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Part I: The Internet > Evolution of Data Networks

Chapter 1. Evolution of Data Networks

This chapter provides a gentle introduction before you embark on the more technical material in the rest of the book. The following issues are covered in this chapter:

Overview of communications history This section briefly traces the evolution of communications infrastructure from its earliest times until the present day.

Evolution of the Internet This section takes an in-depth look at the development of the Internet. It focuses mainly on the technical details, but it discusses some political, social, and economical issues as well. As the story of the Internet unfolds, you will begin to understand the critical issues in scaling large IP networks. Issues such as network topology, routing, network management, and the support of distributed and multimedia applications are discussed.

The Internet today Having learned from the lessons of the past, you will read about the modern Internet architecture. This section describes key research initiatives, Internet NAPs, routing policy, and network address registration. It concludes with an overview of today's Internet topology.

Evolution and demise of proprietary and OSI networking This section glimpses the rapidly dwindling world of non-IP networking protocols. It describes both the positive and negative aspects, and it explains why these technologies are becoming less critical for the future.

Future of the Internet In this section, you will look into the future to discover the possible direction of the Internet and large-scale networks.


  

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