In a competitive environment, the proper technology decisions can catapult corporations over their competitors, erasing barriers to entry and redrawing the battlefield. A prime example is amazon.com, which has used the Internet to revolutionize the bookselling industry, at the expense of formidable competitors who now attempt to mimic the techniques of their upstart foe. On the other hand, blindly following temporary technology fashion may leave IT managers stuck in the jungle, or out of a job.
This paper is a map through the jungle of internetworking infrastructure, particularly focusing on how Layer 2 switching and Layer 3 routing have combined to form the powerful Layer 3 switching architecture. The paper analyzes Layer 3 switching from both a functional and an operational perspective, helping the reader make an informed assessment of its merits as an enabling technology.
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