Click on an Issue below to jump or scroll down to read the entire article.
- What is a LAN?
- What are the hardware components of a LAN?
- What are the software components of a LAN?
- What is a Network Interface Card (NIC)?
- What is a Hub?
- What is a Bridge?
- What is a LAN switch?
- What is a Router?
- What is Network Management?
- What is SNMP?
- What is RMON?
- What is JAVA?
- Define a JAVA-based Network Management System
- What is a RMON software probe?
- Setting up a network
- Network Interface Card
- Other networking components
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.
What 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-bus…and 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 hub’s 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:
- 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 PC’s 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.
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 PnP-compatible and that your PC’s
operating system is Windows® 95. Once the NIC is installed and you have powered
on your computer, 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