Understanding how networks function at a fundamental level is vital to understanding how overall systems perform. In 2013, we are going to take time in this column to focus on some basic networking concepts that I hope will provide you with the critical technical foundation you need to be a successful engineer in the professional broadcast media industry.
As we start looking at networking, it is important to understand the history of packetized networks and some of the assumptions behind their development. Today, just about everything in computer networking flows from some important basic assumptions. As we go through this discussion, there may be cases where you might say that certain problems have been addressed, such as the “best effort” problem. This is true as networking has evolved. But in almost every case, these are adaptations that have been made to address or modify some of the initial assumptions. So, for this article, we are going to focus on the basics, realizing that there may be techniques or technologies that could be employed to modify some initial network behaviors.