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Sams Teach Yourself TCP/IP in 24 Hours, Fourth Edition by Joe Casad

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Network Architecture

In practice, local area networks are not actually thought of in terms of protocol layers but by LAN architecture or network architecture. (Sometimes a network architecture is referred to as a LAN type or a LAN topology.) A network architecture, such as ethernet, provides a bundle of specifications governing media access, physical addressing, and the interaction of the computers with the transmission medium. When you decide on a network architecture, you are in effect deciding on a design for the Network Access layer.

A network architecture is a design for the physical network and a collection of specifications defining communications on that physical network. The communication details are dependent on the physical details, ...

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