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Which Layer 2 switching functions increase available bandwidth?

What are the two distinct functions of Layer 2 switching that increase available bandwidth on the network?

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When switching at Layer 2, neither the router nor the switch are sent to the routing table. Rather, this refers to a cache, which is quite a bit faster than the memory. The cache stores the header information as well as the destination switch port. The device then begins switching at faster and faster speeds, making it appear as though there is more bandwidth at hand.

Another important aspect to consider is the way switches function. The electronics of a switch produce a dedicated bandwidth to each switch port. So a 100Mb switch will give 100Mb at each port, as opposed to in a hub, in which the bandwidth is shared between the ports.

And last but not least, you can divide the collision domain at Layer 2, giving yourself more bandwidth to play with.

This was first published in June 2004

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