enterprise networking

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Related to enterprise networking: WAN

enterprise networking

The networking infrastructure in a large enterprise with many computer systems is complex. An enormous amount of effort goes into planning the integration of systems and managing them, and planning yet again for more interfaces as external pressures force companies to speed up everything. See enterprise systems management.

Communications Protocols
Communications protocols determine the format and rules for how the transmitted data are framed and managed from the sending station to the receiving station. Exchanging data and messages between PCs, Macs, mainframes and Unix servers used to mean designing networks for a multiprotocol environment. Today, enterprises have migrated from proprietary protocols to the Internet's protocols. IBM's SNA, Apple's AppleTalk, Novell's IPX/SPX and Microsoft's NetBEUI all gave way to the Unix-based TCP/IP transport protocol used in the Internet. See OSI model, TCP/IP and Ethernet.

Transmission from station to station within a LAN is performed by the LAN access method, or data link protocol, which is almost always Ethernet. As traffic expands within an organization, higher bandwidth is required, causing organizations to plan for faster Ethernet connections (from 100 Mbps to 1,000 Mbps to 10,000 Mbps).

Repeaters, bridges, routers, gateways and switches are the devices used to extend, convert, route and manage traffic in an enterprise network, which is often as jammed as the Los Angeles freeways. Network administrators have to analyze current network traffic in light of future business plans and increasing use of Web pages, images and especially video. They have to determine when to increase network bandwidth while maintaining existing networks, which today have become the technical lifeblood of an enterprise. See data link protocol.

Transmitting data to remote locations requires the use of private lines or public switched services offered by local and long distance carriers and Internet providers. A plethora of services have been available, most of which have coalesced into some form of third-party Internet connection using encrypted communications.

Network Management
Network management is the monitoring and control of LANs and WANs from a central management console. It requires network management software, such as IBM's NetView and HP's OpenView. The Internet's SNMP has become the de facto standard management protocol, but there are many network management programs and options. For example, there are more than 30 third-party add-ons for HP's popular OpenView software.

Mobile Networking
Since the late 2000s, smartphones and tablets have become extensions of the company's local network and have dramatically increased the number of platforms and complexity network administrators deal with on a day-to-day basis. In a large enterprise, users may employ Apple iOS and Android, as well as continue to support legacy Windows Phone and BlackBerry devices, all of which hook into the corporate network. Mobile security is a growth industry!

The Internet
As if everything above is not enough to keep the technical staff busy, the World Wide Web came along in the mid-1990s with the force of a tornado, and nothing in the IT world would ever be the same. Today, the Internet sets many of the standards, and the browser has become an interface for accessing just about everything. Every component of system software from operating system to database management system, as well as every application on the market, was revamped in some manner to be Internet compliant. Today, almost every new application deals with the Internet in some manner.

In Summary
Happy Computing!
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