Internet: "The Big Picture" 
"What are the major pieces of the Internet, 
and who are the major players in each segment?"
Russ Portrait
Welcome to "The Big Picture" of connecting through the Internet to reach online resources.  The purpose of this page is to answer the question: "What are the major pieces of the Internet, and who are the major players in each segment?" If some of these links don't make sense, it's because you are not an "alumni" of my internet courses ;-)

This page displays the main pieces of the Internet from a User's PC... extending all the way through to the online content. Each section mentions the most significant parts of the Internet's architecture. I also provide links to the top "couple of vendors" in each category, and then an external link to a more extensive lists of vendors.

In creating this one web page to describe the "entire Internet", I split the diagram based on the function being performed. I recognize that a company may perform several of these functions. I've included several "leading edge" components as well, such as LMDS for the local loop (This page is intended to be forward-looking). I also recognize that there are many additional details that could be added to this page, but I am trying to adhere to a 90/10 rule. If this page identifies 90% of the mainstream pieces and players, that should be sufficient to convey "the big picture". (The remaining 10% details would probably triple the size & complexity of this one meta-diagram.) I welcome any comments you have to improve this page - especially if I've omitted anything significant. Russ Haynal.

These are the Main Sections:

User's Multi-Media PC - If you are missing this picture it might be because you have asked for thispage.html/ , the extra / at the end of the URL  is messing -up the graphics User PC - A Multi-Media PC equipped to send and receive all variety of audio and video. 
  1. Sound Board /Microphone/Speakers for telephony, MIDI ,Creative Labs/SoundBlaster, Yahoo's List for Sound Cards.
  2. Video/Graphics for 3D graphics, video, playback . Matrox, Diamond Multimedia, Yahoo's List for Video Cards.
  3. Video camera - Connectix, Yahoo's List for Video Conferencing, Yahoo's List for Manufacturers.
  4. Voice recognition - Yahoo's List for Voice Recognition.
User's Communication equipment User's Communication Equipment - This is the communication equipment located at the User's location(s) to connect the Users' PC(s) to the "Local Loop" (aka Customer Premise equipment - CPE) 
  1. Phone line - Analog Modem (v.90=56K) US Robotics , Rockwell, Yahoo's List for Modems.
  2. Phone line -ISDN(128K) Yahoo's list for ISDN
  3. Phone Line - DSL (6 MB) , Yahoo's list for DSL., ADSL Forum.
  4. Cable Modem (27 MB) Cable Modem University (and their neat table of Modem Vendors
  5. Electric Line (1 MB) Digital PowerLine by Nortel
  6. Satellite (400 Kb) DirecPC
  7. LAN - 3com, Yahoo's list of Network Hardware.
  8. Routers - Cisco, Ascend, Bay Networks, Yahoo's list.
  9. Firewalls - TBD Vendors, Yahoo's list for firewalls.
User services - Many corporations also provide "User services" to their employees such as DNS, Email, Usenet, etc. Links for these services are described further down this diagram in the user services section.
Illustration of Various local Loops to connect A user location to the ISP's Point of Presense Local Loop Carrier - Connects the User location to the ISP's Point of Presence 
  1. Communication Lines -RBOCS: (Ameritech, Bell Atlantic, Bell South, Cincinnati Bell, NYNEX, Pacific Bell, Southwestern Bell, US West),GTE, LEC's, MFS, TCG, Brooks,
  2. Cable - List of Cable ISP's.
  3. Satellite - DirecPC.
  4. Power line - Digital PowerLine by Nortel
  5. Wireless - Wireless Week, Wireless Access Tech Magazine, Yahoos' List for Wireless networking.
Equipment Manufacturers: Nortel, Lucent, Newbridge, Siemens.
the ISP's POP ISP POP- This is the edge of the ISP's network. Connections from the user are accepted and authenticated here. 
  1. Remote ports Ascend (Max Product), US Robotics (3com), Livingston (Portmaster), Cisco, Yahoo's List for Routing Technology.
User services which most users will need (dns, email, etc) User Services - these are the services that most users would use along with Internet Access. (These may be hosted within a large corporate LAN) (Webhosting is discussed under the online content section
  1. Domain Name Server - BIND, DNS Resources Directory.
  2. Email Host -,Sendmail ,Microsoft Exchange 
  3. Usenet Newsgroups (NNTP) - INN,
  4. Special services such as quake, telnet, FTP
  5. User Web Hosting - See the online content section for details.
  6. These servers require fast interfaces and large/fast storage.
diagram of ISP backbones inter-connecting ISP Backbone - The ISP backbone interconnects the ISP's POPs, AND interconnects the ISP to Other ISP's and online content. 
  1. Backbone Providers -  Russ Haynal's ISP Page.
  2. Large Circuits - fiber Circuit carriers, AT&T, SPRINT, MCI, Worldcom (MFS, Brooks), RBOC's, C&W, Qwest,
  3. Routers - Cisco, Ascend, Bay Networks, Yahoo's list.
  4. ATM Switches - Fore, Newbridge, Lucent, Ascend, Yahoo's List of ATM Manufacturers.
  5. Sonet/SDH Switches - Nortel, Fujitsu, Alcatel.Tellabs , Lucent and Positron Fiber Systems.
  6. Gigaswitch - Gigaswitch from Dec, Yahoo's List.
  7. Network Access Points - Russ Haynal's ISP Page
The Broadband guide (links to 4,000 vendors)
online hosting platform Online Content - These are the host sites that the user interacts with. 
  1. Web Server platforms - Netsite, Apache, Microsoft, Yahoo's List of web servers.
  2. Hosting Farms- Many online resources are hosted at well-connection facilities
  3. These servers require fast interfaces and large/fast storage.
original sources for online data Origins of online content - This is the original "real-world" sources for the online information. 
  1. Existing electronic information is being connected from legacy systems.
  2. Traditional print resources are being scanned and converted into electronic format
  3. Many types of video and audio programming is being broadcast via the internet. For example, look at Radio_locator
  4. Internet telephony is growing on the Internet Start with VON and then explore this list from Yahoo.
  5. Look at this list of interesting devices connected to the Internet.

Russ Haynal -  Internet Instructor and Speaker

Contact me at 703-729-1757 or  Russ 'at'  
If you use email, put "internet training" in the subject of the email.
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