Each day computer users use their computer for sending and retrieving email, scheduling meetings, sharing files, preparing reports, exchanging images, and maybe checking the current price of an auction item on the Internet. All of this requires computers to access multiple networks and share their resources. The multiple networks required to accomplish this are the local area network (LAN), the campus area network (CAN), the metropolitan area network (MAN), and the wide area network (WAN).
This text introduces the reader to the techniques for implementing modern
computer networks. Each chapter steps the student through the various modern networking technologies and methodologies and includes a section on configuring, analyzing, or troubleshooting computer networks. The accompanying CD-ROM comes with two software packages, the Finisar-Surveyor Demo protocol analyzer and the Net-Challenge simulator software developed specifically for this text. Each of these software enhancements provides the reader with invaluable insight into the inner workings of computer networking and with the experience of configuring and troubleshooting computer networks.
The ease of connecting to the Internet and the dramatic decrease in computer
systems’ cost have led to an explosion in their usage. Organizations such as corporations, colleges, and government agencies have acquired large numbers of single-user computer systems. These systems may be dedicated to word processing, scientific computation, process control, or may be general-purpose computers that perform many tasks. This has generated a need to interconnect these locally distributed computer networks. Interconnection allows users to exchange information (data) with other network members. It also allows resource sharing of expensive equipment such as file servers and high-quality graphics printers, or access to more powerful computers
for tasks too complicated for the local computer to process. The network commonly used to accomplish this interconnection is called a local area network (LAN), which is a network of users that share computer resources in a limited area.