Foundation Topics Desktop Connectivity with Ethernet

This section provides a review of the various "flavors" of Ethernet and their application in a campus network. Recall how the bandwidth requirements for each segment of the network are determined by the types of applications in use, the traffic flows within the network, and the size of the user community served. Ethernet scales to support increasing bandwidths, and should be chosen to match the need at each point in the campus network. As network bandwidth requirements grow, the links between access, distribution, and core layers can be scaled to match the load.

Other network media technologies available include Fiber Distribution Data Interface (FDDI), Copper Distribution Data Interface (CDDI), Token Ring, and Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM). Although these media are commonly used, Ethernet is emerging as the most popular choice in installed networks. Ethernet is chosen because of its low cost, availability, and scalability to higher bandwidths. Token Ring is discussed later in this chapter, while ATM is covered in Chapter 6, "Trunking with ATM LANE."

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