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Understanding the Network: A Practical Guide to Internetworking by Martin J. Michael

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Layer 3: IP Protocol

The IP protocol is responsible for the delivery of datagrams. A datagram is a block of data, "packaged" by the upper layer protocols for transmission. This data is "packaged" by the Upper Layer Protocol (ULP). The contents of this data can be TCP or UDP transport data or the transport layer data of a different networking protocol, such as AppleTalk or IPX. IP is uninterested in the type of data it is providing delivery for and can accommodate any Layer 2 packet size limitation, which it handles by fragmenting the datagram into the supported Layer 2 frame size. The datagram fragments are then transmitted to the destination host where they are reassembled before being handed to the ULP. Additionally, IP does not guarantee datagram ...

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