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MAN Full Form in Computer Networking

Last Updated : 11 May, 2023
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Introduction :

A Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) is a type of computer network that spans over a metropolitan area, typically a city. It provides high-speed data communication services such as video, audio, and data transfer between multiple LANs (Local Area Networks) and WANs (Wide Area Networks). The main purpose of a MAN is to connect different LANs in a city to share resources and exchange data, as well as to provide internet access to users. A MAN typically covers a geographic area of several kilometers and is larger than a LAN but smaller than a WAN.

MAN stands for Metropolitan Area Network. It is a computer network that connects number of LANs to form larger network, so that the computer resources can be shared. This type of network covers larger area than a LAN but smaller than the area covered by a WAN which is designed to extend over the entire city. MAN is specially designed to provide high-speed connectivity to the users in which the speed ranges in terms of Mbps. The architecture of MAN is quite complicated hence,it is hard to design and maintain.


History of MAN : 

When LANs are establishes in 1994 in order to provide data communication in building and offices, the businesses are primarily relied on public switched telephone networks for the interconnection of LANs. But the telephone network was not capable enough to handle that much of traffic. Hence, to overcome this problem it was suggested that LANs are connected using the single-mode optical fiber lines, which results in the creation of metropolitan area network(MAN) to provide the interconnection of LANs efficiently. These Fiber optic MANs are owned and operated by private organizations or businesses, and did not necessarily have full integration with the public wide area network (WAN) through gateways. 

Characteristics of MAN :

  • It can covers the area which ranges from 5 to 50 km, which is capable of carrying from a group of buildings to the whole city.
  • In MAN, data rates are moderate to high.
  • In MAN, mostly used medium is optical fibers which results in high-speed connectivity.
  • MAN networks provides high reliability because the error rate in this network is very less.
  • A MAN network can use a variety of access technologies, such as wireless, fiber-optic, or copper-based connections, to provide connectivity to different devices and networks.
  • Hybrid topology: A MAN network may use a combination of different topologies, such as a ring, bus, or star topology, depending on the specific requirements of the network.

Advantages of MAN :

  • MAN offers high-speed connectivity in which the speed ranges from 10-100 Mbps.
  • The security level in MAN is high and strict as compared to WAN.
  • It support to transmit data in both directions concurrently because of dual bus architecture.
  • MAN can serve multiple users at a time with the same high-speed internet to all the users.
  • MAN allows for centralized management and control of the network, making it easier to monitor and manage network resources and security.

Disadvantages of MAN :

  • The architecture of MAN is quite complicated hence, it is hard to design and maintain.
  • This network is highly expensive because it required the high cost to set up fiber optics.
  • It provides less fault tolerance.
  • The Data transfer rate in MAN is low when compare to LANs.

Examples of MAN :

  • Cable TV network.
  • Used in government agencies.
  • University campuses.
  • Used in hospitals to connect multiple buildings

Uses of MAN Network :

A Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) has several uses, including:

  1. Resource Sharing: A MAN allows multiple LANs in a metropolitan area to share resources such as printers, storage devices, and other peripherals.
  2. Data Exchange: A MAN provides a high-speed communication channel for the exchange of data between different LANs.
  3. Internet Access: A MAN can provide high-speed internet access to users in a metropolitan area.
  4. Video and Audio Streaming: A MAN can support video and audio streaming for applications such as video conferencing and multimedia presentations.
  5. Backup and Recovery: A MAN can provide backup and recovery services for data stored on multiple LANs.
  6. Disaster Recovery: A MAN can provide a secondary communication channel in the event of a disaster or other emergency that disrupts the primary communication channel.
  7. Centralized Management: A MAN allows centralized management of network resources, making it easier to monitor and manage the network.

Issues of MAN Network :

Like any other type of computer network, a Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) also faces several issues, including:

  1. Security: MANs can be vulnerable to security threats such as hacking, malware, and unauthorized access.
  2. Scalability: As the network grows and more users are added, the network may become congested, leading to performance issues.
  3. Reliability: MANs can be affected by network outages, which can cause significant disruptions to the network.
  4. Interoperability: Different LANs may use different technologies and protocols, making it difficult to interconnect them in a single MAN.
  5. Cost: Implementing and maintaining a MAN can be expensive due to the high-speed equipment and infrastructure required.
  6. Latency: The distance between different LANs can cause latency, affecting the speed and performance of the network.
  7. Bandwidth Limitations: MANs can be limited by the bandwidth of the underlying network infrastructure, making it difficult to support high-bandwidth applications such as video conferencing.

Additional information:

  • MANs can be both wired and wireless. Wired MANs use fiber optic cables for high-speed connectivity, while wireless MANs use radio frequencies for communication.
  • MANs can be classified into two types: synchronous and asynchronous. Synchronous MANs use a clock to ensure that all data is transmitted at the same speed, while asynchronous MANs do not use a clock and rely on start and stop bits to indicate the beginning and end of each data packet.
  • MANs can be used in a variety of industries, including finance, education, healthcare, and government. For example, MANs can be used in hospitals to share patient records and medical imaging data between different departments.
  • MANs can be interconnected with other networks, such as WANs and the internet, through gateways or routers. This allows users in a MAN to access resources and services outside of the network.
  • MANs can be managed centrally or locally. In a centrally managed MAN, network resources are managed from a central location, while in a locally managed MAN, network resources are managed at the individual LAN level.
  • MANs can provide Quality of Service (QoS) features, which prioritize certain types of traffic (such as video or voice) over others to ensure that they are transmitted with minimal delay and jitter. QoS can be implemented through techniques such as traffic shaping, packet prioritization, and bandwidth allocation.

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