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Why is the CAM table in a switch called CAM table and not MAC table even though it holds MAC addresses?

CAM (Content Addressable Memory) is memory that can be addressed by content, rather than a numeric memory address. You can look up the interface by presenting the memory with the MAC address. This is ...
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ASICs vs x86 general-purpose routing/switching

Is it correct in assuming that ASICs for router or switch interfaces will outperform the use of an x86 CPU for all packet processing which will greatly suffer from CPU interrupts? It's hard to say ...
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Can a switch that does NOT support VLAN capability be considered a managed switch if it has other features?

Yes. A managed switch is a switch you can configure in some way or other. Whether it supports VLANs or not is not the question. Even a switch (or a hub for that matter) that only provides status ...
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Does a switch understand packets? If yes, what is the frame terminology for?

You need to understand the concept of layers. An application will send data to the Transport Layer. The Transport Layer protocol will encapsulate the data inside headers for the Transport Layer ...
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14 votes

Why is the CAM table in a switch called CAM table and not MAC table even though it holds MAC addresses?

CAM - Content Addressable Memory, referring to the memory used for the MAC address table. It works kind of reverse from RAM, you address it by giving it content and it returns you the address where ...
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Is there a performance difference between a managed an unmanaged network switch?

Good question. The short answer: No, there's no inherent difference in the speed or latency available to hosts talking to one another on a managed vs. unmanaged switch. In reality though, you'll ...
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13 votes
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Does the source MAC address of a frame change when it passes through several switches?

No. If all the switches are layer-2 switches, the frames are switched without any changes. Only with routers, including layer-3 switches where the packets need to cross to other VLANs, will the ...
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13 votes
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Difference between Giant Frame and Jumbo Frame

Generally, a giant frame is a frame that is too large for the receiving interface. As a malformed frame it is dropped. A jumbo frame is a frame that is larger than the standard allows (1518 bytes for ...
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12 votes
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Should I disable STP on my access ports?

You really, really do not want to disable STP where you connect switches to other switches. That is the entire purpose of STP. If you disable STP, and there is a problem, it will really be too late ...
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12 votes
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RIB vs FIB differences?

The forwarding information base (FIB) is the actual information that a routing/switching device uses to choose the interface that a given packet will use for egress. For example, the FIB might be ...
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12 votes
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Why can't devices in different subnets talk with each other?

Devices in different subnets can communicate. That is the purpose of a router. Routers route packets between different networks. Even if devices in different networks are on the same layer-2 ...
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Does a switch always get a MAC address from a PC?

A switch learns the source MAC from the sender. If the destination is not in the CAM table, the switch floods the frame out all ports. So if the receiver never responds, the switch will never learn ...
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Is there any reason to use a hub over a switch?

For the most part, no. Hubs are also known as repeaters - meaning that they basically echo whatever is coming in to a given port out all other ports in the domain. The idea is (or, more properly, ...
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Does an unmanaged switch deal with IP addresses at all

An unmanaged switch doesn't use/care for/understand IP addresses at all. A managed L2 switch uses IP addresses for management only. Some L2 switches also support limited L3/IP functionality like ACLs. ...
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10 votes
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What are FPC and Linecards?

FPC's are similar to Linecards. When dealing with Juniper you will hear FPC more often. FPC's (Flexible PIC Concentrator) houses multiple PICs (Physical Interface Cards) which connect to the physical ...
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Packet forwarding in TCP vs UDP

Transport of both UDP and TCP packets from one router to the next is done at the IP layer and solely based on the information at this layer. This means, that there is no distinction between UDP and ...
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Difference between routing, forwarding, switching

In general, forwarding refers to a device sending a datagram to the next device in the path to the destination, switching refers to moving a datagram from one interface to another within a device, and ...
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10 votes
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What's use of Port Isolation vs traditional VLANs?

Port isolation -also called private VLAN (thanks @Stuggi)- is a very useful feature for switches that connect end users. In a typical network you will have many end-users computers grouped together ...
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10 votes
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MAC Address learning process

It depends on the manufacturer. For Cisco switches: Switch port configured as access and frames received tagged on different VLAN Frame is dropped Switch port configured as trunk and frames ...
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9 votes

Why each and every single port on Layer 2 switches need to have it's own MAC address?

One key use for per port MAC addresses on switches is for Spanning-tree BPDU's. These are Layer-2 multicasts with source MAC address of the egress switch port. I would have to brush up on other ...
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8 votes

Juniper Switching - Cheap Lab

* UPDATED Dec 2017 * Juniper renamed this product to the vSRX (virtual SRX). You can still download a trial copy - https://www.juniper.net/uk/en/products-services/security/srx-series/vsrx/ You can ...
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8 votes

Juniper Switching - Cheap Lab

The SSG-20 only runs ScreenOS, not JunOS. Juniper switches run JunOS, so this won't help you test your scripts and test configs. Personally, I'd look for a cheap 2nd hand low end model Juniper, but it ...
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8 votes
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"simple" question about VLAN switching

In this case, you are wrong. Since the link between the two switches is an access port, there is no VLAN tagging involved. Think of it this way, switch two is a unconfigured switch (i.e. operating ...
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8 votes
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Packet forwarding in TCP vs UDP

Actually there is some truth in what the other person was saying, though it is largely false. Is it true (that packets in a TCP connection follow an established path)? Yes, in general, all packets ...
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  • 277
8 votes
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Router benefits in 2018 compared to a L3 Switch

It usually comes down to options and resources, where routers have more of each. Routers often have the ability to have different types of interfaces that are not available on switches. They also ...
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8 votes

Posible to connect VLAN switch through dumb switch?

An unmanaged switch will only have one VLAN. Some unmanaged switches will drop tagged frames as damaged, others will strip the tag, and some will simply pass the frames unchanged. Unless you try it, ...
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7 votes

Why each and every single port on Layer 2 switches need to have it's own MAC address?

Okay, here is a more direct answer. In the past implicit tagging required each port to have a MAC address. With 802.1Q, that is no longer necessary. Transparent bridging does not alter the frame. ...
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Why use 'switching' term for packet switching

A very good question coming at it from a networking viewpoint. Your question is based on the networking models that were developed long after packet switching was proposed as a concept. However ...
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