Computer network router
A computer network is a collection of interconnected computing devices that can exchange data and share resources. In a packet-based network the computing devices communicate data by dividing the data into small blocks called packets, which are individually routed across the network from a source device to a destination device. Routers are commonly used at interfaces between local area networks (LANs) and wide area networks (WANs). IP networks are implemented with routers that interconnect physically and logically separate network segments. Routers receive data on a physical media, such as optical fiber, analyze the data to determine its destination, and output the data on a physical media in accordance with the destination. In a typical packet data router, packets originating from various source locations are received via a plurality of communication interfaces. Each packet contains routing information, such as a destination address, which is associated with a respective communication interface of the router, e.g., by a routing table or packet forwarding protocol. In operation, the routers distinguish data packets according to network protocols and forwards traffic according to network-level addresses utilizing information that the routers exchange among themselves to find the best path between network segments. As the status of routers change in the network, the routers exchange information to reroute traffic around congested or failed routers or to route traffic to a newly activated router. A router typically includes a series of line cards in connection with a communication fabric. A routing table is initially downloaded to each line card along with configuration files. A typical router includes ports for channeling communication throughout the network, a primary port facility having a single processor, and a router card for controlling the router ports.
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