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>> Let's now take a closer look

at those switches we were talking about in an earlier module.


Switches connect devices of the same network together.
They can connect into other switches and routers as well.
Switches and PCs connected between router interfaces are considered
to be on the same network.
When a PC sends an Ethernet frame into a switch, the switch checks the destinati
on MAC address
to see if it knows which interface that MAC address is connected to.
If the switch knows where the device with that MAC address is,
the switch sends it out, just that interface.
If the switch doesn't know where a destination MAC address is, the switch floods
the frame
out of all interfaces except the interface on which the frame originated.
So now the obvious question is how does the switch learn
where MAC addresses are in the first place?
The switch actually starts off knowing nothing, but as frames are sent
into the switch, the switch starts learning.
If host A sends a frame for host B into the first interface on the switch,
the switch says I know that the MAC address of host A can now be associated
with the interface on which it was heard.
The switch will make a note of it through a table
in memory called SAT, Source Address Table.
Since the switch doesn't know where host B is, it floods the frame
out of all the interfaces except the one the frame originated on.
When host B replies, the frame goes into the switch.
And the switch learns that host B can be found on the second interface.
The switch then adds the MAC address of host B and the interface it was heard
on into its source address table as well.
The logic works the same for switches that are connected together.
Each switch maintains its own source address table.
You'll notice that hosts E, F, G, and H are known to switch two on interfaces on
e,
two, three, and four, respectively.
But as far as switch one goes, hosts E, F, G, and H are all accessible
through interface five which connects to switch two.
Hosts A, B, C, and D are known to switch one on interfaces one,
two, three, and four, respectively.
But as far as switch two goes, hosts A, B, C, and D are accessible
through interface five which connects to switch one.
So if host C sends a frame to host E, it goes into switch one on interface three
.
Switch one consults its source address table
and realizes host E is accessible out of interface five.
Therefore, switch one sends the frame out of interface five
where it's picked up by switch two.
Switch two now looks at the destination MAC address in the frame
which is still the MAC address of host E. In an earlier module,
we learned that routers reframe packets at each hop.
Switches, on the other hand, are transparent and don't change a single part of t
he frame.
After consulting its source address table, switch two sends the frame
out of interface one where host D gets it.
In addition to flooding unknown unicasts when the switch doesn't know
where a destination MAC address is, the switch will also flood multi-casts
and broadcasts out of all interfaces.
Remember, all ARP requests are broadcasts.
If there are 20 connected switches in a network with 20 PCs connected to each of
those switches,
a single ARP request will be read by 400 PCs.