Other Upper-Layer Protocols(UDP) Networking

Various other upper-layer protocols play an important role in the success of the TCP/IP protocol suite as a flexible, well-rounded, self-contained group of protocols:

  • UDP
  • SMB
  • AFP
  • ICS

Various other upper-layer protocols play an important role in the success of the TCP/IP protocol suite as a flexible, well-rounded, self-contained group of protocols:

  • UDP
  • SMB
  • AFP
  • ICS

User Datagram Protocol(UDP)

User Datagram Protocol (UDP) is a Transport layer connectionless protocol that does not provide the reliability services available with TCP but instead provides best effort transmission services to application protocols. UDP gives applications a direct interface with IP and the ability to address a specific application protocol running on a host via a port number without setting up an end-to-end virtual circuit or connection. UDP, like TCP, uses IP to deliver its packets.

User Datagram Protocol(UDP)

Server Message Block (SMB)

Server Message Block (SMB) is a Presentation layer protocol developed through the efforts of corporations the likes of Xerox, 3Com, and IBM and further developed by (and currently attributed to) Microsoft, providing a networking command message format used when sending networking commands to servers. These commands allow a client to do things like browse for resources; open connections, access files, printers, and communications ports; and list directories.

SMB can be run over any number of lower-layer protocols, such as NetBEUI, NetBIOS over TCP/IP, NetBIOS over IPX/SPX, and others.

Samba

SMB is not limited to Windows machines (although they are where SMB commands are usually found). SMB is being developed for the world community as the Common Internet File System (CIFS), a term now synonymous with SMB. Through Samba, one popular application of SMB/ CIFS for the non-Microsoft market (visit samba.org), UNIX and Linux servers can use SMB commands to communicate with Windows clients. Samba is a free open-source protocol suite that provides file and print services to SMB/CIFS clients. Samba allows for interoperability between Linux/UNIX servers and Windows-based clients by running on a platform other than Microsoft Windows, such as UNIX,Linux, IBM OpenVMS, and so on. Samba uses TCP/IP installed on the host server, allowing that host to interact with a Microsoft Windows client or server as if it were a Windows file and print server.

The two primary programs, or daemons, of Samba, called smbd and nmbd, are responsible for two each of the four common CIFS services:

  • File and print services
  • Authentication and authorization
  • Name resolution
  • Service announcement (browsing)

Arguably the foundation of CIFS, file and print services are performed by smbd, as are authentication and authorization. The nmbd daemon provides NetBIOS name services to clients, including name resolution and service announcement, often referred to as browsing services.

AppleTalk Filing Protocol (AFP)

Before there was ever a Windows file sharing system in place, Apple had the AppleTalk Filing Protocol (AFP) for its AppleShare servers. AFP is the Presentation layer protocol that is used to access AppleShare and Mac OS File Sharing files. It is the only protocol that accesses Apple- Share servers natively. Any system wanting to access an AppleShare server must be running some version of AFP (or at least AFP over another transport protocol, like TCP/IP).

Internet Connection Sharing(ICS)

In addition to the standard TCP/IP services provided in Windows, Microsoft includes Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) services in all versions of Windows since Windows 98. What ICS does is to take an Internet connection to one computer and share it with the rest of the computers on a network, essentially turning the computer connected to the Internet into an Internet gateway for the rest of the network. Microsoft states that ICS works mostly at the Network layer of the OSI model, where it facilitates layer 3 access to the Internet on behalf of one or more other devices.

ICS works with just about any Internet connection type. The main benefit to ICS is that you are running an Internet gateway in software so you can avoid the added expense of a router for your small network. However, the software gateway in ICS isn’t as efficient as a dedicated hardware router.


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