Networking 101 Basics and Software Defined Networks

In this Learning Lab you will learn the very basics of networks devices and what they do, interfaces and SDN/REST


Completion Time: 20 minutes

  • Understand networking basics
  • Learn about routers and switches, and what they do
  • Learn about how SDN and REST are changing the rules


  • You know very little or nothing about networks and want to learn how they work. You might even aspire to get your Cisco CCNA, CCNP or CCIE certifications, but that's not required.
  • Our focus in this lesson will be on wired networks which for our purposes is what you need to learn. Wireless networks have other network components not covered here.
  • The discussion is based upon IPv4 protocol; otherwise known as Internet Protocol version 4.
  • We're covering Networking at a very high level in this lesson. For detailed information about network layers, protocols, packets additional lessons will be provided.

Additional Information

Step 1. What's a Network?

A Network is simply a bunch of devices such as computer desktops, tablets, laptops and printers connected by networking devices such as switches and routers so that they all can communicate with one another and share data.

Simple Local Area Network (LAN)

  1. In the above image for a student computer to send data to an instructor computer it would have to send the data via a switch. The switch would then send data from its port to the router using the FastEthernet Interface 1/0 which would then route the data to the next switch using FastEthernet Interface 0/0. That switch would then send that data to the instructor computer.

  2. By now you are probably very confused! You probably now have a bunch of questions, some of which are listed below. They'll be answered as we move forward.

    • Why do some devices work on networks and others don't?
    • How do devices really find each other?
    • What are switches, routers and interfaces and how are they configured?
    • What does REST and SDN have to do with any of this stuff?

Next Step: Learn about what devices need to run on a network.