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Introduction to Networking Computers that are connected together share data, application, and hardware devices.

There are two main networking arrangements: client/server and peer-to-peer. In a network, the geometric arrangement of workstations or nodes and the links connecting the nodes is called "topology". Three basic topologies are: bus, ring, and star. Networking is sharing. Computers are connected together so that they share data, application, and hardware devices. Computer networking began in early 1980 when personal computers became affordable. In its simplest form, a network consists of computers connected together using network interface cards (NIC), networking software, and network cabling. Any individual computer connected to a network is a workstation, and any individual device such as workstation, printer, scanner, or fax connected to a network is a node. A workstation can be with or without hard disk drive. Networking is sharing, and sharing is saving. By sharing files and information, computer users cut down on paper cost and human movements. For instance, a co-worker on a floor can share a spreadsheet created by a worker on another floor, with none leaving his desk. Networks offer efficient communications among the employees through electronic mail. Networks let them share software and peripherals like printers and scanners. With networking, an office can work with just one printer and one scanner for even ten workstations, and thus networking helps save on equipment. It also helps in using storage hardware efficiently. A network may join a few computers in a room, or it may join computers in different cities or even different countries. A LAN and a WAN A network can be a LAN or a WAN. The computer network in your office is most likely a LAN or a local-area network. A LAN connects computers and peripherals in a limited area, such as a building or an office. A LAN can have just two networked computers, or even hundreds of networked computers. If your office is a branch office, which is part of a larger organization, the network that connects all the branch offices and the company headquarters is a WAN, or wide-area network. A WAN is just like a LAN except that a WAN covers larger area, for example a WAN that connects the offices of an airline in different cities. The Internet is the ultimate WAN that spans the globe and connects millions of computers. A WAN may use one or more types of connections including telephone and cable lines, satellite, and microwave links, whereas in a LAN employs only the cables to connect the workstations. A Client/Server or Peer-to-Peer The two main networking arrangements are client/server and peer-to-peer. In the client/server arrangement one computer is the central computer, and this central computer is usually more powerful than all other workstations. This central computer is server, and all other workstations or computers are clients. A server has a large storage space and sufficient processing power to run the network operating system and applications. The clients connect to the server to share its processing power and store files. The server works as an interpreter between the clients whenever they wish to share files, or communicate with each other. A powerful server can handle hundreds of clients. The server can be a dedicated server or non-dedicated server. A dedicated server is one that will only do the job of the server. A non-dedicated server can do the job of the server as well as act as a client so that someone can use it as a workstation. In a client/server network even computers from different vendor can be connected together, for instance Macintosh computers and IBM-compatible computers on the same LAN. In peer-to-peer network there is no server or central computer, and all workstations or peers are treated equally. All the computers can share printers, CD-ROM drives, and other peripherals and access files stored on all the computers on the network. However, peers themselves decide

whether a particular workstation should be allowed access to some or all other computers, and to what resources it should be allowed access. In peer-to-peer networks it is not necessary that all machines are equally powerful; in fact mostly they are not always equal.

As compared to client/server network, a peer-to-peer network is less expensive and the connections are less complicated. However, peer-to-peer networks cannot connect different types of computers -- you cannot have a Macintosh and an IBM-compatible computer connected on a peer-to-peer network. Also, all the different workstations of a peer-to-peer network must use same operating system. The Topology The topology is the geometric arrangement of workstations and links that connect the individual computers, or nodes to the network. Three basic topologies are: 1. Bus topology 2. Ring topology 3. Star topology 1. Bus topology: The bus topology employs one bus to carry entire data of a network. A bus is single continuous cable that runs throughout the office and is connected to all the computers. When one workstation wants to talk to another, the message or signal travels down the bus in both the directions. The message contains the address of sending computer and the destination node. Each node reads the message to see if it matches its address. The main advantage of bus topology is its easy set-up. Any workstation can be easily moved to another location as the bus runs throughout the office. Another benefit of this layout is that if one computer on the bus fails, then rest of the traffic on the bus remains unaffected. A network with bus topology cannot become too big as all the traffic is on a single bus and the bus has limited data carrying capacity. 2. Ring topology: In ring topology all workstations are connected in the shape of a ring and the ring does not have any beginning or ending. The ring is made up of short segments that connect one PC to the next and so on, until all the computers are connected in a ring or circle. The signal travels only in one direction and from one PC to the next until it reaches the appropriate node. In ring topology, it is difficult to move a workstation or add more computers to an existing ring. But, in a carefully and properly designed ring topology network a faulty workstation is automatically bypassed. 3. Star topology: In star topology all workstations are connected to a central computer or hub, creating a star configuration. Messages pass from the nodes to the hub, where they are processed or passed along to another node. The hub controls the traffic on the network. If the hub fails, the entire network becomes inoperative. All client/server networks use this topology. A network does not have to stick with one topology. Any two topologies or all the three topologies can be used in a network. For example, a hub may be connected to other hubs using a bus, while a hub connects to its workstations in a star configuration. The OSI Reference Model Networked computers communicate with each other to share resources information, applications, and hardware devices. Two computers can communicate with each other, only if both follow a same set of rules called protocol. In the early years of networking, each vendor was concerned with its own product, defined its own standard for communication between its computers, and kept its communication standard or protocol a closely guarded secret. Thus, there were many different network communication protocols; every vendor's networking products followed a unique networking protocol that differed from any other vender's networking protocol. This flooded the market with many different types of network hardware and software, and any two computers using network products of different vendors could not be connected together.

In the late 1970s, the networking community came together in an effort to replace these closed systems with open systems. They wanted that all the networking products should follow a standard protocol, and that a vendor's hardware should be compatible with other vendors products.

Based on this need, the International standards organization (ISO) developed Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) reference model for networking. The model provides guidelines as to how the parts of a network communication system must work together. Every vender was expected to follow these guidelines, so that the products from different vendors could interact with each other, and could be connected in a network. Thus the model was an effort to replace the closed systems with the open systems. The OSI Reference model is commonly referred to as OSI model. It takes a modular approach to networking by dividing the whole network process into a group of separate smaller processes. The ISO model does not specify how these processes should be implemented. The actual implementation is left for vendors and developers. In fact no vendor has strictly followed the OSI model. The OSI model divides networking services in seven discrete processes, but in actual practice, most vendors have divided network services in less than seven processes by grouping two or more processes together. The OSI Reference Model The OSI model divides the networking services into seven processes called layers, as shown in figure 1. Each layer is responsible for performing well defined networking functions. Besides, each layer communicates only with layers immediately above and below it. Thus, the Data Link layer communicates only with the Physical layer and Network layer. The OSI model divides networking services in the same seven layers for both the sending computer and the receiving computer. The sequence of processes taking place in a receiving computer are exactly opposite to that in a sending computer. But, each layer on the sending computer acts as though it is communicating directly with the same layer on the receiving computer. The functions of each layer of the OSI model is explained below. In the explanation, it is normally assumed that we are taking about the sending computer.

Help: Remember the sentence: "Please Do Not Throw Sausage Pan Away" to remember the names of these 7 layers Application Layer. Layer 7 is the Application layer the topmost layer of the OSI model that is closest to the end user. This layer serves as the window for application processes to access network services. It means that anytime any user application needs to communicate with any resource across the network, it must begin here. Presentation Layer. Layer 6 is the Presentation layer, which is primarily networks translator and controls the format used for data transmission. At the sending computer, this layer translates the format of the data sent down from the Application layer into a commonly recognized intermediary format. At the receiving computer, this layer translates the intermediary format into a format that can be used by Application layer directly.

The Presentation layer changes or converts the character set, converts protocol, translates the data, encrypts the data, and compresses the data. Conversely, when data comes up from the Presentation layer to the Application layer, the Presentation layer reverses the process and reexpands the data, that is removes the encryption and gives data in a format directly usable by the Application layer. Session Layer. Layer 5 is the Session layer that allows two applications on different computers to initiate, use, or terminate a connection called a session. This layer is responsible for name recognition between computers. Once two computers have established a session, the Session layer synchronizes the communication between them. Essentially this layer regulates when which side transmits and for how long. Transport Layer. Layer 4 is the Transport layer that ensures that packets are delivered error free in sequence, and with no losses or duplications. This layer divides long messages into several packets, adds Error Correction Code (ECC) to each packet and collects small packets together in one package. The Error Correcting Code is typically a Cyclic Redundancy Checksum (CRC). On the receiving end, the Transport layer calculates the CRC, and if the CRC calculated does not match with the CRC the receiver had placed in the data packet, it knows there is an error in the transmission and asks for retransmission of the data. Network layer. Layer 3 is the Network layer and this layer manages addressing messages. On the transmitting side, the Network layer translates the logical address it originally received from the Session layer to a physical address the Data Link layer can understand. On the receiving side the Network layer reverses the process, translating physical address into the logical address. The Network layer also determines the path the data should take based on the network topology and conditions, and priority of service. Data Link Layer. Layer 2 is the Data Link Layer that gets the data frames from the Network layer and places these frames bit-by-bit onto the Physical layer. On the receiving end, it packages raw bits from the Physical layer into data frames. The Data Link layer is responsible for providing errorfree transmission of data frames between any two destinations over the Physical layer. The Transport layer is also concerned with error-free transmission, but it is concerned with the data throughout the transmission. Generally when the Data link layer sends a frame, it waits for an acknowledgment from the receiving computer. The frames that were not acknowledged or frames that were damaged during transmission are resent. Physical layer. Layer 1 is the Physical layer the bottom most layer of the OSI model that is in directly contact with the physical media (or the cable). Physical layer provides interface to the cable. This layer defines how cable is attached to the Network Adapter Card including how many pins the connector has and the function of each pin. The Physical layer is responsible for transmitting the unstructured raw bit stream over the cable from one computer to another. This layer also ensures bit synchronization, by defining duration of each bit and how each bit is translated into appropriate electrical or optical impulse for the network cable. Creating Larger Networks As companies grow, so do their networks. When a network outgrows its original design, the network becomes slow and jobs take longer times to be completed. Now, it is the time to segment the existing LAN (local area network) into smaller segments; so each segment becomes a separated LAN. Then, connect the segments, or individual LANs to create a larger network.

We can connect two or more networks together to create a larger network. A LAN can be connected to another LAN. A LAN can be connected to a WAN (wide area network). A WAN can be connected to another WAN. The devices that connect two or more networks are: 1. Repeaters 2. Bridges 3. Routers 4. Brouters 5. Gateways 1. Repeaters As the signal travels along a cable, its strength, or amplitude decreases. This is attenuation. In other words, the signal attenuates as it travels along a cable. This limits the length of cable used to connect the computers together. Repeater is a device that regenerates (or amplifies) the signals so that they can travel additional cable lengths. A repeater takes a weak signal from one cable segment, regenerates it and passes it onto the next segment. This is the only function of a repeater. A repeater cannot join two cable segments using different access methods. A repeater is not used to connect a segment using CSMA/CD access method to a segment using token passing access. Repeaters can join two different physical media, but they must use same access method. Thus a repeater can have physical connections to join a coaxial cable segment to a fibre optic segment. A repeater can even have multi-ports to connect different types of media. A multi-port repeater act as a multi-port hub. Repeaters pass traffic in both directions. They are the least expensive way of expanding a network, but they are at the low end of network expansion components. A repeater functions in the Physical layer (Layer 1) of the OSI model. A repeater should not be used if the network traffic is heavy. Repeaters pass every bit of data from one segment to another. Thus if there is any error packet, repeater will pass this packet to other segment. Repeater cannot filter or block any signal. 2. Bridges Bridges have all the features of a repeater. Besides regenerating the signals, a bridge can segment (or divide) a network to isolate traffic related problems. A bridge can split an overloaded network into two separate networks, reducing the amount of traffic on each segment and thus making each network more efficient. Just like repeaters, the Bridges can be used link different physical media. Besides, bridges can also be used to connect dissimilar networks like Ethernet system to a Token Ring system. Thus bridges can be used to join networks using CSMA/CD access and token passing access. Bridges have nothing to do with protocols. They simply pass all protocols along the network. Bridges have their own routing tables. Initially a bridge's routing table is empty. When any packed is received by a bridge, it reads it source and destination address. As nodes send packets, the source address is copied to the routing table. With this address information, the bridge learns where the computers are situated. If the bridge knows the location of the destination node, it forwards the packet to the segment on which the destination note is situated. If it does not know the destination, it forwards the packet to all the segments. Bridges work at Data Link layer (Layer 2) of the OSI model, while repeaters work at Physical layer (Layer 1) of OSI model. Since bridges work on higher layer than repeaters, they are more complex than repeaters and cost more than repeaters.

3. Routers Just like bridges, Routers can connect network segments and filter, and isolate traffic. Routers are used in complex network situations because they provide better traffic management than bridges. A router keeps track of the address of all the segment of a network and can even determine the best path for sending data. Like bridges, the routers also maintain routing tables. Routers are more intelligent than bridges, as the routers can share status and routing information with one another and use this information to bypass slow or malfunctioning connections. Routers are usually employed by wide area networks, to connect networks using dissimilar addressing scheme and different communication protocols. Routers know addresses of all known networks. They maintain a table of pathways between networks and can select an optimal route over which to send data. Routers look only at network address and not at destination node address. Routers talk to other routers, but not to remote computers. Routers do not allow bad data to get passed on to the network. Thus they save networks from broadcast storms; they do not pass broadcast traffic. Routers work at the Network layer (Layer 3) of the OSI model. There are two types of routers static routers and dynamic routers. Static router requires an administrator to manually set up and configure the routing table and to specify each route. Dynamic routers maintain routing table automatically and requires minimal set up and configuration. 4. Brouters A brouter combines qualities of both a bridge and a router. A router works only with routable protocols, but brouters work on both the routable and non-routable protocols. For routable protocols, it uses the properties of a router, but for non-routable protocols it works as a bridge. The routable protocols that work with routers are DECnet, IP, IPX, OSI, XNS and AppleTalk. But NetBEUI from Microsoft and LAT from Digital Equipment Corporation are non-routable protocols. 5. Gateways A gateway incorporates the functions of routers and bridges, but in addition it can translate instruction set on sending network into the corresponding instruction set of the receiving network. Gateways make communication possible between different architectures and environments. A gateway links two systems that do not use the same communication protocols, data formatting structures, languages and architecture. Gateways perform protocol and data format conversion. Gateways are much more complex than a router. They are slower than a router and are expensive. Gateways use all the seven layers of the OSI model. How do networks send data? Any computer on a network can send data onto the cable only when the line is free. The two popular access methods are CSMA/CD and Token Passing. Also sending computer has to divide the data into small packets. These packets contain some data, source ID, destination ID, and control information. Before data is sent out onto the network, the sending computer divides the data to be sent into small packages. If a sending computer is allowed to put large amount of data on the cable at one time, it can slow down the entire network.

In networks it is essential to reformat large chucks of data into small packets. One reason is that every computer on the network will have more opportunities to transmit and receive data. Also if there is an error in transmission, only a small amount of data is affected. Thus only a small amount of data needs to be resent. For quick and easy transmission, the network data is divided into small sections called packets. Packets are the basic units of network communication. At the receiving computer, the packets are collected and reassembled in the proper order to form the original data. The packet creation begins at Application layer of OSI model and descends through all seven layers. At each layer some information is added. This information is meant for corresponding layer in the receiving computer. Packet Structure Each data packet besides containing some information (message) also contains source address, destination address, clock information and control data. The components of a packet can be grouped into three sections called header, data and trailer, as shown in figure 1. The header is in front of the data while the trailer is after the data. The exact components of header and trailer differ in Ethernet network to that in Token Ring network. 1. Header: The header of a packet of an Ethernet network contains destination ID, source ID and the control data, as shown in figure 2. The destination ID is the address of the computer to which information is being sent. The destination ID also contains information indicating the start of the packet. The source ID is the address of the computer that is sending the information. The control data contains information about type of packet, routing and informations about number of packets and synchronization. The packet of a token ring network is shown in figure 3. The header contains start indicator (or delimiter), access control, frame control, destination ID and source ID. The access control indicates whether it is a data frame or a token frame. 2. The data: This is actual data being sent. The size of data on a packet depends upon the network. It normally varies from 512 bytes to 4 Kilobytes. Thus to transmit a big file (say of 980 kilobytes), it must first be divided into many packets. 3. Trailer: The trailer of Ethernet network (figure 2) contains an error checking data called a Cyclical Redundancy Check (CRC). The CRC is a number produced by a mathematical calculation on the packet at its source. When the packet arrives at its destination, the calculation is redone. If the results are the same, it indicates that the data in this packet is intact. If the results differ, is means that data has changed during transmission. When the destination receive a good packet, it sends an acknowledgment to the sending computer. When the destination computer receives a corrupted packet, it asks the sending computer to send the packet again. The trailer of a token ring packet (figure 3) contains frame check sequence, end indicator (delimiter) and frame status. The frame check sequence contains CRC error-checking information. End delimiter indicates the end of the frame. The frame status whether the destination address was available. Traffic Control In a network many computers share access to a cable. However, only one computer should be able to put data onto the cable at a time. If two computers put data onto the cable at the same time, the data packets of both the computers will collide and will be destroyed. Thus networks must use some access method to prevent simultaneous access to the cable. The access method should make sure that at a time only one computer is allowed to put data onto the network cable. Access Methods

The two main access methods are: 1. Carrier-Sense Multiple Access (CSMA), 2. Token Passing 1. Carrier-sense Multiple Access: When any computers wants to send data onto the cable, it first "senses" the cable to find out whether the cable is free or there is data on the cable. If the cable is free, then the computer can send the data. If there is data on the cable, then no other computer can transmit data. The computer that wants to send data waits for a random period of time and again "senses" the cable. The CSMA method is very similar to what we do when we want to make a phone call. When we pick the receiver and find that someone else is using the line, we put down the receiver and wait. Then after sometime, we again pick the receiver to see if the line is free or not. We make a call only when the line is free. However, if many persons are waiting to make a phone call, then there is a possibility that two persons find that the line is free and start dialing at the same time. Similar problem can also occur with CSMA access method. The full name of CSMA method is Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection (CSMA/CD). The network using CSMA method of access is called Ethernet network. 2. Token Passing: The Token Passing access method is used in a network where computers are connected in a ring topology. In this access, a token circulates around the cable ring from computer to computer. The token is a special type of packet. A computer that wants to send data must collect the token. The sending computer must collect the token before it can put data onto the cable. After collecting the token, the computer can now transmit data. The sending computer modifies the token and along with data packet, sends it around the ring. The data passes by each computer until it reaches the destination computer. After the destination computer has received the correct data, it sends an acknowledgment to the sending computer. When the sending computer receives the acknowledgment, it releases the token on the network. It may appear that token passing method of access would be very slow if there are many computers in the ring. But this is not true. The token circulates the ring at a speed approximately equal to the speed of light. Thus the token completes many thousands of rotations in one second. The network using token passing access is called token ring or token passing network to distinguish it from the Ethernet network. Cellular Telephone Mobile telephone service originated in the late 1940s. It was never a widely used system. Mobile telephone service is quite different from two-way mobile radio service. Two way radio communications is used extensively for public services such as police, fire department and medical emergency services. Two-way mobile radio is half-duplex, i.e., only one party can transmit at a time. The equipment includes a push to-talk switch. Most of the time, the transmitter is shut off and the receiver is turned on. Push-to-talk switch is used to turn on the transmitter and shut off the receiver. Mobile telephone is full duplex and permits two-way simultaneous transmission. It operates just like wired telephone service. Another main difference between mobile radio and mobile telephone is the privacy. Each mobile telephone unit is assigned a telephone number and the conversion between two mobile telephone units is private. MOBILE TELEPHONE SERVICE The main limitation with a mobile telephone service is the limited frequency spectrum allocation. The simplest method of duplex operation requires different transmit and receive frequencies for each pair of inter-communicating terminals. The voice frequencies are from 200 Hz and 3 KHz. The minimum bandwidth required for each FM transmitter or receiver is 30 KHz. Thus, each unit requires 60 KHz for both transmitting and receiving.

Until 1964, mobile telephone systems operated only in manual mode. A special mobile telephone operator handled every call to and from each mobile unit. The mobile unit establishes communication link with central base station which is linked to the local telephone exchange by normal metallic telephone lines. The telephone operator provides necessary switching for wirelineto-mobile, mobile-to-wireline and mobile-to-mobile calls. With the microprocessor technology came the automatic channel selection systems. The eliminated the need for an operator and allowed customers to direct dial their calls. CELLULAR MOBILE RADIO An advanced mobile telephone service is commonly referred to a cellular mobile radio. Cellular radio has created a totally new environment for mobile radio and telephone services. It has greatly helped in easing the limitation of frequency spectrum allocation. The cellular concept involves dividing the entire coverage area into array to transmitter-receiver stations called cell sites. Each cell has a hexagonal shaped. The hexagonal shape was chosen because it provides most costeffective transmission. The hexagonal shape approximates a circular pattern but eliminates gaps between adjacent circles. All the hexagonal cells fit together to form a honeycomb pattern as shown in fig. 1. This honeycomb pattern covers the entire geographic area served by a telephone exchange. The cellular radio system uses frequency modulation with a peak frequency deviation of 12 KHz. Each channel is assigned 30 KHz bandwidth, as shown is fig. 2. The maximum allowed deviation around the carrier is + 12 KHz and 3 KHz guard bands at the upper and lower ends are also provided. A duplex phone requires a 60 KHz channel - 30 KHz for transmitter and 30 KHz for receiver. If the frequency spectrum allocation of a telephone exchange is 40 MHz (40,000 KHz), the total available duplex channels are only 666 (40,000/60). With a cellular concept, the telephone exchange provides service to a large number of customers while still using only 40 MHz of spectrum allocation. The two major concepts of cellular radio system are frequency reuse and cell splitting. Frequency reuse and cell splitting Each cell site has its own transmitter-receiver station. The station is located in the centre of the cell area. Generally, each cell can accommodate up to 65 different channels. The power is kept at moderate level. The cells separated by reasonable distances use same carrier frequency (channel). The process of using same carrier frequency in different cells is called frequency reuse. In fig. 1, the cell sites A1, A2, A3... use channels at the same frequency but have enough separation. Thus cellular radio system uses several moderately powered trans-receivers covering the entire area, as opposed to using a single high powered trans-receiver at high elevation. Through frequency reuse, a cellular system can handle a number of simultaneous calls, far exceeding the number of allocated channels. A cell unit can accommodate only a fixed number of channels. One channel is required for each phone call taking place at any one instant of time. Channels are dynamically assigned and a user uses the dedicated or assigned channel only for the duration of the call and any user may be assigned any one of the available channels. If the phone traffic in a cell exceeds the number of assigned channels, a process called cell splitting is utilized. Some outer areas of the busy cell are split with the adjoining cells, i.e., a few of the calls are now handled by adjoining cells. The transfer includes converting the call to an available frequency within new cell's allocated channels. Cellular radio system operation : The cellular radio system is shown fig. 3 It includes : 1. Telephone Switching Office (TSO) 2. Cell sites and 3. Mobile units.

The telephone switching office is a digital telephone exchange and is the heart of the system. Its Central Processor Unit is the main unit that controls the switching between a mobile unit user and the land telephone network, as well as, mobile-to-mobile calls. The actions of all cell-site units are also controlled by the telephone switching office. The TSO is linked to each cell site with land telephone connections over which they exchange information necessary for processing cells. Each cell site has its own radio transmitters and radio receivers. In fact it contains one transreceiver for each of its assigned voice channels and transmitting and receiving antennas for those channels. Each cell site has its own data processing unit and signal level monitoring equipment. All cell sites are connected with each other and with TSO through four-wire telephone lines. There is one dedicated four-wire line for each of the cell's user channel. The channel transfer from one cell to adjacent cell is governed by the TSO. The mobile unit consists of a radio transmitter-receiver set, a control unit, a logic unit and an antenna. The control unit contains the user interfaces - handset, dialer and indicator lights. The trans-receiver uses a frequency synthesizer to tune into any of the all cellular system channels. The logic unit intercepts customer actions and various system commands and it also controls the transreceiver and the control unit. Cell site and channel transfer At a particular time a mobile telephone unit is served by a particular site cell. As the car moves away from the cell's trans-receiver, the received signal begins to decrease. When the signal strength is reduced to a predetermined minimum level, the TSO locates another cell that is receiving the strongest signal from the mobile unit and transfers the mobile unit to the transreceiver in the new cell. The transfer includes converting the call to any available frequency within the new cells channels. This process of changing channels is called 'handoff' and it causes only a brief interruption of about 0.2 second. This brief interruption is imperceptible to the telephone users. The subscribers does not even know that there is a change over to a new cell site. Introduction to Fiber Optics Communications systems that carry information through a guided fiber cable are called fiber optic systems. The fiber optic systems use light as the carrier of information. It is necessary to understand the meaning of the word "light." Light is something that makes vision possible. But many fiber optic systems employ "light" that is completely invisible to the human eye. Therefore, for the purpose of fiber optic systems, the word "light" includes electromagnetic radiation in the infrared, visible, and ultraviolet range. During the past decade there has been a phenomenal increase in audio, data, and video communications. This revolution has led to more economical and larger capacity communication systems. Terrestrial microwave systems and satellite systems can provide only a temporary relief to the ever increasing demand. The size, weight, and bandwidth capabilities of fiber optic systems make them the most economical choice to meet all future demands. Wavelength The frequency spectrum extends from a few hertz (subsonic) to 1022 Hz (cosmic rays). The frequency spectrum of visible light used for fiber optics extends from approximately 10 14 to 1015 Hz. When dealing with such high frequencies, it is more convenient to express them in terms of wavelength (). The commonly used units for optical wavelength are micron (m), nano-metre (nm) and angstrom (A0) as under: 1 m = 10-6 m 1 nm = 10-9 m 1 A0 = 10-10m The relation between frequency and wavelength is given by:

f = C/ where f is frequency in hertz (Hz); C is velocity of light (3 x 10 8 m/s in free space); is wavelength in meters (m). The frequency spectrum from 1014 to 1015 Hz refers to wavelengths range from 103 nm to 102 nm. The visible portion of the optical spectrum extends from 390 nm to 770 nm. The longest visible wavelength produces the sensation of red. As the wavelengths decrease, the color sensations change gradually through orange, yellow, green, blue and violet. The wavelength of 390 nm produces sensation of very dark violet color. Information Carrying Capacity The information carrying capacity of a communication system is directly proportional to its bandwidth. The bandwidth of a system itself depends upon its carrier frequency. Thus higher the carrier frequency, wider is the bandwidth and hence higher is the information carrying capacity. Bandwidth is always expressed as percentage of carrier frequency. For instance, in very high frequency (VHF) range a carrier at 100 megaherz (MHz) with 10% bandwidth has a bandwidth of 10 MHz. Such a bandwidth can carry only one TV channel. In microwave range, a carrier at 6 gigahertz (GHz) with 10% bandwidth has a bandwidth of 600 MHz. Thus a 6 GHz carrier can carry 60 times more information than a 100 MHz carrier. A light carrier at 10 15 Hz (106 GHz) with 10% bandwidth has a bandwidth of 105 GHz (100,000 GHz). A carrier at 10 15 GHz theoretically carries 166,666 times the information carried by a carrier at 6 GHz. Therefore, because of such a high information carrying capacity, the fiber optic systems are the ideal for growing communication needs. Basic Fiber Optic System The basic principle of fiber optic light transmission is very simple. A light-emitting diode or a laser diode generates a light beam. This light carrier is modulated by the digital information to be carried. A portion of modulated light is injected into a fiber optic cable. The light rays bounce back and forth between the walls of the fiber cable until they reach the receiving end of the fiber. At the receiving end a photo-detector is used to translate the modulated light beam back into an electrical signal. However, the fiber optic transmission is not as simple as it appears. The practical application of this simple principle has proved to be far more complex. Over three decades of research and development in optical materials, light sources, detectors, and manufacturing processes were required to make the doors open for this technology. A high-quality, high-capacity, and efficient fiber optic communications system is required to make this technology a success. The building blocks of fiber optic communications link are shown in fig. 3. The transmitter side consists of a driver, a modulator, a light source and a source-to-fiber coupling. The input signal to the driver is a digital data. If the information is in the analogue form, it must be converted into the digital data. The light source can either be a light emitting diode (LED) or an injection laser diode (ILD). The light radiation is modulated by the digital data. The light is then coupled into the optical fiber cable. The optical fiber consists of an ultra pure glass or a plastic core, a cladding and a protective jacket. To join two pieces of fiber, a fiber-to-fiber coupling (or connector) is required. The receiver side consists of a fiber-to-light detector coupling, a light detector, a demodulator and an amplifier. The modulated light guided through the optical fiber is coupled to a light detector. The demodulator recovers the digital information which is available at the output through the driver. The light detector is either a PIN photodiode or an avalanche photodiode. The effectiveness of an optical link is expressed as the ratio of the output signal to the input signal. To improve the effectiveness of an optical link, all possible sources of attenuation must be avoided. The areas of potential attenuation or distortion include: (1) input coupling loss,

(2) attenuation within the fiber, (3) dispersion within the fiber, (4) fiber-to-fiber connector insertion loss, (5) output coupling loss, (6) efficiency of light source and (7) efficiency of the light detector. Advantages of fiber optic systems The size, weight, attenuation and bandwidth capabilities of fiber optic cables make them most economical choice in various communication systems. The advantages and disadvantages of fiber systems over conventional systems are: (a) Information carrying capacity: Fiber optic systems use light frequencies as carriers and thus they have much larger available bandwidths. (b) Immunity to interference: Fiber optic systems are immune to cross-talk between cables caused by magnetic induction. Fiber optic systems are also immune to static interference caused by electrical noise sources like electric motors and florescent lights. (c) Information tapping: It is virtually impossible to tap information from a fiber cable without letting the user know about it. (d) Resistivity to temperature and environmental changes: Fiber cables can operate over large temperature variations and are less affected by corrosive liquids and gases. (e) Inductance and capacitance: Metallic cables exhibit capacitance between and inductance along their lengths which act like low pass filters and limit the bandwidth of the systems. Fiber cables are free from this limitation. (f) Easy installation: Fiber cables are safer and easier to install without worrying about volatile liquids and gases. These cable require less space. (g) Light weight: Fiber cables are smaller and weigh lesser than metallic cables. The Optical Fiber An optical fiber consists of a central core and an outer cladding as shown in fig. 4. The core is made up of a material with higher index of refraction than the cladding material. In fig. 4, the core has been highlighted but in the actual fiber, the core is indiscernible from the cladding. Glass (fused silica) and plastic are the two materials used to produce optical fibers. Glass has superior optical qualities but is more expensive and fragile than plastic. There are three varieties of optical fibers available today. These are: 1. Plastic core and cladding 2. Glass core with plastic cladding (plastic clad silica) 3. Glass core with glass cladding (silica clad silica) Plastic fibers are more flexible and rugged than glass. They are less expensive but they do not propagate light as efficiently as glass. As plastic fibers offer higher attenuation, they are used only for short distances. Glass fibers are used for high speed applications or where long transmission paths are involved. Silica clad silica fibers have best propagation characteristics but are expensive and least rugged. An intermediate option is plastic clad silica fibers.

Single and Bundled Fibers Optical fibers are available either as a single fiber or as several fibers bundled together as shown in fig. 5. A single fiber consists of a single cladded-core within a protective jacket. The core is indiscernible from the cladding in case of both the single fiber and bundled fiber. A bundled fiber is made up of a number of individual cladded-core fibers in a common jacket. Bundled fibers have relatively poor performance characteristics, are bulky and are comparatively inefficient. Single fibers are most often used in communications. Propagation of Light Light can propagate through an optical fiber by two different methods. These are: 1. Total internal reflection; and 2. Continuous refraction The propagation by total internal reflection is illustrated with the help of fig. 6. A step-index fiber optical cable is shown. The name step index signifies a sharp step change at core/cladding interface. The cable is essentially a very small diameter fiber rod (clear glass or plastic). A small amount of selected contaminants has been added to make the cladding have a different index of refraction than the central core. The cladding always has lower index of refraction than the central core. Let the indices of refraction of core and cladding be n1 and n2 respectively. A ray of incident light strikes air/core interface at an angle q1. The refracted ray (angle of refraction q2) strikes core/clad interface at an angle q3. If the angle q3 is more than the critical angle qc, total internal reflection takes place. No portion of light energy will escape into the cladding. Since angle of reflection q4 equals the angle of incidence q3, the ray will continue to propagate down the rod along the path determined by the original angle of incidence. Optical fibers that propagate light by total internal reflection are most widely used. The core of these fibers have a constant and uniform refractive index. A different method of light propagation is called continuous refraction. Modes of Propagation The word mode simply means path. Therefore modes can be defined as the various paths that light can take in travelling down the fiber. If there is only one path for light to take down the cable, it is called single mode. If there are more than one path, it is called multimode. For a single mode propagation, the central core of the fiber is so small that there is only one path that light can take as it propagates down the cable, The fiber of fig. 7a is the simplest form of single-mode step-index fiber. For multimode propagation the central core is much larger as shown in fig. 7b. The figure shows different paths for several light rays entering a fiber at the same time but at various angles. If we view these rays, we find that ray A has to travel the shortest distance for a specific length of fiber. Thus it is the fastest mode. Even through all the rays (A,B,C,D) started at the same instant they will cover a specific length at slightly different times. The ray D represents the slowest mode. This speed difference between various modes results in model dispersion. Assuming that the input is a sharp narrow pulse, the output will be of a longer duration and a lower amplitude due to the division of energy between the various modes. This spreading of pulse during propagation is known as model dispersion. By reducing the fiber core diameter to the point where it will propagate only one mode efficiently, model dispersion can be completely eliminated. For single mode propagation of fig. 7a, the maximum core diameter is about 15 microns. Optical Fiber Configurations The optical fibers can be divided into three configurations depending upon the method of propagation of light. The three types are:

1. single-mode step index 2. multimode step index, and 3. multimode graded index. Single-mode step-index fiber A single mode step index fiber has a central core that is sufficiently small so that there is only one mode of propagation. This type of fiber is shown in fig. 8. The refractive index of the cladding N2 is slightly less than that of the central core N1. The index profile is also shown in the figure. It can be seen that there is an abrupt change in the refractive index at the core/cladding interface. The name step-index signifies a sharp step change at the core/cladding interface. The fiber core diameter should be sufficiently small so that is will propagate only one mode efficiently. This limits the core diameter to a maximum size of about 2.5 micron. It is extremely difficult to work with such a small fiber core. By making the difference between refractive indices of core and cladding to its lowest practical value, the core diameter of up to about 15 microns can be used and still allow only one mode to propagate within the fiber. Single mode step-index fiber has a high critical angle of about 770. This results in a small acceptance angle and a narrow source-tofiber aperture. The major operational disadvantages are the difficulties of aligning and driving these fibers. In order to inject sufficient amount of light into the fiber, injection laser diode is the only device that can be suitable. The core must be precisely aligned with the emitting area of an injection laser diode. For a single-mode fiber, the interconnecting ends should be parallel, highly polished, perfectly aligned and flushed with one another. Connectors for these fibers must be precision devices. All these factors contribute to the high cost of using single-mode step-index fiber, but it is the most efficient of all optical fibers. Multimode step index fiber A multimode step index fiber is similar to the single mode step index fiber except that the center core is much larger as shown in fig. 9. This type of fiber has a larger light-to-fiber aperture and has good light gathering ability. It is easier to use and is least expensive to manufacture. Multimode step index fibers are available in all the three varieties: (a) silica clad silica (all glass), (b) plastic clad silica and (c) plastic cladding and core. The index profile of multimode step index fiber is also shown in fig. 9. There is an abrupt change in the refractive index at the core cladding interface. The operation of multimode step index fiber is explained in fig. 10. The light ray (1) strikes the core/cladding interface at an angle less than the critical angle qc. This ray will escape from the core and will be lost. The ray (2) strikes the core/cladding interface at an angle equal to the critical angle qc. The rays (3) and (4) strike the core/cladding interface at angles more than critical angle and both these rays are reflected back into the core. Since angle of incidence is equal to angle of reflection, both the rays (3) and (4) continue to propagate down the rod by continuously reflecting at the core/cladding interface. The rays (3) and (4) do not follow the same path and therefore take different times to travel the length of the fiber. Thus in multimode step index fiber, the light can take many paths or modes. Multimode graded index fiber Multimode graded-index fiber shown in fig. 11 is a variable index fiber. The index profile has its highest value in the center and slopes away gradually. Light propagates through this fiber by a method called continuous refraction. A graded index fiber can be considered as a fiber having an infinite number of layers whose index profile resembles that shown. The light rays travelling in the fiber are constantly being refracted which results in continuous bending of the light rays. Light enters the fiber at many different angles as shown in fig. 12. The light rays that travel in the outer most area of the fiber, travel a greater distance than the rays travelling near the center. But the light rays travelling in outer areas travel faster than the rays travelling near the center of the fiber. It is because the velocity is inversely proportional to the refractive index.

The mode having optical path is called the high order mode. The high mode also has the highest average speed. Modes of decreasing order have corresponding slower average speeds. Thus even though each mode has a different path length, its average speed of propagation is almost the same. This results in very low model dispersion. Multimode graded index fiber provides a compromise between the inefficient (but inexpensive) multimode step-index fiber and the efficient (but highly expensive) single mode step-index fiber. Core diameters for graded index fibers range from 50 to 100 microns which makes it much easier to work with than the 3 to 15 micron single mode fibers. Introduction to SQL In the days of E-commerce and portals, knowledge of SQL will prove very useful. The Internet sites require the knowledge of SQL, HTML and JAVA. Knowledge of any one or two or all of these languages make you capable enough for job in any E-commerce site or portal. This article will get you started with SQL... Structured Query Language (SQL) is an industry standard data manipulation language. It is useful for extracting information from voluminous databases. SQL is both a database programming language and a sophisticated query language for relational databases. It consists of very simple commands with English-like syntax for database manipulation. SQL was developed in the late 1970s in an IBM laboratory in San Jose, California for IBM's DB2 product (a relational database management system (RDBMS) that can still be bought today for various platforms and environments). In fact, SQL makes an RDBMS possible. SQL is a nonprocedural language, in contrast to the procedural or third-generation languages (3GLs) such as COBOL and C that had been created up to that time. Nonprocedural means that you have to specify what is to be done rather than how it is to be done. For example, SQL describes what data to retrieve, delete or insert, rather than how to perform the operation. Two standards organizations, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the International Standards Organization (ISO), currently define SQL standards. Although they prepare standards for database management system (DBMS), all database products differ from the ANSI standard to some extent. In addition, most systems provide some proprietary extensions to SQL that extend the language into a true procedural language. Microsoft's and Sybase's Transact-SQL and Oracle's PL/SQL are examples of such SQL extensions. You will be able to program with SQL only on RDBMS databases that support SQL, such as MS-Access, Oracle, Sybase and Informix. Although each vendor's implementation will differ slightly from the others, you should be able to use SQL with very few adjustments. The entire range of commands supported by SQL can be categorized into three broad categories: 1. Data Definition Language (DDL): Commands for creating and altering the structure of a database are included in this category. CREATE, ALTER, and DROP are the popular SQL commands which are a part of DDL. 2. Data Manipulation Language (DML): Commands for adding and modifying data in a database fall in this category. Important SQL commands included here are SELECT, UPDATE, INSERT and DELETE. 3. Data Control Language (DCL): This category contains commands dealing with security issues related to a database. Popular SQL commands to be included here are GRANT, REVOKE, COMMIT, and ROLLBACK. Before you can try out the SQL commands explained below, you need to have an RDBMS installed on your computer system. In this article, I assume that you are working on an Oracle 8 database. Ensure that the Oracle Server, as well as, Client have been installed. Oracle Client can be installed on the machine where Oracle Server has been installed or it can be installed on other machines connected to that server in a network. You can try these commands on any machine where Oracle Client has been installed.

The exact procedure for correct installation and configuration of ORACLE would be known to a person designated as 'Database Administrator' (DBA) at your workplace. You should contact him/her with a request for providing you with a username and password for logging into the database. The DBA would create a new username and password for you and inform you of the same. Now, you should start a SQL session at your machine by clicking on the 'Start' button and selecting 'Oracle for Windows 95' or 'Oracle for Windows NT', depending upon your operating system. A list of options will now be available to you. You should click on the option referring to SQL to begin with your work. Alternatively, you can type the following command at the DOS prompt: C:\> plus80w This command would also take you to the SQL start dialog box, provided $ORACLE_HOME (home directory of Oracle) is included in your PATH command. In case you come across some error while starting a SQL session, you should contact the DBA at your work site. You will now be prompted to enter your username, password and the name of the database to which you wish to connect. Enter the username and password provided by your DBA. Also, enter the name of your Oracle database. In case you are yet to receive a username/password from your DBA, you can use SCOTT/TIGER for your practice sessions. SCOTT is a default username provided by Oracle and it is identified by the password TIGER. The password which you type will not be displayed on the screen for security reasons. However, if you have entered the correct information, you will be connected to the specified Oracle database and a few messages indicating the version numbers of various Oracle components being used will splash across your screen. Finally, you will be presented with the SQL prompt as shown below: SQL> Oracle is now ready to accept commands from you for database query and manipulation. All the SQL commands should be used at this prompt only. In case you wish to connect to Oracle using a different username and password (from the one you used originally), you should use the 'CONNECT' command. It lets you connect to the specified database as a new user. Let us assume that you are connected to a database named ABC as SCOTT. You now need to connect to the same database as USER1. (It is assumed that USER1 is another user with password USER1 allowed to access the ABC database.) To do so, you issue the following command at the SQL prompt: SQL> connect USER1/USER1@ABC You will now be connected to ABC database as USER1 and you can use the privileges assigned to that username. (A privilege is a permission to perform a specific operation on a database entity, e.g., USER1 might have the privilege to query records from various tables but he/she might not be allowed to update those tables.) SQL confirms that the request to connect as a different user has been successfully executed by displaying the keyword 'Connected'. If any error has been encountered, SQL displays the error message and you have to contact the DBA. Let us now look at a few basic SQL commands: 1. CREATE: It is used to create a new database entity. Let us assume that we want to create a table known as ADDBOOK, which contains names, addresses and telephone numbers of people. We would use the following command to achieve our purpose: CREATE TABLE ADDBOOK( NAME VARCHAR2(25) NOT NULL, ADDRESS VARCHAR2(60) NOT NULL,

TEL NUMBER(7)); This command would create the required table. The 'NOT NULL' constraint used with the NAME and ADDRESS fields indicates that these fields cannot be left empty. Thus, every record entered in the table would have a value for NAME and ADDRESS. However, the field TEL (corresponding to telephone number) can be left empty. Also VARCHAR2 is the data-type associated with NAME and ADDRESS. Thus, variable length character strings would be acceptable for these fields while the field TEL would accept only numeric values. This command can also be used to create other database entities such as views, procedures, functions, synonyms and sequences. 2. INSERT: It is used to insert records into a table. Let us assume that we have to enter a record consisting of 'AMIT', '21D, VASANT KUNJ, NEW DELHI' and 1234567 as the respective values for the fields NAME, ADDRESS and TEL in the table ADDBOOK. The command for this task would be as follows: INSERT INTO ADDBOOK(NAME,ADDRESS,TEL) VALUES(AMIT,21D, VASANT KUNJ',1234567); This command would insert the desired record into the table ADDBOOK. Note that quotes are not required for numeric fields. 3. UPDATE: It is used for modifying data present in a database table. Let us assume that we want the telephone number entered in the previous step to be changed to 2345678. The command for this task would be as follows: UPDATE ADDBOOK SET TEL = 2345678 WHERE NAME = 'AMIT'; The WHERE clause used in this command is required for identifying the record to be modified. 4. DELETE: It is used to delete records from a table. Let us assume that we want to delete the record corresponding to the name 'AMIT' in the table ADDBOOK. The command for achieving this task would be as follows: DELETE FROM ADDBOOK WHERE NAME = 'AMIT'; If no search condition is specified using the WHERE clause, all the records in the specified table are deleted. 5. ALTER: This command is used for modifying the structure of a database table. It can be used to add a new column or modify the data-type of an existing column. Let us assume that we want to increase the size of ADDRESS field to 100 characters. The required command would be as follows: ALTER TABLE ADDBOOK MODIFY (ADDRESS VARCHAR2(100) NOT NULL); Note that an existing column can not be deleted from a table by using this command. Also, the length of an existing column cannot be reduced, if the table is already populated (i.e., it has records).

6. SELECT: It is perhaps the most widely used SQL command. It is used for selectively retrieving information stored in database tables. Specific columns to be retrieved from a table can be named or all the columns can be retrieved by using the keyword '*'. e.g., The command: SELECT * FROM ADDBOOK; selects all records from the table ADDBOOK. SELECT NAME, ADDRESS FROM ADDBOOK; selects the columns NAME and ADDRESS from the table ADDBOOK. Similarly, SELECT ADDRESS, TEL FROM ADDBOOK WHERE NAME = 'AJAY'; is used to select values of the fields ADDRESS and TEL for all records where NAME equals 'AJAY'. Other comparison operators (e.g., BETWEEN and LIKE) are also widely used for retrieving specific records from databases. Let us assume that we enter the following command at the SQL prompt: SELECT * FROM ADDBOOK WHERE NAME LIKE '_U%B'; This command would retrieve all records from the table ADDBOOK where the name has 'U' as the second character and ends with 'B'. This is made possible by the use of wildcard characters '_' and '%'. '_' can be replaced by any single character whereas '%' can be replaced by any combination of 0 or more characters. Thus, it can be ignored or it may be replaced by a string of 10 characters. Thus, the command listed above would bring up all records with names like 'LUMB', 'CURRDB' etc. similarly, the comparison operator 'BETWEEN' can be used to retrieve all records where the specified field has a value between the two given limits, e.g., SELECT * FROM TEST WHERE AGE BETWEEN 21 AND 30; would retrieve all records from the table TEST where the age is between 21 and 30 (inclusive of both limits). Other mathematical operators such as <, >, <=, >= <> can be used similarly for retrieving required information. The clause DISTINCT can be used in conjunction with SELECT to prevent duplicate records from being selected, e.g., SELECT DISTINCT NAME FROM ADDBOOK; can be used to retrieve distinct values of NAME from the table ADDBOOK. Another important clause used with the SELECT statement is ORDER BY. E.g., the command: SELECT * FROM ADDBOOK ORDER BY NAME; would retrieve all records of the table ADDBOOK arranged by NAME in ascending order. To reverse the order of arrangement, use the command: SELECT * FROM ADDBOOK ORDER BY NAME DESC;

7. DROP: It is used to drop database entities, e.g., to drop the table ADDBOOK, the command required would be as follows: DROP TABLE ADDBOOK; 8. COMMIT: This command is used to make permanent the changes made to a database during a particular session. DDL commands (CREATE, ALTER and DROP) cause a COMMIT to be issued implicitly. The command is as follows: COMMIT; 9. ROLLBACK: It is used to reverse the changes made to a database during a particular session. It does not affect the DDL operations (CREATE, ALTER and DROP). The command to be issued follows: ROLLBACK; 10. GRANT: It is used to grant a system privilege or role to another user or to another role. The WITH ADMIN OPTION clause permits the grantee to bestow the privilege or role on other users or roles. This command also causes all previous database changes to be committed, e.g., GRANT SELECT, INSERT, DELETE ON EMP TO AMIT; would authorize the user named AMIT to perform SELECT, INSERT and DELETE operations on the table named EMP. 11. REVOKE: It is used to revoke the privileges granted to a user. It also causes all previous database changes to be committed, e.g., REVOKE UPDATE ON DEPT FROM AJAY; would take away permission to update table DEPT from the user named AJAY. 12. SHOW: This command is used to find out the current value of a SQL feature. E.g., SHOW FEEDBACK; would display the current value of the feature FEEDBACK. By default, FEEDBACK is ON for six or more rows. (The number of rows retrieved in a database operation are displayed only if six or more rows are retrieved.) SHOW ALL can be used to obtain a listing of the current values of all SQL parameters. 13. SET: It is used to change the value of a SQL feature, e.g., SET FEEDBACK ON; would turn on the FEEDBACK feature. The number of rows retrieved during any SELECT operation would now be displayed to the user. It can also be used to change the SQL prompt itself, e.g., SET SQLPROMPT 'PRAMOD >' would change the SQL prompt to 'PRAMOD >' and all SQL commands would be accepted at this prompt. However, these settings are valid only for the current session of SQL. Once you log out, default settings will be applicable in the next SQL session and you will have to change the required settings again.

14. EXIT: This command is used to end your current SQL session. Once you issue this command, you are disconnected from the Oracle server and returned to your operating system. These are some of the basic commands of SQL. A lot of advanced commands are also available. Even the commands covered above can be used to provide enhanced functionality with the help of various operators, functions and format models.