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Embed code for: 01.4 Characteristics of a Network
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01.4 Characteristics of a Network
9/11/2016 Cisco ELearning for ICND1 v2.0 https://ondemandelearning.cisco.com/ciscosc/icnd1#/sections/1/pages/4 1/2 Characteristics of a Network Section 1: Exploring the Functions of Networking When you purchase a PC, one of the things that you examine is the specifications list. It tells you the important characteristics of the PC. As with the specifications list for a PC, the specific characteristics of a network help to describe its performance and structure. Understanding what each of the characteristics of a network means enables you to better understand how the network is designed and what type of performance that you should expect from it. Topology: Networks have both physical and logical topologies. The physical topology is the arrangement of the cables, network devices, and endpoints. The logical topology describes the path over which the data is transferred in a network. Another way to describe these topologies is that a physical topology demonstrates how the devices in the network are actually interconnected within the network device arrangement and wiring or wireless connections. A logical topology demonstrates how the devices in the network appear to network users to be interconnected. Speed and bandwidth: Speed is a measure of the data rate of a given link in the network, in bits per second. For example, your home Internet connection might be 1.5 Mb/s. This rate means that the average number of bits that can be sent to your home network in 1 second is 1,500,000. It seems like a lot, but that rate is in bits, not bytes. In bytes, in a single second, about 190 KB can be transferred, which works out to about 1 MB every 6 seconds. Cost: Cost indicates the general expense of purchasing network components and installing and maintaining the network. Security: This characteristic indicates how secure the network is, from both inside and outside threats. A number of aspects must be considered when you are evaluating the security of a network. Availability: Availability is a measure of the probability that the network will be available for use when it is needed. It is often represented as a percentage of time that the network is available and is referred to as uptime. A network is not much good if it is not working when you need it. To calculate the percentage of uptime that a network has experienced, divide the number of minutes that the network was available in a year by the total number of minutes in the year. Multiply the result by 100, as shown in this example. 9/11/2016 Cisco ELearning for ICND1 v2.0 https://ondemandelearning.cisco.com/ciscosc/icnd1#/sections/1/pages/4 2/2 Scalability: Scalability indicates how easily the network can accommodate more users and greater data transmission requirements. If you design and optimize a network for only the current requirements, it can be very expensive and difficult to meet new needs as the network grows. Reliability: Reliability indicates the dependability of the components that make up the network, such as the routers, switches, PCs, and servers. Reliability is often measured as a probability of failure or as MTBF. The characteristics of networks provide a way to compare various networking solutions. Up Next: Physical vs. Logical Topologies