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Introduction (1.0.1.1)

Modern networks continue to evolve to keep pace with the changing way organizations carry out their daily business. Users now expect instant access to company resources from anywhere and at any time. These resources not only include traditional data but also video and voice. There is also an increasing need for collaboration technologies that allow real-time sharing of resources between multiple remote individuals as though they were at the same physical location.

Different devices must seamlessly work together to provide a fast, secure, and reliable connection between hosts. LAN switches provide the connection point for end users into the enterprise network and are also primarily responsible for the control of information within the LAN environment. Routers facilitate the movement of information between LANs and are generally unaware of individual hosts. All advanced services depend on the availability of a robust routing and switching infrastructure on which they can build. This infrastructure must be carefully designed, deployed, and managed to provide a necessary stable platform.

This chapter begins an examination of the flow of traffic in a modern network. It examines some of the current network design models and the way LAN switches build forwarding tables and use the MAC address information to efficiently switch data between hosts.

Save your work in either hard- or soft-copy format. Be prepared to discuss your matrix and statements in a class discussion.

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