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Lesson 3 Design decisions for a TCP/IP solution
Objective Define decisions that influence the design of a TCP/IP solution.

Design Decisions for a TCP/IP Solution

Question: Does Windows Server 2019 use TCP/IP for authentication processes?
TCP/IP itself, as a foundational set of protocols for network communications, does not inherently provide authentication processes. Rather, it provides a standardized method for devices to exchange data over a network. However, higher-level protocols that utilize TCP/IP for data transmission may incorporate authentication processes. These authentication processes used by Windows Server 2019 often operate at the Application layer of the TCP/IP stack. Windows Server 2019 employs several methods and protocols for authentication that use TCP/IP as the underlying transport mechanism. These include:
  1. Kerberos Authentication: Kerberos is a network authentication protocol designed to provide strong authentication for client/server applications. Kerberos uses secret-key cryptography and a trusted third party (a Key Distribution Center, or KDC) to authenticate users to a variety of network services. Kerberos communication occurs over TCP or UDP, protocols in the Transport layer of the TCP/IP model.
  2. NTLM Authentication: The NT LAN Manager (NTLM) is another authentication protocol used on networks that include systems running Windows Server 2019. It uses a challenge-response mechanism for authentication, in which clients are able to prove their identities without sending a password to the server. Like Kerberos, NTLM authentication occurs over TCP/IP-based protocols.
  3. LDAP Authentication: Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) is primarily used in Windows for accessing and maintaining distributed directory information services over an Internet Protocol (IP) network. LDAP can be used for user authentication and supports both unencrypted (on port 389) and encrypted (on port 636 via LDAP over SSL/TLS) communications.
  4. RADIUS Authentication: Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service (RADIUS) is a networking protocol that provides centralized Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting (AAA or Triple A) management for users who connect and use a network service. RADIUS is often used in conjunction with VPNs and remote access services, with communication taking place over UDP, a protocol in the Transport layer of the TCP/IP model.

In conclusion, while TCP/IP itself does not manage authentication, Windows Server 2019 utilizes a variety of protocols and methods that operate over TCP/IP to handle authentication processes. These protocols include Kerberos, NTLM, LDAP, and RADIUS, all of which serve to validate the identity of users and systems within the network. These protocols, while providing the mechanism for authentication, are transported via TCP/IP which serves as the foundational protocol suite for data transmission over the network.

TCP/IP is a key Protocol Suite used by Windows 10

TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) is the backbone of the internet and a key protocol suite used by Windows 10, among other operating systems, for providing communication services. It is utilized across several layers of the OS's networking architecture, defining how data should be packaged, addressed, transmitted, routed, and received at the destination.
The TCP/IP model consists of four layers: the network interface layer, the internet layer, the transport layer, and the application layer. Each layer corresponds to a particular aspect of the communication process.
  1. Network Interface Layer: This is the lowest layer in the TCP/IP model, also known as the link or network access layer. It handles placing TCP/IP packets on the network medium and receiving TCP/IP packets off the network medium. In Windows 10, the network interface layer includes drivers and hardware that connect the computer to a network, whether through Ethernet, Wi-Fi, or another communication technology.
  2. Internet Layer: The internet layer, also known as the network layer, is responsible for routing, IP addressing, and packaging. It essentially places packets where they need to go in the network. IP, ICMP (Internet Control Message Protocol), ARP (Address Resolution Protocol), and RARP (Reverse Address Resolution Protocol) are the main protocols at this layer. Windows 10 utilizes this layer to move packets around the network, ensuring they get to the correct destination.
  3. Transport Layer: This layer is responsible for providing mechanisms for the sending and receiving of data. Two primary protocols work at this level: TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) and UDP (User Datagram Protocol). TCP provides a reliable, connection-oriented communication channel between applications, while UDP provides a connectionless, less reliable communication channel. Windows 10 leverages these protocols to facilitate application-to-application communication.
  4. Application Layer: The application layer is the highest layer in the TCP/IP model, providing protocols for specific data communication services. The protocols in this layer are what the applications use to send and receive data. For instance, HTTP is used for web services, SMTP for email services, FTP for file transfers, etc. In Windows 10, application software uses these protocols to interact with the network and send/receive data.

In the context of Windows 10, TCP/IP communication can be managed through various built-in tools. For example, the 'ipconfig' command allows users to view and manage IP configuration, while the 'netstat' command provides information about the active TCP/IP network connections. These tools offer a way for users and administrators to monitor and troubleshoot TCP/IP-based communication on a Windows 10 system.
Windows 10 employs the TCP/IP suite as an integral part of its networking architecture, supporting a wide range of internet services and facilitating communication across networks. From providing reliable transmission through TCP, to facilitating application-based protocols like HTTP and SMTP, TCP/IP is the vital communication standard within the Windows 10 environment.

Factors which influence your TCP/IP Design Decisions

  1. The number of hosts requiring IP connectivity: The number of host IP addresses you require will determine how you subnet your network, and might influence whether you use public or private IP addresses. When designing an IP solution for your network, you must always keep in mind the number of IP addresses required and the number of IP hosts desired on each logical subnet.
  2. The requirement for public and/or private IP addressing: You will likely need to use private IP addresses for any network larger than just a few hosts. This is because of the present shortage of public IP addresses. If you require a large number of host IP addresses for a new network, you will invariably be required to use private IP addresses.
  3. The number of physical subnets and routers: When planning your network design, you need to consider how and where your physical subnets will be located. Typically, your physical subnets will coincide with your logical subnets, although this certainly is not a requirement. When designing your TCP/IP solution, consider how many computers will be in a single collision domain and how you will segment broadcast traffic in order to optimize your IP network configuration.
  4. The OSI layer 1 and 2 network configuration: This continues with the concepts mentioned above. OSI layer 1 is the physical layer and OSI layer 2 is the datalink later. You need to consider what networking architectures you want to use. For example, you will need to consider if you should use ATM, Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, or Token Ring in your TCP/IP solution. In many cases, however, you will inherit a network infrastructure that will define the answers to these questions.

TCP/IP Features which made it the Backbone of the Internet

The popularity of the TCP/IP protocols did not grow rapidly just because the protocols were there, or because connecting to the Internet mandated their use. They met an important need (worldwide data communication) at the right time, and they had several important features that allowed them to meet this need. These features are:
  1. Open protocol standards, freely available and developed independently from any specific computer hardware or operating system. Because it is so widely supported, TCP/IP is ideal for uniting different hardware and software components, even if you don’t communicate over the Internet.
  2. Independence from specific physical network hardware. This allows TCP/IP to integrate many different kinds of networks. TCP/IP can be run over an Ethernet, a DSL connection, a dial-up line, an optical network, and virtually any other kind of physical transmission medium.
  3. A common addressing scheme that allows any TCP/IP device to uniquely address any other device in the entire network, even if the network is as large as the worldwide Internet.
  4. Standardized high-level protocols for consistent, widely available user services. The next lesson explores some of the basic features of TCP/IP.