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

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The Types of Bridges

For many network engineers, bridging was avoided unless a situation absolutely required it for two reasons; First, it is believed by many that bridging is a Layer 2 answer to what is really a Layer 3 problem. Second, it is widely held that bridging negatively impacts Layer 2 network performance. In essence, both of these beliefs are true. Bridges do forward traffic between network segments, and packet forwarding is a function best performed as part of Layer 3 routing process. In addition, the insertion of a bridge in an efficient shared-medium LAN will result in slower network performance. However, when they are properly applied, network bridges can be used to improve traffic flow on a congested network. Switches can attach ...

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