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IP Routing Fundamentals by Mark A. Sportack

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Computer-Based Routers

Traditional, standalone routers are hardware specific: You purchase a specialized physical platform, including a chassis, sheet metal, power supply, CPU, memory, I/O ports, and a motherboard together with the routing engine. These components are described in Chapter 4, "Routers and WANs."

In a standalone router, the routing engine is an integral part of the unit. It is not separable, nor portable, from the standalone router. In a computer-based router, the routing engine is executable software designed to run on a general-purpose computer rather than a highly specialized device. In fairness, this isn't a new trend. In fact, the earliest routers were really UNIX-based computers that calculated routes using one of the myriad ...

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