Switching vs. Routing Redux (Part I)

Passmore, David
July 2004
Business Communications Review;Jul2004, Vol. 34 Issue 7, p18
Trade Publication
The article focuses on switching versus routing in computer networks. Early software-based routers were very expensive and had difficulty operating at even 10-Mbps Ethernet speeds. At larger sites, many enterprises learned the hard way not to build big, flat, bridged networks created exclusively out of Layer 2 LAN switches. These networks didn't scale very well, as they were afflicted with packet broadcast storms that killed the performance both of LANs and (via too many interrupts) many LAN-attached computers. Service providers and enterprises with private WANs had to decide where to use connection-oriented Layer 2 virtual circuit (VC) services like frame relay and ATM, and where to deploy connectionless IP routers operating at Layer 3. Layer 2 WAN services didn't suffer from LAN broadcast-related problems, since they were strictly point-to-point (including Transparent LAN Services offered by ILECs, which were based on point-to-point ATM VCs).


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