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Book Contents

Ch. 6
Understanding DSS Architecture, Networking and Security Issues

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Connecting the Resources: TCP/IP

The Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) is the most widely used set of standard networking protocols. A networking protocol enables computers to communicate with one another.

The general concept of connecting a network of dissimilar computers arose from research conducted by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). During that research, DARPA developed the TCP/IP suite of protocols to communicate among networks, and implemented an inter-network called the ARPAnet, which later evolved into the Internet. The TCP/IP suite of protocols defines formats and rules for the transmission and receipt of information independently of any given network organization or computer hardware. Although the protocols were developed for the Internet, they are also applicable to other cases where networks must be connected, including internal organizational networks called intranets. The Internet is a collection of networks and gateways that use the TCP/IP protocol suite.

Also, the Internet is a packet-switched network. A packet-switched network transmits information in small segments, called packets. If one computer transmits a lengthy file to another computer the file is divided into many packets at the origin and then reassembled at the destination. Protocols define the format of these packets, including the origin of the packet, the destination of the packet, the length of the packet, and the type of packet, as well as the way computers on the networks will receive and retransmit packets. TCP/IP routing capabilities allow forwarding of traffic from one network to another.

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