Back To CourseIntroduction to the Internet of Things
8 chapters | 50 lessons
A computer network is a digital network allows data sharing between various devices. A network ranges from a small office/ home network to a large commercial enterprise. Home networks have fewer users whereas commercial networks have thousands of users. And home networks don't need much whereas a commercial network needs many networking components.
Let's briefly compare various home networks to commercial networks.
Nowadays, almost all homes and offices have a local network, along with internet connectivity. Small office networks and home networks enable several devices such as computers, PCs, laptops, etc., to connect and communicate with each other. These small work networks can be built in two ways:
Wired home networks make use of Ethernet connectivity over copper cables. Compared to wireless home networks, wired home networks are comparatively faster (100 Megabytes per second to 10 Gigabytes per second), more reliable, and more secure. On the downside, wired networks do not work with networking devices that lack Ethernet ports (for example, smart phones and tablets) which is something wireless set ups can do.
A simple wired small network can be set up as shown in the diagram below.
Wireless home networks use Wi-Fi for a connection and are easy and quick to install. They are slower and less secure than wired networks however. But since there is no need to run cables, installation is simpler.
Commercial networks are large networks, and the major difference between home networks and large commercial networks is the size. Commercial networks make use of similar protocols, networking topology, and services as their smaller cousins, home networks do. Whereas a home network has somewhere between one to twenty devices, commercial networks have thousands of devices connected to each other. A large commercial network is often a combination of both wired and wireless technologies.
1. Identify the size of the commercial network. The larger the network, the more powerful and expensive the networking equipment will be.
2. Security is another important factor to keep in mind. In order to prevent unauthorized access, servers can be kept locked in private rooms.
3. Prevention systems, intrusion detection mechanisms, and firewalls need to be installed to enhance the logical security of the large networks.
4. Keep fault tolerance in mind while building a commercial network. Keep critical equipment such as switches, routers, and servers redundant.
5. Schedule and plan network services. Document every installation for better troubleshooting.
The Internet is a public network, making readily available the majority of services needed by an organization. Organizations can be connected to the Internet through broadband, Internet leased line, 4G, and so on. VPN / MPLS / managed leased lines can also be used for connecting other branches of an organization with the Internet.
Commercial routers are layer 3 networking devices that connect various separate networks together. A router is a gateway between the local area network and the wide area network. The broadband networks/ MPLS circuits/ Internet leased lines get terminated on routers. Routers have LAN and WAN ports for connecting to LAN and WAN respectively. Modern day routers have advanced configurations for security such as content filtering, intrusion detection, and VPN set-up. Advanced routers also come with high-end features like built-in VOIP and wireless support.
UTM (Unified Threat Management software) provides network security at gateway levels (for example, a router's level) and secures various end points of organizational connectivity. The security options provided by UTM are: intrusion prevention (IPS), firewall, content and URL filtering, Virtual Private Network (VPN), etc.
A core switch is a layer 3 switch that connects several access switches and distribution switches using copper or fiber optic cabling. Core switches are outermost layers that connect the commercial network to the Internet.
A Network Area Storage (NAS) device is used for storing bulk data or files for servers or individual users. An NAS can also be a storage area network in some cases. NAS devices are storage-array or disk-based and are connected to the commercial network through the Internet so that anyone can store their data on the NAS and access their data whenever needed.
In a Commercial Network, wireless access points provide Wi-Fi or wireless access to devices (e.g. laptops, PCs, and tablets). All these wireless access points are controlled or managed by a 'wireless controller'. A wireless controller offers encryption, authentication, frequency management, policy management, load balancing, fail-over, intrusion scanning and various other activities needed for wireless users of the commercial network.
This provides call services (voice switching) for telephony functions in a commercial network. The IP telephony servers provide connectivity and central administration to the PSTN lines for all the VOIP devices and IP telephones. These telephony servers also handle extension assignment and interactive voice response (IVR).
Distribution switches form an aggregation layer for commercial networks. They connect the lower level core switches that connect the servers with edge switches that connect the end users through the Internet. There can be one aggregation layer (distribution switches) for each department of the organization but there can also be a commercial network without any distribution switches. In this case, the core switches and the edge switches are directly connected, without the intermediate distribution switches.
These access layer switches are innermost switches that generally connect to networking servers (Web server, Database Server, Application server, ERP, etc). The edge switches or access layer switches provide direct connectivity to end devices like PC, laptops, and similar using UTP (copper) cables.
WAP (wireless access points) contain in-built radios for connecting networking devices that have built-in wireless adapters, through wireless signals. The wireless enabled client devices detect these signals and send them through the wired networks.
Various networking endpoint devices like PCs, laptops, PDA, IP phones, surveillance camera, mobile phones, etc., connect to the organization's LAN network through edge switches.
A computer network allows data sharing between various devices. Home networks are small computer networks that are very simple and need less time to build because the number of users is less. They come in two kinds, wired home networks and wireless home networks. Commercial networks, on the other hand, require multiple networking components to build them, including UTM (unified threat management), NAS devices, telephony, and a variety of switches. Home networks and commercial networks vary primarily in terms of size. Security is a major concern in a commercial network. Whereas home networks can be wired or wireless, commercial networks are usually a combination of both wired and wireless networks.
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Back To CourseIntroduction to the Internet of Things
8 chapters | 50 lessons
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