1. Both Bridges and Switches work on the data link layer of the OSI Model. However, switches are more advanced. Discuss how a switch has an advantage over a bridge in a network then elaborate more on the technology implemented in switches to control broadcast domains (500 words). [25 marks]
There are many reasons why switchers are used instead of bridges. The switchers nowadays are more effective than a bridge when are used in a network.
Bridges, also known as transparent bridges, work in the Layer number 2 of the OSI model. This means that bridges have the ability to forward the data according to the destination address found in the packet. The destination address from the data packet, is also known as MAC address. This physical address is hard coded into the network adapter card, which means that MAC address is unique for every computer.
Usually, bridges are used only on small networks, or in case where a repeater should be used. Often switchers are used instead of bridges because offer solution that perform better and create fewer problems.
Switches are similar with bridges, but usually contain multiple ports. The packet that comes through a switch is read to decide for which node the data was send to. In this way, the efficiency is that packets are sent only to the computers that require them. Collisions along the way are reduced significantly using switchers instead of bridges in networks.
Switchers have the ability to create VLANSs (Virtual LAN). According to (Pintello, 2013) A VLAN refers to a group if hosts that share a common set of requirements for communication and are grouped together via Layer 2 of the OSI Model. VLANs are also used to make networks more secure.
Switches form one-to-one connections between any two ports, all the ports coming into a switch are not part of a single domain. In this case, the switcher acts as a bridge.
Nowadays connection between a number of hubs is often made using switchers. In this way, connection between hubs to a faster backbone is made throughout a switch.
Another feature of the switchers is the capability of filtering frames. Some of them can be used to filter or reject frames provided from a particular network. These filters are often used in dealing with unnecessary packets and broadcasts.
Switches are significantly faster than bridges because switch is made in hardware, while bridges switch in software.
The cut-through support can be found in some switchers. This technology reduces delays and latency in the network. All in all, the collisions are significantly reduce on network segments. The dedicated bandwidth to each network segment is the reason why collisions are reduced.
Forouzan, B. A. (2013). Data Communications and Networking. Connect Learn Succeed.
Hallberg, B. A. (2013). Networking A Beginner's Guide. McGraw Hill.
Pintello, T. (2013). Introduction to Networking with Network+. Wiley.
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