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An Introduction to Networking

Duration: 4 Days

Course Background

In order to build effective large scale networks an understanding of the essential concepts and principles is vital. The aim of this course is to provide a broad range overview of network technologies and protocols in current use, as well as an introduction to some of the newer technologies such as TRILL, VSLAN and SDN. The course covers

  • Networking concepts, terminology and solution patterns and strategies
  • Standards and practice aspects concerned with the data link and physical media aspects of network implementation
  • Design and deployment of local area networks (LANs) using ethernet and WiFi
  • The role of TCP/IP (v4 and v6) in the design and management of both intranets and internetworks.
  • New networking standards and techniques emerging as a consequence of the massive growth in data storage and networking requirements of corporate data centres, and the development of cloud based computing and networking services.
The course consists of lectures and breakout groups in which various requirements and design challenges are presented for analysis and discussion.

Course Prerequisites and Target Audience

Apart from a general understanding of computers and networking no particular programming or system administration skills are required. The course should be of value to both programmers, administrators managers and technology analysts. In fact one of the benefits of successful courses run in the past has been the wealth of contributions and insights from attendees with a diverse range of backgrounds and interests.

Course Outline

  • Networks - Hardware, Software and Communications Links
  • Network types and network services
    • WANs and LANs
    • Wired and Wireless
    • Packet switched vs. Wired
    • Quality of Service (QoS) characteristics
    • Standards and Standardisation Bodies
  • Packaging, Sending and Receiving Digital Information
    • Bits, Bytes and Packets
    • Encoding information
    • Error control, Error detection and Error Correction
    • ACKs, NACKs, Timeouts and Retransmits
    • Synchronous vs. Asynchronous network protocols
  • Physical Media
    • Copper cables - twisted pair Cat-5e and beyond
    • Optical fiber
    • Electrical-Optical transceivers
  • Wireless Link Technologies
    • Allocation of radio band frequencies
    • Solving problems of interference and noise
    • Wireless data encryption
  • Overview of the various 802 LAN standards
    • 802.2 Logical Link Control
    • 802.3 Ethernet
    • From 1 Mb/s to 100 MB/s
    • From 1 Gb/s to 100 Gb/s
  • Layer 2 and Layer 3
    • Local Area Networks (LANs)
    • Networks of LANs - Internets and Intranets
    • LAN addressing vs. Internet / Intranet addressing
    • Layer 2 switching
    • Switches and VLANs
    • Layer 3 switching
    • Ethernet and QoS
  • WiFi Networks
    • WiFi in the office
    • WiFi and user mobility
    • WiFi network types - a,b,g,n and ac
    • 802.11n and 802.11ac standards and the features they add to WiFi
    • WiFi and QoS - WiFi for voice and for multimedia
    • WiFi Access Points - Traffic forwarding and SSIDs (Service Set Identifiers)
  • Layers 3 and 4 - TCP/IP
    • End to End communications
    • Transport Layer Mechanisms - Data streaming (TCP) vs. Datagrams(UDP)
    • IP addressing - IPv4 and IPv6
    • Routers and Routing - Principles
    • Routing Protocols - Distance Vector, Link State, Path Vector
    • Routers , sharing of network resources and QoS
    • Routers and VoIP
  • Security - Principles and Technologies
    • Authentication and Authorisation
    • Encryption - principles and usage patterns
    • Ensuring data integrity
    • Certificates and source verification - Digital Certificates and Signatures
    • Virtual Private Networks
    • Layer 2 and Layer 3 tunnelling
    • Wi-Fi security: WPA, WPA2, 802.11i, AES
    • Firewalls
  • Enterprise Scale Networking
    • Links based on telecom circuits
    • LAN Extension Services (LES) and Metro-Ethernet
    • E1 and T1 leased lines
    • Circuit switched data streams
    • MPLS - Multi-protocol Label Switching
    • New emerging standards - TRILL, VXLAN, FabricPath, Shortest Path Bridging (SBP)