18: Understanding Networking in Software

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18: Understanding Networking
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Modern Token Ring Networks
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Token Ring manufacturers have not rolled over and given in to the pressure of Ethernet standards, but rather have continued to adapt and innovate Modern IEEE 8025t Token Ring networks run at 100 Mbps or faster and, because the ring technology does not suffer from the overhead of CSMA/CD, you get phenomenally faster performance from High Speed Token Ring (HSTR) networks than on comparably speedy Ethernet Check them out here: wwwtoken-ringcom
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Ring topology
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bought Token Ring was originally based around the IBM Type 1 cable Type 1 cable is a two-pair, shielded twisted pair (STP) cable designed to handle speeds up to 20 Mbps (Figure 1830) Today, Token Ring topologies can use either STP or UTP cables, and UTP cabling is far more common
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STP Types STP cables have certain categories These are called types and are defined by IBM The most common types are the following:
Type 1 Type 2 Type 3 Type 6 Type 8 Type 9
Standard STP with two pairs the most common STP cable Standard STP plus two pairs of voice wires Standard STP with four pairs Patch cable used for connecting hubs Flat STP for under carpets STP with two pairs Plenum grade
Token Ring Connectors The Type 1 Token Ring connectors are not RJ-45 Figure 1830 Type 1 STP Token Instead, IBM designed a unique hermaphroditic connector called either an Ring cable IBM-type Data Connector (IDC) or Universal Data Connector (UDC) These connectors are neither male nor female; they are designed to plug into each other (Figure 1831) Token Ring network cards use a 9-pin female connector A standard Token Ring cable has a hermaphroditic connector on one end and a 9-pin connector on the other Token Ring can also be used with CAT 3, 4, 5, 5e, and 6 UTP When combined with UTP, Token Ring uses an RJ-45 connector, so from a cabling standpoint, Token Ring UTP and Ethernet UTP look the same Many Token Ring network cards are combo cards, which means they come with both a 0-pin connection for STP and an RJ-45 connection for UTP As discussed earlier, Token Ring uses a star ring topology The central connecting device, or concentrator, is sometimes called a hub, but the proper term is multistation access unit ( MAU or MSAU) Token Ring Figure 1831 IDC/UDC connector MAUs and Ethernet hubs look similar but are not interchangeable Each Token Ring MAU can support up to 260 PCs using STP and up to 72 PCs using UTP Using UTP, the maximum distance from any MAU to a PC is 45 meters Using STP, the maximum distance from any MAU to a PC is 100 meters (Figure 1832) Token Ring can also uses repeaters, but the repeaters can be used only between MAUs With a repeater, the functional distance between two MAUs increases to 360 meters (with UTP) and 720 meters Figure 1832 Token Ring specifications (with STP)
Parallel/Serial
It would be unfair not to give at least a token nod to the possibility of making direct cable connections using the parallel or serial ports on a pair of PCs All versions of Windows have complete support for allowing two, and no more than two, systems to network together using either parallel or serial cables You need crossover versions of IEEE1284 cables for parallel and RS-232 cables for serial These should be considered only as a last resort option,
18: Understanding Networking
given the incredibly slow speeds of parallel and especially serial cable transmission compared to that of Ethernet and Token Ring Direct cable connections should never be used unless no other viable alternative exists
FireWire
You can connect two computers together using FireWire cables Apple designed FireWire to be network aware, so the two machines will simply recognize each other and, assuming they re configured to share files and folders, you re up and running
You can also connect two computers using USB, but it s not quite as elegant as FireWire You can use several options The most common way is to plug a USB NIC into each PC and then run a UTP crossover cable between the Ethernet ports You can buy a special USB crossover cable to connect the two machines Finally, at least one company makes a product that enables you to connect with a normal USB cable, called USB Duet
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