Resolution Service, SSL, Name Resolution
Network management deals with managing computer networks. There are numerous hardware and software used in assisting network systems administrators. Network management mainly deals with security, performance and system reliability. Through this paper, the basic principles of network management are explained and current name resolution services evaluated. The paper also discusses the technologies of support network infrastructure management. The last section of this paper discusses security resources available in network infrastructure management.
1.1 Evaluate current name resolution services
There has been an increase in the development of the internet and mobile technology over the past. The technology advancement has resulted to numerous gadgets of technology being used within a systems environment or even between different machines (Perkins and Das, 2003). In order for these kinds of setup to having their own requests and needs, it is important that each of them is given an identity. The identity is to be used by any other member computer in the network to identify or locate the specific computer within the network. Just the same way humans have a naming system that helps in identification between and among individuals, computers and cellular gadgets have a name resolution service to help in achieving this objective (Rosenberg and Schulzrinne, 2002). Therefore, name resolution is a technique of reconciling an IP address to a user-friendly computer name. Formerly, names of IP addresses were resolved using host files. These host files came in the form of text files that the computer used to gain access in case name resolution was necessary. According to Sheu (2002), using this method of name resolution, IP address mappings were accomplished through manual entry of all the computers in the network and their internet protocol addresses (Roach, 2002). After the manual entry of the computers and their IP addresses, this information was then be copied to every computer in the network.
This host file that was available on each computer was then referred to whenever a resource required. According to Schulzrinne et al. (1996), since computers address each other in numbers that maybe 32 bits or 128 bits depending on the internet protocol (which could be IPv4 or IPv6) being used, the mapping can be a great challenge to humans and therefore a name resolution service is needed to handle this mapping (Perkins and Das, 2003). Name resolution service is important since it handles the mapping of the addresses and help humans to easily remember the IP addresses of the computers within the network (Rosenberg and Schulzrinne, 2002). There are a number of services that can help in name resolution. Since the services available depend on the size of the business organization or the size of the network, the following is evaluations of some of the services that are available to small-to-medium size enterprises.
NetBIOS name resolution service was developed by Microsoft where small networks would use for name resolution. In this name resolution, the computers called the service that sent a broadcast from the computer to all other computers within the network segment. Even though the broadcast was sent to all computers within the network segment, only the named computer would respond to the message. NetBIOS name resolution service restricted the broadcast by the particular computer to the resources of the computer’s network segment. As stated by Rosenberg and Schulzrinne (2002), this was a disadvantage of the name resolution service. The service required no maintenance (meaning cost-effective) and also easy to use given that it was self-configuring. Nevertheless, this service could only be used on small networks since the advent of larger networks that are router-depended rendered NetBIOS obsolete for the larger networks. This is due to the fact that the broadcast messages could not pass through a router (Rosenberg and Schulzrinne, 2002). To overcome the problem of broadcasting through a router, Microsoft developed another name resolution system called the Windows Internet Naming Service (WINS). NetBIOS name resolution service is still used in networks or workgroups without DNS.
Through the NetBIOS service, as stated by Roach (2002), computers browse the network through my network places, computers near me or Microsoft Windows Network. In order for the future access service to be speeded up, all the IP address mappings resolved by the NetBIOS are retained on the local machine (Schulzrinne et al. 1996). This name resolution service is enabled by default although it can be disabled and this feature is important for security since the NetBIOS can be disabled to remove the ability to view contents of the network via browsing.
This is the Windows Internet Naming Service which assigns every machine in the WINS network a unique IP address. The machine sends its NetBIOS name and its IP address to the WINS server at boot up. Since every computer sends these two details (NetBIOS name and IP address) to the WINS server, the server saves this information in its database file, wins.mdb (Jacobson, 2000). Whenever any computer within the network has name resolution query, the query is sent to the WINS server which then searches within the database file and then sends back the details to the client after resolving the query.
- DNS and ADNS
DNS is the Domain Naming Service that accomplishes the name resolution task by arranging the names in a tree structure so that the client names also comprise the a string of domain names from the lower level domain to the top-level domain name of the string. The domain names are separated by dots (.) . For example, finance.yahoo.com, the main domain name is yahoo. Domain naming service allows for all networks to support distinctive names. This advantage could not be achieved using the WINS systems since they could not allow more than one computer to be called using the same name. Since the domain name of is unique within DNS network, many computers can have similar names as long as they have distinct domain names (Johnson and Maltz, 1996). The DNS has greater advantages that solve the problems of the WINS name resolutions service that was cumbersome due to the fact that the enquiries made by a computer within the network has to be sent and searched in the whole database for resolution to be made. This approach also meant that WINS was a slower, time consuming and resource-intensive process given the expanse of the internet. DNS takes care of all these shortcomings of the WINS name resolution service. DNS resolvers generally make either iterative or recursive queries when handling the name resolution task (Sheu, 2002). The iterative queries ask if a resolution can be handled and if not ask for help to be given the right direction. As asserted by Jiang et al., (2001), this query is used by the target DNS server to query other DNS servers for help in resolving it. For the recursive name resolution queries, the client machine queries the particular DNS server of whatever answer it has for the query. This kind of querying is generally not recommended since it loads up the DNS servers (Rosen et al., 2001). Another name resolution service that is closely related to the DNS service is the ADNS name resolution service.
Where DNS Servers are not available
There are other circumstances that make it unfeasible for name resolution to be done on DNS servers. This is because the DNS system may either be unavailable or not capable of resolving the name bindings based on the prevailing circumstances such as restrictions at the airport and other facilities. In this case, individuals wishing to connect their computers such as laptops may only do it by using network address and this may not be easy to work with by many people. In this scenario, name resolution can be done through the use of Multicast DNS (mDNS) and Link-Local Multicast Name Resolution (Feeney and Nilsson, 2001). In the mDNS, familiar DNS programming interfaces are used together with familiar packet formats in small networks that do not have DNS servers installed. In the Link Local Multicast name resolution; the service only focuses on the local link when carrying out name resolution service in a peer-to-peer network environment (Broch and Jetcheva, 1998). This name resolution service is not a replacement to the DNS system but only employed when DNS system cannot be used.
As stated by Saroiu and Gribble (2001), in other ad hoc networks such as the mobile networks, name resolution can be achieved through the employment of peer-to-peer mobile routing through the wireless domain. The mobile ad hoc networks use mobile routers called nodes that move freely and arbitrarily. This characteristic of the mobile network having a dynamic attribute and arbitrarily mobile nodes make the network to form a multi-hop graph which transforms with time. Since these systems are autonomous, they can operate in seclusion as well as in a fixed network infrastructure. Since the nodes in the mobile networks are dependent on batteries, which are always energy-constrained, the technologies that support that type of infrastructure must be mindful of the energy conservation concerns of the network (Jiang et al., 2001). Within the mobile ad hoc network, any node that has IP-based routing is generally known as a MANET and it is possible for each node to operate as a server. This makes it possible for this node to be contacted by other MANET nodes without barriers of loops (Johnson and Maltz, 1996). Similarly, any node can work as a client and query other servers within the network. Therefore, name resolution is done through reactive routing or proactive routing (Rosen et al., 2001). A reactive resolution approach does not have any prior knowledge of the topology of the network. This routing method is best suited for a situation where the nodes are highly mobile than normal and only a particular set of nodes are sending or receiving resolution queries at any time. On the other hand, the proactive routing protocol attempts to have a comprehensive picture of the network topology (Broch and Jetcheva, 1998). Given that routing on the fixed internet is proactive in nature, reactive routing is less known to many people. The following are commonly used in cases where name resolution services are not available.
Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN)
This is sometimes called absolute domain name. FQDN specifies a specific location of a device in a hierarchy of DNS or Domain Name System. FQDN specifies all domain levels entailing top-level domain and root zone. For instance for a device with host name as 55host and parent domain name as testing.com, the domain name becomes 55host.testing.com.
LLMNR stand for Link Local Multicast Name Resolution. This is a protocol designed from DNS (domain Nam System) packet format that permits both IP version 4 and 6 hosts to perform name resolution on similar link. This entails Windows Vista, windows 7 and Windows Server.
This is Active directory (AD) devise made by Microsoft for Windows domain networks. Active directory is included in majority of windows server operating systems.
1.2 Discuss the technologies that support network infrastructure management
Without a proper support technology, network infrastructure management can be a frustrating task that consumes time and other resources to achieve the intended objectives (Feeney and Nilsson, 2001). The network technology that is needed for supporting a network infrastructure management depends largely on the type of the network system in use. The network system could be fixed type such as internet network system or the ad hoc type such as the mobile ad hoc type (Rosen et al., 2001).
Formerly, infrastructure management systems were carried out by human beings. Presently the systems are complex and so the need for technologies for their managements. This calls for appropriate computing systems able to support the complex current systems.
Intranet and internet technologies have made computer network systems more complex, integrated for data, video and voice transfer (Saroiu and Gribble, 2001). The technologies have enhanced data quality, increased reliability and made network systems more effective infrastructure communication. The technologies are based on “turn key bases”, made from analyzing, projection and implementing communication networks (Broch and Jetcheva, 1998). Among the technologies provided to support network infrastructure management are:
- Structured cabling.
This is the installation of applications able to handle big tasks and perform faster regardless of the change in technology and amount of data handled.
- Data center
This is one of the vital networking technologies that enhance productivity, speeding up of business processes and effectual accomplishment of changes.
- VoIP/IP telephony
This is using network infrastructure to transmit sort of network traffic either voice, data or video ad this has wide range of advantages. VoIP eliminates the necessity for maintaining various separate systems and so decreasing the overlap costs.
- Category 6 cable (CAT6)
CAT6 is a cable standard for Gigabit Ethernet and some network physical layers. When comparing with Cat 5 and Cat 5e, CAT6 features more strict qualifications for crosstalk and system noise. CAT6 gives performance of up to 250 MHz.
- Integral IP contact centre (IPCC)
IPCC offers a chance for integrating of various communication canals for instance e-mail, telephone and even website. This is accompanied with various applications that enhance the flow of data in every direction.
- Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)
This is network protocol employed in configuring network devices for them to communicate on IT network. It uses the protocol to get configuration information, for instance IP address DNS servers and default route.
Basic TCP/IP Flow
This section explains how TCP/IP organizes its information, to indicate how firewall allow or refuse traffic. IP/TCP is organized in packets, and firewall has to inspect every packet to find out whether to allow or deny it reach its destination. In figure 2, the following key parts are evident; IP header, TCP header, and packet content. The content of IP header is sources addresses, that is the sender, and where data is channelled to or the receiver. It also contains extra information for instance sequence and acknowledgement numbers, and the conversion state. In TCP is the source port of the device sending data and where the data is channelled to identify application transferring or receiving the traffic. TCP or destination describes where information is channelled on the server.
1.3 Discuss security resources available in network infrastructure management
This is a software application that lies between two or more computer and it prevents unauthorized and uncertified internet services from reaching a computer. Suppose one browses a website, firewall permits only the requested information and prevents the website from sending unrequested or inappropriate data. There are two types of firewall. As stated by Abrams (2004), a hardware firewall is placed between a computer and external network. Hardware firewall give protection to every computer using Network Address Translation (NAT) technology. According to Abrams (2004), the protection is carried out by computers having a firewall by the use of IP address which are then converted to one public IP, allocated to the firewall. This only allows a computer to directly receive data from the connected computers or devices and so other computers cannot connect directly to a give device. The second type of firewall is personal firewall (Abrams, 2004). This is software installed on a personal computer that needs protection. The firewall filters all data to be received and even the outgoing data. This type of firewall is more effective that hardware firewalls since a computer does not share its internet with other devices and so transmission of unwanted or virus are better prevented (Abrams, 2004).
Internal Network connects servers, for instance SQL Server and users.
The figure below depicts a typical network (Figure 1)
With technology advancements, viruses are easily transmitted form one computer to another. Antivirus software filters viruses from entering a computer and therefore automatically preventing damage to the target computer. As stated by Rogers (2012), the software can also scan a computer to remove some of viruses. The software scans a computer’s memory for unmatched sequences and patterns that might develop indicating an infection depending on virus signatures known to software based on the former use. Due to the continuous update of software and the emergence of other software, antivirus needs regular updates (Rogers, 2012). Among the antivirus software products are Kaspersky and Norton.
Internet Protocol Security (IPsec)
This is the protocol for securing IP communications through authentication and encryption of Internet Protocol (IP) communication session packet. It also entails protocol of getting authentication between agents at the start of the communication session. Internet Protocol Security is end to end security protocol working in Internet layers. IPsec is employed in the protection of flows between two hosts, and two security gateways. It is used between a host and gateway.
Secure socket layers (SSL)
This is a protocol to enable applications to pass data or information to and fro securely. Applications using SSL essentially know how to issue and get encrypted keys with other applications, and how to encrypt and decrypt data shared among applications. Majority of browsers support SSL. As stated by Rouse (2007), the application accessing SSL has to have an encryption key allocated to it by a Certification Authority. Rouse (2007) further states that when the application has the key, one can make a secure connection using secure socket layers. SSL is a protocol normally used for the management of message security over the internet. SSL is an integral section of various web browsers and servers. SSL works under a certificate Authority and so a third party verification.
How SSL works
When a browser accessed a secured site, the below events take place
- Identity of the server are asked by the browser
- Server gives Secure socket layers Certificate
- Validity of supplied certificate is examined by the browser
- Suppose a certificate is trusted, confirmation is sent to sever browser
- Website gives feedback with digitally-signed message that starts an encryption of information.
The diagram below was retrieved from (Digicert, 2012)
The main objective of the certificate is to encrypt the data passed to browser. Using this method, information can safely move between servers and browsers (Digicert, 2012).
Virtual Private Network VPN
This is virtual network (UPN) that employs a public telecommunication infrastructure, for instance the internet, to give personal users secure access to their company’s network. The network can be compared with costly leased lines that only few organizations can afford. The main purpose of a virtual private network is to give the company with similar capabilities, but at cheaper costs.
In conclusion, network management is very essential for any business. With the centuries technological warrant, every business has to ensure it has up to date management systems and techniques. The new viruses and other infections have called for enhanced antivirus software and security.
Abrams, L. (2004). Understanding and Using Firewalls. Retrived from http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/understanding-and-using-firewalls/ November 26th 2012.
Broch, D. and J. Jetcheva, (1998), “A performance comparison of multi-hop wireless ad hoc network routing protocols,” in Mobile Computing and Networking, 1998, pp. 85–97.
Digicert, 2012. SSL Encryption Explained. Retrieved from http://www.digicert.com/ssl.htm on 28th Nov, 2012.
Feeney L. and Nilsson, M. (2001), “Investigating the energy consumption of a wireless network interface in an ad hoc networking environment,” in 20th IEEE INFOCOM, Anchorage, USA, 2001.
Jacobson, A. (2000), “Metrics in ad hoc networks,” Master’s thesis, Tekniska Universitet, 2000.
Jiang, J. Lennox, H. Schulzrinne and K. Singh, (2001). “Towards Junking the PBX: Deploying IP Telephony”, pp. 177-185, NOSSDAV 2001.
Johnson D.. and D. Maltz, (1996). “The dynamic source routing in ad-hoc wireless networks”, Mobile Computing, eds. T. Imielinski and H. Korth, chapter 5 (Kluwer, Dordrecht, 1996) pp. 153 – 181.
Perkins, E. and S. Das. (2003), “Ad hoc On-Demand Distance Vector (AODV) Routing ”, IETF RFC 3561, July 2003.
Roach, B. (2002). “Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Specific Event Notification”,. RFC 3265, June 2002.
Rogers, M. (2012). Why Do We Need Antivirus? Retrieved from com/facts_6801428_do-need-antivirus_.html”>http://www.ehow.com/facts_6801428_do-need-antivirus_.html, November 26th 2012.
Rosen, E., Viswanathan, A. and Callon, R. (2001). “Multiprotocol Label Switching Architecture,” IETF RFC 3031, Jan. 2001.
Rosenberg, J., and Schulzrinne, H. (2002) “An Offer/Answer Model with the Session Description Protocol (SDP)”. RFC 3264, June 2002.
Rouse, M. (2007). Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). Retrieved from http://searchsecurity.techtarget.com/definition/Secure-Sockets-Layer-SSL November 26th 2012.
Saroiu, P. and Gribble, S. (2001). “A measurement study of peer-to-peer file sharing systems,” May 2001.
Schulzrinne H. et al. (1996). A Transport Protocol for Real-Time Applications” IETF RFC 1889 Jan 1996.
Sheu J, (2002), “The Broadcast Storm Problem in a Mobile Ad Hoc Network,” ACM Wireless Networks, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 153-167, 2002.
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