Module 8

Ethernet Switching

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Ethernet Switching
• Ethernet is a shared media
– One node can transmit data at a time

• More nodes increases the demands on the available bandwidth
– The probability of collisions increases, resulting in more retransmissions

• A solution to the problem is to segment. • Segmenting creates more collision domains
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Shared Media Environment
• Shared media environment –
– multiple hosts have access to the same medium

• Extended shared media environment –
– Using networking devices extends the environment to accommodate multiple access or longer cable distances

• Point-to-point network environment –
– one device is connected to only one other device (ex. dialup network connections)
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Shared media environments

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Layer 1 Devices
• Layer 1 devices
– repeaters and hubs

• Extend collision domains • Primary function is extending cable segments • Additional hosts increase the amount of traffic • More traffic = greater chances of collisions
– This results in diminished performance

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Repeater Rule
• Four repeater rule: – No more than four repeaters between any two computers – Contributing Factors • Repeater latency • Propagation delay • NIC latency – Late collision frames add delay that is referred to as consumption delay
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Collision Domains

• Collision Domains
– Connected physical network segments where collisions can occur

• Collisions cause:
– The network to be inefficient – Transmissions to stops for a period of time

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Collision domains

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Collision Domains
• The types of devices that interconnect the media segments define collision domains • Classified as OSI Layer 1, 2 or 3 devices • Layer 1 devices do not break up collision domains • Layer 2 and Layer 3 devices break up collision domains
– Increasing the number of collision domains is known as segmentation

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Segmentation

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Network segment

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Layer 2 Devices
• Layer 2 devices
– Bridges and Switches – Segments collision domains – Controls frame propagation using the MAC address – Tracks the MAC addresses and segment they are on
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Layer 2 Bridging

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Bridges
• Has only two ports and divides a collision domain into two parts • Entire network will share the same logical broadcast address space • Creates more collision domains but will not add broadcast domains • All decisions made are based on MAC or Layer 2 addressing • No effect on the logical or Layer 3 addressing

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Layer 2 Switching

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Switches
• A switch is a fast, multi-port bridge • Each port creates its own collision domain • A switch dynamically builds and maintains a ContentAddressable Memory (CAM) table • The CAM holds all of the necessary MAC information for each port

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Switch Operation
• Micro-segments consist of the switch port and the host connected to it • Communication in both directions at once is known as full duplex • Most switches are capable of supporting full duplex, as are most network interface cards (NICs)

• In full duplex mode, there is no contention for the media.
– A collision domain no longer exists – Theoretically, the bandwidth is doubled when using full duplex
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Switch modes

Store and Forward Cut through
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Switch Modes • Cut-through switching
– A switch transfers the frame as soon as the destination MAC address is received – lowest latency – no error checking

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Switch Modes • Store-and-forward switching
– Higher latency – The switch receives the entire frame before sending it out – Verifies the Frame Check Sum (FCS) – Invalid frames are discarded at the switch
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Switch Modes
• Fragment-free switching • A compromise between cut-through and store-and-forward switching
• Switching begins before the entire data field and checksum are read

• Reads the first 64 bytes • Including the frame header
• Verifies the reliability of:
• Addressing • Logical Link Control (LLC) protocol
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Switch Modes • Synchronous switching
– The source port and destination port must be operating at the same bit rate

• Asynchronous switching
– The bit rates are not the same – The frame must be stored at one bit rate before it is sent out at the other bit rate – Store-and-forward must be used
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Switch Modes
• Asymmetric switching
– Switched connections between ports of unlike bandwidths – Asymmetric switching is optimized for client/server – A server requires more bandwidth dedicated to the server port to prevent a bottleneck at that port

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Spanning Tree Protocol
• Switching loops can lead to broadcast storms that will overwhelm a network. • To counteract loops, switches are provided with the Spanning-Tree Protocol (STP) • Switches in a LAN using STP – Send Bridge Protocol Data Units (BPDUs) out all its ports – Lets other switches know of its existence – Elect a root bridge (switch) for the network – Switches use the Spanning-Tree Algorithm (STA) to resolve and shut down the redundant paths
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STP
• Each port using Spanning-Tree Protocol is in one of the following five states:
– Blocking – Listening – Learning – Forwarding – Disabled

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STP
• A port moves through five states as follows:
– From initialization to blocking – From blocking to listening or to disabled – From listening to learning or to disabled – From learning to forwarding or to disabled – From forwarding to disabled

• Resolving and eliminating loops creates a logical hierarchical tree with no loops • The alternate paths are available if needed
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Spanning tree protocol

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Layer 2 Broadcasts
• Ethernet Broadcasts
– When a node needs to communicate with all hosts on the network – A broadcast frame with a destination MAC address 0xFFFFFFFFFFFF is sent – The network interface card (NIC) of every host must respond
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Layer 2 Broadcasts
• Layer 2 devices must flood all broadcast and multicast traffic • Broadcast Radiation
– The accumulation of broadcast and multicast traffic from each device

• Broadcast storm
– Circulation of broadcast radiation that saturates the network – There is no bandwidth left for application data

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Layer 2 Broadcasts • The three sources of broadcasts and multicasts:
– Workstations – Routers – Multicast Applications

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Broadcast & Collision Domain

Collision Domain

Collision Domain

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Layer 3 Devices
• Layer 3 devices
– Routers – Do not forward collisions – Breaks up collision domains – Broadcast domains are controlled

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Broadcast domain

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Broadcast Domain
• Broadcast Domain
– A grouping of collision domains – All the nodes that are a part of that network segment bounded by a layer three device – Broadcasts have to be controlled at Layer 3 devices – Layer 2 and Layer 1 devices do not control broadcasts

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Data Flow
• Layer 2 devices filter data frames based on the destination MAC address
– A Layer 2 device will forward the frame unless something prevents it from doing so

• Layer 3 devices filter data packets based on IP destination address
– A Layer 3 device will not forward the frame unless it has to – Layer 3 device creates multiple collision and broadcast domains

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Dataflow

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Latency
The delay between the time a frame leaves the source device and the time the frame reaches its destination

• The following conditions can cause delays:
– Physical media – Circuit delays • Electronics that process the signal along the path – Software delays • Decisions that must be made to implement switching and protocols – Delays caused by the content of the frame • Destination MAC address has to be read

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Latency

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