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TCP Ports, Connections and Connection Identification
(Page 2 of 2)
Multiple Connection Management
This identification of connections
using both client and server sockets is what provides the flexibility
in allowing multiple connections between devices that we take for granted
on the Internet. For example, busy application server processes (such
as Web servers) must be able to handle connections from more than one
client, or the World Wide Web would be pretty much unusable. Since the
connection is identified using the client's socket as well as the server's,
this is no problem. At the same time that the Web server maintains the
connection mentioned just above, it can easily have another connection
to say, port 2,199 at IP address 188.8.131.52. This is represented by
the connection identifier:
In fact, we can have multiple connections
from the same client to the same server. Each client process will be
assigned a different ephemeral port number, so even if they all try
to access the same server process (such as the Web server process at
184.108.40.206:80), they will all have a different client socket and represent
unique connections. This is what lets you make several simultaneous
requests to the same Web site from your computer.
Again, TCP keeps track of each of
these connections independently, so each connection is unaware of the
others. TCP can handle hundreds or even thousands of simultaneous connections.
The only limit is the capacity of the computer running TCP, and the
bandwidth of the physical connections to itthe more connections
running at once, the more each one has to share limited resources.
Key Concept: Each device can handle simultaneous TCP connections to many different processes on one or more devices. Each connection is identified by the socket numbers of the devices in the connection, called the connections endpoints. Each endpoint consists of the devices IP address and port number, so each connection is identified by the quadruple of client IP address and port number, and server IP address and port number.
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The TCP/IP Guide (http://www.TCPIPGuide.com)
Version 3.0 - Version Date: September 20, 2005
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