Do you think that one day, routers and switches will not be needed? Why?
Router is described as a device that identifies the appropriate path to transmit the information to the intended target. For instance, a device that uses a Local Area Network needs a router in order to communicate with a device in another Local Area Network. This means that for millions of devices using the internet to communicate to each other, the routers in these device must be in regular communication among themselves using specific routing protocols which guide the process of sharing routing information (University of Houston, 2016). In simple terms, a device that requires to send a particular information to another device, the routers in the network jointly identifies the appropriate path through which the message packet is passed to that intended destination.
For the router to function effectively, each router port must be configured to a specific routing protocol in accordance to the port’s functions. For instance, the router ports that links to the internet must identifies the efficient path for the communicated information to reach the target destination around the globe (Balchunas, 2014). The specific routing protocol that facilitates these process is called ‘Gateway Routing ’. There are two universally recognized protocols: Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) and Exterior Gateway Protocol (EGP).
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There are specific routers that can be used to connect internal network within the organization. These router ports are referred to as interior routing protocols and must learn the configuration of the internal network in order to efficiently transmit the traffic within the organization. Interior routing protocol comes in various based on their functionalities. These are Routing Information Protocol I and II (RIP I & RIP II), Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (IGRP) and Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP).
Switch technology was developed as a remedy to the privacy issues and performance associated with hub technology. Switches has significantly enhanced the functionality of the hub by increase the pace of the packets transmitted into the network and directing messages only to the devices that are involved in the communication (University of Houston, 2016). The introduction of switch technology has led to significant decrease in packet collision as well as eliminating communication burden for entire connected devices. Switches also has significantly enhance the performance and the security of the network because the packets transmitted to specific intended target, unlike the hub technology that broadcast the packets to all devices connected to the network thus increasing the ability to eavesdrops.
Based on the functionality and the changes that both router and switches have brought to the network, they will always be needed in the network. For instance, a device uses the router to learn the appropriate path to convey packets to a device in another network. This means that the router ports enhance the transmission of the message between devices in different LAN. Similarly, switch technology was developed to remedy security issues and performance of the hub technology. Therefore, the network will always requires routers and switch in order to increase efficiency and functionality of the network.
Considering that the configuration of the router can be made easier by replacing routers with smart switches. For example, studies have shown that smart switches can perform all the activities that routers perform in the network and configuration of the switches are easier even for the non-expert. This means that by replacing routers with switches is one of the ways of making configuration easier for non-experts.