Networks By: Nikki Small
One way to categorize the different types of computer network designs is by their scope or scale. For historical reasons, the networking industry refers to nearly every type of design as some kind of area network.
Common Types ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦
LAN - Local Area Network WLAN - Wireless Local Area Network WAN - Wide Area Network MAN - Metropolitan Area Network SAN - Storage Area Network, System Area Network, Server Area Network, or sometimes Small Area Network ◦ CAN - Campus Area Network, Controller Area Network, or sometimes Cluster Area Network ◦ PAN - Personal Area Network ◦ DAN - Desk Area Network
Fact LAN and WAN were the original categories of area networks, while the others have gradually emerged over many years of technology evolution. ď‚— Note that these network types are a separate concept from network topologies such as bus, ring and star. ď‚—
LAN - Local Area Network ď‚—
A LAN connects network devices over a relatively short distance. A networked office building, school, or home usually contains a single LAN, though sometimes one building will contain a few small LANs and occasionally a LAN will span a group of nearby buildings. In TCP/IP networking, a LAN is often but not always implemented as a single IP subnet.
In addition to operating in a limited space, LANs are also typically owned, controlled, and managed by a single person or organization. They also tend to use certain connectivity technologies, primarily Ethernet and Token Ring.
WAN - Wide Area Network A WAN spans a large physical distance. The Internet is the largest WAN, spanning the Earth. ď‚— A WAN is a geographically-dispersed collection of LANs. A network device called a router connects LANs to a WAN. In IP networking, the router maintains both a LAN address and a WAN address. ď‚—
MAN- Metropolitan Area Network ď‚—
A metropolitan area network (MAN) is a network that interconnects users with computer resources in a geographic area or region larger than that covered by even a large local area network (LAN) but smaller than the area covered by a wide area network (WAN).
The term is applied to the interconnection of networks in a city into a single larger network It is also used to mean the interconnection of several local area networks by bridging them with backbone lines. The latter usage is also sometimes referred to as a campus network. Examples of metropolitan area networks of various sizes can be found in the metropolitan areas of London, England; Lodz, Poland; and Geneva, Switzerland.
SAN- Storage Area Network ď‚—
A storage area network (SAN) is a highspeed special-purpose network that interconnects different kinds of data storage devices with associated data servers on behalf of a larger network of users. Typically, a storage area network is part of the overall network of computing resources for an enterprise. A storage area network is usually clustered in close proximity to other computing resources such as IBM z990
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