Chapter 2. Packet Switching Architecture

This chapter covers the following key topics:

  • Process Switching

  • Fast Switching

  • Optimum Switching

  • Cisco Express Forwarding

A multiprotocol router's primary purpose is, of course, to switch packets from one network segment to another. If the scheduler and memory manager are the router's software infrastructure, then the IOS switching architecture is the router's very foundation. The switching methods and structures used by IOS essentially dictate how well the router performs its primary task—so, as you can imagine, a great deal of effort has been put into designing and refining this important part of IOS.

In spite of all the fanfare surrounding packet switching, the operation itself is fairly straightforward: ...

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