Switches vs Hubs

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 Question by James posted 08 Jul 2000
 Switches vs Hubs
I have cabling in an educational school (Some cat 5 and 6). I was wanting
to impliment some UTP switches. I know that there is a 5-4-3 rule with 10Base2,
10BaseT, 100BaseT. That you can only have 5 segments, 4 repeaters(hubs),
and 3 populated segments. But what is the rule when we use UTP switches.
Do they count as a repeater or does the rule cancel to 0 repeaters when
ever I hit a switch.
Is there a limitation of switches that can be used on a network?

 Answer by Roman Kitaev posted 08 Jul 2000

A switch provides dedicated, collision-free channel to each attached device. This way, each connected segment is a separate collision domain and, because of this, 5-4-2 rule and the 1024 device limit apply separately to each of the segments.

This allows for big networks with potentially thousands of devices.

In addition, below are several recommendations on selecting a workgroup switch:

* all ports should be 10/100-capable;
* full-duplex and flow control support on all ports;
* port aggregation feature for server connections;
* variety of uplinks;
* good scalability (stackability);
* large backplane capacity;

There is an excellent book by Robert Breyer called "Switched, Fast and Giga Ethernet" available from our Bookstore. It explains everything from the Ethernet world.

Best regards
Roman Kitaev, RCDD

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