What is LAN Switching?
LAN switching is a form of packet switching in which data packets are transmitted from one computer to another over a network. Switching technologies are essential to network design because these technologies allow traffic to be sent only where it is needed. In most cases, fast, hardware-based methods are used. LAN switching technology helps improve the overall efficiency of local area networks and alleviates the existing bandwidth problems.
LANs (Local Area Networks) are easy to set up, but complex to maintain. Various network technologies are used for implementation and maintenance for LANs. LAN switching consists mainly of 4 types of switching. They are as follows:
1. Layer-2 switching: Layer-2 switching is hardware-based switching. It uses the (MAC) addresses on the host's network interface cards (NICs) to determine the location for forwarding the frames. Advantages of Layer 2 switching are its high data rate, low latency, and low cost.
2. Layer 3 switching: Layer 3 switching offers functions similar to routers. Some basic functions are as follows: Uses TL (time to live) Identify paths based on logical addressing Offers security Enables hardware-based packet forwarding Provides high-efficiency packet switching Provides high-speed, low-latency data transmission.
3. Layer 4 Switching: An advanced version of Layer 3 switching, Layer 4 switching uses hardware-based switching with additional applications such as Telnet and FTP. Layer 4 switching uses port number based routing. The filtering of the access list works entirely on Layer 4 switching. The main benefit of Layer 4 switching is that the network administrator can configure a Layer 4 switch to prioritize traffic by application, which means that a quality of service (QoS) can be defined for each user.
4. Multi-Layer Switching: Multi-Layer Switching (MLS) offers low latency and high performance. All three layer circuits (2, 3 and 4) are combined in MLS. MLS uses the following functions to make switching decisions: Source and destination address (MAC and IP) Protocol details (fields) Source port number and destination port number