Ethernet is a physical and data link layer standard for the transmission of frames on a LAN. Since its invention in the 1970s by Xerox Corporation, Ethernet has gained widespread popularity and adapted to new demands for capacity, reliability, and low prices. The cost of an Ethernet port on a workstation or internetwork device is very low compared to other technologies. Many PC and workstation vendors build Ethernet into the motherboard of the computer so that it is not necessary to purchase a separate NIC.
Ethernet is an appropriate technology choice for customers concerned with availability and manageability. An Ethernet LAN that is accurately provisioned to meet bandwidth requirements and outfitted with high-quality components, including NICs, cables, and internetworking devices, can meet even the most stringent demands for availability. Many troubleshooting tools, including cable testers, protocol analyzers, and network-management applications, are available for isolating the occasional problems caused by cable breaks, electromagnetic interference, failed ports, or misbehaving NICs.
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