LAN and WAN for Community Networks

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LAN and WAN for Community Networks

Jerry Lopez (LANL)
David Kennedy (Integrity)
Erik Anderson (LANL)
Edward Pando (Cyber Spectra Incorporated)

Jerry Lopez from Los Alamos National Laboratories (LANL) discussed local area networking (LAN) hardware options.

Following are the components of a Network:

Cabling systems
Explained basic networking.
Fiber cable options are used for long distance networking options
Fiber is immune to lightening and water damage.
Bridges- separates local traffic
Routers- used when connecting to different networks
When in doubt route.

LAN Topologies:

Point to Point- used when you have one machine and you need to attach to something else.
T1- I.5 Mb
T3-45 Mb
MultiPoint star with cat5 cabling is presently the most widely used networking option

Types of CAT cables:

Cat1- used for voice (basic telephone service)
Cat3- for data 16Mb
Cat5- 200Mb- to two gigs in single mode.
Shielded twisted pair
UTP (unshielded twisted pair)

PC Networking Operating System Options:

IPX/SPZ (Novell)
LAN Manager - NetBIOS, DECnet

Protocol Suites:

Token Bus- IEEE 802.4
Token Ring- IEEE 802.5
OSI-ISO (planned to replace TCP/IP)
ATM available to desktop at 155 Mb.

Components of Interoperability:

Remote terminal access
Remote program execution
File transfers
Distributed file systems
PC Network service
E-mail Systems
Database Access

Types of hubs and distance that each supports:

10BaseT Hub (most basic hub)
Shared 10Mb.
Effective bandwidth ~4 Mbps
distance 100 meters
cost per port $50-$150

10BaseFL hub Uplink
2,000 meters

10BaseT Switch (switch means dedicated)
Dedicated 10Mb.
100 meters

10BaseFL Switch
2,000 meters

10BaseFL Switch
Sw w/Full Duplex

100 BaseTX Hub
fast ethernet - 100Mb.
100 meters
1000 dollars per port.

100 Base TX Switch

100 BaseFX Switch
multi-mode fiber

100 BaseFX Switch TX/FX Sw w/Full Duplex
200 Mb.

ATM - 155Mbps (full duplex)
1000 meters. ATM sends a fixed cell (packet)
Frame relay are services you can buy out of a cloud(a network).
ATM can carry video(real time)

Fast Ethernet runs @ 100Mb.

HIPY- super fast access for mainframe and parallel computing.


Erik Anderson is part of the design and engineering team at Los Alamos National Laboratories.

Anderson commented that ethernet connections are being saturated and bandwidth being used up. The ethernet switch will help this by providing dedicated 1Omb for each connected computer.

Cat5 cabling is still a very viable option, even with the advent of fiber cable. Cat5 provides a good migration path.

A good upgrade option is often to replace hubs rather than cable using the star networking typology.

Remember that good documentation saves you lots and lots of money.


Ed pondo is a systems administrator with Los Alamos National Laboratories. Ed discussed some of the web sights he had designed using the Windows NT platform. A web page Ed designed can be found at
Ed has placed photographs of vintage fine art and pottery for sale on the Internet. Ed is involved in helping Native Americans market their products to European markets via the WWW.

3 of the Pueblo's market their pots to the European market.

Glenn Perkal, Vice President of Integrity Networking Systems, Inc., discussed networking options for LAN and WAN systems.

Following are some tips that Glenn provided for those considering having a network installed:

A networking consultant may not charge for the consulting in order to get the profit on the hardware and the installation.

You can get a great deal of free information from the manufacturer.

Ask the company how long have they been in business. Get references. Do they stick around after the sale? What kind o warranty do they give? What kind of service contracts does the company offer, and who performs the contracts, the local networking company or the manufacturer?

You want to find a system integrator. Explain up front what your needs are. Spell out your needs clearly in a contract.

One possible option is intelligent devices that manage the network itself. More intelligence is being put in the hub- it gathers statistics from the network- report collisions, etc.

Remember networking equipment gets less expensive and the performance keeps getting better and better.

A lot of new technology is coming out to run over copper to bring it into your home.