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Chapter 5

Reading Organizer
After completion of this chapter, you should be able to:

Describe the operation of the Ethernet sublayers.

Identify the major fields of the Ethernet frame.
Describe the purpose and characteristics of the Ethernet MAC address.
Describe the purpose of ARP.
Explain how ARP requests impact network and host performance.
Explain basic switching concepts.
Compare fixed configuration and modular switches.
Configure a Layer 3 switch.

5.1 Ethernet Protocol

1. Ethernet operates at what OSI layers?
a. data link layer
b. physical layer
2. Ethernet is defined by which IEEE standards?
a. 802.2
b. 802.3
3. What is the purpose of the LLC sublayer?
The Ethernet LLC sublayer handles the communication between the upper
layers and the lower layers
4. What is the purpose of the MAC sublayer?
MAC constitutes the lower sublayer of the data link layer.
5. What are the Ethernet MAC sublayers two primary responsibilities?
a. Data encapsulation
b. Media access control
6. Data encapsulation provides three primary functions. These are:
a. Frame Delimiting
b. Addressing
c. Error Detection

7. The two primary functions of Media Access Control are:

a. Control of frame placement on and off the media
b. Media recovery
8. Explain how CSMA/Collision Detection operates.
In CSMA/Collision Detection (CSMA/CD), the device monitors the media for
the presence of a data signal. If a data signal is absent, indicating that the
media is free, the device transmits the data. If signals are then detected that
show another device was transmitting at the same time, all devices stop
sending and try again later.
9. Explain how CSMA/Collision Avoidance operates.
In CSMA/CA, the device examines the media for the presence of a data
signal. If the media is free, the device sends a notification across the media
of its intent to use it. The device then sends the data. This method is used by
802.11 wireless networking technologies.
10. Why were MAC addresses created?
To prevent the excessive overhead involved in the processing of every frame,
a unique identifier called a MAC address was created to identify the actual
source and destination nodes within an Ethernet network.
11. The IEEE requires vendors to follow two simple rules. These are:
a. All MAC addresses assigned to a NIC or other Ethernet device must use
that vendor's assigned OUI as the first 3 bytes.
b. All MAC addresses with the same OUI must be assigned a unique value
(vendor code or serial number) in the last 3 bytes.

12. What does BIA stand for?

Burned-in address
13. Descriptions of the MAC and LLC sublayers are provided in the table. Place a
check in the MAC or LLC fields to match the descriptions to the correct sublayer.

14. What are the minimum and the maximum frame sizes as defined by Ethernet II
and IEEE802.3?
Minimum: ___64 bytes_____
Maximum: ___1518 bytes___
15. Explain what a "collision fragment" or "runt frame" is and what happens to it on
the network.
Any frame less than 64 bytes in length is automatically discarded by
receiving stations.
16. What happens to frames that are larger than the maximum size?
It is discarded
17. Label the primary fields in an Ethernet frame.


Start of



46 t0

and Data

18. Write in the correct Ethernet frame field name with its description.


19. Convert the decimal number 15 to hexadecimal and show the two different
ways it can be correctly represented in text.
a. 0x0F
b. 0FH
20. On a Windows host, what command can be used to identify the MAC address
of an Ethernet adapter?
ipconfig /all

21. What is a unicast MAC address?

It is the unique address used when a frame is sent from a single transmitting
device to a single destination device.
22. On Ethernet networks, how is the broadcast MAC address displayed in
23. How are multicast addresses different than unicast or broadcast addresses?
They allow a source device to send a packet to a group of devices.

24. What is the IPv4 address range for multicast addresses? to

5.2 Address Resolution Protocol

25. What are the two basic functions of the ARP protocol?
a. Resolving IPv4 addresses to MAC addresses
b. Maintaining a table of mappings
26. There are two ways that a device can gather MAC addresses. Explain both.
a. One way is to monitor the traffic that occurs on the local network
segment. As a node receives frames from the media, it can record the source
IP and MAC address as a mapping in the ARP table. As frames are
transmitted on the network, the device populates the ARP table with address
b. Another way a device can get an address pair is to send an ARP request.
An ARP request is a Layer 2 broadcast to all devices on the Ethernet LAN.
The ARP request contains the IP address of the destination host and the
broadcast MAC address, FFFF.FFFF.FFFF.
27. Entries in the ARP table are time stamped. What does this mean?
If a device does not receive a frame from a particular device by the time the
time stamp expires, the entry for this device is removed from the ARP table.
28. What happens if no device responds to the ARP request?
The packet is dropped because a frame cannot be created.
29. If the destination IPv4 host is on the local network, the frame will use the MAC
address of this device as the destination MAC address. If the destination IPv4 host
is not on the local network, what happens?
The source node needs to deliver the frame to the router interface that is
the gateway or next hop used to reach that destination. The source node will
use the MAC address of the gateway as the destination address for frames
containing an IPv4 packet addressed to hosts on other networks.
30. What command is used on a Cisco router to display the ARP table?
Show ip arp
31. What command is used in Windows 7 to display the ARP table?

arp -a
32. List and explain two potential issues with ARP.
a. Overhead on the Media
As a broadcast frame, an ARP request is received and processed by every
device on the local network. If a large number of devices were to be powered
up and all start accessing network services at the same time, there could be
some reduction in performance for a short period of time
b. Security
ARP spoofing, or ARP poisoning, is a technique used by an attacker to inject
the wrong MAC address association into a network by issuing fake ARP
requests. An attacker forges the MAC address of a device and then frames
can be sent to the wrong destination.

5.3 LAN Switches

33. Number in sequence, the following steps a switch takes to build its MAC
address table and correctly forward frames.
____5____ The switch enters the source MAC address of the device replying to
host 1 and switch port it is connected to.
____2____ The switch enters the source MAC address and the switch port that
received the frame in to the MAC table.
____1____ A switch receives a broadcast frame from host 1.
____3____ The switch floods the broadcast frame out all ports except the port
from it was received from.
____6____ The switch can now forward messages between the two devices
without flooding the network because it has recorded the MAC addresses and
associated switch ports in its MAC address table.
____4____ The destination device replies tot eh broadcast with a unicast
frame addressed to host 1.
34. The MAC address table is sometimes referred to as a what?
Content addressable memory (CAM) table.
35. What is half duplex communication?

Half-duplex communication relies on unidirectional data flow where sending

and receiving data are not performed at the same time.
36. What is full duplex communication?
In full-duplex communication, data flow is bidirectional, so data can be sent
and received at the same time
37. List and explain the three duplex settings supported by a Cisco Catalyst switch.
a. Full option
sets full-duplex mode.
b. Half option
sets half-duplex mode.
c. Auto option
sets autonegotiation of duplex mode. With autonegotiation enabled, the two
ports communicate to decide the best mode of operation.
38. What duplex setting is required when using 1000Mb/s speeds?
Full duplex
39. Explain in detail what the Auto-MDIX feature does.
When the auto-MDIX feature is enabled, the switch detects the required
cable type for copper Ethernet connections and configures the interfaces
accordingly. Therefore, you can use either a crossover or a straight-through
cable for connections to a copper 10/100/1000 port on the switch, regardless
of the type of device on the other end of the connection.

40. List and explain the two types of switch packet forwarding methods.
a. Store-and-forward switching
The switch receives the frame, it stores the data in buffers until the complete
frame has been received. During the storage process, the switch analyzes
the frame for information about its destination. In this process, the switch
also performs an error check using the Cyclic Redundancy Check (CRC)
trailer portion of the Ethernet frame.

b. Cut-through
A cut-through switch forwards the frame before it is entirely received. At a
minimum, the destination address of the frame must be read before the
frame can be forwarded.
41. List and explain the two variants of cut-through switching.
a. Fast-forward switching
Fast-forward switching offers the lowest level of latency. Fast-forward
switching immediately forwards a packet after reading the destination
address. Because fast-forward switching starts forwarding before the entire
packet has been received, there may be times when packets are relayed with
b. Fragment-free switching
In fragment-free switching, the switch stores the first 64 bytes of the frame
before forwarding. Fragment-free switching can be viewed as a compromise
between store-and-forward switching and fast-forward switching. The reason
fragment-free switching stores only the first 64 bytes of the frame is that
most network errors and collisions occur during the first 64 bytes.

42. Descriptions of switch frame forwarding methods are provided in the table.
Check in the Store-and-Forward or Cut-Through fields to match the methods to the

43. Fill in the blanks.

44. List and explain the two methods of memory buffering.

a. Port-based Memory Buffering

In port-based memory buffering, frames are stored in queues that are linked
to specific incoming and outgoing ports.
b. Shared Memory Buffering
Shared memory buffering deposits all frames into a common memory buffer
that all the ports on the switch share.





49. Explain the differences between fixed configuration switches and modular
a. Fixed configuration switches
Features and options are limited to those that originally come with the
b. Modular switches
The chassis accepts line cards that contain the ports.
50. Explain how a layer 2 switch operates.

A Layer 2 LAN switch performs switching and filtering based only on the OSI
data link layer (Layer 2) MAC address and depends upon routers to pass data
between independent IP subnetworks
51. Explain how a layer 3 switch differs from a layer 2 switch.
Instead of using only the Layer 2 MAC address information for forwarding
decisions, a Layer 3 switch can also use IP address information.
52. Cisco devices which support Layer 3 switching utilize what Cisco forwarding
Cisco Express Forwarding (CEF).
53. What are the two main components of CEF operation?
a. Forwarding Information Base (FIB)
b. Adjacency tables
54. List and describe the major types of Layer 3 interfaces.
a. Switch Virtual Interface (SVI)
Logical interface on a switch associated with a virtual local area network
b. Routed Port
Physical port on a Layer 3 switch configured to act as a router port.
c. Layer 3 EtherChannel
Logical interface on a Cisco device associated with a bundle of routed ports.
55. A switch port can be configured to be a Layer 3 routed port and behave like a
regular router interface. What is needed to accomplish this?
a. The no switchport command
b. Assign an IP address to the port