As we have seen in the previous chapters, many software and hardware manufacturers supply products for linking computers in a network. Networking is fundamentally a form of communication, so the need for manufacturers to take steps to ensure that their products could interact became apparent early in the development of networking technology. As networks and suppliers of networking products have spread across the world, the need for standardization has only increased. To address the issues surrounding standardization, several independent organizations have created standard design specifications for computer-networking products. When these standards are adhered to, communication is possible between hardware and software products produced by a variety of vendors. This chapter explores these standards in detail.
Because this chapter builds on material presented in the previous chapters, you might want to review the lesson and chapter summaries of chapters 1 through 4 before you begin this chapter.
Run the c05dem01 video located in the Demos folder on the CD accompanying this book to view an overview discussion of network standards.