Routing

A small example network with eight vertices and ten edges

Process of selecting a path for traffic in a network or between or across multiple networks.

- Routing

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Network switch

Networking hardware that connects devices on a computer network by using packet switching to receive and forward data to the destination device.

Avaya ERS 2550T-PWR, a 50-port Ethernet switch
A modular network switch with three network modules (a total of 24 Ethernet and 14 Fast Ethernet ports) and one power supply.
A 5-port layer-2 switch without management functionality
A rack-mounted 24-port 3Com switch
A couple of managed D-Link Gigabit Ethernet rackmount switches, connected to the Ethernet ports on a few patch panels using Category 6 patch cables (all equipment is installed in a standard 19-inch rack)

Some switches can also forward data at the network layer (layer 3) by additionally incorporating routing functionality.

Network packet

Formatted unit of data carried by a packet-switched network.

Network Packet

The routing of network packets requires two network addresses, the source address of the sending host, and the destination address of the receiving host.

Network bridge

Computer networking device that creates a single, aggregate network from multiple communication networks or network segments.

A high-level overview of network bridging, using the ISO/OSI layers and terminology

Bridging is distinct from routing.

Network theory

Study of graphs as a representation of either symmetric relations or asymmetric relations between discrete objects.

A small example network with eight vertices and ten edges
Visualization of social network analysis
Narrative network of US Elections 2012

Examples include network flow, shortest path problem, transport problem, transshipment problem, location problem, matching problem, assignment problem, packing problem, routing problem, critical path analysis, and PERT (Program Evaluation & Review Technique).

Routing protocol

A routing protocol specifies how routers communicate with each other to distribute information that enables them to select routes between nodes on a computer network.

Routing protocol classification computer networks.

Routing algorithms determine the specific choice of route.

Wireless ad hoc network

Decentralized type of wireless network.

A Stanford Research Institute's Packet Radio Van, site of the first three-way internetworked transmission.
Initial, large-scale trials of the Near-term digital radio, February 1998.
A randomly constructed geometric graph drawn inside a square

Instead, each node participates in routing by forwarding data for other nodes, so the determination of which nodes forward data is made dynamically on the basis of network connectivity and the routing algorithm in use.

Autonomous system (Internet)

Decomposition of an IPv4 address from dot-decimal notation to its binary value

An autonomous system (AS) is a collection of connected Internet Protocol (IP) routing prefixes under the control of one or more network operators on behalf of a single administrative entity or domain, that presents a common and clearly defined routing policy to the Internet.

Border Gateway Protocol

BGP state machine
A typical configuration of BGP RR deployment, as proposed by Section 6, RFC 4456.
BGP table growth on the Internet
Number of AS on the Internet vs number of registered AS

Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) is a standardized exterior gateway protocol designed to exchange routing and reachability information among autonomous systems (AS) on the Internet.

Routing table

Data table stored in a router or a network host that lists the routes to particular network destinations, and in some cases, metrics (distances) associated with those routes.

Network Packet

This forwarding table contains only the routes which are chosen by the routing algorithm as preferred routes for packet forwarding.

Network address

Identifier for a node or host on a telecommunications network.

Network diagram with network addresses indicated

Network addresses can be flat addresses which contain no information about the node's location in the network (such as a MAC address), or may contain structure or hierarchical information for the routing (such as an IP address).