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Fragmentation on a bridge

Posted on 1997-08-31
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Last Modified: 2013-12-23
Dear network gurus,

I got a question related to fragementation (just a bit lazy to find from books):

A -- token ring (4K) -- Bridge -- ethernet (1.5K) --- B
Where A and B sits on the same subnet (I am not interested to replace it with a router). I think a bridge can connect different members of IEEE 802 LAN at the LLC layer. The bridge can be a very smart one, but it should not perfrom a routing job.

1. Is it a valid setup? If no why?
2. If yes, what happens if A sends B a 4K (or close to it) packet when it passes through the bridge? Does it (any well known brand) can perfrom any sort of fragementaion? If yes, how does B can understand and reassemble the fragementation?

Cheers,

Jacky
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Question by:jliong
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Doyo earned 100 total points
ID: 1582388
What you've depicted in your question is exactly what a bridge does.  A bridge must know (obviously) what network types it is attached to and, therefore, knows the maximum packet size that the medium allows.  The bridge receives a packet from one interface, determines if it it too big to ship out the other interface and, if so, splits the packet into allowable sizes.  

The bridge does not attempt to put smaller packets back to gether.  It leaves this to the receiving devices.  Since it is part of the MAC layer specifications, any device that connects to the network must know how to re-assemble the split packets before forwarding them "up the stack".

So your proposed setup should run prefectly fine.

Good luck.
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Author Comment

by:jliong
ID: 1582389
Sounds good because I saw similar setup before, but I was not aware of *MAC layer* can be fragmented. Thanks to Doyo.
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