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Local Area Network Bridges Both the physical distance that Local Area Network LAN can cover and the number of hosts that can be attached to it are limited To overcome this limitation bridges are introduced as devices which connect LANs at the MAC layer The purpose of bridges is to allow hosts attached to different LANs to communicate as if they were located on the same LAN In contrast to repeaters that act at the physical layer and allow all traffic to cross LAN segments bridges are more intelligent and limit the traffic to the section of the network on which it is relevant To accomplish this bridges must make a forwarding decision with each received frame regarding where to send the frame so that it reaches its destination There are two different bridge standards Source-Routing SR which is common in Token Ring environment and Transparent Spanning Tree TST which common in Ethernet environment The IEEE standard for MAC bridges is ANSIIEEE 8021D MAC Sub-layer Interconnection Bridge Routing Requirements In general LANs are low-cost low-delay high-bandwidth eg 1-10 Mbps broadcast channels A bridged LAN environment preserves the low-delay and high-bandwidth feature but its topology may be more dynamic than in a single LAN due to possible bridge or LAN failures and hosts being moved around Bridge routing algorithms should meet the following requirements 1 A bridges LAN environment should resemble a single LAN environment as closely as possible In other words the extension should be transparent to hosts 2 The transparency requirement extends to performance requirements such as low transmission delays low undetected data corruption and FIFO maintenance 3 Bridges routing algorithms should be able to adapt quickly to environment changes Source Routing Bridges Source Routing is mostly used to interconnect token ring LANs In Source-Routing the source station must determine in advance the route to the LAN of the destination station and include this route in the header of
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