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Lesson 1

Designing TCP/IP Solution

Organizations are facing a growing need for Internet connectivity, and connectivity between dissimilar operating systems and hardware platforms spread over large geographic distances. Because TCP/IP operates on a wide variety of physical networks and can be scaled to suit small to large networks, it is the only protocol that can meet the requirements of these organizations. Unlike many of the LAN protocols formerly in widespread use, such as NetBEUI and IPX/SPX, TCP/IP is a relatively complex networking protocol to set up and configure. You must plan carefully how to set up client machines and how your TCP/IP network infrastructure will be implemented. If the network is not designed with the advantages and limitations of the TCP/IP protocol in mind, network performance will be dismal and unreliable.

Other Protocols that can meet the requirements of organizations in the Enterprise

TCP/IP operates on a wide variety of physical networks and can be scaled to suit small to large networks. Question: Are there any other protocols that can meet the requirements of organizations in the Enterprise?
There are several other protocols that are designed to meet the unique needs of enterprise networks. These include but are not limited to the following:
  1. User Datagram Protocol (UDP): A core member of the Internet protocol suite, UDP provides a simple, but unreliable, message-passing transport layer service. It's used where a lightweight protocol is required, especially for real-time communications such as VoIP, video conferencing, streaming, and gaming. While not providing the reliability and ordering guarantees of TCP, it does reduce the overhead in situations where these features aren't needed.
  2. Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP): This is a communications protocol used by hosts and adjacent routers on an Internet Protocol (IP) network to establish multicast group memberships. IGMP is an integral part of IP multicast and enables efficient sharing of resources to large sets of receivers. This can be of particular interest in enterprise network environments where multicast services such as video distribution or conferencing might be required.
  3. Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP): This protocol is used in network management systems to monitor and control network devices and their functions. SNMP provides a way for network administrators to manage network performance, find and solve network issues, and plan for network growth. SNMP's flexibility, utility, and widespread use make it an essential protocol in enterprise-grade network management.
  4. Border Gateway Protocol (BGP): BGP is a protocol designed to exchange routing and reachability information among autonomous systems (AS) on the Internet. This protocol plays a crucial role in directing packets through the complex network of routers that make up the internet. In the enterprise setting, BGP is particularly important for organizations with complex network topologies or those that require control over routing paths on the Internet.
  5. Open Shortest Path First (OSPF): This is an interior gateway protocol (IGP) that routers use to exchange routing information within a single autonomous system (AS). OSPF is widely used in large enterprise networks because it scales well, supports multiple equal-cost routes, and provides fast convergence.
  6. Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS): MPLS is a routing technique in telecommunications networks that directs data from one node to the next based on short path labels rather than long network addresses. It can speed up the flow of network traffic and make it easier to manage. MPLS is often used in enterprise networks for its speed, reliability, and quality of service (QoS) capabilities.

It's important to note that the optimal choice of protocols depends on the specific needs and circumstances of each enterprise network. Considerations include the nature and size of the network, the type of traffic it carries, and the organization's specific requirements for performance, security, and other factors. It's also common for multiple protocols to be used in combination to address a range of network needs. For example, TCP/IP and UDP may be used together in an enterprise network, with each protocol handling different types of traffic based on their particular strengths and weaknesses.

By the end of this module, you will be able to:
  1. Define the components of TCP/IP protocol suite
  2. Define decisions that influence the design of a TCP/IP solution
  3. Define the features of TCP/IP and their functionality
  4. Define the elements utilized in TCP/IP design
  5. Define the IP addressing schemes available in private networks
  6. Determine the number of hosts per subnet and number of subnets
  7. Define configuration methodologies used by network hosts
The next lesson defines the importance of TCP/IP in a network, and introduces you to protocol suite.

(TCP/IP) Transport Control Protocol/Internet Protocol is a protocol system, a collection of protocols that supports network communications. The answer to the question
What is a protocol?
must begin with the question
What is a network?
This module describes what a network is and shows why networks need protocols. You also learn what TCP/IP is, what it does, and where it began.

Network communication, or "internetworking”, defines a set of protocols that allow application programs to talk with each other without regard to the hardware and operating systems where they are run. Internetworking allows application programs to communicate independently of their physical network connections. TCP/IP is an internetworking technology and is named after its two main protocols: Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), and Internet Protocol (IP). You should also be familiar with the following basic internetworking terms:
  1. client: A process that requests services on the network.
  2. server: A process that responds to a request for service from a client.
  3. datagram: A basic unit of information, consisting of one or more data packets, which are passed across an internet at the transport level.
  4. packet: The unit or block of a data transaction between a computer and its network. A packet usually contains a network header, at least one high-level protocol header, and data blocks. Generally, the format of data blocks does not affect how packets are handled. Packets are the exchange medium used at the Internetwork layer to send data through the network.