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1. How do you define Local Area Network?
2. The history of the LAN.
3. How compucom can help you with LAN?


What is Local area network?
A local area network (LAN) is a computer network covering a small physical area, like a home, office, or small groups of buildings, such as a school, or an airport. The defining characteristics of LANs, in contrast to wide area networks (WANs), include their usually higher data-transfer rates, smaller geographic area, and lack of a need for leased telecommunication lines.

ARCNET, Token Ring and other technologies have been used in the past, but Ethernet over twisted pair cabling and Wi-Fi are the two most common technologies currently in use.
History
As larger universities and research labs obtained more computers during the late 1960s, there was an increasing pressure to provide high-speed interconnections. A report in 1970 from the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory detailing the growth of their "Octopus" network gives a good indication of the situation. Cambridge Ring was developed at Cambridge University in 1974 but was never developed into a successful commercial product. Ethernet was developed at Xerox PARC in 1973–1975, and filed as U.S. Patent 4,063,220. In 1976, after the system was deployed at PARC, Metcalfe and Boggs published their seminal paper, "Ethernet: Distributed Packet-Switching For Local Computer Networks. ARCNET was developed by Data point Corporation in 1976 and announced in 1977. It had the first commercial installation in December 1977 at Chase Manhattan Bank in New York.

Cabling

Early LAN cabling had always been based on various grades of coaxial cable, but IBM's Token Ring used shielded twisted pair cabling of their own design, and in 1984 StarLAN showed the potential of simple Cat3 unshielded twisted pair—the same simple cable used for telephone systems. This led to the development of 10Base-T (and its successors) and structured cabling which is still the basis of most LANs today. In addition, fiber-optic cabling is increasingly used.

Technical aspects

Switched Ethernet is the most common Data Link Layer implementation on local area networks. At the Network Layer, the Internet Protocol (i.e. TCP/IP) has become the standard. Smaller LANs generally consist of one or more switches linked to each other—often at least one is connected to a router, cable modem, or ADSL modem for Internet access.

Larger LANs are characterized by their use of redundant links with switches using the spanning tree protocol to prevent loops, their ability to manage differing traffic types via quality of service (QoS), and to segregate traffic with VLANs. Larger LANs also contain a wide variety of network devices such as switches, firewalls, routers, load balancers, and sensors.

LANs may have connections with other LANs via leased lines, leased services, or by tunneling across the Internet using virtual private network technologies. Depending on how the connections are established and secured in a LAN, and the distance involved, a LAN may also be classified as metropolitan area network (MAN) or wide area networks (WAN)
 
 
 
 
 
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