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Cisco Networking Simplified by Jim Doherty, Paul Della Maggiora

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Chapter . Routing and Switching

Network devices have one primary purpose: to pass network traffic from one segment to another. (There are exceptions, of course, such as network analyzers, which inspect traffic as it goes by.) With devices that independently make forwarding decisions, traffic can travel from its source to the destination. The higher up the Open System Interconnection (OSI) model a device operates, the deeper it looks into a packet to make a forwarding decision.

Railroad-switching stations provide a similar example. The switches enable a train to enter the appropriate tracks (path) that take it to its final destination. If the switches are set wrong, a train can end up traveling to the wrong destination or traveling in a circle. ...

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