Evolution of networking started way back in 1969’s by the development of first network called APRANET, which led to the development of internet. Then after continuously day to day upgradation happen in the network technology. Here we are presenting the evolution networking since 1940’s when the idea of networking started. Let us learn how to first network evolved to today’s Internet;

1940’s: George Stibitiz used a teletype machine to send instructions for a problem set from his Model at Dartmouth College to his Complex Number Calculator in New York and received results back by the same means.

1950’s Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE):

Early networks of communication computers included the military radar system Semi-automatic Ground Environment (SAGE), started in the late 1950s. SAGE was a system that consist large computers and associated networking equipment that helps to coordinated data from many radar sites and processed it to produce a single unified image of the airspace over a wide area network. It is significantly advanced the state of the art in human-computer interaction. SAGE was established in 1954 by the US Air Force to develop a continental air defense system to protect against a nuclear bomber attack from the Soviet Union. MIT established the Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington Massachusetts, to produce the SAGA system design. Later research on SAGE system design helps to create the ARPANET.

In 1958, the MITRE Corporation was formed from the computer system division of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratories, and conducted the software development of SAGE’s digital computer system. MIT collaborate with IBM and developed the IBM AN/FSQ-7 compute to run the SAGE centers. The complete model was the largest computer ever built. Its weight 250 tons, took up twenty thousand square feet of space, and was delivered in eighteen large vans. It had 50,000 vacuum tubes, more than 150 CRT monitors, needed more than a million watts of power, and took up two stories of a building. The vacuum tubes generated so much heat due to that reason a normal human beings couldn’t stand near to the computer for more than a few seconds, and the whole computer would melt and self-destruct within sixty seconds if the air conditioning ever failed. The US Air Force bought twenty-seven.

When SAGE was deployed in 1963, it consisted of 24 Direction Centers and 3 Combat Centers, each linked by long distance telephone lines to more than 100 radar defense sites across the country, thereby establishing one of the first large-scale wide-area computer networks. This had a great influence on a lot of people who worked on the program, including Licklider, who later became the first Director of the IPTO and initiated the research that led to creation of the ARPANET. SAGE remained in continuous operation until 1983.

1960’s: The commercial airline reservation system semi automatic business research environment (SABRE) went online with two connected mainframes. Through these two connected mainframes they creates a network that allowed people around the world to enter data, process requests for information and conduct business. SABRE is a central reservation system, which was originally a part o American Airlines, pioneered online transactions.

SABRE system revolutionized the entire travel industry and formed the beginnings of the comprehensive and established system used today to buy and sell travel services. At present SABRE remains the leading provider of travel technology products and services around the world, it is available 24×7. According to the IBM report, more than 57,000 travel agencies around the world log into a SABRE desktop each day, and the SABRE system processes more than 42,000 transactions every second.

1962’s ARPANET:

The seeds of today’s internet were planted in1969, when U.S. Department of Defense sponsored a project name ARPANET (acronym for Advanced Research Projects Agency Network). The goal of this project was to connect computers at different universities and U.S. defense (American spelling for defence is defense).

ARPANET started with a handful of computers but expanded rapidly. In mid 80’s, another federal agency, the National Science Foundation, create a new, high capacity   network called NSFNET, which more capable than ARPANET.

NSFNET allowed only the academic research on its network and not any kind of private business on it. So many private companies built their own networks, which were later interconnected along with ARPANET and NSFNET.

1964’s: Researchers at Dartmouth developed the Dartmouth Time Sharing System for distributed users of large computer system. The system used for both purposes i.e. teaching large numbers of undergraduate students and for researchers new research purposes. This machine shows two facts;

  1. Time shearing should be considered not only for major research and testing centers but also for smaller and more conventional installations,
  2. The nature of the programming and system problems connected with Time-sharing are now fairly well understood and present less difficulty than was previously anticipated.

1964’s Intergalactic Computer Network:

Intergalactic Computer Network also called Galactic Network was a computer networking concept that behaves similar to Internet used at present. This concept of network allowed users data and programs stored within each computer to be accessed from anywhere in the world, by any of the computers connected to the network. J.C.R. Licklider, the first director of the Information Processing Techniques Office (IPTO) at The Pentagon’s ARPA, used this term in 1964’s to refer to a networking system. Licklidar imagined as, “an electronic commons open to all, ‘the main and essential medium of informational interaction for governments, institutions, corporations, and individuals. Later this concept has inspired a primitive version of his vision called ARPANET, which expanded into a network of networks in the 1970’s that become the INTERNET.

1965’s Wide Area Network:

Thomas Marill and Lawrence G. Roberts created the first wide area network (WAN). This was an immediate precursor to the ARPANET, of which Roberts become program manager.

At the same time, the first widely used telephone switch that used true computer control was introduced by Western Electric.

At the same time, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a research group supported by General Electric and Bell Labs used a computer to route and manage telephone connections.

1972’s X.25:

Commercial services using X.25 were deployed, and later used as an underlying infrastructure for expanding TCP/IP networks.

1991’s Home Broadband:

Broadband is a wide bandwidth data transmission with an ability to simultaneously transport multiple signals and traffic type.

1996’s 56K Modem:

The 56K modem was invented by Dr. Brent Townshend in 1996. It was a new set of standards, so that the speeds continue to push the envelope of the capacity of the telephone system.

2000’s: In late March 2000, Cisco achieved a stock market capitalization (valuation) of more than $550 million, that officially made Cisco the single most valuable corporation in the world at that time- literally, a “Fortune 1” company.

2001’s : Home broadband enters mainstream usage and begins growing at a faster rate than internet dial-up services.

2009’s: 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GE) was the only market segment to show sequential port and revenue growth in 2009, due in large part to shipments of purpose-built fixed 10GE boxes for the data center.

2010’s: 100 Gigabit Ethernet standards fully completed.


2020’s: The Terabit Optical Ethernet Center is aiming for 1 Terabit Ethernet over optical fiber – 1 trillion bits per second, with the ultimate goal of enabling 100 TE by 2020.


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