Managing Switched Local Area Networks: A Practical Guide / Edition 1

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Overview

If you already manage a switched network, are considering converting your shared LAN to switched technology, or are in the process of deploying a new switched LAN, Managing Switched Local Area Networks will serve as your indispensable handbook. Pragmatic, readable, and focused on real-world issues, this book provides a concise description of the elements that comprise a switched LAN, shows how these elements function together, and offers a step-by-step approach to anticipating, isolating, and solving the most common network problems. The book's realistic scenarios and proven rules of thumb will hone your skills and help you make sound decisions for effective switched network management. This book not only describes the technology but also shows how to apply it to the process of building a switched LAN management system. Here you will find experience-based advice on troubleshooting, an inventory of the classic problems encountered in the management of a switched LAN, and specific, tested methods and strategies for solving these problems. The book also teaches you how to evaluate your LAN needs and choose appropriate tools, how to create a manageable switched LAN design, and how to put it all together to build a comprehensive, well-tuned network management system.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A handbook for a type of local-area computer network that relieves network congestion and contention, addressed to managers of existing switched networks, managers thinking of converting, and managers just deploying the technology. Describes the elements of the network and how they function together; anticipating, isolating, and solving the most common problems; and scenarios and rules of thumb for making decisions. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780201185546
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley
  • Publication date: 11/12/1997
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 7.35 (w) x 9.18 (h) x 1.01 (d)

Read an Excerpt

PREFACE:

Introduction

I suppose it all started at the age of seven when I took apart my mother's vacuum cleaner to see how it worked. One thing led to another, and for the last several years, understanding how networks work, how they're managed, and how useful tools are built has satisifed my aroused curiosity.

This book is about taking control of your switched Local Area Network (LAN). It provides a guide to understanding the key management aspects of switched LANs and specific strategies, techniques, and tips for successful LAN management of them. The book includes many lists of common networking problems and possible solutions. It goes through the classic problems encountered with a LAN and provides a step-by-step approach to isolating and solving these problems. It presents a complete, albeit strategically concise, presentation of network management for your switched LAN including the following:

  • key background knowledge you must know
  • problems you will encounter
  • solutions and network policy which you will want to consider

This book gives you the blueprints necessary to build a switched LAN and to manage it like a networking system-a well-tuned, well-maintained networking machine.

The style of this book is most likely quite different from what you may be used to. It is not a textbook because textbooks tend to be dry and boring; it is not a book for so-called "dummies" since those books often lack "meat." Rather, it follows an informal style, designed both to hold your interest and simultaneously to cover a lot of information. Significant information is condensed and tailored for the busy professional,student, or individual who is looking for a focused, pragmatic approach to understanding switched LAN management.

The book follows a "cookbook" style. The "ingredients" of switched management are first presented by surveying significant ground, that is a concise introduction to network management-the standards, networking technologies, switching, routing, switching futures, and connection to the WAN. The book then presents the "directions" for management. It includes problems associated with switched LAN management and provides problem scenarios and step-by-step lists and tables on troubleshooting. The book concludes with the complete "picture" of your finished product-guidance on developing a custom network management system for your own LAN.

Another factor that makes this book unique is that it stays vendor neutral. Networks are typically made up of components from different vendors, using the tools of many vendors to manage these networks. In addition, LANs are customized based on corporate policies and organizational needs. For example, rather than telling you precisely what you need to buy, this book provides you with the background, in concise, bulleted lists, that you need in order to make your own decisions, and, where appropriate, gives World Wide Web (WWW) pointers to vendor-specific information. This makes for a more useful, up-to-date book and provides you with what you need to make switched LAN purchasing decisions (and where you should apply pressure to your vendors for management needs) rather than giving you a prewritten "shopping list."

And so you ask, At what level is the text written? Easy? Difficult? The text varies and is tuned to "what you need to know to manage a switched LAN." Wherever possible the book attempts to simplify the information; but to be perfectly honest, some network management and networking concepts are easy to understand, whereas some are difficult. This book attempts to smooth out the ride and keep the road straight without meandering onto every back road of network trivia. The text tries to keep things interesting by being informal in style and introducing some real-world comparisons along the way.

Prerequisites? Although I try to fill in the salient points of TCP/IP with respect to network management, a basic understanding of TCP/IP will be very helpful to you. TCP/IP is a rich and popular protocol suite about which many fine books have been written. Please consult the bibliography for my favorites.

Network management is evolving with the rapid advances in networking technology. New advances result in new management problems to solve. It wasn't all that long ago that "switching" within the LAN was introduced, placing new requirements on management. Current movements to supporting multimedia and exponentially increasing traffic levels are placing new challenges on management. The goal of this book is to get you up to speed quickly on network management and to extend this base to managing switched LANs.

Be prepared to get refueled within the next few years, though, as technology advances quickly. Network management is an exciting and challenging discipline that continues to grow in terms of need, complexity, and scope. Organization of the Book The book consists of twelve chapters organized into three parts, as shown in Figure I.1:

  • Fundamentals of Network Management
  • Components of a Switched LAN
  • Building a Switched LAN Management System

Although each chapter and part can stand alone (with only occasional referencing), the book uses a building-block approach. You will receive the greatest benefit by reading the book all the way through in the order in which it was written. Of course, if you are very knowledgeable about the material in a particular chapter or part, you may decide to skip over those pages.

The first two chapters cover Part One, Fundamentals of Network Management.

  • Chapter 1 provides a quick, yet pretty complete tour of network management.

    The next five chapters comprise Part Two, Components of a Switched LAN:

    • Chapter 3 is quite long and is an important chapter in the book. It goes through MAC layer protocols like Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, FDDI, Token Ring, and ATM LANE (LAN Emulation).
    • Chapter 4 discusses switching and routing and gets into specific details about switching.
    • Chapter 5 describes the management of common routing protocols: IP, IPX, and AppleTalk. Routing is a fundamental component of switched LANs and therefore requires a fair amount of coverage.
    • Chapter 6 looks at emerging technologies that will shape switched LANs over the next few years.
    • Chapter 7 presents the fundamentals of connecting to the WAN, a necessary part of most LANs.

    The last five chapters apply the knowledge learned in the previous parts of the book providing a solid base for Part Three, Building a Switched LAN Management System:

    • Chapter 8 presents the techniques for solving problems and an inventory of common problems in the switched LAN.
    • Chapter 9 walks through solving the classic and all-too-common problems experienced in the LAN in a step-by-step way.
    • Chapter 10 makes you a smart tool shopper by providing you with the motivation for needing tools and showing you what to look for when shopping for tools.
    • Chapter 11 focuses on building your switched LAN and creating a manageable switched LAN design.
    • Chapter 12 concludes this book by discussing how to build a comprehensive, well-tuned network management system.

    Audience

    It is pretty evident that LANs are moving toward switching technologies in a big way. The sale of switches, number of switch vendors, and trade journal coverage have grown substantially over the past few years in an effort to support the popularity of switching within the LAN. Switched LANs offer the necessary infrastructure for today's LAN needs as well as a rich base for tomorrow's. This book provides you with the background for understanding this new wave of LANs and sets you up for understanding how to manage and grow a networking system.

    Although the focus of this book is on managing switched LANs, it has general applicability for many. Since the foundation of switched LAN management is traditional network management, you will find this book useful, even if your network isn't completely switched; it may help you to switch over. In addition, anyone who really wants a short book about how LANs work and what problems are associated with LANs will find this book appealing. And last, the student or the inquisitive soul who once took apart a vacuum cleaner or any other complex device should enjoy this text.

    Acknowledgments

    The richness of a book is greatly influenced by the people who surround the author. Over the years as an engineer I have been fortunate to have linked up with some of the greats. In my previous jobs there were Luther Barber who taught me how to build professional software; Elizabeth Ricci with whom I share software patents; Jim Perry, my best friend and colleague (a true, network management diehard); and Dan Carr, an organizational genius-someone who can get any effort off the ground. In my current job are my previous manager, Nelson Ronkin, who supported and encouraged this effort; Ko Baryiames and Jing Xiang, two outstanding engineers who technically pre-reviewed most of the text prior to sending it to my publisher, and Andrew Ward, an outstanding sage who does network management for a living. I'd also like to thank all of the fine technical reviewers provided under the direction of Addison Wesley Longman: Chuck Black, Jeff Burgan, Jeffrey D. Case of SNMP Research, Inc., J. Alan Gatlin of Livingston Enterprises, Bob Natale, Radia Perlman, Ravi Prakash, Linda Richman, and Peter Stutz. This team helped me make the text as technically accurate as possible with correct focus and flow. And last but clearly not least, I would like to thank Karen Gettman, Mary Harrington, Melissa Lima, and the entire Addison Wesley Longman team. This team helped greatly in the process of writing this book.



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Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction
Organization of the Book
Audience
Acknowledgments
Pt. 1 Fundamentals of Network Management
Ch. 1 Network Management in a Nutshell 3
Ch. 2 Understanding Network Management Standards 31
Pt. 2 Components of a Switched LAN
Ch. 3 Managing Switched LAN Technologies 67
Ch. 4 LAN Switching and VLANs 123
Ch. 5 Managing Common Routing Protocols 147
Ch. 6 Emerging Technologies Important to Switching 193
Ch. 7 Managing WAN Connections 217
Pt. 3 Building a Switched LAN Management System
Ch. 8 Troubleshooting Problems in Your Switched LAN 241
Ch. 9 Troubleshooting Common Network Problems 267
Ch. 10 Selecting Switched LAN Management Tools 277
Ch. 11 Switched LAN Design 299
Ch. 12 Developing a Network Management System 319
Bibliography 333
RFC References 337
Common Networking Acronyms 339
Index 345
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Preface

PREFACE:

Introduction

I suppose it all started at the age of seven when I took apart my mother's vacuum cleaner to see how it worked. One thing led to another, and for the last several years, understanding how networks work, how they're managed, and how useful tools are built has satisifed my aroused curiosity.

This book is about taking control of your switched Local Area Network (LAN). It provides a guide to understanding the key management aspects of switched LANs and specific strategies, techniques, and tips for successful LAN management of them. The book includes many lists of common networking problems and possible solutions. It goes through the classic problems encountered with a LAN and provides a step-by-step approach to isolating and solving these problems. It presents a complete, albeit strategically concise, presentation of network management for your switched LAN including the following:

  • key background knowledge you must know
  • problems you will encounter
  • solutions and network policy which you will want to consider

This book gives you the blueprints necessary to build a switched LAN and to manage it like a networking system-a well-tuned, well-maintained networking machine.

The style of this book is most likely quite different from what you may be used to. It is not a textbook because textbooks tend to be dry and boring; it is not a book for so-called "dummies" since those books often lack "meat." Rather, it follows an informal style, designed both to hold your interest and simultaneously to cover a lot of information. Significant information is condensed and tailored for the busyprofessional,student, or individual who is looking for a focused, pragmatic approach to understanding switched LAN management.

The book follows a "cookbook" style. The "ingredients" of switched management are first presented by surveying significant ground, that is a concise introduction to network management-the standards, networking technologies, switching, routing, switching futures, and connection to the WAN. The book then presents the "directions" for management. It includes problems associated with switched LAN management and provides problem scenarios and step-by-step lists and tables on troubleshooting. The book concludes with the complete "picture" of your finished product-guidance on developing a custom network management system for your own LAN.

Another factor that makes this book unique is that it stays vendor neutral. Networks are typically made up of components from different vendors, using the tools of many vendors to manage these networks. In addition, LANs are customized based on corporate policies and organizational needs. For example, rather than telling you precisely what you need to buy, this book provides you with the background, in concise, bulleted lists, that you need in order to make your own decisions, and, where appropriate, gives World Wide Web (WWW) pointers to vendor-specific information. This makes for a more useful, up-to-date book and provides you with what you need to make switched LAN purchasing decisions (and where you should apply pressure to your vendors for management needs) rather than giving you a prewritten "shopping list."

And so you ask, At what level is the text written? Easy? Difficult? The text varies and is tuned to "what you need to know to manage a switched LAN." Wherever possible the book attempts to simplify the information; but to be perfectly honest, some network management and networking concepts are easy to understand, whereas some are difficult. This book attempts to smooth out the ride and keep the road straight without meandering onto every back road of network trivia. The text tries to keep things interesting by being informal in style and introducing some real-world comparisons along the way.

Prerequisites? Although I try to fill in the salient points of TCP/IP with respect to network management, a basic understanding of TCP/IP will be very helpful to you. TCP/IP is a rich and popular protocol suite about which many fine books have been written. Please consult the bibliography for my favorites.

Network management is evolving with the rapid advances in networking technology. New advances result in new management problems to solve. It wasn't all that long ago that "switching" within the LAN was introduced, placing new requirements on management. Current movements to supporting multimedia and exponentially increasing traffic levels are placing new challenges on management. The goal of this book is to get you up to speed quickly on network management and to extend this base to managing switched LANs.

Be prepared to get refueled within the next few years, though, as technology advances quickly. Network management is an exciting and challenging discipline that continues to grow in terms of need, complexity, and scope. Organization of the Book The book consists of twelve chapters organized into three parts, as shown in Figure I.1:

  • Fundamentals of Network Management
  • Components of a Switched LAN
  • Building a Switched LAN Management System

Although each chapter and part can stand alone (with only occasional referencing), the book uses a building-block approach. You will receive the greatest benefit by reading the book all the way through in the order in which it was written. Of course, if you are very knowledgeable about the material in a particular chapter or part, you may decide to skip over those pages.

The first two chapters cover Part One, Fundamentals of Network Management.

  • Chapter 1 provides a quick, yet pretty complete tour of network management.

    The next five chapters comprise Part Two, Components of a Switched LAN:

    • Chapter 3 is quite long and is an important chapter in the book. It goes through MAC layer protocols like Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, FDDI, Token Ring, and ATM LANE (LAN Emulation).
    • Chapter 4 discusses switching and routing and gets into specific details about switching.
    • Chapter 5 describes the management of common routing protocols: IP, IPX, and AppleTalk. Routing is a fundamental component of switched LANs and therefore requires a fair amount of coverage.
    • Chapter 6 looks at emerging technologies that will shape switched LANs over the next few years.
    • Chapter 7 presents the fundamentals of connecting to the WAN, a necessary part of most LANs.

    The last five chapters apply the knowledge learned in the previous parts of the book providing a solid base for Part Three, Building a Switched LAN Management System:

    • Chapter 8 presents the techniques for solving problems and an inventory of common problems in the switched LAN.
    • Chapter 9 walks through solving the classic and all-too-common problems experienced in the LAN in a step-by-step way.
    • Chapter 10 makes you a smart tool shopper by providing you with the motivation for needing tools and showing you what to look for when shopping for tools.
    • Chapter 11 focuses on building your switched LAN and creating a manageable switched LAN design.
    • Chapter 12 concludes this book by discussing how to build a comprehensive, well-tuned network management system.

    Audience

    It is pretty evident that LANs are moving toward switching technologies in a big way. The sale of switches, number of switch vendors, and trade journal coverage have grown substantially over the past few years in an effort to support the popularity of switching within the LAN. Switched LANs offer the necessary infrastructure for today's LAN needs as well as a rich base for tomorrow's. This book provides you with the background for understanding this new wave of LANs and sets you up for understanding how to manage and grow a networking system.

    Although the focus of this book is on managing switched LANs, it has general applicability for many. Since the foundation of switched LAN management is traditional network management, you will find this book useful, even if your network isn't completely switched; it may help you to switch over. In addition, anyone who really wants a short book about how LANs work and what problems are associated with LANs will find this book appealing. And last, the student or the inquisitive soul who once took apart a vacuum cleaner or any other complex device should enjoy this text.

    Acknowledgments

    The richness of a book is greatly influenced by the people who surround the author. Over the years as an engineer I have been fortunate to have linked up with some of the greats. In my previous jobs there were Luther Barber who taught me how to build professional software; Elizabeth Ricci with whom I share software patents; Jim Perry, my best friend and colleague (a true, network management diehard); and Dan Carr, an organizational genius-someone who can get any effort off the ground. In my current job are my previous manager, Nelson Ronkin, who supported and encouraged this effort; Ko Baryiames and Jing Xiang, two outstanding engineers who technically pre-reviewed most of the text prior to sending it to my publisher, and Andrew Ward, an outstanding sage who does network management for a living. I'd also like to thank all of the fine technical reviewers provided under the direction of Addison Wesley Longman: Chuck Black, Jeff Burgan, Jeffrey D. Case of SNMP Research, Inc., J. Alan Gatlin of Livingston Enterprises, Bob Natale, Radia Perlman, Ravi Prakash, Linda Richman, and Peter Stutz. This team helped me make the text as technically accurate as possible with correct focus and flow. And last but clearly not least, I would like to thank Karen Gettman, Mary Harrington, Melissa Lima, and the entire Addison Wesley Longman team. This team helped greatly in the process of writing this book.



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