Hybrid Networks Running Multiple Protocols


Hybrid Networks.  Hybrid networks are those that make use of more than one protocol, network operating system, hardware platform or even desktop operating systems.  They can develop for many different reasons.  Some of the main reasons are listed below.
  • no single vendor provides necessary features
  • personal preferences of users
  • budgetary factors
  • haphazard growth

Multiple Protocol Networks.  The first type of hybrid networks we will focus on are those that actually are making use of more than one protocol on the network.  This might have arisen due to a variety of reasons such a need to have different operating systems on different parts of the network or a desire for increased security.

When multiple network transport protocols are bound to the same network card, the binding order of the protocols becomes very important.  The binding order is used to determine what protocol is used when a client and server have more than one protocol in common.

It is also important to make certain that an appropriate file sharing protocol is operating on both a client and server in order for them to communicate.  This file sharing protocol is sometimes referred to as the core protocol.  The following is a list of the major file sharing protocols available on each type of network.

  • Microsoft - SMB - Server Messenger Block
  • NetWare - NCP - NetWare Core Protocol
  • UNIX - NFS - Network File System

Accessing files on a server requires the client to be running the appropriate software.  For example, Client Services for NetWare need to be on a Microsoft client in order to access files on a NetWare server.  Another example, Samba has an SMB client for UNIX machines to access resources on a Microsoft server using the SMB file sharing protocol.