Unit 24 Networking Technologies

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To enable learners to understand computer networking concepts, how they work, how they operate and the protocols, standards and the models associated with networking technology.

Unit abstract

Understanding of the underlying principles of networking is of vital importance to all IT professionals in an environment that is increasingly complex and under continuous development. The aim of this unit is to provide a background to the basic components of networked systems from which all networking operations derive. It also includes the evaluation of networks and network applications. Learners taking this unit will explore a range of hardware and technologies, culminating in the design and deployment of a networked system. Working with many technologies, this unit can be used for mobile systems, local area networks as well as larger scale wider area networked systems. Supporting a range of units in the Higher National suite this unit underpins the principles of networks for all and enables learners to work towards their studies in vendor units if applicable.

Learning outcomes

1 Understand networking principles

Role of networks: purpose, benefits, resource implications, communications, working practice, commercial opportunity, information sharing, collaboration
System: types, eg peer based, client-server, cloud, cluster, centralised, virtualised
Networking standards: conceptual models eg OSI model, TCP/IP model; standards: eg IEEE 802.x
Topology: logical eg Ethernet, Token Ring; physical eg star, ring, bus, mesh, tree, ring
Communication: bandwidth, throughput
Protocols: relationship to networking standards; purpose of protocols; routed protocols eg IPv4, IPv6, FTP, HTTP, SMTP, POP3, SSL; management of protocols for addressing; routing protocols eg RIP, RIPv2, OSPF, OSPFv3, BGP

2 Understand networking components

Hardware components: workstation eg mobile, fixed, handheld, console; servers; switches; routers; cabling; hubs; repeaters; bridges; wireless devices; mobile eg 3G, 4G, GPRS
Software components: software eg client software, server software, client operating system, server operating system
Server: type eg firewall, email, web, file, database, combination, virtualisation, terminal services server
Server selection: cost, purpose, operating system requirement
Workstation: hardware eg network card, cabling; permissions; system bus; local-system architecture eg memory, processor, I/O devices

3 Be able to design networked systems

Bandwidth: expected average load; anticipated peak load; local internet availability; cost constraints
Users: quality expectations, concept of system growth
Applications: security requirements, quality of service needs
Communications: suited to devices, suited to users, supportive of lifestyle desires, supportive of commercial requirements
Scalable: able to support device growth, able to support addition of communication devices, able to cope with bandwidth use and trend changes, protocol utilisation, addressing
Selection of components:supporting infrastructure needs; supporting connectivity requirements

4 Be able to implement and support networked systems

Devices: installation of communication devices, allocation of addresses, local client configuration, server configuration, server installation
Connectivity: installation of internet work communication medium
Testing: communication; bandwidth
User access: bandwidth, applications, devices
Policy review: bandwidth, resource availability
System monitoring: utilisation, bandwidth needs, monitoring user productivity
Maintenance schedule: backups, upgrades, security, auditing


Burgess M – Principles of Network and System Administration, 2nd Edition (John Wiley and Sons Ltd, 2003) ISBN 0470868074
Hallberg B – Networking: A Beginner’s Guide, 4th Edition (Osborne/McGraw-Hill US, 2005) ISBN 0072262125
Limoncelli T and Hogan C – The Practice of System and Network Administration (Addison Wesley, 2001) ISBN 0201702711
Lowe D – Networking All-in-One Desk Reference for Dummies, 2nd Edition (Hungry Minds Inc US, 2005) ISBN 0764599399
More M, Southwick P, Pritsky T and Riggs C – Telecommunications: A Beginner’s Guide (McGrawHill Education, 2001) ISBN 0072193565

OliferN andOliferV – Computer Networks: Principles, Technologies and Protocols for NetworkDesign (John Wiley and Sons Ltd, 2005) ISBN 0470869828
Schiller J – Mobile Communications, 2nd Edition (Addison Wesley, 2003) ISBN 0321123816
Subramanian M – Network Management: An Introduction to Principles and Practice (Addison Wesley, 2000) ISBN 0201357429



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