Unit-3 : Internet and Extranet

The Automotive Network Exchange (ANX), a large private extranet that connects automotive suppliers to
automotive manufacturers

The ANX Network is a secure private network that uses standard, open Internet protocols but carries all traffic over private lines leased from various carriers. Through IPsec and end-to-end encryption, the ANX Network provides secure service to its customers like that of a typical virtual private network (VPN).

It is different from a typical VPN in that the routers that make up its network check every packet to make sure it comes from an IP address on the private network. Thus, nobody but ANX customers can get into the network. Triple DES encryption protects a customer’s data from the potential malicious behavior of another custome

Founded in 1995 by Automotive Industry Action Group (a consortium of major US auto companies), ANX since 1999 has been owned and operated by ANX eBusiness Corp., formerly a division of Leidos/SAIC but acquired in 2006 by One Equity Partners. Since 2006, ANX has expanded into other markets and now provides managed security, compliance assurance, and connectivity services to businesses in the healthcare and retail as well as automotive sectors.

Architecture of the Internet

The Internet architecture is based on a simple idea: ask all networks to carry a single packet type, a specific format, the IP protocol. Besides, this IP packet must have an address defined with sufficient generality to identify each computer and terminals scattered throughout the world. This architecture is illustrated in Figure.

Architecture of Internet

The user who wishes to make on this internetwork must store its data in IP packets delivered to the first network to cross. This first network encapsulates the IP packet in its packet structure, package A, which circulates in this form until an exit door, where it is decapsulated to retrieve the IP packet. The IP address is examined to locate, thanks to a routing algorithm, the following network to cross, and so on until arriving at the destination terminal.

To complete the IP, the US Defense added the TCP protocol; specify the nature of the interface with the user. This protocol further determines how to transform a stream of bytes in an IP packet while ensuring the quality of transport of this IP packet. Both protocols, assembled under the TCP / IP abbreviation, are in the form of a layered architecture. They correspond to the packet level and message-level reference model.

The Internet model completed with a third layer called the application level, which includes different protocols for building Internet services. Email (SMTP), file transfer (FTP), the transfer of hypermedia pages, transfer of distributed databases (World Wide Web), etc., are some of these services. The figure shows the three layers of Internet architecture.

three layers of the Internet architecture

IP packets are independent of each other and are individually routed in the network by interconnecting devices, subnets, routers. The quality of service offered by IP is minimal and provides no detection of lost or possibility of error recovery packages.

TCP combines the functionality of the message-level reference model. It is a fairly complex protocol with many options for solving all packet loss problems in the lower levels. In particular, a lost fragment can be recovered by retransmission on the stream of bytes. TCP uses a connection-oriented mode.

The flexibility of the Internet architecture can sometimes be a default. The extent that global optimization of the network is carried out by sub-network subnet, by a succession of local optimizations. It does not allow a homogeneous function in different subnets traversed. Another essential feature of this architecture is to place the entire control system, to say, intelligence and control of the network, in the terminal machine, leaving virtually nothing in the network, at least in the current version, IPv4, the IP protocol. The control intelligence is in the TCP software on the PC connected to the network.

It is the TCP protocol that takes care of sending more or fewer packets according to network load. Precise control window the maximum number of unacknowledged fragments that may be issued. The TCP window control increases or decreases the traffic following the time required to complete a round trip. Over this time increases, Considering the more congested network, the transmission rate must decrease to counter saturation. In return, the infrastructure cost is meagre; no intelligence is not in the network. The service provided by the network of networks corresponds to a quality called the best effort, which means that the network does its best to carry the traffic. In other words, the service quality is not assured.

The new generation of IP, IPv6, introduces new features that make the network nodes smarter. The new generation of routers comes with QoS management algorithms, which allow them to provide transportation that can meet time constraints or packet loss. We expect the arrival of IPv6 for ten years, but it’s still IPv4 IP that governs the world. Because every new need is achievable with IPv6, IPv4 has been able to find the algorithms needed to do as well.

In IPv4, each new customer is treated the same way as those already connected, with resources being distributed equitably among all users. The resource allocation policies of telecom operator’s networks are different since, on these networks, a customer who already has a certain quality of service does not suffer any penalty because of the arrival of a new customer. As discussed, the now advocated solution in the Internet environment is to encourage customers with real-time requirements, using appropriate protocols, using priority levels.

Intranet and Extranet

Intranet and extranet are both types of private networks, but they are used for different purposes. An intranet is a network that is used solely by an organization’s employees, while an extranet is a network that is used by a specific group of external users, such as partners or customers. Intranets are typically used for internal communication and collaboration, while extranets are used for sharing information and resources with external parties. In terms of accessibility, intranets are only accessible from within an organization, while extranets allow external parties to access specific parts of the network with permission


An intranet is a private network that is used solely by an organization’s employees. It is typically built using the same technologies as the internet, such as web browsers and servers, but it is only accessible from within the organization. Intranets are used for a variety of purposes, including internal communication, file sharing, and collaboration.

Intranets can be a powerful tool for improving productivity and streamlining internal processes. They can be used to create a centralized location for important information and documents, such as company policies, procedures and employee handbooks.

Moreover, they can also be used to facilitate collaboration and communication among employees, regardless of their location or department. This can be done through features such as instant messaging, video conferencing, and forums. Additionally, intranets can also be used to create online forms, portals and other tools that automate internal processes, such as request for time off, or expense report submission.

Applications of intranet

For an intranet to be of any use, it must have the right intranet applications for users to work most effectively. These are the computing tools that employees use to do their work, communicate and collaborate with each other and store and retrieve information.

Getting all of these elements to work together is only half the story of creating an effective intranet. For the intranet to truly work for a business, employees need to buy into it, which is only possible if it is relevant, reliable and easy to use.

  • 1. Company-wide Announcements

A business can’t be effective if employees aren’t able to receive company news and announcements in a timely manner.

Example: The CEO makes an announcement that it will be adopting “summer work hours” for July and August. Employees will be allowed to leave work two hours early on Friday afternoons.

The best way to get this message across to all employees, including those who work from home or who are out of the office, would be to send it as a blast to all employees. Everyone receives the message at the same time and there is no confusion about the message’s intent. Unlike email, intranet users can verify that announcements get read through analytics or by using push notifications.

  • 2. A Company Directory

This application of intranet reduces the time employees spend looking for information.

Example: It is frustrating to be at work and not know who to contact for a particular problem or concern. In the past, employees would reach out to Human Resources, but they can’t know everything.

A detailed company directory that includes a photo of each employee, their job title, a summary of their qualifications, along with their interests and any special skills, would be very helpful to co-workers looking for an expert in a specific area. Employees would be able to determine if they have an internal resource available or need to look externally.

  • 3. Instant Messaging Feature

Some people may argue that instant messaging is not necessary if employees already have access to email. However, instant messaging exists for urgent situations when email doesn’t suffice.

Example: A team member gets stuck on a project. They could email their fellow team members to ask for help and directions on how to get unstuck. This could be time consuming as it depends on schedules and how often each person checks their work emails. Sending a message to the team using instant messaging is more efficient and results in faster responses.

  • 4. Content Management System

A content management system is a key internet application. Employees who are looking for a specific document can use the intranet’s search engine function to find what they are looking for quickly.

Example: An employee needs to find a report written by one of the company’s executives from a couple of years ago. The employee also knows the topic.

Based on this, the employee should be able to use intranet’s search engine and locate the report. There may be more than one result; however, since the employee knows when the report was written, it should be easy to find the correct document.

  • 5. Automating Forms Capability

In any company, some forms need to be completed and forwarded to Human Resources for processing. The intranet makes this process easier to manage by sending forms to employees for completion.

Example: Vacation request forms are distributed through the company intranet. Employees complete them with their requests for annual vacation time. Once the forms are filled out, they are automatically returned to Human Resources for processing.

This process saves time since the HR Department can track any employees who have not turned in their vacation requests promptly. HR can then send direct reminders instead of a blast to all employees.

White Paper

Internal Communications – Measurement to Mastery

Enhance your internal communication strategy and learn the impact of communication done right.Download the White Paper 

  • 6. Social Network for Employees

Not all communications between employees at work are about their jobs. One of the benefits of working is the social aspect and the connection that employees feel with each other. The intranet’s virtual water cooler feature makes it a social intranet where employees can post on topics independent of their job descriptions.

Example: An employee can make a post looking for fellow employees interested in helping out a (company-approved) charity by donating time and/or money. Employees who want to donate their time will be rewarded on a 2:1 basis by the employer. For every two hours of time donated to the charity, they will be given one paid hour of time off.

  • 7. Event Management

When a company needs to hold a meeting or an event, the intranet has the features necessary to ensure that all invitees are informed and in attendance.

Example: A company wants to schedule a meeting with its employees and vendors to introduce a new product. It uses intranet features to invite its sales, customer service, and field service staff to a meeting to introduce the new product. The meeting is scheduled virtually so that employees performing remote work can attend.

When the company is ready to introduce the new product to its vendors, the same strategy is used with the company extranet. The vendors are notified of the meeting and are asked to RSVP electronically. The presentation is held via video so that the vendors can access it through their mobile apps.

  • 8. Workgroup Scheduling and Calendars

With people in a company working as a team to complete projects, it is essential that they are all on the same schedule as far as deadlines are concerned. Scheduling and calendars are important intranet applications.

Example: All members of a workgroup enter their deadlines on a team calendar. Everyone can see upcoming deadlines and which team member is responsible for meeting them. The team leader can see who may be becoming overburdened and who may be able to take on more work.

  • 9. Company Events Calendar

Not everyone at the company is going to be constantly checking their work email, or the physical (or digital) bulletin boards information about upcoming events.

Example: Make it easy for all employees to stay up-to-date about company events by posting them on a centralized calendar solely for this purpose. Employees can tell at a glance which events are coming up whether they are based in the main office, the warehouse, or are working remotely.

  • 10. Support Services

The intranet is the logical place for employees to report when they are having difficulty with any company equipment.

Example: Employees who want to report a problem with their equipment can fill out a support ticket and submit it through the company intranet. Tickets can also be used to request the replacement of small office machines (telephones, calculators, dictating equipment, etc.).

Support tickets can also be used when employees are having software issues. They can be used by all workers, in-house or remote. The technical support team can receive the message and react to it quickly.

  • 11. Access to Pay Stubs

Workers now have access to electronic versions of their pay stubs instead of having to request a paper copy through HR. But it’s not always clear where to go to find pay stubs and PTO information.

Example: Employees can easily find their pay information through an intuitive intranet structure. Workers find the right system to check their pay stubs and find other information regarding benefits and insurance.

This allows the HR department to increase productivity as they cut down on administrative requests.

  • 12. Workplace Health and Safety Materials

Ideally, health and safety training in the workplace is a continuing process. It shouldn’t be something that employees are given as part of their initial training then ignored. Everyone in the workplace has a responsibility to maintain a safe environment for their co-workers.

Example: Upload the company health and safety manual to the intranet so that employees can refer to it as often as necessary. Include other materials, such as short videos dealing with common health and safety concerns, that employees can watch on demand.

Types Of Intranet

  • 1- Corporate Intranet :It is used for internal communication and collaboration within a company
  • 2-Departmental Intranet :It is used for specific departments or teams within an organization
  • 3- Enterprise Intranet : It connects multiple organizations or subsidiaries
  • 4- Virtual Private Intranet (VPN) : It allows remote employees to access internal resources securely
  • 5- Extranet-Enabled Intranet : It allows external parties to access specific parts of the network with permission.


extranet is a private network that is used by a specific group of external users, such as partners, suppliers, or customers. It allows these external parties to access specific parts of the organization’s network with permission. Extranets are built using the same technologies as intranets and the internet, and they are typically used for sharing information and resources with external parties.

Extranets can be a powerful tool for improving relationships with external parties. They can be used to share information, such as product catalogs or pricing, with suppliers and partners, or to provide customers with access to account information and support resources. Extranets can also be used to collaborate with external parties, such as on joint projects or initiatives. Additionally, extranets can also be used for e-commerce, such as creating an online ordering system for customers, or for supply chain management, like tracking inventory levels and orders from suppliers. Extranets can also be used for remote access to internal resources for employees and partners, such as telecommuters, business partners or vendors.

Types Of Extranet

Find out what are some common types of extranet and their amazing uses:

1- Business-To-Business Extranet

It is used for sharing information and resources with other businesses

2- Business-To-Consumer Extranet

It is used for sharing information and resources with customers

3- Supply Chain Extranet

It is used to connect the different participants of a supply chain

4- Virtual Private Extranet (VPN)

It allows remote employees, partners, or customers to access internal resources securely

5- Customer Extranet

It allows customers to access specific parts of the network with permission, such as account management and support resources.

6- Partner Extranet

It allows business partners to access specific parts of the network with permission, such as project collaboration, product development and other shared resources.

Benefits of extranet

1. Increases Productivity

Due to the fact that extranet applications can encompass a myriad of systems and functionalities – from team and collaborative workspaces, to distributor channels – all while giving relevant parties easy and secure access to typically-intranet data, such systems greatly aid in streamlining operations and increasing productivity.  Additionally, extranets can be set up to include custom applications that can integrate with advanced software applications, including A.I. analytics engines and automation engines that help to increase process efficiency while eliminating bottlenecks.  Extranets can also be custom-built to monitor business activities and to trigger specific actions. 

2. Reduces The Margin Of Error

Extranets can automate several key but redundant processes that typically require human actions, making them prone to human error. One such example is giving customers their order history and processing orders of distributors and suppliers. These processes can be automated via extranet applications to become seamless and accurate.

3. Offers Flexibility

Extranets offer superb management of processes and information, all while ensuring that data can be seamlessly exchanged between customers, clients, and partners. Extranets also provide a flexible solution in making in-person meetings, phone conferences and endless emails unnecessary, while making transactions outside of business hours possible, since all necessary data is accessible via the extranet platform and applications.

4. Provides Timely And Accurate Information

Extranets are also critical in that they allow instant updates to sensitive information, ensuring price lists or inventory information are never out of date, among other things. This also means that constant email updates with updated attachments are unnecessary, as all updated information is synced across all extranet applications for all relevant parties to access.

5. Shortens Time To Market

Due to the nature of seamless, easily-accessible critical company data being readily available to all third parties via a company extranet, such a system dramatically shortens the time to market. In essence, products can get marketed more by enabling proposals and specifications that are instantly available to suppliers and distributors, as well as shareholders.

6. Improves Supply Chain Management

Virtually all forms of project management are easier with the use of an extranet. Both internal workers and remote workers can collaborate on projects, and even executives can communicate and agree on strategic plans with shareholders. Another such form of management that is greatly enhanced via extranets is supply chain management. B2B extranets can link the inventory system directly to a supplier so that a business can then, for instance, order bulks of inventory once it knows it is in demand, thus reducing the volume of stocks on hand and making the purchasing process more efficient. 

7. Saves Time and Money

Extranets can be privately hosted or hosted by outside providers, both of which allow companies to save on money due to the positive ROI that extranets provide an immediate increase in productivity and efficiency. Mainly, extranets provide near-instant results and help to free up resources, thus increasing the bottom line.

8. Provides Security

One of the most significant optimizations that extranets provide is enhanced security. Managers can store, analyze, share, parse, edit, and upload files to a secure system while assigning and managing tasks, organizing plans and calendar dates, creating discussion threads, making announcements and even starting conferencing calls – all with advanced security controls, including:

  • Encryption (TLS)
  • Access Control
  • Auditing
  • Authorization and Authentication protocols
  • Hashing
  • Digital Signatures
  • Secure channels for Data exchanges 
  • And more.

9. Fosters Customer Loyalty

The more useful a company’s website is in providing timely, accurate, accessible information to customers, the more likely they’ll want to keep doing business with that company. Extranets allow a company to transparently enable its customer base to access their private data associated with the company, including purchase orders, invoices, order history, and more.

 Intranet software

Intranet software refers to a secure and restricted network used by an organization. Though restricted, these networks are usually made accessible to certain groups or members, such as employees of the organization.

How an intranet system works

When thinking about how an intranet works it is worth looking at the three main components that make up the system: the hardware; the platform; and the applications.

The hardware

Hardware refers to the server on which all the intranet software and data is contained. There are three different ‘hardware’ options that businesses can choose when looking to create an intranet. 

The first is an on-premise solution, where the intranet is entirely hosted on a server at the business’ own site. On-premise intranet solutions are generally managed, updated, backed up and so on by on site staff. However, due to the complexity of maintenance, all but the largest businesses, or those not constrained by industry standards, are moving away from this model. 

Instead they are opting for a cloud-based intranet or a combination of the two, known as hybrid. Whatever the hardware option, users generally connect accessing a portal and entering their credentials (user name and password for instance), which as intranets use the same protocols as the Internet could be from any connected device.

The platform

An intranet platform is the piece, or collection, of software from which everything else in an intranet hangs and interacts. The best platforms bring together communications tools, collaboration apps and data bases to work seamlessly with each other, tailored to a business’ specific needs.

For instance, Unily’s platform enables clients to create unique intranets that exactly meet their requirements through unrestricted configuration and customization.

1. Communication is the priority

Social tools are an inherent part of a successful intranet and in fact, the prime purpose of an intranet is to encourage collaboration and close all possible communication gaps across the organization. For example, remote access of workspace allows employees to post messages from remote locations, coordinate with clients without any interferences. So, the communication should always be the priority while thinking to design an intranet.

Today’s modern intranet is well-equipped with Office 365 (now renamed Microsoft 365) communication tools for enhanced collaboration. Also, it provides real-time access for communication flows, discussion, and forums, chat, etc.

2. Streamline processes

There are many pain points for managing business processes in the organization. The primary cause is the illogical information architecture in context to the activities and tasks of the users. Second, the search functionalities need an overhaul – For example, is your content easily searchable or accessible? Is your content tagged with relevant keywords? Are you able to filter the content through search function? Last, the organization needs a content strategy including user-generated tags and administrator-generated taxonomy. The intranet needs to be capable of corporate search in the constrained environment to provide the right information to the right people.

An intranet allows its users to leverage improved communication, managed information, and documents, automated forms and workflows to save their valuable time. Know why your business needs a corporate intranet on Microsoft Office 365.

3. Give voice to users

Working from multiple locations is very common in most of the organizations but require everyone to communicate and collaborate effortlessly. An intranet enables creation and delivery of communications like news and announcements, events, blogs, videos, discussion forums, chats, and more. An engaging work environment has enormous benefits for both, employees and organizations. Some of the key benefits include maximized knowledge sharing, better productivity, and morale, break information silos, drive efficiency, and paves the way for innovation.

It is important to consider enterprise collaboration as it has become a necessity in organizations. The well-conceived social tools and features empower employees to make dynamic connections and relationships across the organization and also, allows them to work smarter. The social capabilities of Microsoft Office 365 intranet include real-time communication, people directory, surveys, event information to encourage cross-collaboration.

4. User Accountability

The accountability factor is one of the critical factors for the success of an intranet. The workflow communication involves multiple people, teams, departments who interact through the network. For example, the important functions like messages, file creation, and modification, document version control, publishing need to be done by a specific individual in the organizations. This procedure ensures the accountability of staff for the tasks.

5. Eliminate Redundant and Outdated content

Like search engines look for fresh and valuable content, the users also want to see new, valuable and searchable content. An intranet manages the end-to-end lifecycle of the content – generation, curation, distribution, and expiration. A great intranet helps the staff to create and connect. The employees produce the content to share the knowledge and outputs with the organization. But what happens when you add thousands of documents and users start complaining about the searchability of information.

An intranet should always be free from redundant, outdated, poorly structured content. The enterprise content management is well-managed with Microsoft Office 365 as it focuses on strategic content lifecycle i.e. creation, editing, publishing, and disposal.

6. Create an Administration Hierarchy

Not everyone in the organization has equal access to organizational resources and important documents. The hierarchy decides the responsibility, accountability, access to the intranet resources, and administration tools. The intranet needs to define specific roles and access levels to all the members in the organization. For example, the members like administrators, authors, publishers, editors can be defined while designing the intranet.

7. Plan customized training for different user groups

Launching an intranet is no more than giving a new tool to the employees. If you want to change the way your employees and organization work together, training is the key. It boosts confidence in employees to get started and work with the intranet. A customized training session is required for different types of users based on their use or differentiate the training at the department level. An intranet with a customized training approach gives flexibility to include technical training as well as best practices to use the intranet.