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Chapter 11 Extending LANs:

Fiber Modems, Repeaters, Bridges, & Switches



LAN technology is designed for a specific

combination of speed, distance, and cost.
A maximum length specification is a fundamental
part of LAN technology. LAN hardware is
engineered for a fixed maximum length cable and
the hardware will not work correctly over wires
that exceed the bound
Fiber Optic Extensions (fig 11.1)
a pair of fiber transceivers and optical fibers can be

used to provide a connection between the AUI on a

hub and a remote AUI on a router on a remote LAN.

Repeater (Hub)

hardware device used to extend a LAN.

Provides connectivity between two cable segments
amplifies and sends all electrical signals that occur
on one segment to the other segment (fig 11.2)

A hub

is essentially a multiport repeater

Speed of signals in copper cable = 2 x 108 m/s
any two stations cannot be separated by more
than 4 repeaters (fig 11.3)
Drawback of repeaters
all signals are repeated, including those overlapping

signals that correspond to collisions and those due to

electrical noise. Therefore repeaters cause the same
problem to occur on all other segments.


hardware device that extends a LAN by forwarding

complete, correct frames from one segment to another
(fig 11.4) (ANIM09_2.MOV)
Reads each frame in promiscuous mode and verifies data
bridge will not forward collisions or interference from
one segment to another
Computers do not know whether a bridge separates them
Bridges operate at data-link (layer 2) layer.
A bridge filters, forwards, or floods an incoming frame
based on the MAC address of that frame
Frame filtering function of bridge: frames are not
forwarded across bridge unless necessary.
Using bridges and fiber modem(transceiver) (fig 11.6)

Adaptive (learning) bridge


at the physical addresses in the header of

each frame it receives.
source address used to determine location of
destination address used to determine whether to
forward a frame
Since bridge does not know location of computers
at bootup, frames are forwarded until location of
computer can be determined (fig 11.4) (fig 11.5)
Broadcast and multicast frames are always
Broadcast storms can cripple network

Switch (Layer 2)


a section of a network that is bounded by bridges,

switches, or routers

simulates a bridged LAN with one

computer per segment while a hub simulates a
single shared medium (fig 11.10)
forwarding packets out all ports(segments) except

source segment
Occurs at power up and for unknown destinations
occurs for all broadcast packets

Maximum bandwidth of a switch = RN/2

R is data transmission rate on a given port
N is the total number of switch ports.

Memory buffering in switches


(separate I/O queues per port)

shared memory buffering

Switching methods

& forward
cut-through switching
fast forward [wait 8-bytes]
collision fragment-free [wait 64-bytes]

Collision domain
the network area within which frames that have

collided are propagated.

Repeaters and hubs propagate collisions.
LAN bridges, switches, and routers do not.

Broadcast domain

set of all devices that will broadcast

frames originating from any device within
the set
crosses layer 2 switches
bounded by layer 3 devices (router)

Advantages of bridged(switched)
network over repeaters and hubs

aggregate bandwidth

allows simultaneous communication between more than one

pair of computers



Packets forwarded only when needed


Bridging across longer distances
point-to-point and special bridge hardware at each end.

Both sites filters packets due to bandwidth constraints.

Buffering is done on bridge to accommodate speed
differences between bridge ports.
leased serial line to connect sites
leased satellite channel

Cycle of Bridges

when multiple paths between two

machines exist
may cause infinite loops
To prevent infinite loops in a bridge
network that contains a cycle of bridge
segments, some bridges must agree not to
forward frames (fig 11.9)

Spanning-Tree protocol

to insure loop-free path between any two

nodes on network.
protocol detects and breaks loops by placing some
connections in standby mode
a bridge does not forward frames if the bridge finds
that each segment to which it attaches already
contains a bridge that has agreed to forward frames
Spanning-tree protocol is used in fault-tolerant


is a broadcast domain.
VLANS group users by logical association instead
of physical location.
broadcast domain of VLAN A is separate from
that of VLAN B
VLAN is a logical grouping of network
devices/users not restricted to a physical switch
Frame tagging (802.1Q) in trunk connections
Types of VLAN
port-based (layer1)
mac-based (layer2)
IP-based VLANS (layer3)