Trends & Developments in WAN Technology

A WAN (Wide Area Network) is a data communication network that covers a broad geographical area and that often make use of transmission facilities provided by common carrier services, such as telephone companies or internet service providers (ISP).

Contrast with other communication networks such as Personal Area Networks (PAN), Local Area Networks (LAN), Campus Area Network (CAN), Desk Area Network (DAN) or Metropolitan Area Networks (MAN) that are usually limited to a room, building or campus respectively. Wide Area Networks (WAN)s are supposed to provide communication solutions for organizations or people who need to exchange information between two distant places e.g. within one country or between two different countries. In fact, WANs are usually maintained by the public telecommunication companies like British Telecom (BT, UK), AT&T (USA) etc. which offer different communication services to the customers.

If we talk about the trends and development within the WAN technology then we have so many terms & technologies that came across during the maturity period of Wide Area Network (WAN). Every one of them is based Firstly on what we have basic Wide Area Network (WAN) service? Which usually offered by leased line. A leased line is a point-to-point connection between two places. Implemented by different transmission media usually through Publish Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) trunks, which create one link between its nodes. An organization whose networks are based on such lines has to connect each office with one line, meaning that each office is connected to as many lines as the number of offices it is connected to. The other types of emerging WAN technologies are that we are going to discuss one by one in detail are as follows;

  • ATM
  • Frame Relay
  • SONET

Most of the Wide Area Networks (WAN)s are made for one particular organization and are private and some others made by Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Wide Area Network provide a connections from an organization’s Local Area Network to the internet. Wide Area Networks (WAN)s are mostly made using leased lines and at each end of the leased line a router connects to the Local Area Network (LAN) on one side and a hub within the Wide Area Network (WAN) on the other router. Leased lines can be very expensive instead of using leased lines Wide Area Networks (WAN)s can also be made using less costly circuit switching or packet switching methods and equipment’s. Using network protocols including TCP/IP deliver transport and addressing functions within Wide Area Networks (WAN)s. Protocols including Packet over SONET/SDH, MPLS, ATM and Frame relay are often used by Internet Service Providers (ISP)s to deliver the links that are used in Wide Area Networks (WAN)s.

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