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Managing a Business/Management Information System



plz help me on following questions

A.    Explain about MIS and its limitation in Organization.
B.    Discuss in detail on communication servers and value added network.

A.    Write briefly on E-commerce and internet.
B.    Explain on IT and the concept of global village. Explain LAN.

A.    “System is a set of two or more elements which are joined together to attain a common objective ” Can this point of view be applied to MIS? Explain.
B.    What do you mean by transaction process by in system?

Q.4 Distinguish between any two of the following.
A.    “Logical Design” and “Physical Design”
B.    “Meta Data” and “Data Mining”
C.    “Circuit switching” and “Packet Switching”

A.    Explain the terms group ware and discuss various e-conferencing tools.
B.    Discuss about knowledge management system.

A.    What are several ways that company can use the internet as more than a communication network or marketing channel? Explain.

B.    You are in process of selecting a ‘system analyst’ for your concern. In this context answer the following questions:
   i.    What is the role of a ‘System Analyst’ in an organization?
   ii.    What are the skills a system analyst should possess to be successful in the organization?

I  will send  the balance  asap.

A. Explain about MIS and its limitation in Organization.
"An integrated user-machine system for providing information to support operations, management and decision making functions in an organization. The system utilizes computerized and manual procedures; models for analysis, planning, control and decision making; and a database."
MIS principal concerns
Facilitate decision making by supplying the information needed in an up-to-date and accurate form
• to the people who need it
• on time
• in a usable form
An MIS provides the following advantages.
1. It Facilitates planning : MIS improves the quality of plants by providing relevant information for sound decision - making . Due to increase in the size and complexity of organizations, managers have lost personal contact with the scene of operations.
2. In Minimizes information overload : MIS change the larger amount of data in to summarized form and there by avoids the confusion which may arise when managers are flooded with detailed facts.
3. MIS Encourages Decentralization : Decentralization of authority is possibly when there is a system for monitoring operations at lower levels. MIS is successfully used for measuring performance and making necessary change in the organizational plans and procedures.
4. It brings Co ordination : MIS facilities integration of specialized activities by keeping each department aware of the problem and requirements of other departments. It connects all decision centers in the organization .
5. It makes control easier : MIS serves as a link between managerial planning and control. It improves the ability of management to evaluate and improve performance . The used computers has increased the data processing and storage capabilities and reduced the cost .
6. MIS assembles, process , stores , Retrieves , evaluates and Disseminates the information.

1.highly senstive requires constant monitoring.
2.buddgeting of MIS extremely difficult.
3.Quality of outputs governed by quality of inputs.
4.lack of flexiblity to update itself.
5.effectiveness decreases due to frequent changes in top management
6.takes into account only qualitative factors and ignores non-qualitative factors like morale of worker, attitude of worker etc...
Depending on organization deployment, usage and extraneous factors, some disadvantages related to Management Information Systems can come to the fore. Allocation of budgets for MIS upgrades, modifications and other revisions can be quite tricky at times. If budgets are not allocated uniformly or as per immediate requirements, key functionalities might get effected and benefits might not be realized consistently. Integration issues with legacy systems can affect the quality of output and vital business intelligence reports.
Constant Monitoring Issues
•   Change in management, exits or departures of department managers and other senior executives has a broad effect on the working and monitoring of certain organization practices including MIS systems. Since MIS is a critical component of an organization's risk management strategy and allied systems, constant monitoring is necessary to ensure its effectiveness. Quality of inputs into MIS needs to be monitored; otherwise consistency in the quality of data and information generated gets effected. Managers are not able to direct business, operational and decision-making activities with the requisite flexibility.

B. Discuss in detail on communication servers and value added network.
Communications Server
A communications server is a computing system platform that is used for various network communication applications and allows vendors to add multiple values at different levels of architecture.

A communications server is the foundation for equipment vendors or suppliers that build the network infrastructure used to deploy communication systems, such as wireless, broadband or IP-multimedia. The communications and IT industries are strong supporters of communications servers.
Communications servers include the following primary characteristics:
•   Flexibility: Communications server architecture is scalable, multilevel, highly flexible, is designed to easily support added values at any level and has multiple server repurposing options.
•   Openness: Communications servers are based on industry standards. Different tools and services may be further integrated on an as-needed basis.
•   Carrier Grade: Communications server upgrades and updates are non-disruptive. Each associated system aspect and feature follows and fulfills network-building regulations.
There are many vendor-specific communications server alliances and communities that work toward the development of communications server systems.
Communications servers are open, standards-based computing systems that operate as a carrier-grade common platform for a wide range of communications applications and allow equipment providers to add value at many levels of the system architecture.
Based on industry-managed standards such as AdvancedTCA, MicroTCA, Carrier Grade Linux and Service AvailabilityTM Forum specifications, communications servers are the foundational platform upon which equipment providers build network infrastructure elements for deployments such as IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), IPTV and wireless broadband (e.g. WiMAX).
Support for communications servers as a category of server is developing rapidly throughout the communications industry. Standards bodies, industry associations, vendor alliance programs, hardware and software manufacturers, communications server vendors and users are all part of an increasingly robust communications server ecosystem.
Regardless of their specific, differentiated features, communications servers have the following attributes: open, flexible, carrier-grade, and communications-focused.
1 Attributes
o   1.1 Open
o   1.2 Flexible
o   1.3 Carrier grade
2 Industry-managed standards
o   2.1 AdvancedTCA
o   2.2 AdvancedMC
o   2.3 MicroTCA
o   2.4 Carrier Grade Linux
o   2.5 HPI and AIS
3 Industry associations
o   3.1 SCOPE Alliance
o   3.2 Communications Platforms Trade Association
4 Vendor alliance programs
o   4.1 Intel Communications Alliance
o   4.2 Motorola Communications Server Alliance
o   4.3 Mobicents Open Source Communications Community

•   Based on industry-managed open standards
•   Broad, multi-vendor ecosystem
•   Industry certified interoperability
•   Availability of tools that facilitate development and integration of applications at the standardized interfaces
•   Multiple competitive options for standards-based modules
•   Designed to easily incorporate application-specific added value at all levels of the solution
•   Can be rapidly repurposed as needs change to protect customer investment
•   Multi-level, scalable, bladed architecture
•   Meets needs of multiple industries beyond telecommunications, such as medical imaging, defense and aerospace
Carrier grade
•   Designed for
o   Longevity of supply
o   Extended lifecycle (>10 years) support
o   High availability (>5NINES)
•   “Non-disruptively” upgradeable and updateable
•   Hard real time capability to ensure quality of service for critical traffic
•   Meets network building regulations
Industry-managed standards
Several industry-managed standards are critical to the success of communications servers, including:
The Advanced Telecommunications Computing Architecture (ATCA) is a series of PCI Industrial Computers Manufacturers Group (PICMG) specifications, targeted to meet the requirements for carrier grade communications equipment. This series of specifications incorporates the latest trends in high speed interconnect technologies, next generation processors and improved reliability, manageability and serviceability.
The PICMG Advanced Mezzanine Card specification defines the base-level requirements for a wide-range of high-speed mezzanine cards optimized for, but not limited to, AdvancedTCA Carriers. AdvancedMC enhances AdvancedTCA’s flexibility by extending its high-bandwidth, multi-protocol interface to individual hot-swappable modules.
This PICMG specification provides a framework for combining AdvancedMC modules directly, without the need for an AdvancedTCA or custom carrier. MicroTCA is aimed at smaller equipment – such as wireless base stations, Wi-Fi and WiMAX radios, and VoIP access gateways where small physical size low entry cost, and scalability are key requirements.
Carrier Grade Linux
An enhanced version of Linux for use in a highly available, secure, scalable, and maintainable carrier grade system. The specification is managed by the CGL Working Group of the Open Source Development Labs.
These Service Availability Forum (SA Forum) specifications define standard interfaces for telecom platform management and high-availability software.
The Hardware Platform Interface (HPI) specification defines the interface between high availability middleware and the underlying hardware and operating system.
At a higher layer than HPI, the Application Interface Specification (AIS) defines the application programming interface between the high availability middleware and the application. AIS allows an application to run on multiple computing modules, and applications that support AIS can migrate more easily between computing platforms from different manufacturers that support the standard.
In addition to the standards development organizations mentioned above, four industry associations / vendor alliance programs are playing key roles in the development of the communications server ecosystem.
Industry associations
SCOPE Alliance
SCOPE Alliance is an industry alliance committed to accelerating the deployment of carrier grade base platforms for service provider applications. Its mission is to help, enable and promote the availability of open carrier grade base platforms based on Commercial-Off-The-Shelf hardware / software and Free Open Source Software building blocks, and to promote interoperability to better serve Service Providers and consumers.
Communications Platforms Trade Association
The Communications Platforms Trade Association (CP-TA) is an association of communications platforms and building block providers dedicated to accelerating the adoption of SIG-governed, open specification-based communications platforms through interoperability certification. With industry collaboration, the CP-TA plans to drive a mainstream market for open industry standards-based communications platforms by certifying interoperable products.
Vendor alliance programs
Intel Communications Alliance
The Intel Communications Alliance is a community of communications and embedded developers and solutions providers committed to the development of modular, standards-based solutions on Intel technologies.
Motorola Communications Server Alliance
The Motorola Communications Server Alliance is an ecosystem of technology, service and solution providers aligned to provide standards-based solution elements validated with Motorola’s communications servers. Alliance participants receive access to Motorola embedded communications computing product roadmaps, development systems, and participate in marketing activities with Motorola.
Mobicents Open Source Communications Community
The Mobicents Open Source Communications Community is an ecosystem of technology, service and solution providers aligned to provide Open Source, Open Standards-based communication software. Community members contribute to the Mobicents product roadmaps, research, development, and marketing activities.
A value-added network (VAN) is a private network provider (sometimes called a turnkey communications line) that is hired by a company to facilitate electronic data interchange (EDI) or provide other network services. Before the arrival of the World Wide Web, some companies hired value-added networks to move data from their company to other companies. With the arrival of the World Wide Web, many companies found it more cost-efficient to move their data over the Internet instead of paying the minimum monthly fees and per-character charges found in typical VAN contracts. In response, contemporary value-added network providers now focus on offering EDI translation, encryption, secure e-mail, management reporting, and other extra services for their customers
Added Networks simplify the communication process by reducing the number of parties that you have to communicate with. VANs insert themselves between trading partners. They typically operate on a mailbox scenario where a company would send a transaction to a VAN and the VAN would then place the transaction in the mailbox of the receiver. The receiver would then contact the VAN and pick up any transactions it might have and then send anything it might need to send. It is very similar to email, but rather than being unstructured text, it is used for structured standardized data. EasyLink operates a Value Added Network that provides this ‘mailboxing’ type of service and transmits the data using the Internet.

EasyLink VAN™ is a complete value added network (VAN) solution which meets electronic data interchange (EDI) and e-commerce requirements in a secure, reliable, available and flexible environment – all at an affordable price to move information seamlessly and efficiently, and to expedite transaction processing regardless of file size, communication protocol, or data format.

Features of EasyLink's VAN:
   Global Internet based VAN
   Scalable Java-based technology system
   Featuring unrivaled service:
- Detailed Audit Trails - 24x7x365 world-class support
- Protected Data Center - Reliable and secure transmissions
- Array of real-time reports - Real-time alert system and data delivery
- Extended archival storage - Web-based document management
- Extensive connectivity options
A. Write briefly on E-commerce and internet.
Electronic commerce is the application of communication and information sharing technologies among trading partners to the pursuit of business objectives. E-Commerce can be defined as a modern business methodology that addresses the needs of organizations, merchants, and consumers to cut costs while improving the quality of goods and services and increasing the speed of service delivery. E-commerce is associated with the buying and selling of information, products and services via computer networks. Key element of e-commerce is information processing. The effects of e-commerce are already appearing in all areas of business, from customer service to new product design. It facilitates new types of information based business processes for reaching and interacting with customers – online advertising and marketing, online-order taking and on-line customer service etc. It can also reduce costs in managing orders and interacting with a wide range of suppliers and trading partners, areas that typically add significant overhead to the cost of products and services. Also E-commerce enables the formation of new types of information-based products such as interactive games, electronic books, and information-on demand that can be very profitable for content providers and useful for consumers. Virtual enterprises are business arrangements in which trading partners separated by geography and expertise are able to engage in complex joint business activities, as if they were a single enterprise. One example would be true supply chain integration, where planning and forecast data are transmitted quickly and accurately throughout a multi-tier supply chain. Another example would be non-competing suppliers with a common customer using E-commerce to allow that customer to do "one stop shopping" with the assurance that a single phone call will bring the right materials to the right location at the right time.
The wide range of applications for the consumer marketplace can be broadly classified into
•   Entertainment: Movies on demand, Video cataloging, interactive ads, multi-user games, on-line discussions
•   Financial services and information: Home banking, financial services, financial news
•   Essential services: Home shopping, electronic catalogs, telemedicine, remote diagnostics
•   Educational and training: Interactive education, video conferencing, on-line databases
Electronic Commerce can offer both short term and long-term benefits to the companies. Not only can it open new markets, enabling you to reach new customers, but it can also make it easier and faster for you to do business with your existing customer base. Moving business practices, Such as ordering, invoicing and customer support, to network-based system can also reduce the paperwork involved in business-to-business transactions. When more of the information is digital, one can better focus on meeting your customer’s needs. Tracking customer satisfaction, requesting more customer feedback, and presenting custom solutions for the clients are just some of the opportunities that can stem from E-commerce.
The following three strategies are the focal points for E-Commerce
1.10.1 Business-to-business E-commerce: The Internet can connect all businesses to each other, regardless of their location or position in the supply chain. This ability presents a huge threat to traditional intermediaries like wholesalers and brokers. Internet connections facilitate businesses’ ability to bargain directly with a range of suppliers -- thereby eliminating the need for such intermediaries.
2.   Business-to-consumer E-commerce: One-way marketing. Corporate web sites are still prominent distribution mechanisms for corporate brochures, the push, one-way marketing strategy.
Purchasing over the Web: Availability of secure web transactions is enabling companies to allow consumers to purchase products directly over the web. Electronic catalogs and virtual malls are becoming commonplace.
Relationship Marketing: The most prominent of these new paradigms is that of relationship marketing. Because consumer actions can be tracked on the web, companies are experimenting with this commerce methodology as a tool for market research and relationship marketing:
o   Consumer survey forms on the web
o   Using web tracking and other technology to make inferences about consumer buying profiles.
o   Customizing products and services
o   Achieving customer satisfaction and building long-term relationships
2.   Intra-company E-commerce: Companies are embracing intranets at a phenomenal growth rate because they achieve the following benefits:
Reducing cost - lowers print-intensive production processes, such as employee handbooks, phone books, and policies and procedures
Enhancing communications - effective communication and training of employees using web browsers builds a sense of belonging and community.
Distributing software - upgrades and new software can be directly distributed over the web to employees.
Sharing intellectual property - provides a platform for sharing expertise and ideas as well as creating and updating content - "Knowledge webs". This is common in organizations that value their intellectual capital as their competitive advantage.
Testing products - allows experimentation for applications that will be provided to customers on the external web.
While many technologies can fit within the definition of "Electronic commerce," the most important are:
•   Electronic data interchange (EDI)
•   Bar codes
•   Electronic mail
•   Internet
•   World Wide Web
•   Product data exchange
•   Electronic forms
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
EDI is the computer-to-computer exchange of structured business information in a standard electronic format. Information stored on one computer is translated by software programs into standard EDI format for transmission to one or more trading partners. The trading partners’ computers, in turn, translate the information using software programs into a form they can understand.
Bar Codes
Bar codes are used for automatic product identification by a computer. They are a rectangular pattern of lines of varying widths and spaces. Specific characters (e.g. numbers 0-9) are assigned unique patterns, thus creating a "font" which computers can recognize based on light reflected from a laser.
The most obvious example of bar codes is on consumer products such as packaged foods. These codes allow the products to be scanned at the check out counter. As the product is identified the price is entered in the cash register, while internal systems such as inventory and accounting are automatically updated.
The special value of a bar code is that objects can be identified at any point where a stationary or hand held laser scanner could be employed. Thus the technology carries tremendous potential to improve any process requiring tight control of material flow. Good examples would be shipping, inventory management, and work flow in discrete parts manufacturing.
Electronic Mail
Messages composed by an individual and sent in digital form to other recipients via the Internet.
The Internet is a decentralized global network of millions of diverse computers and computer networks. These networks can all "talk" to each other because they have agreed to use a common communications protocol called TCP/IP. The Internet is a tool for communications between people and businesses. The network is growing very, very fast and as more and more people are gaining access to the Internet, it is becoming more and more useful.
World Wide Web
The World Wide Web is a collection of documents written and encoded with the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). With the aid of a relatively small piece of software (called a "browser"), a user can ask for these documents and display them on the user’s local computer, although the document can be on a computer on a totally different network elsewhere in the world. HTML documents (or "pages," as they are called) can contain many different kinds of information such as text, pictures, video, sound, and pointers, which take users immediately to other web pages. Because Web pages are continually available through the Internet, these pointers may call up pages from anywhere in the world. It is this ability to jump from site to site that gave rise to the term "World Wide Web." Browsing the Web (or "surfing the Net") can be a fascinating activity, especially to people new to the Internet. The World Wide Web is by far the most heavily used application on the Internet.
Product Data Exchange
Product data refers to any data that is needed to describe a product. Sometimes that data is in graphical form, as in the case of pictures, drawings and CAD files. In other cases the data may be character based (numbers and letters), as in the case of specifications, bills of material, manufacturing instructions, engineering change notices and test results.
Product data exchange differs from other types of business communications in two important ways. First, because graphics are involved users must contend with large computer files and with problems of compatibility between software applications. (The difficulty of exchanging CAD files from one system to another is legendary.) Second, version control very quickly gets very complicated. Product designs, even late in the development cycle, are subject to a great deal of change, and because manufacturing processes are involved, even small product changes can have major consequences for getting a product into production.
Electronic Forms
Electronic forms is a technology that combines the familiarity of paper forms with the power of storing information in digital form. Imagine an ordinary paper form, a piece of paper with lines, boxes, check-off lists, and places for signatures. To the user an electronic form is simply a digital analogue of such a paper form, an image, which looks like a form but which appears on a computer screen and is filled out via mouse, and keyboard. Behind the screen, however, lie numerous functions that paper and pencil cannot provide. Those extra functions come about because the data from electronic forms are captured in digital form, thus allowing storage in data bases, automatic information routing, and integration into other applications.
The Internet is a new world. The Internet is not only "The Big Picture," it also offers a global perspective. By providing connectivity to anyone with a computer and a telephone line, the Internet is the networking breakthrough of our lifetime. It includes everything from universal e-mail to transactions between individuals and between companies. Of course, this now includes commerce as well as information exchanges and new directories (such as search engines) that provide phone book-style accessibility for digital communications.Some of the most important results of this networkingrevolution are new forms of marketing and outreach, new connections between customers and collaborators, new sources for news and research, and opportunities for new kinds of distribution of products (as well as of information). But because the Internet is the broadest information super-highway, it lacks some of the security and privacy that's needed for the internal workings of business organizations. Advanced features like multimedia are also more likely to be limited because most individuals are still using dial-up connections and, as a result, have very limited data bandwidth.

The basic Internet-based technologies.

"Broadband" is the general term used to refer to high-speed network connections. In this context, Internet connections via cable modem and Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) are frequently referred to as broadband Internet connections. "Bandwidth" is the term used to describe the relative speed of a network connection -- for example, most current dial-up modems can support a bandwidth of 56 kbps (thousand bits per second). There is no set bandwidth threshold required for a connection to be referred to as "broadband", but it is typical for connections in excess of 1 Megabit per second (Mbps) to be so named.

Cable modem access
A cable modem allows a single computer (or network of computers) to connect to the Internet via the cable TV network. The cable modem usually has an Ethernet LAN (Local Area Network) connection to the computer, and is capable of speeds in excess of 5 Mbps.

Typical speeds tend to be lower than the maximum, however, since cable providers turn entire neighborhoods into LANs which share the same bandwidth. Because of this "shared-medium" topology, cable modem users may experience somewhat slower network access during periods of peak demand, and may be more susceptible to risks such as packet sniffing and unprotected windows shares than users with other types of connectivity.

DSL access
Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) Internet connectivity, unlike cable modem-based service, provides the user with dedicated bandwidth. However, the maximum bandwidth available to DSL users is usually lower than the maximum cable modem rate because of differences in their respective network technologies. Also, the "dedicated bandwidth" is only dedicated between your home and the DSL provider's central office -- the providers offer little or no guarantee of bandwidth all the way across the Internet.

DSL access is not as susceptible to packet sniffing as cable modem access, but many of the other security risks we'll cover apply to both DSL and cable modem access.

The difference between broadband services and traditional dial-up services
Traditional dial-up Internet services are sometimes referred to as "dial-on-demand" services. That is, your computer only connects to the Internet when it has something to send, such as email or a request to load a web page. Once there is no more data to be sent, or after a certain amount of idle time, the computer disconnects the call. Also, in most cases each call connects to a pool of modems at the ISP, and since the modem IP addresses are dynamically assigned, your computer is usually assigned a different IP address on each call. As a result, it is more difficult (not impossible, just difficult) for an attacker to take advantage of vulnerable network services to take control of your computer.

Broadband services are referred to as "always-on" services because there is no call setup when your computer has something to send. The computer is always on the network, ready to send or receive data through its network interface card (NIC). Since the connection is always up, your computer’s IP address will change less frequently (if at all), thus making it more of a fixed target for attack.

What’s more, many broadband service providers use well-known IP addresses for home users. So while an attacker may not be able to single out your specific computer as belonging to you, they may at least be able to know that your service providers’ broadband customers are within a certain address range, thereby making your computer a more likely target than it might have been otherwise.

The difference between broadband access and the network / use at work
Corporate and government networks are typically protected by many layers of security, ranging from network firewalls to encryption. In addition, they usually have support staff who maintain the security and availability of these network connections.

Although your ISP is responsible for maintaining the services they provide to you, you probably won’t have dedicated staff on hand to manage and operate your home network. You are ultimately responsible for your own computers. As a result, it is up to you to take reasonable precautions to secure your computers from accidental or intentional misuse.

A protocol is a well-defined specification that allows computers to communicate across a network. In a way, protocols define the "grammar" that computers can use to "talk" to each other.

IP stands for "Internet Protocol". It can be thought of as the common language of computers on the Internet. There are a number of detailed descriptions of IP given elsewhere, so we won't cover it in detail in this document. However, it is important to know a few things about IP in order to understand how to secure your computer. Here we’ll cover IP addresses, static vs. dynamic addressing, NAT, and TCP and UDP Ports.

IP address
IP addresses are analogous to telephone numbers – when you want to call someone on the telephone, you must first know their telephone number. Similarly, when a computer on the Internet needs to send data to another computer, it must first know its IP address. IP addresses are typically shown as four numbers separated by decimal points, or “dots”. For example, and are IP addresses.
If you need to make a telephone call but you only know the person’s name, you can look them up in the telephone directory (or call directory services) to get their telephone number. On the Internet, that directory is called the Domain Name System, or DNS for short. If you know the name of a server, say, and you type this into your web browser, your computer will then go ask its DNS server what the numeric IP address is that is associated with that name.

Every computer on the Internet has an IP address associated with it that uniquely identifies it. However, that address may change over time, especially if the computer is
•  dialing into an Internet Service Provider (ISP)
•  connected behind a network firewall
•  connected to a broadband service using dynamic IP addressing.
Static and dynamic addressing
Static IP addressing occurs when an ISP permanently assigns one or more IP addresses for each user. These addresses do not change over time. However, if a static address is assigned but not in use, it is effectively wasted. Since ISPs have a limited number of addresses allocated to them, they sometimes need to make more efficient use of their addresses.

Dynamic IP addressing allows the ISP to efficiently utilize their address space. Using dynamic IP addressing, the IP addresses of individual user computers may change over time. If a dynamic address is not in use, it can be automatically reassigned to another computer as needed.

Network Address Translation (NAT) provides a way to hide the IP addresses of a private network from the Internet while still allowing computers on that network to access the Internet. NAT can be used in many different ways, but one method frequently used by home users is called "masquerading".
Using NAT masquerading, one or more devices on a LAN can be made to appear as a single IP address to the outside Internet. This allows for multiple computers in a home network to use a single cable modem or DSL connection without requiring the ISP to provide more than one IP address to the user. Using this method, the ISP-assigned IP address can be either static or dynamic. Most network firewalls support NAT masquerading.

TCP and UDP Ports
TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) and UDP (User Datagram Protocol) are both protocols that use IP. Whereas IP allows two computers to talk to each other across the Internet, TCP and UDP allow individual applications (also known as "services") on those computers to talk to each other.
In the same way that a telephone number or physical mail box might be associated with more than one person, a computer might have multiple applications (e.g. email, file services, web services) running on the same IP address.
Ports allow a computer to differentiate services such as email data from web data. A port is simply a number associated with each application that uniquely identifies that service on that computer. Both TCP and UDP use ports to identify services. Some common port numbers are 80 for web (HTTP), 25 for email (SMTP), and 53 for Domain Name System (DNS).

A firewall is "a system or group of systems that enforces an access control policy between two networks." In the context of home networks, a firewall typically takes one of two forms:

Software firewall - specialized software running on an individual computer, or
Network firewall - a dedicated device designed to protect one or more computers.

Both types of firewall allow the user to define access policies for inbound connections to the computers they are protecting. Many also provide the ability to control what services (ports) the protected computers are able to access on the Internet (outbound access). Most firewalls intended for home use come with pre-configured security policies from which the user chooses, and some allow the user to customize these policies for their specific needs.

Nowadays the classical telecommunication networks and the Internet converged towards an integrated infrastructure, merging voice and data transmissions. This enabled the emergence of new services, mixing different media on top of the Internet, and leading to the explosion of the traffic to be transmitted in the networks and the number of applications and services carried over these networks.
Internet is transforming our world on various aspects: information diffusion, knowledge sharing, people communication and socialization as well as economical exchanges etc. Because of Internet universality, today’s networks are facing various challenges for their future evolutions: scalability, complexity, heterogeneity, trust ability, new business models.
•   Scalability with the exponential traffic increase impacting on both access and core networks
•   Increasing number of interconnected devices and objects: smartphones, tablets, sensors, things, etc.
•   Increasing network complexity with emerging network technologies: X-ADSL, optical fibre, wireless, Ethernet, IP, MPLS, etc.
•   Increasing complexity because of new services requiring specific QoS: data transfer, web, video streaming, voice, interactive video, gaming, e-commerce, etc.
•   Associated increase of the energy consumption of the Internet for all its components
•   Trust ability and security questions with the increasing complexity of the networks amount of data to be transported
•   Business unbalancing with the entrance of new players
To answer the challenges for future networks, the Internet Technologies and Architectures Research Action Line aims at conducting activities covering the following spearhead topics:
Multi-service networks
•   Traffic & Application management
•   Network/Service integration
•   Content/Information-Centric Networking
•   Sensor Networks, Internet of Things
Efficient networking
•   Multi-technology cooperation, integration & convergence
•   Network Virtualization
•   Autonomic Networking, Self-Management, Self-Mechanisms, Ad-hoc networks
•   Green Networks & Networking
Usable networks
•   Network security
•   Network robustness and trust ability
•   Business aspects & models associated to the new technologies and architectures
Expected Results
The Internet Technologies and Architectures Research Action Line conducts activities that are spanning all the network segments, from local to core networks, for both wireless and wired technologies. A particular emphasis is made on the creation and sharing of large European test beds in order to experiment and validate innovative solutions for Internet technologies and architecture. Fundamental networking leading to innovation is also in the scope of the Research Action Line.

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