GE ML1200 Switch User Manual

Multilink ML1200
Managed Field Switch
Chapter 4: Operation
Digital Energy
Oper ation
This chapter describes the functions and operation of the Multilink ML1200 Switch.
4.1 Functionality
4.1.1 Switching Functionality
A Multilink ML1200 provides switched connectivity at Ethernet wire-speed among all of its
ports. The Multilink ML1200 supports10/100Mbs for copper media and 10 or 100Mb
separate traffic domains for fiber ports to maximize bandwidth utilization and network
performance. All ports can communicate to all other ports in a Multilink ML1200, but local
traffic on a port will not consume any of the bandwidth on any other port.
The Multilink ML1200 units are plug-and-play devices. There is no software configuring
necessary to be done for basic operation at installation or for maintenance. The only
hardware configuration settings are user options for an UP-LINK Switch (resides inside the
unit) on the ML1200-RJ-45. There is an optional Half / Full duplex mode and 10Mbps or
100Mbps selection for the switched ports which must be configured through management
software per unit as per the requirement. The internal functions of both are described
below. Filtering and Forwarding
Each time a packet arrives on one of the switched ports, the decision is taken to either filter
or to forward the packet. Packets whose source and destination addresses are on the
same port segment will be filtered, constraining them to that one port and relieving the
rest of the network from having to process them. A packet whose destination address is on
another port segment will be forwarded to the appropriate port, and will not be sent to the
other ports where it is not needed. Traffic needed for maintaining the un-interrupted
operation of the network (such as occasional multi-cast packets) is forwarded to all ports.
The Multilink ML1200 Switches operate in the store-and-forward switching mode, which
eliminates bad packets and enables peak performance to be achieved when there is
heavy traffic on the network.