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Computer Network Architectures

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000131447D
Original Publication Date: 1979-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-11
Document File: 23 page(s) / 77K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

Stuart Wecker: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

[Figure containing following caption omitted: This tutorial analyzes developments in computer network architectures from a top-down design viewpoint -- starting with user interface requirements, then developing a structure to realize that interface.] The trend towards distributed computing and the desire to access geographically distributed information in a timely manner have stimulated developments in computer communication networks. Since computer networks provide the communication services used by distributed computing systems, the requirements of these systems -- as well as the available hardware/software technology -- must be considered in the design of network structures. General- purpose networking mechanisms must serve a wide range of applications, be very adaptable to changes in these application requirements, and integrate new hardware and software components as necessary. The structure, interfaces, and capabilities that comprise these networking mechanisms define the architecture of the computer network. This article presents some of the current conceptual and implementation developments in computer network architectures. The material is presented in the order that a designer of a network architecture might follow in pursuing that design. That is, the paper starts with a discussion of the uses and requirements of distributed processing systems; develops a list of characteristics of the user to network communication interface, presents design structures for building such a communication mechanism, discusses alternatives and tradeoffs in the network architecture structure; and concludes with some examples from current architectures and research efforts.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

This record contains textual material that is copyright ©; 1979 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact the IEEE Computer Society http://www.computer.org/ (714-821-8380) for copies of the complete work that was the source of this textual material and for all use beyond that as a record from the SPI Database.

Computer Network Architectures

Stuart Wecker

Digital Equipment Corporation

(Image Omitted: This tutorial analyzes developments in computer network architectures from a top-down design viewpoint -- starting with user interface requirements, then developing a structure to realize that interface.)

The trend towards distributed computing and the desire to access geographically distributed information in a timely manner have stimulated developments in computer communication networks. Since computer networks provide the communication services used by distributed computing systems, the requirements of these systems -- as well as the available hardware/software technology -- must be considered in the design of network structures. General- purpose networking mechanisms must serve a wide range of applications, be very adaptable to changes in these application requirements, and integrate new hardware and software components as necessary. The structure, interfaces, and capabilities that comprise these networking mechanisms define the architecture of the computer network.

This article presents some of the current conceptual and implementation developments in computer network architectures. The material is presented in the order that a designer of a network architecture might follow in pursuing that design. That is, the paper starts with a discussion of the uses and requirements of distributed processing systems; develops a list of characteristics of the user to network communication interface, presents design structures for building such a communication mechanism, discusses alternatives and tradeoffs in the network architecture structure; and concludes with some examples from current architectures and research efforts.

Uses of computer networks

A computer network is a tool. It is a provider of a service, very much like an operating system, that is used by the programs running on the network. Where an operating system provides such services as a file system and program scheduler, a network provides the service of communications. Networks provide or create a mechanism whereby programs and resources residing in computers attached to the network may communicate and exchange information. To design a network without taking into account the characteristics of this communication and the requirements of the communicating resources would be a fruitless task.

Component/characteristic analysis.

One can analyze the requirements of distributed applications by categorizing them according to their communicating components and communication...