Top networking expert answers of 2007

The year's top networking questions answered by our experts on networking fundamentals, network administration, routing and switching, wireless networking, IPv4 and IPv6, infrastructure and project management, certifications and training, wireless LANs, WAN optimization, network management, monitoring and analysis and VPNs.

Our stable of experts has been busy this year responding to our readers' burning networking questions. Many of these questions resonate with readers of all networking backgrounds. See which questions of 2007 were buzzing in the air and most informatively answered by our experts.

Networking fundamentals with Chris Partsenidis

1. How do you design networks to allow for future growth?
2. Frame relay, ATM, and Gigabit Ethernet pros and cons
3. How are IP addresses and subnet masks calculated?
4. Is it possible to convert a Layer 2 switch to a Layer 3 switch?
5. Should I add a T3 link or a T1 to my LAN?

( Ask Chris a question, View more Q&As, View Chris' bio)

Network administration with Lindi Horton

1. In a CSMA/CD environment, how many repeaters may be used between end systems?
2. Does intermittent connectivity mean my switch is going?
3. Is there a command in a Cisco Catalyst that will tell me the IP address of a PC hanging off a port?
4. How can I limit the number of MBs each user downloads?
5. What is the difference between circuit switching and packet switching?

( Ask Lindi a question, View more Q&As, View Lindi's bio)

Routing and switching with Sudhanshu Gupta

1. How can I configure my router to perform load balancing among two interfaces?
2. How do I check if the switches on my network support IGMP?
3. What are the commands for checking a switch?
4. What is the difference between a managed and unmanaged switch?
5. What is interVLAN routing?

( Ask Sudhanshu a question, View more Q&As, View Sudhanshu's bio)

Network security with Puneet Mehta

1. Do stateful packet-filtering firewalls have vulnerabilities?
2. What are TCP wrappers? How do they work?
3. How do I block MAC addresses from my DHCP server?
4. Who is the target market for IPS and what are the big players doing to gain market share?
5. Can you suggest a free vulnerability assessment tool to identify vulnerabilities in a campus network?

( Ask Puneet a question, View more Q&As, View Puneet's bio)

Enterprise security with Michael Gregg

1. What types of network firewalls are there?
2. What core network security items are needed to secure networks?
3. Are open source tools safe to use?
4. After a server outage what emergency steps should you take to secure your network?
5. Do social networking products (blogs) pose network security threats?

( Ask Michael a question, View more Q&As, View Michael's bio)

Wireless networking with Lisa Phifer

1. What's the difference between licensed and unlicensed wireless?
2. How do we add wireless printer servers to our network?
3. How do we stop simultaneous connections to corporate LANs and external Wi-Fi networks?
4. Could you give me a list of emerging wireless access technologies?
5. What are the criteria for evaluating a wireless network?

( Ask Lisa a question, View more Q&As, View Lisa's bio)

IPv4 and IPv6 with Silvia Hagen

1. What are the routing differences between IPv4 and IPv6?
2. What real benefits can IPv6 bring to end users?
3. Does IPv6 support encryption in the IP stack?
4. Why was IPv6 developed, and what issues does IPv4 have?
5. Why wasn't there an IPv5?

( Ask Silvia a question, View more Q&As, View Silvia's bio)

Infrastructure and project management with Carrie Higbie

1. What is the relationship between cable frequency and bandwidth?
2. When do you use a straight-through patch cable, and when do you use a crossover cable?
3. Why do vendors say ANEXT and Shannon's capacity are the problems for passive connectivity?
4. What is the length of a ScUTP and TERA cable run?
5. What are the industry best practices for cabling high-density production server cabinets without patch panels?

( Ask Carrie a question, View more Q&As, View Carrie's bio)

Cisco certifications with David Minutella

1. What top five subjects does the CCNA test focus on?
2. Is there any Web site to help me stay current with CCNA?
3. To renew my CCNP, which exam should I take?
4. Is taking the CCNA course more beneficial through a university or through a private institute?
5. To practice for my CCNA, what equipment do I need?

( Ask David a question, View more Q&As, View David's bio)

Training and certification with Ed Tittel

1. Why do networking professionals earn lower salaries than other IT professionals?
2. Are there non-vendor specific certifications for VoIP?
3. Are Linux Professional Institute (LPI) certifications good for a networking career?
4. Should you certify before getting a Masters degree?
5. How valuable is a CWNA?

( Visit the IT Knowledge Exchange, where you can ask Ed a question or view more Q&As, View Ed's bio)

WAN optimization with David Hughes

1. What causes packet loss across the WAN, and how can I tell when it affects application behavior?
2. Are there circuit utilization benchmarks recommending when to increase bandwidth?
3. How do I calculate the time taken for a file to be transferred over a WAN link?
4. Should I construct a WAN using Internet protocol?
5. Is there a general rule of thumb to apply when capacity planning a remote site?

( Ask David a question, View more Q&As, View David's bio)

Network management, monitoring and analysis with Craig Thomas

1. How to compare router performance between vendors
2. What network monitoring tools monitor all OSI layers?
3. Is there Cisco router documentation for proactive and reactive checklists?

( Ask Craig a question, View more Q&As, View Craig's bio)

VPNs with Sampath Ramaswami

1. How can I get our VPN to work on Windows Vista?
2. What causes my overseas VPN connection to slow during the day?
3. Are there any architectures of IPsec VPN apart from lookaside and flow-through?
4. Can I set up a VPN on my wireless router?
5. What equipment do I use to connect two LANs in different cities? What are the steps?

( Ask Sampath a question, View more Q&As, View Sampath 's bio)
This was last published in December 2007

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