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ive been reading about network architecture a bit, found an interesting paper from Sun Microsystems that, even though uses their hardware/software, gives a good idea about the basics of data center architecture... http://www.sun.com/blueprints/1003/817-3997.pdf

my frustration arises from the fact that it did not answer my question, actually quite the contrary... it states that for security, a network is broken down into different internal LANs with local IPs and the edge of the network consists of router/switch/firewall and etc that manage traffic but my question is, if there is a hosted service, not necessarily http, maybe some custom protocol from 3rd party software for example, how does the routing work, if a network has one point of entry, one IP, then when the client connects to it for interaction, the edge of the network translates the request to the appropriate end machine in the network, but if the network has one point of entry, then would it not run out of open ports for various hosted services, like hosting 2 different services on the same ip?

i guess im thinking more in terms of hosting like VPS and etc., does that mean a hosting company is tier 2

if anyone can point me to some reading i would def not mind at all either

thank you

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You're assuming that they're using NAT, or that the edge router can only handle so many connections on a given port. That is not the case. And the "internal IPs" are globally routable (or can be at least), but the router/firewall controls what/who gets to them.

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what do you mean globally routable –  NetSkay Dec 8 '10 at 1:40
    
Like a normal IP address (not a 1918 addy) that can potentially be pinged from anywhere. –  Chris S Dec 8 '10 at 1:56

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