6.1 RATIONALE FOR INTERNETWORKING AT NITs

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1 6.1 RATIONALE FOR INTERNETWORKING AT NITs It has taken us many generations to evolve from the Stone Age, through the Bronze Age, the Industrial Age, the Post Industrial Age, to where we are now: the Information age or at-least on our way to entering Information age via a protracted stay in the Information Technology age (Lennon, 1999). In the era of Internet-phobia, knowledge and skills is key to success. The frequent revamp of educational curriculum, emergence of new concepts, competitive environment, demand for skilled manpower and information consciousness among clienteles to access timely information, has led to the emphasis on the quality of education and training by integrating Information and Communication Technologies and Internet to transform the educational, research and information endeavor of the academic and research community. Availability of reliable and stable integrated technological infrastructure through campus networking enables the engineering scientists to optimize the wealth of information, build strong information base, and enhance collaborative effort of scientists, knowledge transfer and transparency. This will enhance the campus management of National Institute of Technologies in an effective and efficient manner, widening the academic growth of students, scholars and faculty not only within the campus of National Institutes of Technology (NIT) in India but around the world. Thus campus networking and establishing Wide Area Network (WAN) for NITs either through dedicated leased line, Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) or Very Small Aperture Terminal (V-SAT), is a must to harness the transparency of information flow across the globe. The idea of networking has been around for a long time. Sharing is the purpose of computer networking, in which a number of independent computers are linked together to share data and peripherals, such as hard disks and printers. The ability to share information efficiently is what gives computer 212

2 networking its power and its appeal. The ability to share information quickly and inexpensively has proven to be one of the most popular uses of networking technology. This will reduce the need for paper communication, increase efficiency, and make nearly any type of data available simultaneously to every user who needs it. With the availability and power of today's personal computers, networks are needed to increase efficiency and reduce costs for sharing information; hardware and software and centralizing administration and support. As a whole, the networking of NIT with Internet set up will boost the academic and research community to access and share not only information available within the campus, but also extends its scope to access goldmine of information on Internet and facilitates effective communication among the peer groups linking all the NITs of India and around the world at their fingertips. This could be understood from the figure INDEST CONSORTIUM: A STIMULATOR FOR INTERNET SERVICE The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has setup a "Consortium-based Subscription to Electronic Resources for Technical Education System in India" on the recommendation made by an Expert Group appointed by the ministry under the chairmanship of Prof. N. Balakrishnan of IISc, Bangalore. The consortium is named as the Indian National Digital Library in Engineering, Science, and Technology (INDEST) Consortium providing online access to 38 institutions including IISc, IITs, IIMs and Regional Engineering Colleges of India (National Institutes of Technology), forming creamy layer of the society. This includes: 213

3 INDEST E-Resources CD-ROM/DVD/ Bibliographical and Full text Databases Digital Library Campus Network of NITs NIT Integrated NIT NIT NIT WAN through V-SAT Education and Training Information System Internet services Automated house keeping functions and services , WWW, Telnet, FTP, Newsgroups, Discussion forums, chatting. Administrative services Fee Structures, Staff Management, Student Details, Curriculum, Exam, Publications Figure 1. NIT Integrated Information System 214

4 Electronic Journals Elsevier Science and Academic Press Journals [http://www.sciencedirect.com/] IEEE/IEE Electronic Library (IEL) [http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/] Springer Journals from LINK Service [http://link.springer.de/ol/index.htm] ABI/Inform Complete for business and management journals [http://www.il.proquest.com/pqdauto] ACM Portal to Computing Literature [http://portal.acm.org/portal.cfm] Bibliographic and Citation Databases COMPENDEX and INSPEC on Ei (Engineering Index) Village Web of Science [http://isiknowledge.com/] MATHSCINET [http://www.ams.org/mathscinet] SciFinder Scholar (SFS) J-Gate - TOC and article index to 8,500+ e-journals [http://www.j-gate.informindia.co.in/] In view of the availability of wide range of e-resources on the net, the significance of Internet has further increased and got big boost and occupied significant value in the engineering environment. Thus, it has become a great sense of responsibility and obligation for authorities of NIT to establish campus network with Internet set up to extend full text and bibliographical databases to 215

5 the scientists at their tip of tongue and thereby serve the purpose of INDEST program and live up to its expectations. 6.3 BUILDING A PLANNED NETWORK FOUNDATION An attempt has been made to provide guidelines to the authorities, which includes Computer Managers and Library professionals in establishing the Local Area Network and a national/ International network (WAN) at National Institutes of Technology in India, with a motto to optimize the INDEST resources on the Internet; share and exchange information resources and build strong communication bond among peer groups sitting at their desktops around the clock by overcoming regional barriers. It should be seriously noted here that, this sort of a job, especially in the context of INDEST Program, the Library and Information professionals should not confine to their four walls of the library, rather they should understand the concept of networking technically and help in building campus network and wide area network among all National Institutes of Technology in India either through V-SAT or ISDN. The Computer (user) application, Network application and Internetwork application for any corporate or institute can be understood from the following. Computer Networks Network Applications Internetwork Applications Word processing EDI Graphics FTP WWW Spreadsheets Telnet gateway RDBMS Client/Server applications Bulletin Boards Design & Management Information location Financial Transaction service Project planning Network Management Internet navigation utilities & Conferencing Others Others Others 216

6 On one hand, Internet has become integral part of Library and Information Service, while on the other hand, mere extending Internet service is not enough, but they should also put effort and initiate in establishing campus network and WAN of NITs. This leads to build the image of library profession and reduce the doubt of computer society and thus, give real strength and value to the Internet Librarian. For this, networking skills are inevitable and they should possess the technical specifications and decisions to select appropriate components of network. Hence, an attempt has been made to support the computer managers and library professionals regarding the various technical components of networking Networking Standards Before servers can provide services to clients, communications between the two entities must be enabled. For these processes to interoperate smoothly in a diverse networking environment, the computing community has designed several standards and specifications that define the interaction and interrelation of the various components of network architecture. These standards include Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) reference model, Serial Line Internet Protocol (SLIP), Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP), the IEEE 802 standards, Network Driver Interface Specification (NDIS), and Open Data-Link Interface (ODI). The most commonly used model is the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) reference model. The OSI model, first released in 1984 by the International Standards Organization (ISO), provides a useful structure for defining and describing the various processes underlying open systems networking. Layer 1, the Physical layer, consists of protocols that control communication on the network media. Layer 7, the Application layer, interfaces the network services with the applications in use on the computer. The five 217

7 layers in between Data Link, Network, Transport, Session, and Presentation perform intermediate communication tasks. Figure - 2: OSI Model Many of the addressing, error-checking and retransmission services most commonly associated with networking take place at the Network and Transport OSI layers. Protocol suites are often referred to by the suite s Transport and Network protocols. In TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/ Internet Protocol), for instance, TCP is a Transport layer protocol and IP is a Network layer protocol. However, that TCP/IP predates OSI and diverges from OSI in a number of ways. The Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP protocol suite) was originally developed by the United States Department of Defense (DoD) to provide robust service on large Internetworks that incorporate a variety of computer types. In recent years, the Internet protocols constitute the most popular network protocols currently in use. One reason for the popularity of TCP/IP is that no one vendor owns it, unlike the IPX/SPX, AppleTalk protocol suites, all of which are controlled by specific companies. TCP/IP evolved in response to input from a wide variety of industry sources. Consequently, TCP/IP is the most open of the protocol suites and is supported by the widest variety of vendors. Virtually every brand of computing equipment now supports TCP/IP. 218

8 Figure - 3: Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP) IPX/SPX (Internetwork Packet Exchange Sequenced Packet Exchange) is another protocol suite known by its Transport and Network layer protocols, but the order of the protocols is backward from the way the protocols are listed in TCP/IP. IPX is the Network layer protocol and SPX is the Transport layer protocol. The lower Data Link and Physical layers provide a hardware specific foundation, addressing items such as the network adapter driver, the media access method, and the transmission medium. Transport and Network layer protocols such as TCP/IP and IPX/SPX rest on that Physical and Data Link layer foundation, and, with the help of the NDIS and ODI standards, multiple protocol stacks can operate simultaneously through a single network adapter. Upper-level protocols provide compatibility with a particular networking environment. For instance, the so-called NetBIOS over TCP/IP stack provides Microsoft clients with TCP/IP. In addition to TCP/IP and IPX/SPX, some of the common Transport and Network layer protocols are the following: NWLink. Microsoft s version of the IPX/SPX protocol essentially spans the Transport and Network layers. 219

9 NetBEUI (NETBIOS Extended Unit Interface) designed for Microsoft networks, NetBEUI includes functions at the Network and Transport layers. NetBEUI isn t routable and therefore doesn t make full use of Network layer capabilities. AppleTalk Transaction Protocol (ATP) and Name Binding Protocol (NBP). ATP and NBP are AppleTalk Transport layer protocols. Datagram Delivery Protocol (DDP). DDP is the AppleTalk Network layer protocol. `Think before you leap is a proverb, which signifies the authorities to plan effectively in building network foundation for the institutes. Design of the planned network is one of the most critical steps to insure a fast and stable network, failing which network growth can be jeopardized. This design activity is truly an in-depth process, which includes gathering the users requirements and expectations; determining data traffic patterns now and in the future based on growth and Server placements; defining all of the three layers viz. Media and Topology and LAN Switching and Routing devices along with LAN and WAN topology. The procedure is as under: Design Goals and Analyze Requirements of Institute The first step in designing a Local Area Network (LAN) for an organization is to establish and document the goals of the design. The general pre-requisites for network design should encompass: Functionality - The network must work successfully allowing users to meet their job requirements. It must provide user to user of users to application connectivity with reasonable speed and reliability. 220

10 Scalability - The network must be able to grow without any major changes to the overall design. Adaptability - The network must be designed with an eye toward future technologies, and should include no element that would limit implementation of new technologies as they become available. Manageability - The network would be designed to facilitate network monitoring and management, in order to ensure ongoing stability of operation. Efforts have to be made to gather data about the corporate structure and analyze the requirements of the network and its users. For building a planned network for the organization, the factors that need to be examined includes the following: Organization goals; Purpose of Network; Size of the network; Level of security; Level of administrative support available; Amount of network traffic; Needs of the network users; The number of users; Whether the LAN will be extended to several buildings or other region; The environment (office, manufacturing, out-of-doors); The network media; The technical competence of users; and Network budget. 221

11 Further, Network load during the normal working hours and during regularly scheduled network services, such as file server backups need to be examined. Certain network applications generate large volumes of traffic leading to congestion in: Internet access, Computers loading, software from a remote site, transmition of images or video, Central database access and Department file servers. This is depicted in the following figure Figure 4: Analysis of Network Requirements Major Issues of a Network The issues involved in networking specifically demands taking the decisions for selecting components of network as under: Network Topology Networks come in a few standard forms, and each form is a complete system of compatible hardware, protocols, transmission media, and topologies. A topology is a map of the network. The physical layout of computers on a network is called a topology. It is a plan for how the cabling will interconnect the nodes and how the nodes will function in relation to one another. Several factors shape the various network topologies, and one of the most important is the choice of an access method. An access method is a set of rules for sharing 222

12 the transmission medium. Physical and logical topologies can take several forms. Topologies can be physical (actual wiring) or logical (the way they work). There are four primary topologies: star, bus, ring, and mesh. In a bus topology, the computers are connected in a linear fashion on a single cable. Bus topologies require a terminator on each end of the cable. In a star topology, the computers are connected to a centralized hub. In a mesh topology, all computers in the network are connected to one another with separate cables. In a token-ring topology, the computers are connected physically in a star shape, but logically in a ring or circle. The data is passed from one computer to another around the circle. Since the vertical cabling will be carrying all data traffic between the IDF (Intermedial Distribution Facility) and MDFs, the speed of this connection should be designed to be the fast link in the network. In most cases this link should be at least 100 mega Bits/second. Also additional vertical cable runs should be installed to allow for future growth in the network. This is presented in the following chart showing extended star topology. Figure 5: Star Topology 223

13 Connectivity Devices The most basic communication device is the modem, which makes it possible for computers to communicate over a telephone line through Internet technology. The modem at the sending end converts the computer's digital signals into analog waves and transmits the analog waves onto the telephone line. A modem at the receiving end converts the incoming analog signals back into digital signals for the receiving computer. In other words, sending modem Modulates digital signals into analog signals and receiving modem De-Modulates analog signals back into digital signals. An Internet-work consists of multiple independent networks that are connected and can share remote resources. These logically separate but physically connected networks can be dissimilar in type. The device that connects the independent networks together may need a degree of intelligence because it may need to determine when packets will stay on the local network or when they will be forwarded to a remote network. The Network should be flexible by facilitating extension of network capacity keeping in view the increased network in the existing environment. Hubs, also called wiring concentrators, provide a central attachment point for network cabling. Coaxial cable Ethernet is the only LAN standard that doesn t use hubs. Hubs are available in three types: Passive; Active and Intelligent. Figure 6: Hubs 224

14 Repeater is a network device that repeats a signal from one port onto the other ports to which it is connected. The advantages of repeaters are that they are inexpensive and simple. Also, although they cannot connect networks with dissimilar data frames (such as a Token Ring network and an Ethernet network), some repeaters can connect segments with similar frame types but dissimilar cabling. Repeater is a network device that strengthens the physical transmission signal. It regenerates the signals to full strength before these signals passing them on. Repeater works at the physical layer. Bridges, on the other hand, can extend the maximum size of a network. A repeater passes on all signals that it receives. A bridge, on the other hand, is more selective and passes only those signals targeted for a computer on the other side. A bridge can make this determination because each device on the network is identified by a unique address. Bridges also can extend the physical size of a network. Although the individual segments still are restricted by the maximum size imposed by the network design limits, bridges enable network designers to stretch the distances between segments and extend the overall size of the network. Bridges, however, cannot join dissimilar types of LANs. Router is a network device that routes data packets from one network to another. Routers work at the network layer. Routable protocol includes OSI, IP, IPX, AppleTalk, DECNET and XNS. Of the three major protocols in Windows NT and Windows 95: NetBEUI, TCP/IP and IPX/SPX, only NetBEUI is an unroutable protocol. However, it is also the most efficient one of these three protocols. Gateway is a computer that performs protocol conversion between different types of networks or applications. For example, from IPX/SPX to TCP/IP, gateway can work at any layer of the OSI model. 225

15 Switch is a network device that directs network packets from one port to another port directly. With a Hub, all the ports share the bandwidth. For example, if you have a 16-ports 10BaseT Hub, all the 16 ports share 10Mbps bandwidth. However with a switch, the bandwidth between each port is 10Mbps. Therefore, totally 16*10Mbps = 160Mbps for a 10BaseT switch. However, in the real world, most 16-port 10baseT switch has only 100Mbps and not 160Mbps as the total bandwidth because of the consideration of the cost. Network Media Just as humans communicate through telephone wires or sound waves in the air, computers can communicate through cables, light, and radio waves. On any network, the various entities must communicate through some form of media. Transmission media enable computers to send and receive messages. The choice of the media is of serious concern. The Network Media choices include the following: Coaxial cable Twisted-pair cable Fiber-optic cable Wireless communications The most common type of media is copper cable. The most common types of copper cabling are twisted-pair and coaxial and now this has become outdated. Twisted-pair cabling i.e. CAT 5 Cable and E-CAT 5 cable is being used in LAN, which is similar to the cabling used to connect telephone to the wall outlet. Network coaxial cabling, on the other hand, is similar to the cable used to connect your television set to the cable TV outlet. Fiber-optic cable is another type of LAN connection medium quickly gaining popularity in the current era consisting high-grade plastic optical 226

16 strands surrounded by a tough cloth-and-plastic wrap. Wireless media, which is, in a sense, no media at all, is also gaining popularity. Wireless transmissions use radio waves or infrared light to transmit data. Ethernet Networks Ethernet is a local area network that is used to transport data between devices on a network such as computers, printers, file servers, etc. Ethernet is known as a shared-medium technology all the devices are connected to the same delivery media. Ethernet media uses a data frame broadcast method of transmitting and receiving data to all nodes on the shared media. The physical connector used by devices on an Ethernet LAN provides several circuits so that communications between devices can occur. Today s networks are experiencing an increase in the transmission of large graphic files, images, fullmotion video and multimedia applications, as well as an increase in the number of users on a network. All of these factors place an even greater strain on Standard Ethernet s 10Mbps bandwidth capacity. Figure 7: Standard Ethernet 227

17 Network Types Networks are classified into two principal groups based on how they share information: peer-to-peer networks and server-based networks. In a peerto-peer network, all computers are equal. They can either share their resources or use resources on other computers. While in a server-based network, one or more computers act as servers and provide the resources to the network. The other computers are the clients and use the resources provided by the server. The network types are described in the following table. Consideration Peer-to-Peer Network Server-Based Network Size Good for 10 or fewer Limited only by server and computers network hardware Security Security established by the Extensive and consistent user of each computer resource and user security Administration Individual users responsible Centrally located for for their own network control; requires at administration; no full-time least one knowledgeable administrator necessary administrator Dedicated Connectivity Availability of dedicated link is must to really fetch the value for LAN or WAN at National Institutes of Technology, India. This will facilitate access to Internet around the clock (24 hours) with minimum 64 kbps speed along with large number of users to host and retrieve avalanche of information. This dedicated connectivity could be established by Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) is a worldwide digital communication network that evolved from existing telephone services. The goal of the ISDN is to replace current telephone lines, which require digital-toanalog conversions, with completely digital switching and transmission 228

18 facilities capable of carrying data ranging from voice to computer transmissions, music, and video. The ISDN is built on two main types of communications channels: B channels, that carry voice, data, or images at a rate of 64 Kbps (kilobits per second), and a D channel, that carries control information, signaling, and link management data at 16 Kbps. Leased Line involves dedicated telephone line from Internet Service Provider (Department of Telecommunication) to the institute. Very Small Aperture Terminal (V-SAT) is a cost effective solution for users seeking an independent connection to Internet service provider, which involves out door dish (receiver) with personal earth station and routers. This mode of connectivity is currently extended by NICNET and ERNET, India. For UGC-Infonet, the VSAT connectivity through ERNET, India is depicted below. Figure 8: UGC Infonet Ensuring Hardware and Software Compatibility Hardware and software compatibility is important because network must be able to communicate with each other on the network. Decisions made before installation will either limit or open up future expansion and performance of a 229

19 network. To minimize hardware conflicts, read the documentation that comes with the hardware product and File Servers and Traffic Patterns One of the keys to designing a successful network is to understand the data traffic network. The Applications (servers) can be categorized into 2 distinct classes - enterprise servers and workgroup servers. The client/server model has several advantages over a centralized network; in this model, tasks are divided between client and server, resulting in a more efficient network. Client/server networks can be arranged in two ways: data can be stored on a single server or distributed across several servers. Enterprise servers support all of the users on the network such as or DNS. Work Group servers support a specific set of users. Since everyone on the network needs access to the enterprise servers, it should be connected to the MDF. This way traffic to these types of services only has to travel to the MDF and will not be transmitted across other networks. The work group servers should be placed in the IDF closest to the users accessing these applications. By doing this, traffic will not affect other users on that network segment. If servers are to be distributed around the network topology according to function, the networks Layer 2 and 3 must be designed to accommodate this. Within the MDF and IDFs, the Layer 2 LAN switches must have high speed (100MBps) ports allocated for these servers. 230

20 Figure 9: File Server Establishing and Managing Network Accounts Using a server-based network provides additional security by assigning each user an account with the appropriate rights and permissions. An administrator can use profiles to configure and maintain a user's logon environment. Profiles include printer connections, regional settings, sound settings, mouse settings, display settings, and any other user-definable settings. NetWare provides security and accounts through NDS (NetWare Directory Services). Merely requiring users to log on does not, in itself, ensure the security of the network. Network planning must include plans for security. The two security models that keep data and hardware resources safe are passwordprotected shares and access permissions. Building in virus prevention and recovery policies should be part of a network strategy. Controlling temperature 231

21 and humidity are key factors in maintaining a user-friendly environment. It is important to be aware of the environmental stresses placed on hidden network components, as well as components in plain view. Further efforts should be made to avoid Data Loss. Planning for a disaster is an essential part of implementing a successful network. A network disaster plan should encompass the loss of hardware and data. Tape backup is the most common method of preventing data loss. Loss of electrical power can cause files to become corrupted, and any data being held in RAM to be lost. An uninterruptible power supply provides temporary power so that critical data can be properly stored before the network or computer goes down. Fault tolerant strategies are called Redundant Arrays of Independent Disks (RAID) and include disk striping and disk mirroring. 6.4 STRATEGIC MODEL FOR INTERNET SETUP AT NIT The model focuses on modern Engineering Learning Resource Centers as the most logical site to integrate and distribute a wide variety of both electronic and human information resources for learning, teaching and research. According to the model, National Institutes of Technology would mount a Web-based, Internet-mediated system to facilitate access to their electronic and human information resources not only within the campus but also extend it to all other National Institutes of Technology through campus networking and wide area network. The system would support access to academic centers' large, well-staffed libraries and their up-to-date faculty expertise covering engineering science community. An attempt has been made to provide an Internetworking model for National Institutes of Technology to build strong and integrated knowledge resources among the engineering faculty, research scholars, students, library 232

22 professionals and administrative staff, at their finger tips, for effective knowledge sharing and transparency. The networking also aims to share information, to share hardware and software (thereby reducing cost), and to centralize administration and support. To achieve this, structured technical model for establishment of LAN and WAN has been suggested Campus Networking At NIT Campus network for National Institutes of Technology through Local Area Network (LAN) with Internetworking is proposed vide figure 10. For the success of any information system and to provide the right information to the right user, building insights and breaking boundaries with a thrust to share the information around the world at the desktops of the engineering scientists through campus Internetworking, is the only solution. Internet Librarians do play a pivotal role in any engineering team, enabling scientific breakthroughs and real time solutions by offering access to a world of information that knows no boundaries. As Information and Communication Technology is a driving force in the contemporary education system of India, the campus Internetworking of NIT will be a great boon to the educational system in several ways: Access to wide range of information resources including INDEST consortia resources; Serve as an engine for distance learning with one to one and one to many using multimedia channels for the engineering students in the country; Facilitates marketing of educational services of National Institutes of Technology by means of establishing a global channel, in spreading the technical education; 233

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