8 Wide Area Network (WAN)

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1 Wide Area Network (WAN).1 Introduction Objectives.2 Why need a WAN?.3 Switching Techniques.3.1 Circuit switching network.3.2 Packet switching Network How Packet Switching Network Works? Datagram and virtualcircuit.3.3 Message Switching Network How Message Switching Network Works?.3.4 Cell Switching Network.4 Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN).4.1 B (Bearer) channel.4.2 D (Data) channel.4.3 ISDN Implementations At the end of this chapter, students should be able to: Define a Wide Area Network Know the characteristic and function of a Wide Area Network Learn about different switching techniques Explain circuit and packet switching Differentiate between circuit and packet switching Have knowledge on datagram and virtual-circuit Explain message switching and cell switching network Learn about ISDN and its importance Explain traditional Wide Area Network and its alternatives Have knowledge about cellular wireless networks Lean about communication satellite and its function..5 Traditional Wide Area Network Alternatives.5.1 Value-Added Network (VAN).5.2 Public Data Network (PDN).6 Cellular Wireless Networks.7 Satellite communication. Summary.9 Exercises

2 Networking Principles.1 Introduction A Wide Area Network (WAN) is a data communications network that covers a relatively broad geographic area and that often uses transmission facilities provided by common carriers, such as telephone companies. In other words, WAN is a network that connects two or more geographically distinct LANs. WAN can expand to cover state, nation or ever entitle world. The Internet is the largest WAN that exists today, however the Internet is not a typical WAN. Most WANs arise from simple need to connect one office building to another. In most cases, size of WAN depends on the size of organization. As an organization grows, the WAN might grow to connect more office sites located across the city or around the world. For example, to connect Cosmopoint Kuala Lumpur headquarter network to Kota Bharu branch WAN is required. Figure -1 Wide Area Network (WAN) As shown in Figure -1, WAN uses all types of connection links (satellites, telephone lines, fibre optic) depending on the requirement and geographical disparity of offices. 136

3 Wide Area Network (WAN) Most WANs are combinations of LANs and other types of communications components connected by communication links called "WAN links." WAN links can include: Packet-switching networks Fibre-optic cable Microwave transmitters Satellite links Cable television coaxial systems.2 Why need a WAN? Any business, organization or government institution with offices scattered over a wide geographical area need a way to exchange data between those sites. Different organizations have different need which can be fulfilled by implementing WAN. Here are some of scenarios that demonstrate a need for a WAN: A bank with offices around the state needs to connect offices to gather transaction and account information into a central database. Regional sales representatives for national pharmaceutical company need to submit their sales figures to a file server at the company's headquarters. A clothing manufacturer sells its products over the Internet to customers throughout the world. Cosmopoint International University college (CiUC) branches all over Malaysia need to update their information regarding students and staffs on regular basis and send it to headquarter in Kuala Lumpur for record and planning purposes. Although they all may not need same kinds of WANs but all of these businesses need WANs. Depending on different traffic load, budget, geographical area and commercially available technology each might implement different transmission methods and types of WANs. For every business need, only a few (or possibly only one) appropriate WAN connection types may exist. However, many WAN technologies can coexist on the same network. 137

4 Networking Principles.3 Switching Techniques Following are switching techniques are used for wide area network Circuit Switching Packet Switching Message Switching Cell Switching.3.1 Circuit switching network Circuit switching network is one that establishes a dedicated circuit (or channel) between nodes and terminals before the users may communicate like shown in Figure -2. Each circuit that is dedicated cannot be used by other callers until the circuit is released and a new connection is set up. Circuit switching is the transmission technology that has been used since the first communication networks in the nineteenth century. It is the dominant technology for voice communication today and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Figure -2 Telephone Network- an example of circuit switched network Example Ordinary voice phone service is circuit-switched. The telephone company reserves a specific physical path to the number you are calling for the duration of your call. During that time, no one else can use the physical lines involved as shown in Figure

5 Wide Area Network (WAN) Communication via circuit switching network involves three phase 1. Circuit establishment Before any signal can be transmitted on the channel path, an end-to-end (from sender to receiver) connection must be established. 2. Data Transfer Once the circuit has been established, data can be transmitted from one end to another. The transmission may be analog voice, digitalized voice or binary data depending on the nature of the network. 3. Circuit disconnection Once the data transmission has been completed, the connection is terminated, usually by the action of one of the two end stations. The connection path is established before data transmission begins and channel capacity must be reserved between each pair of nodes in the path. Each node must have available internal switching capacity (bandwidth) to handle the requested connection. Advantages and disadvantages of circuit switching network Advantages Compatible with voice Disadvantages No routing techniques, call subject to blockage. Device at both end must be compatible in terms of protocols and data flow Large processing and signal burden on the network Table -1 Advantages and disadvantages of circuit switching network No special training or protocols are needed to handle data traffic Predictable, constant rate of data traffic 139

6 Networking Principles.3.2 Packet switching Network Packet switching is fast, convenient and reliable technology which is used to transmit data over extensive areas such as across cities, states, or countries. Networks that send packets from many different users along many different possible paths are called "packet-switching networks" because of the way they package and route data. Packet switching is a network technology that breaks up a message into small packets for transmission. Packet switching remains one of the few effective technologies for long distance data communications. Unlike circuit switching, which requires the establishment of a dedicated point-to-point connection, each packet in a packet-switched network contains a destination address. Thus, all packets in a single message do not have to travel the same path. As traffic conditions change, they can be dynamically routed via different paths in the network, and they can even arrive out of order. The destination computer reassembles the packets into their proper sequence. Network protocols such as IP and IPX were designed for packet-based networks. Figure -3 A packet switching network Packet switching is a standard for interconnecting many computers, as shown in the Figure -3. Packet switching transmits data from one location (host) to another, just as circuit switching transmits voice from one location to another. Packet switching breaks the data into small packets with addresses and routes each packet to its destination through the network across the quickest and shortest path. 140

7 Wide Area Network (WAN) The packet switching network uses the established paths of the circuit switch network rather than engineering the same links. Dedicating some trunk group channels to packet switching allows the packet switching network to take advantage of alternative path routing How Packet Switching Network Works? Figure -4 working of packet switching network 1. The original message in broken into smaller pieces called packets. Each packet is tagged with a destination address and other information. This makes each packet to send separately over the network. 2. In the packet switching, as shown in Figure -4, packets are relayed through stations in a computer network. The path selected for packet to travel depends on the bandwidth between nodes (stations). 3. Each packet in a switched network travel separately. Two packets from the same original data package can follow completely different paths to reach the same destination. 4. Although packet travels along different path and arrive at different times or out of sequence, the receiving computer can reassemble the original message by looking at information contained in the packet. 141

8 Networking Principles Advantages and disadvantages of Packet Switching networks Advantages Disadvantages Provide speed conversion, two device of Complex routing and control different speed can communicate Appears non-blocking, due to high traffic or Delay in data flow during time of load load. Efficient path utilization Table -2 Advantages and disadvantages of packet switching network Applications of Circuit Switching and Packet Switching Networks Circuit Switching Packet Switching Public Telephone Network Public Data Network (PDN) Private Branch Exchange Private Packet-switching network Private Wide Are Network Value Added Network (VAN) Table -3 Application of circuit switching and packet switching networks Datagram and virtual-circuit Packet switching network support two types of services, they are Datagram Virtual-circuit In the datagram approach, each packet is treated independently, having no any reference to other packets. Packet path is chosen by taking into account information received from neighbouring nodes on traffic, line failures and so on. Thus packet needs not to follow same path and sequences to reach at the end. Each independent packet referred as a datagram. In the virtual circuit, a pre-planned route is established before sending any packets. Once the route is stabled, all packets follow the route. The route is somewhat similar to route of circuitswitched network, but it is logical connection for fix duration and is referred as a virtualcircuit. Example These two types of services can be explained by using an analogy of exchanging messages by letter and by telephone call. In the case of letter, the letter message is treated as a selfcontained entity by postal authorities and its delivery is independent of any other letters. In the case of telephone, a communication path is established first through the network and the message exchange takes place. 142

9 Wide Area Network (WAN) Look at the Figure -5, when a computer want to send message to its distant server, first of all, the virtual path called virtual circuit has been established which is represented by dotted line. The solid like represent the physical connection between the nodes for examples telephone wire or fibre optic. Since the entire message cannot send in one chunk, it has been broken into three small pieces called packets. There packets are then send over the network as shown in Figure -2b. These individual packets travel faster or slower depending on the traffic between the nodes as shown in the Figure -2c and Figure -2d. Once all the packets have arrived at the destination server (computer) they will be combined again and form the original message as shown in the Figure -2e. Figure -5 Dotted line is virtual path for the packets labelled 1, 2 and 3 143

10 Networking Principles A virtual circuit is a path between points in a network that appears to be a discrete, physical path but is actually a managed pool of circuit resources from which specific circuits are allocated as needed to meet traffic requirements. A permanent virtual circuit (PVC) is a virtual circuit that is permanently available to the user just as though it were a dedicated or leased line continuously reserved for that user. PVCs are an important feature of frame relay networks. A switched virtual circuit (SVC) is a virtual circuit in which a connection session is set up for a user only for the duration of a connection..3.3 Message Switching Network Message Switching techniques were originally used in data communications. An example would be early "store and forward" paper tape relay systems. delivery is another example of message switching. In voice systems, you can find Voice Mail delivery systems on the Internet. The classic "forward voice mail" capability in some voice mail systems is another example How Message Switching Network Works? Figure -6 Message switching network It is not always necessary to establish circuit all over the network from source to destination. Consider a connection between the user A and user D in the Figure -6 is represented by a series of links (AB, BC, and CD). For example, when an message is sent from user A to user D, it first passes over a local connection (AB). It is then passed at some later time to station C (via link BC), and from there to the destination D (via link CD). At each message switch, the received message is stored and a connection is subsequently made to deliver the message to the neighbouring message switch. Message switching is also known as store-and-forward switching since the messages are stored at intermediate nodes and route to their destinations. 144

11 Wide Area Network (WAN).3.4 Cell Switching Network Cell Switching is similar to packet switching, except that the cell relay refers to a method of statistically multiplexing fixed-length packets, i.e. cells, to transport data between computers or kinds of network equipment. It is an unreliable, connection-oriented packet switched data communications protocol. This is ideal for an integrated environment and is found within Cell-based networks, such as ATM. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) (formerly CCITT, an international standards body for telecommunications) has adopted a ``cell-switching'' technology called Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) for high-speed networks. Cell switching closely resembles packet switching in that it breaks a data stream into packets which are then placed on lines that are shared by several streams. One major difference is that cells have a fixed size while packets can have different sizes. Asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) provides high-speed data transmission rates to send fixed-size packets over broadband and baseband LANs or WANs. ATM is used for: Voice Data Fax Real-time video CD-quality audio Imaging Multi-megabit data transmission 145

12 Networking Principles.4 Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) is a type of circuit switched telephone network system, designed to allow digital (as opposed to analog) transmission of voice and data over ordinary telephone copper wires, resulting in better quality and higher speeds than available with analog systems. It is an international standard, originally established by the ITU in 194, for transmitting digital data over the PSTN. More broadly, ISDN is a set of protocols for establishing and breaking circuit switched connections and for advanced call features for the end user. ISDN provides special services to the users, such as call forwarding, voic and calling party identification. This is the reason ISDN is welcomed by different countries with less time. All ISDN connections are based on two types of channels: B channel D channel.4.1 B (Bearer) channel The B channel is called bearer channel. It employs circuit-switching techniques to carry voice, video, audio and other types of data over the ISDN connection. The maximum throughput of B channel is 64 Kbps. Sometimes, it is limited to 56Kbps by ISDN providers. The number of B channels in a single ISDN connection is not fixed but may vary..4.2 D (Data) channel The D Channel is called data channel. It employs packet-switching techniques to carry information about the call, such as session initiation and session termination signals. Caller identity, call forwarding and conference call signals are also handle by this channel. Maximum throughput of D channel is 16Kbps or 64 Kbps, depending on the types of ISDN connection. However, every ISDN connection uses only one D channel. 146

13 Wide Area Network (WAN).4.3 ISDN Implementations There are three ISDN implementations A. Basic Rate Interface (BRI) (2B+D, 2B1D) Figure -7 Basic Rate Interface (BRI) This configuration of ISDN consists of two B channels with bit rate of 64 Kbps each and one D channel with bit rate of 16 Kbps. The B channels are used for voice or user data, and the D channel is used for any combination of: data control/signaling and X.25 packet networking. The two B channels can be bonded together giving a total data rate of 12 Kbps. Interface (BRI) is intended for the home and small enterprise users. B. Primary Rate Interface (PRI) Figure - Primary Rate Interface (PRI) The primary rate interface (PRI) is a telecommunications standard for carrying multiple DS0 (Digital Signal 0) voice and data transmissions between two physical locations. Digital Signal 0 (DS0) is a basic digital signaling rate of 64 Kbps, corresponding to the capacity of one voice-frequency-equivalent channel. 147

14 Networking Principles The number of B channels for PRI varies according to the nation: in North America and Japan it is 23B+1D, with an aggregate bit rate of Mbps (T1 line); in Europe and Australia it is 30B+1D, with an aggregate bit rate of 2.04 Mbps (E1 line). C. Broadband Integrated Services Digital Network (B-ISDN) B-ISDN is another ISDN implementation and it is able to manage different types of services at the same time. It is primarily used within network backbones and employs ATM..5 Traditional Wide Area Network Alternatives Packet switching technology brought several new alternatives for the wide area networking like Public Data Network (PDN) and value-added network (VAN). Like public and private circuit networks, there are also public and private packet-switching networks. A public packet-switching network provides a packet transmission services to its subscribers and works similar like a public telephone network. Such network provides its own set of packetswitching nodes which can be linked with other line providers like telecom. This type of network is called value-added network (VAN). It is called value-added network (VAN) because such network adds value to the existing transmission facilities. In many countries, there is a single public network owned and controlled by the government. Such government owned network is called Public Data Network (PDN).5.1 Value-Added Network (VAN) Value-Added Network (VAN) is a privately owned or proprietary network. It generally provides specialized services, such as electronic data interchange (EDI) or access to a particular database. Such type of network adds values to the existing transmission line; therefore it is called Value-Added Network (VAN)..5.2 Public Data Network (PDN) Public Data Network (PDN) is similar like Value-Added Network; the difference is that it is owned by the government. Sometimes, this type of network is established and operated by a telecommunications administration, or a recognized private operating agency, for the specific purpose of providing data transmission services for the public. 14

15 Wide Area Network (WAN).6 Cellular Wireless Networks Cellular Wireless Network has made tremendous development due to the advancement of data communication and telecommunication. Mobile wireless communication which most of us use daily to contact friends and families is based on a cellular technology. Mobile phones, personal communications systems, wireless Internet and wireless Web applications are all based on a cellular technology. Figure -9 A cellular communication system The cellular network is comprised of multiple low- power transmitters of 100W or less. Range of such transmitter is small and it covers a small area called as a cell. Each cell has its own transmitter called base station. A band of frequencies is allocated to each cell is different from adjacent cells to avoid interference or crosstalk. 149

16 Networking Principles.7 Satellite communication Figure -10 A satellite communication system Communications satellite in its simplest form involves the transmission of information from the ground station to the satellite, which is called uplink, followed by a retransmission of the information from the satellite back to the ground which is called the downlink. The downlink can be to one ground station or many at same time. Therefore a satellite receives the information from earth and transmits back to the earth. Satellite has a receiver with a receiving antenna and a transmitter with a transmitting antenna. It also has some method for connecting the uplink to the downlink for retransmission and prime electrical power (solar panels) to run all of the electronics system. The exact nature of these components will differ, depending on the orbit and the system architecture, but every communications satellite must have these basic components. This is illustrated in the Figure

17 Wide Area Network (WAN). Summary Wide Area Network (WAN) covers a relatively broad geographical area like state, nation or entire world. WAN uses Packet-switching network, fibre optic cable, microwave transmitters, satellite links and cable television coaxial systems as its links. Circuit switching network establishes a dedicated circuit (or channel) between nodes before sending data over the network. In a circuit switching network, first circuit is established then only data is transfer. After data transfer circuit is disconnected again. Networks that send packets from many different users along many different possible paths are called packet-switching networks. Each packet in a packet-switched network contains a destination address and can take different path during transmission but at the end packets are reassembled into original message. In a datagram approach, each packet is treated independently, without any reference to other packets. In a virtual circuit approach, a pre-planned logical route is established before sending any packets. Store and forward is an example of message switching network techniques which were originally used in data communication. ITU has adopted a cell-switching technology called ATM which resembles to a packet switching. Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) is a type of circuit switched telephone network system, designed to allow digital (as opposed to analog) transmission of voice and data over ordinary telephone copper wires. All ISDN connections have B (bearer) channel which employs circuit-switching techniques and D (data) channels which employs packet-switching techniques. Value-added network (VAN) is privately owned network, generally provides specialized services, such as electronic data interchange (EDI) or access to a particular database. Cellular network is comprised of multiple low- power transmitters of 100W and cover a small area called cell. Communications satellite in its simplest form involves the transmission of information from the ground station to the satellite, which is called uplink and transmitting same information back on the ground at other location called downlink. 151

18 Networking Principles.9 Exercises A. Fill in the blanks with correct words. 1. A Wide Area Network (WAN) is a data communication network that covers area. 2. Two most widely used WAN switching techniques are and. 3. The normal voice telephone we use is an example of switching. 4. In switching there is no need to have dedicated path between sender and receiver. 5. Datagram and are the two services of switching. 6. virtual-circuit required a connection before data can be transmitted. 7. Each independent packet in packet switching network is referred as a.. ATM is an example of switching. 9. All ISDN connections have two channels, which are and. 10. When data is transmitted from ground station to satellite is called. B. Answer following questions 1. Name different switching techniques used in WAN? 2. What is a circuit switching network? 3. What are three phases of circuit switching network? 4. List down advantages and disadvantages of circuit switching network? 5. What is a packet switching network? 6. What is Integrated Service Digital Network (ISDN)? 7. Briefly describe about satellite communication. 152

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