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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.
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.