Hardware used in a network and their functions

  • Controller – e.g. Intel (ie0 – Sun3, Sun4), Lance (le0 – Sun4m, Sun4c, Sun3/50, Sun3/60).
  • Transceiver Cable – connects the controller to the transceiver box.
  • Transceiver Box – electrically isolates the system from the rest of the network.
  • Coaxial Cable – the ethernet backbone.
  • Switch – examines the data packet to determine the destination, then sends the packet only over the segment hosting the recipient machine. If the packet is addressed to a machine on the same segment, the packet never leaves that segment. This minimizes traffic on the network segments that don’t need to see the packet.
  • Bridge – operates at the Data Link layer. Designed for transparent connection of networks. Bridges and Switches allow you to break the network into smaller segments that increase the overall throughput of the total network.
  • Router – joins 2 networks at the network layer; forwards packets of a particular protocol from one subnet to another; translates messages between different protocols, e.g. DECnet and TCP/IP.
  • Gateway – joins different types of networks; translates one protocol into another, e.g. between OSUs SONNET backbone and the local subnets.
  • Terminal Server – attach systems on a local area network to serial devices, e.g. terminals and printers; may support LAT and Telnet protocols.

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