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Understanding Switches

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Level: Beginner
Presenter: Eli the Computer Guy
Date Created: July 12, 2010
Length of Class: 57 Minutes


Introduction to Networking
Purpose of Class

This class discusses the purpose of network switches and their functions.
Topics Covered

Switches vs. Hubs
Managed vs. Unmanaged Switches
Speeds and Duplex
Quality of Service
Power Over Ethernet
Spanning Tree Protocol
Class Notes

Basic Switch Concepts
A hub simply splits the Ethernet signal like a cable splitter
Broadcast storms happen when too many computers are trying to talk at once
Switches allow multiple computers to be able to talk at the same time.
Switches are OSI Model layer 2 devices and use network devices MAC Addresses for identification
Managed vs. Unmanaged Switches
Unmanaged switches are completely automatic
Managed switches can be configured
Speeds -- 10Mbps / 100Mbps / 1000Mbps
Full Duplex means a device can send and receive traffic at the same time
Half Duplex means a device can either receive or transmit traffic
Backplane determines how much total data a switch can handle
Trunk Connection allow multiple switches to be tied together
VLANs are separate LANs on the same switch
POE -- Power Over Ethernet allows you to power network devices using cat5 cable
QOS/ COS -- allows you to prioritize network packets so that real time communication is not interrupted by file transfers.
Spanning Tree Protocol is a networking protocol that helps prevent network loops

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