by Dinesh Thakur Category: Communication Networks

Network Architecture defines the communications products and services, which ensure that the various components can work together. In the early days of data communication systems, the majority of communications were between the DTE and the host computer. Therefore, transmission control procedures were alone enough as communication protocols. However, recent computer systems link with other systems to form a network which result in a situation where different protocols serving different purposes are required. Hence, the network architecture represents a systemization of the various kinds of protocols needed to build a network.

Computer manufacturers have developed different protocols as needed. This means that each type of computer needed to support different protocols. This necessitated large development and maintenance costs. All computer manufacturers, worked together to standardize and systemize protocols to link their models and reduce the development and maintenance costs thereby. This was how each manufacturer built their own network architecture.

Since the concept of the network architecture was first introduced, connecting computers of the same Manufacturer has become easier. However, from user's perspective, the ideal form of network architecture is one which enables machines of all manufacturers to connect to each other. Therefore, the need of standardization of network architecture arose.

    Network Architecture By Vendor

Following are the ways to achieve connection between different manufacturers:

  1. Protocol Converters These are devices that translate from one native protocol into another, for example, from ASCII to IBM SNA/SDLC
  2. Gateways These are hardware/software combinations that connect devices running different native protocols. In addition to protocol conversion, gateways provide a gateway connection between incompatible networks. Examples include Ethernet-to-Token Ring gateways, X.25-to- Frame Relay gateways, and T-carrier-to-E-Carrier International Gateway Facilities (IGFs).

In addition to the above, Protocol Analyzers are available as diagnostic tools for displaying and analyzing communications protocols. Analyzers allow technicians, engineers and managers to test the performance of the network to ensure that the systems and the network are functioning according to specifications. LAN managers, for instance, use protocol analyzers to perform network maintenance and troubleshooting and to plan network upgrades and expansions.

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About Dinesh Thakur

Dinesh ThakurDinesh Thakur holds an B.SC (Computer Science), MCSE, MCDBA, CCNA, CCNP, A+, SCJP certifications. Dinesh authors the hugely popular blog. Where he writes how-to guides around Computer fundamental , computer software, Computer programming, and web apps. For any type of query or something that you think is missing, please feel free to Contact us.

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