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Functions and features of switches Apr 14, 2017

The main functions of the switch include physical address, network topology, error checksum, frame sequence and flow control. At present, the switches also have some new features, such as VLAN (virtual LAN) support, link convergence support, and even the function of firewalls.

Learning: Ethernet switches understand the MAC address of each port connected device and map the address to the corresponding port in the MAC address table in the switch cache.

Forwarding/filtering: When the destination address of a data frame has a map in the MAC address table, it is forwarded to the port of the connection destination node instead of all ports (such as the data frame is forwarded to all ports for broadcast/multicast frames).

Elimination Loop: When the switch comprises a redundant loop, the Ethernet switch avoids the generation of the loop through the spanning tree protocol, while the fallback path is allowed.

In addition to being able to connect to the same type of network, the switch can interconnect between different types of networks, such as Ethernet and Fast Ethernet. Many switches today provide high-speed connectivity ports that support Fast Ethernet or FDDI, to connect to other switches in the network or to provide additional bandwidth for critical servers with large bandwidth footprint.

In general, each port of the switch is used to connect a separate network segment, but sometimes in order to provide faster access speeds, we can attach some important network computers directly to the ports of the switch. In this way, the network's key servers and important users have faster access speeds, supporting greater information flow.