Understanding Network Transports

Video description

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8+ Hours of Video Instruction

This video considers the engineering problems to solve when transporting data from one device to another over a network and the solutions available for those problems. The presentation follows the pattern of the Recursive InterNetworking Architecture, or RINA, model, in breaking the problems down into marshaling, multiplexing, error handling, and flow control. For each of these four problems, a set of solutions is presented, such as marshaling grammars, addressing, forward error correction, and windowing. After the theoretical foundation is in place, several implementations are discussed to “fill out” the problems and solutions presented. The video also considers the problem of interlayer discovery—and some of the solutions available in this space—to provide a complete picture of data transport in a computer network.

Many engineers find themselves “sipping from the firehose,” trying to learn and understand a rapidly-changing set of technologies to solve ever-changing business requirements. The problems that need to be solved to carry data from one host to another, whether physical or virtual, however, were discovered early in the process of designing networks and protocols. The set of solutions to these problems, while expressed in a bewildering variety of products, technologies, and protocols, is also more constant that it might initially appear.

By learning the basic problems required to transport information across a network, and a common set of solutions to those problems, engineers can anticipate new technologies. New technologies are almost always a new implementation of some already known solution, designed to solve a problem that is already well-understood. By learning these common problems, and a range of solutions for each one, engineers can learn to ask the questions needed to quickly guide their learning in new technologies and products, as well as in quickly understanding where any solutions may face implementation or theoretical problems.

About the Instructors

Russ White began working with computers in the mid-1980s, and computer networks in 1990. He has experience in designing, deploying, breaking, and troubleshooting large scale networks, and is a strong communicator from the whiteboard to the board room. Across that time, he has co-authored more than forty software patents, participated in the development of several Internet standards, helped develop the CCDE and the CCAr, and worked in Internet governance with the Internet Society. Russ has a background covering a broad spectrum of topics, including radio frequency engineering and graphic design, and is an active student of philosophy and culture. Russ is a co-host at the Network Collective, serves on the Routing Area Directorate at the IETF, co-chairs the BABEL working group, and serves on the Technical Services Council as a maintainer on the open source FR Routing project. His most recent works are Computer Networking Problems and Solutions, The Art of Network Architecture, Navigating Network Complexity, and the Intermediate System to Intermediate System LiveLessons.

Ethan Banks, CCIE No. 20655, Routing & Switching, has been in IT since 1995, working early in his career as a systems engineer for Novell, Windows, and Linux environments. He later became an Internet services engineer working with DNS, SMTP, HTTP, and related applications at a regional ISP. He predominantly has been a network engineer and architect for enterprises in verticals including higher education, state government, consulting, finance, and technology. He has held titles such as senior network engineer, network operations manager, technical services manager, network architecture manager, and senior network architect. In 2010, Ethan co-founded Packet Pushers Interactive, a media company whose premier product is a weekly podcast listened to by more than 10,000 network engineers all over the world. Ethan is a writer whose content can be found in Network World, Network Computing, InformationWeek, Modern Infrastructure, and TechTarget, among other outlets. Ethan also maintains his own blog where he writes about technology at ethancbanks.com. Ethan has written and/or edited whitepapers for SolarWinds, Nuage Networks, CloudGenix, and NetBrain Technologies. He is currently the Future of Networking co-chair for Interop. Ethan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science & Business Administration from Pensacola Christian College in Pensacola, Florida where he graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1993. In the past, Ethan was certified as a Certified Netware Engineer, Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, Cisco Certified Network Professional, Certified Ethical Hacker, and Cisco Certified Security Professional, among other titles.

Skill Level

  • Beginner to Expert

Learn How To

  • Understand the problem space of transporting information across a network
  • Explain the most common solutions for resolving the problems involved in carrying information across a network
  • Gain a solid understanding of many common protocols and solutions
  • Learn about a common, but often neglected, area of network operation—transporting data through a network
  • Develop the mental tools required to think about how networks work
  • Develop the mental tools required to ask the right questions about new technologies and protocols as they are developed, allowing you to quickly understand new technologies and products as they are released by relating them to previously developed technologies
  • Develop the ability to understand why particular implementation choices were made, and what the tradeoffs are in each situation
  • Enhance troubleshooting ability by understanding how each technology works and what problems might arise with any particular solution

Who Should Take This Course

The target audience for this video includes:

  • Beginning learners just starting a career in network engineering
  • Intermediate-level network engineers who have some experience, and perhaps an associates or professional-level certification, who would like to take their career to the next level
  • Experienced network engineers who would like to fill in their knowledge, or understand why things work the way they do, rather than simply how they work
  • Programmers who would like to understand the operation of networks in order to improve their ability to write network-based applications
  • Development operations engineers who would like to understand why networks operate the way they do, and possible migrate into full-time network engineering roles
  • College students who are taking courses in or majoring in information technology who would like to supplement their learning in the network engineering space
  • College students taking a course, which uses the Problems and Solutions in Network Engineering book as course material, and would like additional material to help them to better understand the material

The market for this product is not restricted to a small subset of learners, as it addresses fundamental concepts in a way that is applicable for many different kinds of students in a wide variety of learning situations.

Course Requirements

  • None

Lesson Descriptions

Lesson 1: Modeling Network Transport—Learn the importance of layers, the DoD and OSI models, and then meet the Recursive Internet Architecture (RINA) model used throughout the rest of the course.

Lesson 2: Fundamental Concepts—Discover connection-oriented vs. connectionless networks, as well as how they translate to circuit switching and packet switching. These are foundational ideas for all network transport.

Lesson 3: Marshaling—Investigate what makes a frame a frame, and what makes a packet a packet. We’ll explain this by discussing grammars and dictionaries, fixed vs. variable-length fields, and maximum transmission unit sizes.

Lesson 4: Error Handling—Find out what network errors are, learn how network errors are detected and corrected, and then consider the tradeoffs of bothering with error detection at all.

Lesson 5: Multiplexing—Understand how multiple network consumers can use the network at the same time to transport data. This is done through addressing as well as various types of “casting.”

Lesson 6: Flow Control—Discover different flow control techniques that avoid network congestion and improve overall transport efficiency in this discussion of collisions, goodput, and TCP algorithm fundamentals.

Lesson 7: Lower Layer Transport Examples—View WiFi through the lens of the RINA model as we examine full wireless frames, radio theory, the impact of radiated power, frame prioritization, error checking, and more.

Lesson 8: Higher Layer Transport Examples—Again using RINA as our reference, probe IP, IPv4, IPv6, and QUIC with us. Although these protocols vary in details, the patterns are similar as we move up and down the stack. Being able to see patterns is key.

Lesson 9: Interlayer Discovery—Not every layer of the transport stack knows what it needs to know to put a packet on the wire. Using DNS, IPv6, and CLNS as examples, we’ll explain how layers inform one another so that a packet can be sent.

Lesson 10: Transport Security—Consider authentication, authorization, and privacy, all building blocks for a secure transport. We’ll explain these concepts by way of WireGuard, a modern virtual private network protocol.

About Pearson Video Training

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Product information

  • Title: Understanding Network Transports
  • Author(s): Russ White / Ethan Banks
  • Release date: July 2020
  • Publisher(s): Addison-Wesley Professional
  • ISBN: 0136888070