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  • Writer's picturePacket Pundit

Part 4: IPv4 Addressing

Hello, again my networking pals!

Two blog posts in one week?! It must be Christmas! ;) In my last blog post, I mentioned that Blake and I had to defer some of our studies due to family events we had previously scheduled. To make up for it, I forced Blake to sit through two entire study sessions rolled into one, this week. >:) Enjoy, this is Part 4. :)

In our most recent study marathon, Blake and I tackled the all-important topic of IPv4 Addressing. Addressing plays a fundamental role in how devices on a network communicate, and understanding its intricacies is essential for any network professional. Let's delve into our key takeaways from Part 4.

Chapter 11: Perspectives on IPv4 Subnetting

This chapter served as our gateway to the art of subnetting. Yay! ..... NOT! ;)

  • Understanding Subnetting: Through simple examples, we grasped what subnetting is and its operational and design perspectives.

  • Addressing Needs: We delved into how to determine the number of subnets needed and the number of hosts per subnet.

  • Subnet Sizes: We explored the concept of Variable-Length Subnet Masks (VLSM) and the implications of having one mask size for all subnets or varying ones.

  • Design Choices: From choosing a classful network, understanding public and private IP networks, to selecting the right subnet mask, this section provided comprehensive insights.

  • Planning & Implementation: Learning how to plan subnet assignments, especially in complex network environments, was enlightening.

Chapter 12: Analyzing Classful IPv4 Networks

Here, we went back to basics.

  • Classful Network Concepts: We refreshed our understanding of IPv4 network classes and their characteristics.

  • Key Network Metrics: Through exercises, we practiced deriving vital details based on IP addresses and understanding the nuances of address classes.

Chapter 13: Analyzing Subnet Masks

More subnetting....Because, why not? Ugh... ;)

  • Subnet Mask Conversion: We learned the various formats of subnet masks and how to transition between them.

  • Address Divisions: We studied how subnet masks, coupled with IP classes, divide addresses, paving the way for both classful and classless addressing.

  • IPv4 Address Calculations: Engaging in hands-on exercises helped us become proficient in making essential calculations based on the IPv4 address format.

Chapter 14: Analyzing Existing Subnets

This was about the real-world application of subnetting concepts. I was surprised at how much of a semantic game is played in this section. The words "Subnet ID," "Subnet Address," "Resident Subnet," "Network Address," and "Resident Network" were used interchangeably made it difficult to memorize. In the past, when I started networking 4+ years ago, these new terms weren't really used. You had Network Address, Subnet, etc. but no "resident." I believe these new terms are thrown into the exams to throw the test-taker off. Keep an eye out for these! ;)

  • Defining & Analyzing Subnets: We delved into understanding subnet IDs, broadcast addresses, and the range of usable addresses within subnets.

  • Binary vs. Decimal: Through examples and exercises, we learned binary subnetting and its decimal counterparts, understanding when to use which method.

  • Memorize or Calculate?: By the end of this chapter, Blake and I debated whether it's more beneficial to memorize essential subnetting facts or rely on calculations. The jury is still out on that one!

Reflections: IPv4 addressing and subnetting might seem daunting at first, but by breaking it down chapter by chapter, the fog started to clear for Blake. As someone that has dealt with it in enterprise for the last 4+ years, it was fairly easy for me to wrap my head around. The hands-on exercises, particularly in analyzing existing subnets, brought a practical touch to the theoretical concepts, solidifying our understanding.

Conclusion: As we close Part 4, we've added another essential tool to our networking toolkit: a comprehensive understanding of IPv4 addressing and subnetting. It's always a joy to dive deep into these topics, uncovering the layers of complexity and the logic that underpins them.

Join us next time as we continue our trek through the vast landscape of networking. Keep those subnets clear and your addressing precise! 🌐

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