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Network Architecture

Some links which relate to general network architecture.

What architecture?

[WWW servers]

Network storage: SAN or NAN?

Article summary: Nas and San technologies should fit within an overall storage strategy. The network should be resilient and support unlimited network availability. Back-up and data recovery should be feasible with minimum overhead.

Peer-to-peer computing for cancer research

Intel and leaders of the scientific research community have announced a new effort to help combat life-threatening diseases by linking millions of PCs to create the world's largest and most powerful computing resource. The philanthropic program employs the connected PC and the power of peer-to-peer technology - using the Internet to share resources such as hard drives and processing power - to significantly increase computing capabilities for researchers.
Under the new program, computer owners have the opportunity to use their personal computing resources to perform scientific research, such as searching for improved treatments and potential cures for cancer and other diseases, by downloading a computer program to their PCs from the Internet. It is projected that the resulting "virtual supercomputer" will ultimately be capable of more than 50 teraflops (trillions of operations per second) of computational power and involve millions of participants, and will be ten times more powerful than today's highest performing supercomputers. The program is available for download from



RMI and Distributed Computing

RMI is an excellent method for distributed computing. This article discusses some of its uses.




Windows 2000


Integration with Windows 2000

One of the great strengths of Microsoft Windows is that it integrates with virtually any type of NOS. This is an article on how to integrate almost any networking operating system with Windows 2000.


Weaknesses of Active Directories

An unbiased view from the leaders in the corporate file system field.


Why Active Directories?

Will the year 2001 be the year for active directories?


The good and the bad of Windows 2000

With quotes like:
"If Microsoft is unable to secure its own Web site and code from hackers, there's very little chance for the rest of us."
"Fortress Microsoft is being built one block at a time inside corporate accounts. I'm not saying whether this is good or bad, but it is a very clever strategy."
shows that security is now one of the most important issues in NOS's.
Summary (taken from article):

In the long term, Windows 2000 users could find themselves over-dependent on Microsoft, warns an expert
Windows 2000 is much more stable and resilient than previous Windows offerings.
Active Directory is a major advance but users face a lot of hassle in implementing it fully.
After a slow take-off, Windows 2000 is now highly lucrative for Microsoft and resellers.
The operating system is being used as a core enterprise platform by many large corporations .

Active Directory beats NDS

Exodus Performance Labs tested Microsoft Active Directory again Novell NDS, and found that Active Directory performed 2,376 LDAP-based full-tree searches per second on a 5 million-object directory. In contrast, Novell's NDS Version 8, running on NetWare 5.1 with the same hardware and equivalent directory configuration, delivered only 307 searches per second.
In each of the 96 LDAP-based tests performed, Active Directory running on Windows 2000 Server exceeded the performance of Novell's NDS Version 8 running on NetWare 5.1. The tests showed that on average the LDAP performance of Active Directory improved by 100% when running on the four-processor server, while that of NDS only improved by 6%.


Directory standards

Microsoft chave developed the Directory Service Markup Language (DSML) 2.0 proposal to the forum. DSML 1.0 is now widely supported by industry vendors, which represents directory data using XML. DSML 2.0 extend DSML to support common directory access operations such as queries and updates.


Novell NetWare


NetWare 6 beta

8 Aug 2001
In the face of Microsoft 2000, and especially with Active Directories, Novell are fighting back with their Novell NetWare 6 release. At present it is a beta release, and much great integration with other NOS's. It allows file, print, directory, e-mail and other core network resources on all types of networks, storage systems and client desktops. With WebAccess, network access and management is now possible from any desktop, from any device, in any location. In addition, NetWare 6 allows Windows, Macintosh, UNIX, Linux and Web-based client workstations to connect and store files and data on centrally managed servers, as well as on emerging storage area network (SAN) solutions from leading storage vendors.

Novell NetWare 5 outperforms Windows NT Server 4.0

Exodus Performance Labs ( found that Novell NetWare 5 outperforms Windows NT Server 4.0 when NetWare was configured according to Novell's specifications.



Thin-client for Enterprise networks

"Integrated desktop/thin-client solution provides provisioning of content and applications to traditional desktops and thin-client sessions".


Network Security


Security software

Security is now one of the most important issues many organisations.

IP-level scrambling for broadcast

Logic Innovations and BroadLogic Network Technologies have announced the release of IP Crypt, IP-level scrambling software. IP Crypt provides secure delivery of IP data with DTV or data only broadcast


New weakness found in wireless WiFi networking

Many organisations are moving towards networking without cable, this article shows that there may be weaknesses in these systems.


Security weakness found in wireless WiFi networking

The tool, called AirSnort, can recover encryption keys used to protect data sent over wireless networks by exploiting flaws in the Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) security protocol, used to encrypt data carried on 802.11b WLANs. Earlier this year, IT Week Labs found that current WEP offerings were inadequate for securing data.



On-line, off-site, tests


Take a test

8 Aug 2001
You can now go to the Techprofiles page and take a little test. Here's some of them:
Active Server Pages 3.0
Active Server Pages Quick Test
CGI Scripting Quick Test
Cisco Network Associate (CCNA)
Dreamweaver 4
Dreamweaver 4 Quick Test
Flash 4
Flash 4 Quick Test
HTML 4.0
HTML Quick Test
Java 2
Java Quick Test
JavaScript 1.2
Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional
Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Administration
Novell NetWare 5
Novell NetWare 5 Quick Test
Unix (General) Administration
XML Programming



Theoretical limits of fiber optic comms

Scientists from Lucent Technologies' Bell Labs have calculated the maximum amount of information that can be transmitted over optical fiber. The Bell Labs team determined that it is theoretically possible to send approximately 100 terabits of information, or roughly 20 billion one-page e-mails, simultaneously per strand of fiber.

[General link]

Domain name registry ( is a domain name registry created to meet the market demand for Web addresses. It has expanded the number of domain with: .arts, .school, .church, .love, .golf, .auction, .agent, .llp, .llc and .scifi

[General link]

Towards a faster Internet

A recent discovery by researchers at Bell Labs sheds new light on the nature of Internet traffic and could lead to more efficient routers and other network components. Using sophisticated new software programs to analyze and simulate data traffic in unprecedented detail, the researchers found that the "burstiness" seen in traffic at the edges of the Internet disappears at the core.


Make you own supercomputer

8 Aug 2001
Have you got bits of old computers lying about. Any old ZX81's or Amiga's, then this may be the link for you:
[DIY Supercomputer]


Mobile Internet



Intel has unveiled an experimental computer chip based on a new process technology that combines the core components of today's cellular phones and handheld computers. This integrated, "wireless-Internet-on-a-chip" technology could enable a new era of wireless Internet-access products with extensive battery life and greater processing power.


Embedded Internet

Intel and IBM team up for next-generation wireless devices
Intel and IBM have announced that Intel has selected IBM as the premier provider of embedded software for its Intel Personal Internet Client Architecture (Intel PCA) for wireless devices and other Internet appliances. The two companies will work together to deliver standards-based hardware and software solutions for next-generation, Internet-ready devices, targeting device manufacturers, application developers and carriers.
IBM will support Intel PCA by porting IBM's WebSphere Everyplace Suite Embedded Edition, which is cross-platform embedded middleware, and tools for devices to the Intel StrongARM processor and future processors based on Intel XScale microarchitecture. Intel will feature and distribute IBM's device middleware with its Intel PCA software developer kit and hardware reference design guide that will be issued to the industry later this year. Embedded middleware manages communications, enables content and service creation and provides secure, reliable transactions between a device and a backend server. Application developers are then free to create compelling applications across multiple devices more rapidly, with fewer bugs and a lower total cost of development.


WSDL goes to W3C

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has acknowledged the submission of the Web Services Description Language (WSDL) specification. It was submitted jointly by Microsoft, IBM, Allaire, Oracle and VeriSign, amongst others.
WSDL provides an XML grammar for describing the capabilities of a Web Service. WSDL augments SOAP, enabling development tools and other infrastructure to easily integrate by engaging in automated "conversations" with a Web Service. As communications standards emerge in the Web community, it becomes increasingly possible and important to be able to describe the communications in a common, structured way. WSDL addresses that need by defining an XML grammar for describing network services as collections of communication endpoints capable of exchanging messages.


Wireless networking special report

Special report on wireless networking hardware.





IT Certification

This article outlines different certification routes.



Network Computing
Computer Weekly
Integration with 2000
An article on how to integrate almost any networking operating system with Windows 2000.
Weaknesses in Active Directories
An unbiased view from the leaders in the corporate file system field.
Why Active Directory?
Will the year 2001 be the year for active directories?
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