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

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Chapter 17. To Route, Bridge, or Switch: Is That the Question?

This chapter doesn't contain any new information; rather, it's a summary of the rest of the book.

Switches

I never know what to say when someone comments that switches have replaced bridges and routers. As discussed in Chapter 5, a switch is just a generic term that has come to mean a box that moves data quickly. Some of them (layer 2 switches) are bridges. Others (layer 3 switches) are routers. So this is not a meaningful statement.

Bridges versus Routers

What is a bridge? What is a router? Without knowing the answers to those two questions, it is difficult to make an intelligent comparison. The ISO terminology makes the distinction very clear: A bridge is a data link layer relay; a router ...

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