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Appendix B -- Common Network Standards and Specifications

The Role of Standards in Networking

Most networks are a combination of hardware and software from a variety of vendors. This ability to combine the products manufactured by different vendors is made possible by the existence of industry standards.

Standards are guidelines that vendors adhere to voluntarily in order to make their products compatible with products from other vendors. In general those standards address:

  • Size.
  • Shape.
  • Material.
  • Function.
  • Speed.
  • Distance.

More specifically, the standards define physical and operational characteristics of:

  • Personal computing equipment.
  • Networking and communication equipment.
  • Operating systems.
  • Software.

For example, standards make it possible to buy a network interface card manufactured by one vendor for a computer manufactured by another vendor with reasonable assurance that the card will:

  • Fit into the computer.
  • Work with the network cabling.
  • Translate signals from the computer and send them out onto the network.
  • Receive data from the network and deliver it to the computer.

When a vendor subscribes to a set of standards, it means that the vendor is agreeing to make equipment that conforms to the specifications of the standard.

Standards have, in fact, been responsible for the success and growth of both the computer and networking products industries.

MCSE Training Kit Networking Essentials Plus 1999
MCSE Training Kit: Networking Essentials Plus, Third Edition (IT Professional)
ISBN: 157231902X
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 106

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