|From The Editor
More and more of the data traffic on the Internet is due to World Wide Web activity. Given the often-complex graphics contents of Web pages, this traffic represents a significant amount of data and leads to an overall requirement for more bandwidth across the system. But building "bigger pipes" is not the only way to achieve better performance. Generally speaking, Web pages are relatively static objects that reside in one location and are accessed repeatedly by many users, often from "far away." If the contents of the most frequently accessed pages can be stored by a proxy residing more "local" with respect to the end user, significant reductions in download delay can be accomplished. Since the Internet comprises many expensive international circuits, such local mirroring of content is also highly desirable from the point of view of the Internet Service Providers. Storing information in a proxy server is called caching, and it is the subject of our first article. Geoff Huston explains the motivation behind and the different approaches to caching.
The most popular Local-Area Network (LAN) technology is Ethernet. Invented in 1973 by Bob Metcalfe as a 3-Mbps technology, Ethernet has evolved to the now familiar 10Base-T and 100Base-T standards. Standardized in 1998, Gigabit Ethernet is the subject of our second article. Bill Stallings gives an overview of the Gigabit Ethernet standards and their application in enterprise networks. There is already discussion about 10-Gigabit Ethernet and even 100-Gigabit Ethernet. We will keep you posted on these developments.
Some readers have suggested that we publish a few short articles on limited topics. In this issue we bring you the first in what we hope will become a series of articles under the general heading "One Byte at a Time." The article is by Tom Thomas and he discusses active and passive modes of the File Transfer Protocol (FTP). If you have suggestions for future topics in this series, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The so-called "Millennium Bug" or "Y2K Problem" has been well reported in all the media. Our Fragments section gives some specific information relating to Y2K and the Internet.