3.1. The Anatomy of a Frame of Data

When data is moved along a network, it is packaged inside a delivery envelope called a frame. Frames are topology-specific. An Ethernet frame needs to convey different information than a Token Ring or an ATM (asynchronous transfer mode) frame (also sometimes called a cell). Since Ethernet is by far the most popular topology, we'll cover it in detail here.

3.1.1. Ethernet Frames

An Ethernet frame is a set of digital pulses transmitted onto the transmission medium in order to convey information. An Ethernet frame normally can be anywhere from 64 to 1518 bytes (a byte being 8 digital pulses or bits) in size. In 1998, the maximum frame length was extended to 1522 bytes in order to support VLAN (virtual local ...

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