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What are the benefits of using switches in a network?
FAQ ID: 351 Product: SwitchesUpdated:2/4/2005 8:51:42 PM
By adding Switches in a network or using Switches instead of hubs, overall network performance is dramatically increased. Hubs are repeaters; they repeat frames to all ports on the network. Only the intended network device will receive given frames, while all other devices must pause until a transmission is ended. Most of the smaller networks (2-25 network devices) should not display slow response time by using only repeaters. If the network consists of 25 or more devices, without Switches in place, network users will most likely experience sluggish network performance.

Switches play a critical role in today's Fast Ethernet networks. The Fast Ethernet Class II devices are limited to 2-repeater count in a local area network. If the network has reached its 2-repeater count, any additional expansion is not possible. By placing Switches in the Fast Ethernet networks, the 2-repeater count limitation is virtually eliminated. They allow additional Fast Ethernet Class II hubs on the network; therefore, more ports could be utilized.

A vast majority of networks are running on conventional 10Mbps Ethernet. Switches are the first choice for integrating Ethernet and Fast Ethernet devices in the same network environment. They provide incremental process to gradually migrate some or all Ethernet devices to the more attractive Fast Ethernet. Therefore making upgrade procedures much more manageable.

When cable distance is the greatest concern, by implementing Switches and full-duplex capable fiber optic converter, fiber optic cabling up to 2 kilometers (or about 6000 feet) is supported. This type of installation is most evident in a network separated by buildings or even streets, where installing dedicated digital lines are just too expansive to maintain.

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