Local Area Network (LAN)

A local area network (LAN) is a computer network that connects computers and devices in a limited geographical area such as home, school, computer laboratory or office building. The defining characteristics of LANs, in contrast to wide area networks (WANs), include their usually higher data-transfer rates, smaller geographic area, and lack of a need for leased telecommunication lines.


ARCNET, Token Ring and other technology standards have been used in the past, but Ethernet over twisted pair cabling, and Wi-Fi are the two most common technologies currently in use.

* 1 History
o 1.1 Standards evolution
o 1.2 Cabling
* 2 Technical aspects
* 3 See also
* 4 References
* 5 External links

History

As larger universities and research labs obtained more computers during the late 1960s, there was an increasing pressure to provide high-speed interconnections. A report in 1970 from the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory detailing the growth of their "Octopus" network gives a good indication of the situation.

Cambridge Ring was developed at Cambridge University in 1974 but was never developed into a successful commercial product.

Ethernet was developed at Xerox PARC in 1973–1975, and filed as U.S. Patent 4,063,220. In 1976, after the system was deployed at PARC, Metcalfe and Boggs published a seminal paper, "Ethernet: Distributed Packet-Switching For Local Computer Networks."[6]

ARCNET was developed by Datapoint Corporation in 1976 and announced in 1977.[7] It had the first commercial installation in December 1977 at Chase Manhattan Bank in New York.

Standards evolution

The development and proliferation of CP/M-based personal computers from the late 1970s and then DOS-based personal computers from 1981 meant that a single site began to have dozens or even hundreds of computers. The initial attraction of networking these was generally to share disk space and laser printers, which were both very expensive at the time. There was much enthusiasm for the concept and for several years, from about 1983 onward, computer industry pundits would regularly declare the coming year to be “the year of the LAN”.

In practice, the concept was marred by proliferation of incompatible physical Layer and network protocol implementations, and a plethora of methods of sharing resources. Typically, each vendor would have its own type of network card, cabling, protocol, and network operating system. A solution appeared with the advent of Novell NetWare which provided even-handed support for dozens of competing card/cable types, and a much more sophisticated operating system than most of its competitors. Netware dominated[12] the personal computer LAN business from early after its introduction in 1983 until the mid 1990s when Microsoft introduced Windows NT Advanced Server and Windows for Workgroups.

Of the competitors to NetWare, only Banyan Vines had comparable technical strengths, but Banyan never gained a secure base. Microsoft and 3Com worked together to create a simple network operating system which formed the base of 3Com's 3+Share, Microsoft's LAN Manager and IBM's LAN Server - but none of these were particularly successful.

During the same period, Unix computer workstations from vendors such as Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard, Silicon Graphics, Intergraph, NeXT and Apollo were using TCP/IP based networking. Although this market segment is now much reduced, the technologies developed in this area continue to be influential on the Internet and in both Linux and Apple Mac OS X networking—and the TCP/IP protocol has now almost completely replaced IPX, AppleTalk, NBF, and other protocols used by the early PC LANs.

Cabling

Early LAN cabling had always been based on various grades of coaxial cable. However shielded twisted pair was used in IBM's Token Ring implementation, and in 1984 StarLAN showed the potential of simple unshielded twisted pair by using Cat3—the same simple cable used for telephone systems. This led to the development of 10Base-T (and its successors) and structured cabling which is still the basis of most commercial LANs today. In addition, fiber-optic cabling is increasingly used in commercial applications.

As cabling is not always possible, wireless Wi-Fi is now the most common technology in residential premises, as the cabling required is minimal and it is well suited to mobile laptops and smartphones.

Technical aspects

Switched Ethernet is the most common Data Link Layer and Physical Layer implementation for local area networks. At the higher layers, the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) has become the standard. Smaller LANs generally consist of one or more switches linked to each other, often at least one is connected to a router, cable modem, or ADSL modem for Internet access.

Larger LANs are characterized by their use of redundant links with switches using the spanning tree protocol to prevent loops, their ability to manage differing traffic types via quality of service (QoS), and to segregate traffic with VLANs. Larger LANs also contain a wide variety of network devices such as switches, firewalls, routers, load balancers, and sensors.

LANs may have connections with other LANs via leased lines, leased services, or by tunneling across the Internet using virtual private network technologies. Depending on how the connections are established and secured in a LAN, and the distance involved, a LAN may also be classified as metropolitan area network (MAN) or wide area networks (WAN)

Network topology describes the layout pattern of interconnections between devices and network segments. The most common topology types are bus, ring, star, bus-star composite and mesh.

6 comments:

Tri Setyo Wijanarko said...

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Share everything said...

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Tech Tips said...

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Share everything said...

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Anonymous said...

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mahasiswa teladan said...

hi..Im student from Informatics engineering, this article is very informative, thanks for sharing :)

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