3.3. Routing

So far in this chapter we have assumed that the switches and routers have enough knowledge of the network topology so they can choose the right port onto which each packet should be output. In the case of virtual circuits, routing is an issue only for the connection request packet; all subsequent packets follow the same path as the request. In datagram networks, including IP networks, routing is an issue for every packet. In either case, a switch or router needs to be able to look at a destination address and then to determine which of the output ports is the best choice to get a packet to that address. As we saw in Section 3.1.1 , the switch makes this decision by consulting a forwarding table. The fundamental problem of routing ...

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