Network Overhead, What It Is? and How It’s Affecting the Overall Performance of Entire Network System?

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DATA COMMUNICATIONS & NETWORKING

PROJECT II
Network overhead, what it is? And how it’s affecting the overall performance of entire network system?

SUBMITTED BY: ASM A. KARIM SPRING-2012 CIT-370-25

AS M K AR IM P AGE - 1 PENNSYLVANIA COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGY

ABSTRACT
In general terms, overhead means anything extra that shouldn’ t be. So what is overhead in networking or how it’s affecting the entire network performance? It does not seem irrelevant for us to know something that most of us deal in everyday life knowingly or unknowingly. The technology like Ethernet that we use most to transfer data over the network is the main focus on this paper to measure the overhead. We all know the bandwidth we get from ISP, that’s what we paid for, but are we fully able to use the full bandwidth? No, we can’t but why? This paper will give the general idea of some networking terms along with details about network overhead. It also will answer those questions those I initiated here by providing some analysis and experiments. This paper may help us to understand some critical factors that need to be accounted during network design period for best optimal network performances.

INTRODUCTION
Overhead is an important term in networking for the design, implementation, and performance issues. Understanding overhead properly is basic to understanding the methodology employed by various technologies to get information from one place to another and the cost involved. According to PC Magazine, overhead is the amount of processing or transmitting time used by the system software, database manager or network protocols that trans mits additional codes in order to control and manage the data transfer over the network (PC Magazine). Keep in mind, when assessing the performance of networks there is always a difference between theoretical speed ratings, and real world throughput. If we are able to design the seamless network, then the difference should be relatively small but still significant, otherwise it can be extremely large and not negligible from the perspective of network performance. As a networking student, my job in the real world should involve measuring the network performances by calculating the overhead more precisely and extensively. This paper will cover the basics of overhead affiliated with TCP/IP based network by briefly explaining the theoretical and analytical performance analysis of a real world scenario that was conducted in a lab environment.

AS M K AR IM

P AGE - 2

This paper briefly describes some networking terminology including networking performance requirements with performance impact factors both in theoretical and real world scenarios. The complete paper is broken down into five different sections with a few subsections. The first section provides some critical issues that establishes why overhead is a concern in network design. Section two briefly describes some networking terminology that may help us to better understand the different terms and analysis provided in this research paper. Section three distinguishes the relationship between overhead and network application types and its behavior by providing some details and simple analysis. Section four provides the brief scenario about the conducted experiment design procedure, experimental results, and data analysis. Finally, section five covers various limitations of the experiment, opportunity of future improvements, and what we learned along with a short summary about the complete paper.

1: WHY OVERHEAD IS AN IMPORTANT FACTOR IN NETWORK DESIGN?
Overhead is simply what a network or communication method is supposed to be able to do and what it actually does. In a connection oriented TCP/IP based packet networking system, during the course of an IP packet’s journey from transmitting end to receiving end, IP packets encapsulated and de-encapsulated into and out of framing headers and trailers that define how the packet will make its way to the...
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