network components

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Now the big picture is sketched out it's time to fill in the little details.

A network is any connected set of things. The LIC is a computer network containing lots of network components. These are often called hardware, equipment or parts.

A set of network components usually includes a set of ethernet components. It also includes furniture things, including a rack and desk, and computer things like IBM PCs and KVM switches.

The big LIC network contains two smaller types of network:

  • the power network, made from components ranging from extension leads to consumer units, and
  • the data network which includes NICs and ethernet cables.

The network topology gives an idea of how these things are connected.

what it is

Each computer on the rack needs to talk to the LAN (Local Area Network). I use network cables to connect the network interfaces of each IBM PC to the network interfaces of each ethernet switch. A photo of these connections leads to mystification. The design relies on abstraction for explanation.

LIC topography: network components
rack PCs and monitors cables and switches
labels labels labels

many physical things make up the LIC.

  • 1 rack and 1 desk hold everything up.
  • 9 IBM PC base units are used in the LIC as firewalls and 9 as application hosts.
  • 3 KVM sets and 3 eight port KVM switches are used in the LIC.
  • 1 KVM set and 1 two port KVM switch is used for the external networks.
  • 2 PCs pretend to be the external networks.
  • Each PC contains between 2 and 4 NICs.
  • 70 two metre data network cables connect everything together.
  • 8 yellow and 12 red cables lead to a 24 port ethernet switch.
  • 8 green and 12 blue cables lead to a 24 port ethernet switch.
  • 30 grey cables lead to a 48 port ethernet switch.
  • 6 six gang extension leads and 30 kettle leads provide power.

Many virtual things make up the LIC.

Each IBM PC has a few network interfaces. These are used for ethernet traffic. These are connected to an ethernet switch by network cables.