Internetworking is a term used by Cisco, BBN, and other providers of network products and services as a comprehensive term for all the concepts, technologies, and generic devices that allow people and their computers to communicate across different kinds of networks. For example, someone at a computer on a token ring local area network may want to communicate with someone at a computer on an Ethernet local area network in another country using a wide area network interconnection. The common internetwork protocols, routing tables, and related network devices required to achieve this communication constitute internetworking.
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The standard reference model for internetworking is Open Systems Interconnection (OSI), which could also be used as a model for intranetworking as well. OSI enables any technology to be related to another technology because each can be related to the standard communication model. OSI provides a layering approach to the problem of exchanging data across a network or a network of networks so that the problem can be broken down into easier-to-understand components and so that boundaries between components can be more easily determined.
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- Cisco's Internetworking Technology Overview provides a comprehensive, illustrated explanation of internetworking components and technologies.