Category: networking fundamentals
In the introductory videos of How Networks Really Work webinar I described the mandatory elements of any networking solution and additional challenges you have to solve when you can’t pull a cable between the adjacent nodes.
It’s time for the next bit of complexity: what if we have more than two nodes connected to the same network segment? Welcome to the world of multi-access networks and data link control.
After discussing the challenges one encounters even in the simplest networking scenario connecting two computers with a cable we took a short diversion into an interesting complication: what if the two computers are far apart and we can’t pull a cable between them?
Trying to answer that question we entered the wondrous world of transmission technologies. It’s a topic one can spent a whole life exploring and mastering, so we were not able to do more than cover the fundamentals of modulations and multiplexing technologies.
Whenever you’re discussing a complex topic it’s worth adhering to two principles: (A) identify the challenges you’re trying to solve and (B) start as simple as you can and add complexity later.
We did exactly that in the Introducing Networking Challenges part of How Networks Really Work webinar. We started with the simplest possible case of two computers connected with a cable… and even there identified a plethora of challenges that had to be solved more than half a century ago (and still have to be solved today no matter what magic software-defined technology someone pulls out of their wizard hat).
In mid-June I started another pet project - a series of webinars focused on networking fundamentals. In the first live session on June 18th we focused on identifying the challenges one has to solve when building an end-to-end networking solution, and the role of layered approach to networking.
Not surprisingly, we quickly went down the rabbit holes of computer networking history, including SCSI cables, serial connections and modems… but that’s where it all started, and some of the concepts developed at that time are still used today… oftentimes heavily morphed by recursive application of RFC 1925 Rule 11.