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Network Connection Agent Disclosure Number: IPCOM000010307D
Original Publication Date: 2002-Nov-20
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2002-Nov-20
Document File: 1 page(s) / 41K

Publishing Venue



Network Connection Agent monitors and tests the connection between the adapter and the switch for configuration issues.

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Network Connection Agent

Note: FD=Full Duplex; HD=Half Duplex.


1) Auto-negotiation between switches and adapters is inconsistent across network vendors and therefore unreliable. Ideally, auto-negotiation should connect the adapter to the switch at the optimal speed/duplex. For example, if the adapter and the switch support 100FD, the adapter should connect to the switch at 100FD; not at a lesser 100HD or 10FD, etc.
2) Forcing switch ports to fixed speed/duplex does not prevent adapters from connecting at other speed/duplex combinations. Adapters connecting at other combinations will encounter errors and retries but they can still communicate (ping, FTP, etc).


An adapter-side Network Connection Agent that monitors and tests the connection between the adapter and the switch.

Example Implementation:

1) Partition a few KB or more of read/write memory on the switch to physically test connectivity with the adapter. Midrange and higher switches have operating systems and several MBs of memory to run in. These switches generally support remote telnet for configuration.
2) Define a standard method for the adapter to read the switch port speed/duplex actuals and capabilities.
3) Define a standard method for the adapter to read what the switch states the connected adapter's speed/duplex setting are.
4) Configurable policies for connection speed/duplex on adapter and/or switch. For example, 1) do not connect at anything other than 100FD or 2) connect at negoci...