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Method for detecting the type of bridging box Disclosure Number: IPCOM000008844D
Publication Date: 2002-Jul-17
Document File: 6 page(s) / 161K

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database


Disclosed is a method for detecting the type of bridging box. Benefits include improved functionality and improved network configurations and connectivity.

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Method for detecting the type of bridging box

Disclosed is a method for detecting the type of bridging box. Benefits include improved functionality and improved network configurations and connectivity.


              When connecting several network components into single network unit, several parameters must be configured. The protocols, modes, and features must be supported by all components and synchronized. One example is connecting network interfaces to a hub. While the switches typically support many protocols, the hub is the simplest repeater and does not provide the benefits of a switch’s advanced options and modes.

              To overcome temporary network disconnections and packet loss due to collisions, stress, or unexpected events, but not permanent noise in the network, the following improvements may be made:

·        Increase the number of iterations during the test

·        Increase the timeout between tests

·        Send a burst of hub-test packets with each test iteration

              During testing, when the test time is increased (by changing the number of iterations or increasing the timeout between sending times), the switch table refresh time limit may be exceeded. In that case, the num_receive_allowed value must be increased.

              If the number of functional network interfaces under a single tester unit is two or more,

the tester component can open network interfaces and receive all the packets sent by the switch to connected ports.

General description

              The disclosed method detects a bridging box (switch or hub) that is connected to a group of network interfaces with the same network-related configuration (modes and protocols). The detection is performed by the network tester component that has control of the network interfaces. The tester component must have control of two or more network interfaces connected to the switch/hub (see Figure 1).

              The disclosed method initiates packets and sends them via one of the network interfaces. Assuming the capability to receive all the packets, the tester component detects which of other network interfaces (not the sender) receives the packets.

              The test is based on the differences in routing between the switch and hub (see Figure 2). A hub is a repeater that processes the signal by duplicating it on the physical layer, the lowest layer of the OSI model. The signal is duplicated to all the ports. The data sent through one port is forwarded to all the other ports on the hub. The hub does not perform any filtering or redirection of data. A switch, on the other hand, performs OSI model layer 2 functions. A switch forwards the data to the destination address in the packet. The switch performs filtering and isolates one data flow from another to improve performance. Filtering is achieved by determining the associations between the ports and addresses of adapters. The tester saves the routing data in an address table. When the switch receives a packet, the switch updates the address table with the information about the adapter, source address, a...