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  1. Estimating LAN Performance Requirements
  2. Example 2: Characterizing Network Performance
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Example 2: Characterizing Network Performance

The most common small LAN applications are file-sharing, printer-sharing, and Internet access-sharing. Suppose that you're planning a small LAN that you expect to use primarily for printer sharing and Internet access sharing, knowing that you'll face problems running new wires.

Looking at Table 1, you see that you can get HPNA LAN equipment running at 1 and 10Mbps. The 10Mbps technology is newer, but it's likely to be a little more expensive.

Table 2 suggests that you could see network transfers to the shared printer of up to 100MB. You know that the biggest projects you've seen on the attached computers have been photographs and reports with files as big as a few megabytes, so you scale back the 100MB number to 10MB.

The modem that you'll be sharing for Internet access uses the V.90 modem standard. Table 3 shows you that you're going to see maximum data rates of only 53Kbps, so you discount the Internet traffic as a factor in sizing your network data rate.

Using the approach in the last section, you calculate that (if the network is the limiting factor, not the computers or the printer), 10MB print jobs would take 100 or 10 seconds on the 1Mbps and 10Mbps technology, respectively. Based on that analysis, you conclude that either technology would work in your situation, and you decide to base the choice on relative cost and to go with the faster 10Mbps version if the cost is too close to matter to you.

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