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comp.dcom.lans.ethernet FAQ


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Archive-name: LANs/ethernet-faq
Posting-Frequency: monthly
Last-modified: 1999/07/09
Version: 990709
URL: http://www.NetworkUptime.com/faqs/ethernet
Copyright: (c) 1999 James Messer
Maintainer: James Messer <James@NetworkUptime.com>

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
             comp.dcom.lans.ethernet Frequently Asked Questions
             --------------------------------------------------

       This document is provided as is without any express or implied
  warranties. While every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of
      the information contained in this article, the authors assume no
 responsibility for errors or omissions, or for damages resulting from the
   use of the information contained herein. The contents of this article
     reflect my opinions only and not necessarily those of my employer.

FAQ Table of Contents
---------------------

1.0 FAQ Administration

 [1.1] What is this FAQ?
 [1.2] Who maintains this FAQ?
 [1.3] Where can this FAQ be found?
 [1.4] Who provides information to the FAQ?
 [1.5] Can I use this FAQ on my web page?
 [1.6] Copyright Information

2.0 Introduction to Ethernet

 [2.1] What is Ethernet?
 [2.2] What is the history of Ethernet?
 [2.3] What is CSMA/CD?
 [2.4] What is the Open Systems Interconnect (OSI) model?
 [2.5] Where are the IEEE specifications?

3.0 Ethernet Physical Layer

 [3.1] What are the different physical Ethernet network types?
 [3.2] What does baseband and broadband mean?
 [3.3] What is the difference between a bus topology and a star topology?
 [3.4] What physical Ethernet topologies are no longer popular?
 [3.5] What are the most common physical Ethernet networks used today?
 [3.6] What digital signal encoding is used in an Ethernet network?
 [3.7] What types of cabling are used for Ethernet?
 [3.8] What pin assignments are used in twisted-pair Ethernet cabling?
 [3.9] Can two Ethernet stations be directly attached with 10BASE-T?
[3.10] How many stations are supported by a single Ethernet network?
[3.11] What is propagation delay?
[3.12] What is an interframe gap?

4.0 Ethernet Data Link Layer

 [4.1] What are the different Ethernet frame formats?
 [4.2] What is transparent bridging?
 [4.3] What is the spanning tree protocol?
 [4.4] What is Ethernet switching?

5.0 Ethernet Errors and Troubleshooting

 [5.1] What is a collision, and how many collisions are bad?
 [5.2] What is Signal Quality Error (SQE)?
 [5.3] What is jam?
 [5.4] What is a late collision, and why is it bad?
 [5.5] What is a runt?
 [5.6] What is jabber?
 [5.7] What is a CRC/Alignment error?
 [5.8] What non-commercial software is available to monitor an Ethernet
       network?

6.0 Other Information

 [6.1] What Ethernet-related books are available?
 [6.2] What certifications are available regarding Ethernet networks?


1.0 FAQ Administration

 [1.1] What is this FAQ?

       This FAQ will attempt to explain and decipher the intricacies of
       Ethernet networking and answer some of the most common questions
       relating to Ethernet networks. Although it contains technical
       information, this FAQ is best used as an introduction to Ethernet
       networking. See section [6.1] for Ethernet book and publication
       information.

 [1.2] Who maintains this FAQ?

       This FAQ is maintained by James Messer <James@NetworkUptime.com>.
       Questions, comments, corrections, and contributions are encouraged!

 [1.3] Where can this FAQ be found?

       This FAQ will be posted to the comp.dcom.lans.ethernet newsgroup
       on the first of each month. An official archive of the FAQ can be
       found at:

       ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/faqs/LANs/ethernet-faq

       The HTTP version of this FAQ can be found at:

       http://www.NetworkUptime.com/faqs/ethernet

 [1.4] Who provides information to the FAQ?

       In many cases, the FAQ questions and answers are summarized from the
       comp.dcom.lans.ethernet newsgroup. Much of this information is also
       obtained from the IEEE standards (http://www.ieee.com) and related
       technical documents.

       Send any corrections or FAQ additions to James@NetworkUptime.com.
       Our thanks to all who have provided information to this FAQ! Your
       contributions are crucial for keeping this FAQ updated and
       technically correct.

       Since the comp.dcom.lans.ethernet newsgroup has not had an
       'official' FAQ for a few years, this FAQ is in the early stages of
       being rebuilt. There are certainly other questions that need to be
       added to the FAQ, questions that need to be answered, and there are
       probably inaccuracies with the answers that already exist in the
       FAQ. If you have any suggestions or corrections for the FAQ, please
       do not hesitate to e-mail James@NetworkUptime.com with additions or
       corrections.

 [1.5] Can I use this FAQ on my web page?

       Since this FAQ changes constantly, a copy of the FAQ on your web
       page would be out of date in a very short time. Please don't do
       this! A more appropriate method would be to set a hyperlink to the
       URL found in the secondary header of this FAQ. Please send an e-mail
       to James@NetworkUptime.com if you plan on adding a link to this FAQ
       to your web page. I reserve the right to restrict the use of this
       FAQ.

 [1.6] Copyright Information

       Copyright (c) 1999 by James Messer, all rights reserved.

       This FAQ may be posted to any USENET newsgroup, on-line service, or
       BBS as long as it is posted in its entirety, includes this copyright
       statement, and includes written permission from
       James@NetworkUptime.com.


2.0 Introduction to Ethernet

 [2.1] What is Ethernet?

       Ethernet is the IEEE 802.3 series standard, based on the
       CSMA/CD access method that provides two or more stations to share a
       common cabling system. This access method, Carrier Sense Multiple
       Access with Collision Detection, is the basis for Ethernet systems
       which range from speeds of 1 Mb/s through 1000 Mb/s.

       The design goals for Ethernet were to create a simply defined
       topology that made efficient use of shared resources, was easy to
       reconfigure and maintain, provided compatibility across many
       manufacturers and systems, while keeping the cost low.

 [2.2] What is the history of Ethernet?

       The original Ethernet specification began in the early 1970's by
       Xerox PARC, and was eventually improved upon by Digital Equipment
       Corporation, Intel, and Xerox (DIX) in 1980 with the release of
       Ethernet Version 1. By 1982, the specification was updated and
       Ethernet Version 2 was released.

       In 1983, Novell created their own proprietary Ethernet frame type
       prior to the release of the IEEE 802.3 specification (See Section
       [4.1]). By 1985, the IEEE 802.3 specification was completed and
       provided a specification for Ethernet connectivity over thick coax
       and thin coax. In 1990, the specification was updated to include
       Ethernet over twisted pair copper wiring with 10Base-T. The current
       IEEE 802.3 specification includes thick coax, thin coax, twisted
       pair cabling and fiber, with speeds of 10 Mb/s, 100 Mb/s, and 1000
       Mb/s.

 [2.3] What is CSMA/CD?

       Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection is the basis
       for the Ethernet standard, and this provides specific rules for
       allowing stations to communicate over the same transmission medium.
       There are a number of steps involved in communicating with CSMA/CD.

       Stations must listen for a carrier on the wire. If no carrier is
       detected, stations can begin transmitting. While transmitting, the
       station continues to listen on the wire to ensure successful
       communications. If two stations attempt to transmit information at
       the same time, the transmissions overlap and cause a collision.

       If a collision occurs, the transmitting station recognizes the
       interference on the network and transmits a bit sequence called
       jam. The jam helps to ensure that the other transmitting station
       recognizes that a collision has occurred. After a random delay, the
       stations attempt to retransmit the information and the process
       begins again.

 [2.4] What is the Open Systems Interconnect (OSI) Model?

       ** Please contribute! See Section [1.4] **
      
 [2.5] Where are the IEEE specifications?
     
       The IEEE specifications can be purchased from the IEEE at:

       http://standards.ieee.org/catalog/IEEE802.3.html

       Information on all IEEE standards can be found at:

       http://www.ieee.com


3.0 Ethernet Physical Layer

 [3.1] What are the different physical Ethernet network types?

       Some of the physical Ethernet types as defined in the 802.3
       specification are:

       10BASE5 - 10BASE5 is the original design of the traditional
                 Ethernet backbone, designed to be left in place
                 permanently or for extended periods.

       10BASE2 - 10BASE2 is the original design for a departmental or
                 workgroup sized Ethernet environment. It is designed to be
                 simple, inexpensive, and flexible as people and stations
                 move.

       10BROAD36 - 10BROAD36 is a seldom used Ethernet specification which
                   uses a physical medium similar to cable television, with
                   CATV-type cables, taps, connectors, and amplifiers.

       1BASE5 - 1BASE5 is a specification of Ethernet that runs at 1 Mb/s
                over twisted pair wiring. This physical topology uses
                centralized hubs to connect the network devices.

       10BASE-T - 10BASET provides Ethernet services over twisted pair
                  copper wire.

       FOIRL - Fiber Optic Inter-Repeater Link - This specification of the
               802.3 standard defines a standard means of connecting
               Ethernet repeaters via optical fiber.

       10BASE-F - 10BASE-F is a set of optical fiber medium specifications
                  which define connectivity between devices.

       100BASE-T - 100BASE-T is a series of specifications that provides
                   100 megabit speeds over copper or fiber. These
                   topologies are often referred to as Fast Ethernet.

       Gigabit Ethernet - Gigabit Ethernet provides speeds of 1000 Mb/s
                          over copper and fiber.

 [3.2] What does baseband and broadband mean?

       A baseband network has a single channel that is used for
       communication between stations. Ethernet specifications which use
       BASE in the name refer to baseband networks.

       A broadband network is much like cable television, where different
       services communicate across different frequencies on the same cable.
       Broadband communications would allow a Ethernet network to share the
       same physical cable as voice or video services. 10BROAD36 is an
       example of broadband networking.

 [3.3] What is the difference between a bus topology and a star topology?

       A bus topology is a networking architecture that is linear, usually
       by using one or more pieces of cable to form a single line, or bus.
       The signals sent by one station extend the length of this cable to
       be heard by other stations.

       A star topology is an architecture that includes a central device or
       hub to connect all stations together. Signals sent by a station must
       pass through (and are usually regenerated) by these central hubs.
       Since the hub sits in the center and all other stations are linked
       through the hub, the architecture resembles a star.

 [3.4] What physical Ethernet topologies are no longer popular?

       There are a number of physical networking components specified in
       the IEEE 802.3 specification, but many of those early physical
       networking components are not used in most modern Ethernet networks.
       However, there may be instances where an existing legacy network
       still exists which uses these older components. Since these older
       pieces of equipment are still part of the 802.3 specification, there
       are no technical reasons why an Ethernet network would not operate
       properly with these components. The two most popular older Ethernet
       technologies are 10BASE5 and 10BASE2.


       10BASE5
       -------

       10BASE5 is the original Ethernet backbone, and is occasionally
       referred to as thicknet or thick Ethernet because of the thick 50
       ohm coax that was used as the physical medium. 10BASE5 is a bus
       topology that uses transceiver cables to attach stations to the
       central 10BASE5 cable.

       Maximum segment length: 500 meters
       Maximum number of segments connected with repeaters: 5 (2500 meters)
       Maximum attachments per segment: 100
       Minimum separation between attachments: 2.5 meters


       10BASE2
       -------
       10BASE2 is designed as a smaller and less expensive alternative to
       10BASE5, and is sometimes referred to as Thinnet or Thin Ethernet
       because of the much smaller cables. 10BASE2 is also a bus topology,
       but each of the workstations use a 'T' BNC connector to connect
       workstations to the central bus.

       Maximum segment length: 200 meters
       Maximum number of segments connected with repeaters: 5 (1000 meters)
       Maximum attachments per segment: 30
       Minimum separation between attachments: .5 meters
       
 [3.5] What are the most common physical Ethernet networks used today?

       Most modern Ethernet networks use twisted pair copper cabling or
       fiber to attach devices to the network. The 10BASE-T, 100BASE-T, and
       Gigabit Ethernet topologies are well suited for the modern cabling
       and fiber infrastructures.
       
 [3.6] What digital signal encoding is used in an Ethernet network?

       ** Please contribute! See Section [1.4] **

 [3.7] What types of cabling are used for Ethernet?

       ** Please contribute! See Section [1.4] **

 [3.8] What pin assignments are used in twisted-pair Ethernet cabling?

       Twisted-pair Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-T, or 1000BASE-T) uses an
       RJ-45 connector, which is an eight-pin modular connector.

       Contact 1   Transmit +
       Contact 2   Transmit -
       Contact 3   Receive +
       Contact 4   Not Used
       Contact 5   Not Used
       Contact 6   Receive -
       Contact 7   Not Used
       Contact 8   Not Used

       When looking at an RJ-45 wall jack (female), contact 1 is on the
       left and contact 8 is to the right. When looking at the RJ-45
       connector on the end of a cable (male) with the tab on the bottom
       and the contacts on the top, contact 8 is on the left and contact 1
       is to the right.

 [3.9] Can two Ethernet stations be directly attached with 10BASE-T?

       Two Ethernet stations can be directly attached to each other, but
       the cabling will be wired differently than a normal 10BASE-T
       Ethernet network connection. The 802.3 specification refers to this
       direct connection between two stations as a crossover function.

       The crossover function is accomplished by simply wiring the receive
       pins to the transmit pins:

       Contact 1 - Contact 3
       Contact 2 - Contact 6
       Contact 3 - Contact 1
       Contact 6 - Contact 2

 [3.10] How many stations are supported by a single Ethernet network?

        ** Please contribute! See Section [1.4] **

 [3.11] What is propagation delay?

        The propagation speed of a medium refers to the speed that the data
        travels through that medium. Propagation delays differ between
        mediums, which affect the maximum possible length of the Ethernet
        topology running on that medium.

        In the following table, c refers to the speed of light in a vacuum,
        or 300,000 kilometers per second.

        Medium        Propagation Speed
        ------        -----------------
        Thick Coax    .77c (231,000 km/sec)
        Thin Coax     .65c (195,000 km/sec)
        Twisted Pair  .59c (177,000 km/sec)
        Fiber         .66c (198,000 km/sec)
        AUI Cable     .65c (195,000 km/sec)

        From these values, the size of a bit on 10BaseT can be calculated.
        10BaseT is twisted pair, which has a propagation delay of 177,000
        km/sec. 177,000 km/sec divided by 10 million bits per second is
        17.7 meters, or the size of a single bit on a 10BaseT network.

        The maximum propagation delay through the network can be calculated
        by dividing the maximum length by the speed. For 10Base2 thin coax
        network, this is 185 meters divided by 195,000 km/sec, or 950
        nanoseconds. If the actual propagation delay from one end of the
        network to the other is greater than 950 nanoseconds, late
        collisions may occur. See section [5.4] for more information on
        late collisions.

 [3.12] What is an interframe gap?

        The inteframe gap is the amount of time that is specified between
        frames transmitted from a workstation. The designers of the
        Ethernet specification arbitrarily chose 96 bit times to occur
        between frames from a transmitting station.

        This delay is designed to provide the workstations on the Ethernet
        network with some 'breathing time' between frames to perform normal
        Ethernet housekeeping functions on the network interface card.


4.0 Ethernet Data Link Layer

 [4.1] What are the different Ethernet frame formats?

       Ethernet Version 2 and IEEE 802.3 Frame Formats
       -----------------------------------------------

       The Ethernet Version 2 frame format was designed before the IEEE
       specifications, but is almost identical to the 802.3 frame type.
       With the Ethernet Version 2 frame type, a two-byte Type field
       follows the source station's six-byte MAC address. In the 802.3
       frame type, this two-byte field after the source address is a length
       field specifying the number of bytes in the LLC and data fields. If
       these two bytes are greater than 05DC hex (1500 decimal), the frame
       is a Version 2 frame. Since all type fields are greater than 1500
       decimal (the maximum Ethernet frame size), both frame types can
       easily coexist on the same network. Some network protocol analyzers
       call a Version 2 frame an Ethertype frame because of this two-byte
       Type field.

       This is an Ethernet Version 2 frame:

       +--------------+
       |              | The preamble consists of 62 bits of alternating
       |   Preamble   | ones and zeros that allows the Ethernet card to
       |   7 bytes    | synchronize with the beginning of a frame.
       |              |
       +--------------+ The Start Frame Delimiter is the sequence
       | SFD - 1 byte | 10101011, and indicates the start of a frame.
       +--------------+
       |              | The destination address is a six byte Media Access
       | Destination  | Control (MAC) address, usually burned into the
       |   6 bytes    | ROM of the Ethernet card.
       +--------------+
       |              | The source address is a six byte MAC address, and
       |   Source     | can signify a physical station or a broadcast.
       |   6 bytes    |
       +--------------+
       |     Type     | The Type field (see explanation above).
       |    2 bytes   |
       +--------------+
       |              |  Any higher layer information is placed in the
       |    Data      |  data field, which could contain protocol
       |              |  information or user data.
       ~              ~
       ~              ~
       |  46 to 1500  |
       |    bytes     |
       |              |
       +--------------+
       |     FCS      |  The Frame Check Sequence is a cyclic redundancy
       |   4 bytes    |  check used by the sending and receiving stations
       +--------------+  to verify a successful transmission. The FCS is
                         based on the contents of the destination address,
                         source address, type, and data.

       The 802.2 Logical Link Control (LLC) Information
       ------------------------------------------------

       The IEEE 802.3 Ethernet specification was intended to be used with
       the 802.2 Logical Link Control (LLC) specification. The LLC
       information envelops the data of the frame, and the 802.3 headers
       envelop this 802.2 LLC protocol data unit (PDU).

       This is the frame structure for an 802.3 Ethernet frame that
       contains the 802.2 LLC information:

       +----------------+
       |                |
       |    Preamble    |
       |    7 bytes     |
       |                |
       +----------------+
       |  SFD - 1 byte  |
       +----------------+
       |                |
       |  Destination   |
       |    6 bytes     |
       +----------------+
       |                |
       |     Source     |
       |    6 bytes     |
       +----------------+
       |  Frame Length  |
       |    2 bytes     |
       +----------------+
       |  DSAP - 1 byte |  The Destination and Source Service Access Point
       +----------------+  fields determine the protocol used for the upper
       |  SSAP - 1 byte |  protocol type of the frame.
       +----------------+
       |Control - 1 byte|  The Control field is used for administration by
       +----------------+  certain protocols.
       |      Data      |
       |                |
       ~                ~
       ~                ~
       |   46 to 1500   |
       |     bytes      |
       |                |
       +----------------+
       |      FCS       |
       |    4 bytes     |
       +----------------+


       The 802.2 Sub-Network Access Protocol (SNAP)
       --------------------------------------------
       After the 802.2 frame type was defined, many people felt that a
       single byte for DSAP and SSAP would not be sufficient to handle the
       growth of protocols into the future. A single byte DSAP or SSAP can
       only specify 256 separate protocols, and many of those were
       predefined from the beginning of the 802.2 specification.

       To provide future growth, the Sub-Network Access Protocol (SNAP) was
       created as an extension to the 802.2 specification. To differentiate
       this protocol from the original 802.2 specification, 802.2 SNAP uses
       the DSAP and SSAP of 0xAA.

       This is an 802.2 SNAP frame encapsulated in an 802.3 frame:

       +----------------+
       |                |
       |    Preamble    |
       |    7 bytes     |
       |                |
       +----------------+
       |  SFD - 1 byte  |
       +----------------+
       |                |
       |  Destination   |
       |    6 bytes     |
       +----------------+
       |                |
       |     Source     |
       |    6 bytes     |
       +----------------+
       |  Frame Length  |
       |    2 bytes     |
       +----------------+
       |  DSAP - 1 byte |
       +----------------+
       |  SSAP - 1 byte |
       +----------------+
       |Control - 1 byte|
       +----------------+ The Organizationally Unique ID (OUI) is assigned
       | OUI - 3 bytes  | to unique vendors to help differentiate protocols
       |                | from different manufacturers.
       +----------------+
       | Type - 2 bytes | The two-byte protocol type defines a specific
       +----------------+ protocol in the SNAP. This also maintains a
       |                | compatibility with Ethernet v2.
       |      Data      |
       |                |
       ~                ~
       ~                ~
       |   46 to 1500   |
       |     bytes      |
       |                |
       +----------------+
       |      FCS       |
       |    4 bytes     |
       +----------------+


       Novell 802.3 'Raw' Frame Format
       -------------------------------

       Before the final 802.2 LLC specifications were finalized, Novell
       implemented IPX/SPX over Ethernet. For this reason, Novell
       originally utilized 802.3 Ethernet without using 802.2 LLC. Because
       of this lack of LLC header, this frame type was nicknamed 802.3
       'raw'. Since Novell created this proprietary frame type for their
       own use, no other manufacturer uses this frame type.

       To implement their 'raw' frame type, Novell used the first two bytes
       of the 802.3 data field as 0xFFFF. Since the DSAP and SSAP values of
       0xFF do not exist, it becomes easy to differentiate between the
       802.3 and 802.3 'raw' frame types.

 [4.2] What is transparent bridging?

       Transparent bridging is a method to connect two similar network
       segments to each other at the datalink layer. It is done in a way
       that is transparent to end stations, hence end-stations do not
       participate in the bridging algorithm.

       Transparent bridges are sometimes called learning bridges.
       When they are turned on and receive data packets from a network
       segment they:

       1) learn the relation between MAC address and segment/port, and
       2) forward the packet to all (!) other segments/ports.

       The first step in this process is essential to the "learning" aspect
       of the bridge. After some time the bridge has learned that a
       particular MAC address, say MACa, is on a particular segment/port,
       say PORT1. When it receives a packet destined for the MAC address
       MACa (from any port not being PORT1) it will no longer forward the
       packet to all ports (step 2). It knows that MACa is associated with
       PORT1 and will only forward the packet to PORT1.

 [4.3] What is the spanning tree protocol?

       Spanning tree is a protocol defined in IEEE 802.1q to prevent
       bridges from creating network loops. Using the spanning tree
       protocol, bridges communicate to each other and disable certain
       ports/segments to prevent looping of packets.

       Many implementations of the spanning tree protocol are configured so
       an alternate path is available to network traffic, should the
       original path become disabled.

 [4.4] What is Ethernet switching?

       From a functional point of view, switching is exactly the same as
       bridging. However switches use specially designed hardware called
       Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) to perform the
       bridging and packet-forwarding functionality (as supposed to
       implementations using a central CPU and special software).
       Consequently, switches are much faster than bridges.

       Ethernet switches also offer additional capabilities such as virtual
       LANs (VLANs) and full duplex connectivity.

   
5.0 Ethernet Errors and Troubleshooting


 [5.1] What is a collision, and how many collisions are bad?

       Ethernet networking uses collisions as one of the contention access
       methods. When the network carrier is not active, any station can
       send information. If two stations attempt to send information at the
       same time, the signals overlap with each other, creating a
       collision.

       Collisions are not errors! Many people misinterpret a flashing
       collision light or a collision counter as a network problem!
       Although the term 'collision' may bring to mind a terrible crash, be
       assured that a collision is a normal part of Ethernet networking.

       The total number of collisions that occur on a network may be
       related to traffic patterns or utilization. Because of this
       variability of collisions, it is not applicable to define a 'good'
       or 'bad' level of collisions. In most cases, detailed analysis of
       collisions alone yields very little qualitative network health
       information.

 [5.2] What is the Signal Quality Error (SQE) Test?

       The SQE Test is used to test for the collision present circuit
       between a transceiver and a network interface card (NIC). After data
       is successfully transmitted, the Ethernet transceiver asserts the
       SQE signal on the collision presence circuit of the NIC. The NIC
       sees this test signal as a verification that the transceiver will
       inform the NIC when a collision occurs.

       In most modern Ethernet networks, the SQE test is not used or
       applicable. Most NICs now have an integrated transceiver and
       therefore have a hard-wired AUI, so a test for the collision
       presence circuit is unnecessary.

 [5.3] What is jam?

       When a collision is recognized by a transmitting station, a bit
       sequence called jam is transmitted. This jam is 32 bits long, which
       is long enough to traverse the entire collision domain so that all
       transmitting stations can detect the collision.

       Interestingly enough, the actual format of jam is unspecified in
       the 802.3 specifications. Most manufacturers have used alternating
       1s and 0s as jam, which is displayed as 0x5 (0101) or 0xA (1010)
       depending on when the jam is captured in the data stream.

       In many Fast Ethernet implementations, the jam has been seen as
       other arbitrary values, such as 1101000 (0xD0) or 10000110 (0x43).
       The reasoning for this particular jam pattern isn't very obvious. If
       anyone has more information on this jam sequence, please email
       James@NetworkUptime.com.

 [5.4] What is a late collision, and why is it bad?

       A collision is considered late if the jam occurs after 512
       bit-times, or 64 bytes. Collisions that occur after the first 64
       bytes of a frame may be indicative of a network design problem (the
       network is so large the jam cannot traverse the entire length in 32
       bit-times), or a hardware or Ethernet firmware issue.

       When collisions do not propagate the network quickly enough, a
       collision could occur between two stations without the stations
       aware that the packets collided. In this situation, the frames are
       simply lost, and the upper-layer protocols must begin a
       retransmission process to retransmit the information. These
       retransmissions can cause large delays, especially at the
       application layer.

 [5.5] What is a runt?

       In Ethernet networks, any frame shorter than the minimum 64 bytes
       but with a valid CRC is considered a runt. Other frame-length errors
       in Ethernet are long frames, which are longer than 1518 bytes yet
       have a valid CRC.

 [5.6] What is jabber?

       Jabber is described most often as a frame greater than the maximum
       of 1518 bytes with a bad CRC. A jabbering NIC is often indicative of
       a hardware problem with a NIC or transceiver.

 [5.7] What is a CRC/Alignment error?

       When a station sends a frame, it appends a Cyclical Redundancy
       Check to the end of the frame. This CRC has been generated from an
       algorithm and is based on the data in the frame. If the frame is
       altered between the source and destination, the receiving station
       will recognize that the CRC does not match the actual contents of
       the packet.

       All frames should end on an 8-bit boundary, but problems on the
       network could cause the number of bits to deviate from the multiple
       of 8.

       Both CRC errors and alignment errors are grouped together as the
       single CRC/Alignment error counter.


 [5.8] What non-commercial software is available to monitor an Ethernet
       network?

       A list of commercial, shareware, and freeware software is available
       at:

       http://www.NetworkUptime.com/tools


6.0 Other Information

 [6.1] What Ethernet-related books are available?

       The Certified Network Expert (CNX) consortium described in section
       [7.2] has an excellent list of Ethernet books. This list is
       designed for the network professional who is studying for the CNX
       certification, and is a very comprehensive list of technical
       publications. This CNX reading list can be found at:

       http://www.cnx.org/reading.htm

       An updated CNX study library can also be found on NetworkUptime.com:

       http://www.NetworkUptime.com/cnx/


 [6.2] What certifications are available regarding Ethernet networks?

       An Ethernet-specific certification is available through the
       Certified Network eXpert (CNX) program. This certification is
       Ethernet topology specific, and does not emphasize any network
       operating system. Visit http://www.cnx.org for more information on
       the CNX exam. Sylvan Prometric administers the CNX exam, and their
       web page is http://www.sylvanprometric.com. NetworkUptime.com also
       keeps a CNX resources page at http://www.NetworkUptime.com/cnx.


                 --- End of comp.dcom.lans.ethernet FAQ ---


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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM