Networking Evolution: From ARPAnet to Cloud Computing


The field of computer networking and today’s internet trace their beginnings back to the early 1960s, at the time when the telephone network was the world’s most dominant communication network. During the 1980s, many organizations began combining their once-separate telecommunication and information-systems department into an information technology department.

At Pressbooks, Dave Bourgeois and David T Bourgeois explains the evolution of networking and communication. The authors also review different technologies that have been put in place to enable this communication revolution.

Evolution of the Internet and Networking

The initial ARPAnet was a single, closed network. To communicate with an ARPAnet host, one had to be attached to another ARPAnet IMP. Over the next decade, the ARPAnet gained popularity. Simultaneously, various other networks came into existence. Different organizations were connected to different networks. “This led to a problem: the networks could not talk to each other. Each network used its own proprietary language, or protocol to send information back and forth,” explains the authors. The invention of transmission control protocol/Internet protocol (TCP/IP) solved this issue by allowing networks to run on different protocols.

The Dot-Com Bubble

The National Science Foundation (NSF) managed the internet in the 1980s and early 1990s. However, NSF restricted commercial ventures on the internet, which means no one could buy or sell anything on the internet. In 1991, the US government lost its direct control, and the internet was essentially open e-commerce. This commercialization of the internet led to the dot-com bubble. Though initial investments in online businesses ended up with little to show, in 2001, the bubble burst, and many new companies invested in e-commerce businesses. Many companies such as Amazon and eBay survived and are still thriving. The new reality is that to succeed online, businesses must develop real business models.

Wireless Networking

Today, we can access the internet wherever we go. Our smartphones can access the internet, and wireless technologies have made internet access more convenient. In fact, wireless internet makes devices such as tablets and laptops more functional.

As networking technology has matured, internet use has become a standard prototype for every type of organization. Today, cloud computing has made information available everywhere and communication easier. To read about the internet and networking evolution in-depth, click on https://bus206.pressbooks.com/chapter/chapter-5-networking-and-communication/.

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