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Ethernet basics – most frequently asked questions

Written by Liam Grant. Posted in Gadgets

When it comes to computers, many people know what a monitor, a mouse or a central unit actually is, yet when it comes to other PC components or even to parts essential to a network, things tend to get quite complicated and complex. You have definitely heard of the term “Internet” and you know what it can be used for, but do you know what “Ethernet” means and in what way Juniper SSG Series Ethernet modules are useful? Here are the most frequently asked questions you were looking for some answers as well. [Not a valid template]

What exactly is Ethernet?

To those who are not familiar with the term, Ethernet is a type of network that can be used in order to transmit high amounts of data. It is considered a very efficient method because it is an “open” network. This means that multiple devices of different types have the ability to communicate over Ethernet on the condition that those devices adhere first to an OSI model, which has the purpose of defining the way Ethernet operates.

What kinds of devices can be utilized in Ethernet networks?

It is important to mention that nearly any type of device can be connected and used in an Ethernet network. From hubs to switches, media converters, routers and various other user devices, everything can be connected to Ethernet. Each type of device comes with its own advantages and disadvantages, which is why experts recommend users to do detailed online research before they resort to a specific type of device.

Can both managed and unmanaged switches be used on the same network?

Know that switches are designed to manage traffic efficiently and there are two types of them – managed and unmanaged versions. Experts say that it is possible to use both managed and unmanaged switches on the same network, although there are certain situations that require solely the use of managed switches, and one very good example is I/O over Ethernet. Also in case of large networks that have more than ten devices connected, it is recommended that only managed switches to be used for better network functioning.

How important is SNMP?

According to specialists, extremely! SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) is a tool used in defining a structure and specific set of rules that has the purpose of managing various network devices. The user has the possibility to “see” the network, to analyze the amount of traffic coming in and out and to perform diagnostics only when SNMP software and managed switches are in use. Compared to managed switches, unmanaged ones are “blind” on the network, which means that they simply cannot be accessed by the user and neither traffic, nor any other network problems can be diagnosed.

What is the purpose of VLAN?

VLAN is a useful technique, which provides switches access to create one collision domain in a logical manner, although the nodes are located on separate network segments. The advantage that comes with this technique is that VLANs install hardware to segment a network logically, and not physically, which results in faster response over certain network segments.
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