Networking is important in any office or home where you need you use computers or other gadgets to go online. However it requires professional skills to do networking perfectly and have everything running smoothly. For computer engineers and those interested in networking, it is important to understand the main switching methods.  This is the only way to ensure that your networking is done properly. The core methods include the cut-through and store-and-forward. The two are used on various platforms and each of them has a manner in which it handles the bits get in and the way the switch processes the bits. Let’s look at how the two methods compare their advantages and disadvantages.

Switching methods - store-andforward

The store-and-forward method dates back to history. Actually, in the past, switches used the method.  Its operation is quite simple. When a frame gets into the switch port, the entire frame is made into a buffer. Once the entire frame has been received, the switch utilizes the Frame Check Sequence value, which is in the frame, to conduct a check of integrity. This is to ensure that the frame has been received as it was sent. Where the check fails, the frame is disregarded and if otherwise, it is parsed. Store-and-forward method also supports policy-based routing, dynamic routing and ACLs among others.

In the 90s, cut through method was developed.  The method was brought in to ensure that frames were forwarded faster. The switches hastened the forwarding by processing 6 bits of the frame, where the MAC address is placed. Once it processes the first bits, it ensures that it have adequate information to make a decision to whether forward the frame to the switch port or not. While cut through method works fast than the store-and-forward, it might forward frames that lack credibility.  Hence, the method is limited to functions, which do not require much scrutiny.  However, the new cut through switches has been improved to cover more than six bits of the frame, before it is dropped or parsed.

Understanding the functions of both cut through and store-and-forward switching methods is indispensable to any student of network engineering. But, it can also be instrumental to any person, who is interested in knowing how the two methods work. This might sound technical for people, who are not into technology but, knowing about the two main switching methods, is a great advantage to technical scholars and other interested parties.

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