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Interconnections: Bridges, Routers, Switches and Internetworking Protocols, Second Edition by Radia Perlman

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Chapter 5. Hubs, Switches, Virtual LANs, and Fast Ethernet

I originally resisted adopting the term switch. Unlike thing, switch sounds like a word you'd apply to a well-defined concept, so it makes people assume that there is a crisp definition that everyone else knows. I thought the world was already confusing enough with the terms bridge and router. Unfortunately, people coined the word switch assuming they were inventing a new concept, somehow different from a bridge or a router. And there were various independent product concepts named switches. As "switch" vendors expanded the capabilities of their products, the products wound up being functionally the same as bridges and routers, usually a hybrid or superset. One cynical (and ungrammatical) ...

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