entities (e.g. telephones)
would need impractically large number of connections

(full connectivity for N nodes needs N × (N – 1) / 2 links)

— Not all links would be needed all the time!
• Solution is
a communication network:
— Wide Area Network (WAN)
— Metropolitan Area Network (MAN)
— Local Area Network (LAN)
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Network Architecture Evolution

Information transfer

per second






1850 1875 1900 1925 1950 1975 2000

Telegraph Telephone Internet, Optical Next

networks networks & Wireless Generation
networks Internet

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Network Architecture Evolution

• Telegraph Networks
—Message switching & digital transmission
• Telephone Networks
—Circuit Switching
—Analog transmission → digital transmission
—Mobile communications
• Internet
—Packet switching & computer applications
• Next-Generation Internet
—Multiservice packet switching network

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A Communication Model
• Source
—generates data to be transmitted
• Transmitter
—Converts data into transmittable signals
• Transmission System
—Carries data
• Receiver
—Converts received signal into data
• Destination
—Takes incoming data

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Communications Tasks

Transmission system Addressing

Interfacing Routing

Signal generation Recovery

Synchronization Message formatting

Exchange management Security

Error detection and Network management

Flow control

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Simplified Communications
Model - Diagram

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Data Communication System Components

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Network Transmission Medium
 Open air
 radio, microwaves, satellites, infrared

 noise signals, collision

 Optical fiber
 clear signals, low power and high rate (Gbps)

 Copper wire
 Lower cost interfaces

 Bi-directional

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What’s a protocol?
human protocols: network protocols:
• “what’s the time?” • machines rather than
• “I have a question”
• all communication
• introductions activity in Internet
governed by protocols
… specific msgs sent
… specific actions protocols define format,
taken when msgs order of msgs sent and
received, or other received among network
events entities, and actions
taken on msg
transmission, receipt
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What’s a protocol?
a human protocol and a computer network protocol:

Hi TCP connection
TCP connection
Got the response
time? Get

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Key Elements of a Protocol
• Syntax
—Data formats
—Signal levels
• Semantics
—Control information
—Error handling
• Timing
—Speed matching

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Basic Concepts
• Line Configuration
• Topology
• Transmission Mode
• Categories of Networks
• Internetworks

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Point-to-Point Line Configuration

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Point-to-Point Line Configuration

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Point-to-Point Line Configuration

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Multipoint Line Configuration

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• Point to point communication not
usually practical
—Devices are too far apart
—Large set of devices would need
impractical number of connections
• Solution is a communications network
—Wide Area Network (WAN)
—Local Area Network (LAN)

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Mesh Network Topology
• Type I - Nodes are arranged in grids
—each node can talk to its neighbors directly
—non-neighbor nodes needs store-and-forward
for communication

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Type II - Mesh Topology

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Star Network Topology
 One node at the center acts as the master node
 Other nodes linked to the master function as slaves
 slaves communicate via master

 easy to arbitrate among slaves (master decides)

 not scalable (the master is the bottleneck)

 normally for small networks or that requires

predictable performance
 master failure shutdowns the whole net
 Example: Ethernet, DSL slave


slave slave

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Star Topology

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Tree Topology

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Bus Network Topology
 Every node taps into a common medium
 Signals may collide with each other
 need to arbitrate who will get the bus

 capable of broadcasting message (one send & many listen)

 the common medium is the bottleneck

single node failure causes no network failure

the medium failure brings down the network
 Example: (10BASE2, 10BASE5) Ethernet

common medium

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Bus Topology

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Ring Network Topology
• Nodes are arranged in a ring
• One node receives from its predecessor & sends
to its successor
• arbitrate who can access the ring
• messages forwarded by each node
• sender deletes its messages from the ring
• the common ring is the single point of failure (complicated
connectors needed)

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Ring Topology

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Hybrid Network Topology
• No restrictions on how to link the nodes
• Topology can adapt to individual organization


slave slave

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Hybrid Topology

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Network Classification
• Classification of interconnected
processors by scale.

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Network Types by Scope
 WAN - wide area network
 cross large span of space (continental)

 typically heterogeneous and low speed

 example: Internet

 MAN - metro-area network

 regional scope (city-wide)

 LAN - local area network

 limited scope (a couple of buildings)

 typically homogeneous & high speed

 example: Ethernet & Token ring

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Local Area Networks

• Local area networks (LANs) are

privately-owned networks within a
single building or campus of up to a
few kilometers in size.
• LANs are distinguished by three
— (Restricted in) Size
— Transmission technology: 10 Mbps to 10
Gbps (1 Mbps = 1,000,000 bits/sec, 1
Gbps = 1,000,000,000 bits/sec).
— Topology: bus and ring

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Local Area Networks

• Two broadcast networks

• (a) Bus: Ethernet – IEEE 802.3
• (b) Ring: IEEE 802.5, FDDI

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Local Area Network

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Local Area Network

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LAN Configurations
• Switched
—Switched Ethernet
• May be single or multiple switches
—Fibre Channel
• Wireless
—Ease of installation

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Metropolitan Area Networks
• A metropolitan Area Networks (MAN)
is a network that interconnects users
with computer resources in a
geographic area or region such as a
• Deployment
— Cable television
— Wireless: IEEE 802.16

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Metropolitan Area Networks

• Middle ground between LAN and
• Private or public network
• High speed data transmission
• Large area coverage

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Metropolitan Area Networks
• A metropolitan area network based on
cable TV.

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Metropolitan Area Network

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Wide Area Networks
• A wide area network (WAN) spans a
large geographical area, often a country
and continent.
• It contains a collection of machines
• The hosts are connected by a
communication subnet.
• The subnet consists of two components:
— Transmission lines
— Switching elements: router
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Wide Area Networks
• Relation between hosts on LANs and the

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Wide Area Networks
• Large geographical area
• Crossing public rights of way
• Rely in part on common carrier circuits
• Alternative technologies
—Circuit switching
—Packet switching
—Frame relay
—Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM)

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Wide Area Network

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• Different networks are connected by
means of machines called gateways.
• A collection of interconnected networks
is called an internetwork or internet.
• A common form of internet is a
collection of LANs connected by a WAN.

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What’s the Internet: “nuts and bolts”
• millions of connected
computing devices: hosts, workstation
end-systems server
— PCs workstations, servers mobile
— PDAs phones, toasters local ISP
running network apps
• communication links
— fiber, copper, radio, satellite
regional ISP
— transmission rate bandwidth
• routers: forward packets
(chunks of data)

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“Cool” internet appliances

IP picture frame

Web-enabled toaster + weather

World’s smallest web server
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What’s the Internet: “nuts and bolts”
• protocols control sending, router
receiving of msgs
— e.g., TCP, IP, HTTP, FTP, PPP server
• Internet: “network of local ISP
— loosely hierarchical
— public Internet versus private
intranet regional ISP
• Internet standards
— RFC: Request for comments
— IETF: Internet Engineering Task

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What’s the Internet: a service view
• communication
infrastructure enables
distributed applications:
— Web, email, games, e-
commerce, database.,
voting, file (MP3) sharing
• communication services
provided to apps:
— connectionless
— connection-oriented

 cyberspace [Gibson]:
“a consensual hallucination experienced daily by
billions of operators, in every nation, ...."
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Frame Relay
• Packet switching systems have large
overheads to compensate for errors
• Modern systems are more reliable

• Errors can be caught in end system

• Most overhead for error control is stripped

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Asynchronous Transfer Mode
• Evolution of frame relay
• Little overhead for error control
• Fixed packet (called cell) length
• Anything from 10Mbps to Gbps
• Constant data rate using packet switching

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Wireless Communication
• Wireless communication is not a
new idea.
—Native American smoke signal
—Chinese Beacon fire
—Wireless telegraph using Morse Code

• Modern digital wireless systems

have better performance, but the
basic idea is the same.

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Wireless Networks
• Categories of wireless networks:
—System interconnection
—Wireless LANs
—Wireless WANs

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System Interconnection

• System interconnection is all about

interconnecting the components of a
computer using short-range radio.
• Some companies got together to design a
short-range wireless network called
Bluetooth to these components.
• Bluetooth allows digital cameras, headsets,
scanners, and other devices to connect to a
computer is a short range.

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Bluetooth Standard
• The Bluetooth document is adopted by
IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics
Engineers) 802.15 as a basis for wireless
personal area networks.
—Work at 2.4 GHz
—Transfer up to 2 Mbps
—10 meters range

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Wireless Networks
• (a) Bluetooth configuration
• (b) Wireless LAN

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Wireless LANS
• The wireless local area networks (LANs)
are systems in which every computer has
a radio modem and antenna with which it
can communicate with other systems.
• Wireless LANs are common in small offices
and homes.
• There is a standard for wireless LANs,
called IEEE 802.11.

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Wireless WANS
• The wireless wide area networks (WANs) are
systems used in the wide area.
• The radio network used for cellular
telephones is an example of a low-
bandwidth (low transfer rate) wireless
—First generation: analog for voice
—Second generation: digital for voice
—Third generation: digital for voice and
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Wireless WANS
• High-bandwidth wide area wireless
networks are also being developed.
• A standard for metropolitan area networks
(MANs), called IEEE 802.16, has also
been developed.
—Work at 10-to-66 GHz
—Transfer up to 155 Mbps
—30 miles range

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Wireless Networks
• (a) Individual mobile computers
• (b) A flying LAN

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Wireless WANS
• High-bandwidth wide area wireless
networks are also being developed.
• A standard for it, called IEEE 802.16, has
also been developed.
—Work at 10-to-66 GHz
—Transfer up to 155 Mbps
—30 miles range

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Home Network Categories
• Computers (desktop PC, PDA, shared
• Entertainment (TV, DVD, VCR, camera,
stereo, MP3)
• Telecomm (telephone, cell phone,
intercom, fax)
• Appliances (microwave, fridge, clock,
furnace, airco)
• Telemetry (utility meter, burglar alarm,
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Home Network Properties

• The network and devices have to be easy to install.

• The network and devices have to be foolproof in operation.
• Low price is essential for success.
• The main application is likely to involve multimedia.
• It must be possible to start out with one or two devices and
expand the reach of the network gradually.
• Security and reliability will be very important.

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A closer look at network
• network edge: applications
and hosts
• network core:
—network of networks
• access networks, physical
media: communication links

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Circuit Switching
• Dedicated communications path
established for the duration of the
• e.g. telephone network

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Packet Switching
• Data sent out of sequence
• Small chunks (packets) of data at a time
• Packets passed from node to node
between source and destination
• Used for terminal to computer and
computer to computer communications

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Data Communication
• Two major data communication
frameworks have been developed to help
ensure that networks meet business and
communication requirements:
—Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) reference
model developed by the International
Standards Organization (ISO)
—Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol
(TCP/IP) suite

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Transmission Speeds

m S
peed C
Tw istedW ire 300bps-10M bps Low
M icrow ave 256Kbps-100M bps
Satellite 256Kbps-100M bps
CoaxialC able 56Kbps-200M bps
Fiber-O pticC able 500Kbps-10G
bps High

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Important Standard-Setting

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Online System Requirements
• Response Time
• Throughput
• Consistency
• Flexibility

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Online Systems Requirements
• Availability
• Reliability
—Mean time between failure (MTBF)
—Mean time to repair (MTTR)
—Fault Tolerance
• Recovery
• Security

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Business Data Communication
• Major data communication applications
—Knowledge management systems
—E-commerce and e-business applications
—Wireless applications

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Groupware Applications
• Group calendar • Electronic meeting
systems and
• Electronic filing videoconferencing
cabinets systems
• Project • Document
management management
software systems (image
• Group support processing

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Other Data Communication
• Batch applications • Interactive
• Data entry applications
applications • Sensor-based
• Distributed applications
applications • Combined
• Inquiry/response applications

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Application Service Providers
• Many businesses have turned to third-
party services for some or all of their
business and data communications
• Application service providers (ASPs) are
third-party organizations that manage and
distribute software and services to other
companies over the Web
• Many ASPs specialize in integrated e-
commerce and e-business applications

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Business Data Communications
• Major data communications issues
—The Internet
—Evolving technologies
—Privacy and security

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Services versus Throughput Rates

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