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Microsoft® Windows® Internals: Microsoft Windows Server™ 2003, Windows XP, and Windows 2000, 4th Edition by David A. Solomon, Mark E. Russinovich

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Windows Networking Architecture

The goal of network software is to take a request (usually an I/O request) from an application on one machine, pass it to another machine, execute the request on the remote machine, and return the results to the first machine. In the course of this process, the request must be transformed several times along the way. A high-level request, such as "read x number of bytes from file y on machine z," requires software that can determine how to get to machine z and what communication software that machine understands. Then the request must be altered for transmission across a network—for example, divided into short packets of information. When the request reaches the other side, it must be checked for completeness, decoded, ...

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