Nowadays, old technologies are replaced by newer mechanisms of transferring data. For instance, there are a great deal of new developments in the transmission mechanisms used in the telecommunications industry. This paper aims to examine the advantages and disadvantages of layered protocols, as well as the benefits and downsides of using fiber optics over copper. In addition, the essay determines the differences between store-and-forward and cut-through switching, and defines the primary security concerns associated with a radio frequency identification system.
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Reasons for Using Layered Protocols
Networking technology often utilizes layered protocols due to a number of reasons. The primary advantages of such protocols are abstraction and specialization. First, a developer can make alterations to one later without the threat of messing up the other layer, either the one below or above. A protocol essentially creates a baseline standard, which can be used to develop a range of complex programs. Abstraction means that companies can function on the assumption that another protocol is able to provide lower services.
Apart from allowing designers to focus on each layer separately, layered protocols ensure that individual pieces can be completed and tested by specialized designers independently. It is much more efficient to hire 3 professionals, who can divide the work based on their primary skills and do it perfectly rather than relying on a designer, who can barely manage all of the complexities of a program. Moreover, apart from making the process of working with protocols less complicated, layered protocols allow specialists to group certain protocols and direct them to professionals, whose work they directly impact. As a result, it is possible to follow the directions of one layer, without worrying about the guidelines of lower layers since they are secured by other companies.
The Main Disadvantage of Layered Protocols
Despite all the aforementioned benefits of utilizing layered protocols, they have some disadvantages, including processing and data overhead. It is apparent that the quality and performance of 5 layers stacked together are going to be lower. Thus, higher layers often lack the ability to optimize data in accordance to the guidelines of lower layers during transfers. In addition, each layer increases the possibility of significant overhead because the processing time increases.
Advantages of Fiber Optics Compared to Copper
The market for fiber optics has already reached an estimated value of billions, which reflects a trend in switching to fiber optics as a transmission method. The telecommunications industry has started to favor fiber optics over copper because of the former’s increased efficiency (Boyini, 2018). Thus, fiber optic cables have begun to dominate transmission networks over traditional cables made out of copper. The demand for the speed and quality fiber optic transmission presents a number of opportunities for the future developments in the industry. However, it is first important to define the exact advantages of fiber optics in comparison to copper.
To begin with, cables made from fiber optics are able to transmit data at higher speed. The reason for that is the fact that the speed of light is higher than that of electrons (Boyini, 2018). Copper cables have a smaller bandwidth (10 Gbps) than fiber optic cables (60 Gbps). Lower attenuation also makes fiber optics more appealing as there is no need to add repeaters after every 5 kilometers (Boyini, 2018). Fiber optic cables are usually less impacted by corrosion, which makes them much more suitable for the conditions at industry plants. With fiber optics, there is a much lower security risk since the data is transmitted via light, which makes it impossible for someone to simply “listen in” to the electromagnetic energy as seen in transmissions using copper wires (Boyini, 2018). Moreover, there is a low chance of any errors occurring in the transmission of signals because fiber is much more resistant to electromagnetic interference than copper.
Downsides of Using Fiber Optics as a Transmission Medium
As for the downsides of using fiber optics, there are three main concerns regarding this alternative to copper. First, such cabling is a newer technology and, thus, requires a certain level of expertise to install and provide maintenance. Second, transmission of signals using fiber optics is undirectional, which means that two-way transmission needs two cables. Lastly, copper wires are much cheaper and easily sellable.
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Differences between Store-and-forward and Cut-through Switches
Store-and-forward enables specialists to make sure that the destination network is not influenced by corrupted frames. Such a type of switches keeps the entire frame in memory. The mechanism works in a way that does not allow any forwarding until the frame has arrived completely. Once this is done, store-and-forward switches check the source and destination information, only then forwarding the frame to the right slot. Cut-through switching, on the other hand, forwards the frame once the destination address is defined. This process is way faster, but it is important to keep in mind that this way it is impossible to detect errors in the frame since there is only the destination address to go by. As a result, cut-through switching can lead to corrupted frames, which often cause broadcast storms.
Security Concerns of an RFID System
The main security concerns if a radio frequency identification (RFID) system are eavesdropping, denial of service, cloning, as well as tracking. Eavesdropping refers to the ability of trained specialists of listening to the network and recording the interactions between reader and tags (Beqqal and Azizi, 2017). As a result, people can gather private information, which they can then use to take advantage of someone. Pushing the reader out of service, reproducing RFID tags to extract data, and tracking the activity of the reader are some of the dangers associated with the RFID system.
In conclusion, it is apparent that the technologies people now utilize are innovative and very advantageous. Although the majority of mechanisms used today allow the processes to be much faster and more secure, there are still some threats and disadvantages to these technologies. The paper helps to define both some of the benefits and downsides of these new tools compared to traditional methods of transferring data.
Beqqal, M., & Azizi, M. (2017). Review on security issues in RFID systems. Advances in Science, Technology and Engineering Systems Journal, 2(6), 194-202.
Boyini, K. (2018). Comparison of fiber optics and copper wire. Tutorials Point. Web.