<<On Sun, 18 Mar 2001 16:06:18 +0100, Harald Alvestrand
note: I have not yet found anything that allows me to tell the difference
between a switch and something that is not a switch. That is one reason why
I prefer to avoid the term.
Hmmm. I always thought that the definition of ``switch'' in a packet
context was fairly well-understood:
A switch is a device which accepts a packet, performs some
computation on the contents of the packet combined with
internal state, and uses the result of that computation to
determine where (if anywhere) to forward the packet.
Thus, a router is a kind of switch (one which implements the
internetwork layer of the Internet reference model), but so is a
bridge and so is a NAT.
I'm not sure whence comes the marketing definition of ``switch'' as
anything that processes packets faster than a competitor's product,
but I've long since given up trying to understand the thought
processes of marketing people.