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Chapter 12: Circuit Switching and Packet Switching. Business Data Communications, 5e. Switching Techniques. Data transmitted through a network of intermediate switching nodes, which are not concerned with content End devices receiving data are stations ; switching devices are nodes

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Chapter 12: Circuit Switching and Packet Switching

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Chapter 12 circuit switching and packet switching

Chapter 12: Circuit Switchingand Packet Switching

Business Data Communications, 5e

Switching techniques

Switching Techniques

  • Data transmitted through a network of intermediate switching nodes, which are not concerned with content

  • End devices receiving data are stations; switching devices are nodes

  • A collection of nodes is a communication network

  • A switched communication network routes data from one station to another through nodes

Business Data Communications, 5e

Switched network characteristics

Switched Network Characteristics

  • Some nodes connect only to other nodes for switching of data; other nodes have one or more stations attached as well.

  • Node-station links are generally dedicated point-to-point links; ode-node links are usually multiplexed links

  • Usually, the network is not fully connected; however, it is desirable to have more than one possible path through the network for each pair of stations to enhance reliability

Business Data Communications, 5e

Types of switched networks

Types of Switched Networks

  • Two different technologies

    • Circuit switching

    • Packet switching

  • Differ in the way the nodes switch information from one link to another between source and destination

Business Data Communications, 5e

Circuit switching stages

Circuit-Switching Stages

  • Circuit establishment

  • Data transfer

    • point-to-point from endpoints to node

    • internal switching/multiplexing among nodes

  • Circuit disconnect

Business Data Communications, 5e

Circuit establishment

Circuit Establishment

  • Station requests connection from node

  • Node determines best route, sends message to next link

  • Each subsequent node continues the establishment of a path

  • Once nodes have established connection, test message is sent to determine if receiver is ready/able to accept message

Business Data Communications, 5e

Data transfer

Data Transfer

  • Point-to-point transfer from source to node

  • Internal switching and multiplexed transfer from node to node

  • Point-to-point transfer from node to receiver

  • Usually a full-duplex connection throughout

Business Data Communications, 5e

Circuit disconnect

Circuit Disconnect

  • When transfer is complete, one station initiates termination

  • Signals must be propagated to all nodes used in transit in order to free up resources

Business Data Communications, 5e

Circuit switching characteristics

Circuit Switching Characteristics

  • Channel capacity is dedicated for the duration of a connection, even if no data are being transferred

  • Once the circuit is established, the network is effectively transparent to the users, resulting in negligible delays

  • Developed to handle voice traffic but is now also used for data traffic

Business Data Communications, 5e

Circuit switching applications

Circuit Switching Applications

  • Public Telephone Network (PSTN)

  • Private Branch Exchanges (PBX)

  • Private Wide Area Networks (often used to interconnect PBXs in a single organization)

  • Data Switch

Business Data Communications, 5e

Public switched telephone network pstn


Subscriber Line (“local loop”)

Connects subscriber to local telco exchange

Exchanges (“end office”)

Telco switching centers

>19,000 in US


Connections between exchanges

Carry multiple voice circuits using FDM or synchronous TDM

Managed by IXCs (inter-exchange carriers)

Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN)

Business Data Communications, 5e

Control signaling

Control Signaling

  • Manage the establishment, maintenance, and termination of signal paths

  • Includes signaling from subscriber to network, and signals within network

  • For a large public telecommunications network, a relatively complex control signaling scheme is required

Business Data Communications, 5e

Signaling functions

Audible communication with the subscriber

Transmission of the number dialed

Information between switches that a call cannot be completed

Information between switches that a call has ended and the path can be disconnected

Telephone ring signal

Transmission of billing information

Transmission of equipment and trunk status information

Transmission of system failure diagnostic information

Control of special equipment (e.g. satellite channel equipment)

Signaling Functions

Business Data Communications, 5e

Types of control signals

Types of Control Signals

  • Supervisory

  • Address

  • Call Information

  • Network Management

Business Data Communications, 5e

Supervisory signals

Supervisory Signals

  • Binary character (true/false; on/off)

  • Deal with the availability of the called subscriber and of the needed network resources

  • Used to determine if a needed resource is available and, if so, to seize it.

  • Also used to communicate the status of requested resources.

Business Data Communications, 5e

Address signals

Address Signals

  • Identify a subscriber

  • Initially generated by a calling subscriber when dialing a telephone number

  • Resulting address may be propagated through the network to support the routing function and to locate and ring the called subscriber's phone

Business Data Communications, 5e

Call information signals

Call Information Signals

  • Provide information to the subscriber about the status of a call

  • In contrast to internal signals (which are analog or digital electrical messages), these are audible tones that can be heard by the caller or an operator with the proper phone set

Business Data Communications, 5e

Network management signals

Network Management Signals

  • Used for the maintenance, troubleshooting, and overall operation of the network

  • These signals cover a broad scope, and it is this category that will expand most with the increasing complexity of switched networks

Business Data Communications, 5e

In channel signaling

In-Channel Signaling

  • Traditionally, control signals were carried on the same channel as the call to which the control signals relate

  • Drawbacks

    • Information transfer rate limited

    • Delay between entering a number and establishing a connection

Business Data Communications, 5e

Common channel signaling

Common-Channel Signaling

  • Control signals are carried over paths completely independent of the voice channels

  • One independent control signal path can carry the signals for a number of subscriber channels (i.e. is a “common control channel” for these channels)

Business Data Communications, 5e

Softswitch architecture

Softswitch Architecture

  • A general-purpose computer running specialized software that turns it into a smart phone switch

  • Cost significantly less and can provide more functionality

  • Can convert digitized voice bits into packets, opening transmission options (e.g. voice over IP)

  • Physical switching function: media gateway (MG)

  • Call processing logic: media gateway controller (MGC)

Business Data Communications, 5e

Traditional circuit switching illustration

Traditional Circuit SwitchingIllustration

Business Data Communications, 5e

Softswitch architecture illustration

Softswitch ArchitectureIllustration

Business Data Communications, 5e

Packet switching networks

Packet-Switching Networks

  • Developed in 1970s for long-distance data transmission due to circuit switching limitations

    • In user/host data connection the line is often idle, so circuit-switching is inefficient

    • Circuit-switching requires both devices to transmit and receive at the same data rate, limiting interconnection options

Business Data Communications, 5e

Packet switching operation

Packet Switching Operation

  • Data is broken into packets, each of which can be routed separately

  • Advantages: better line efficiency, signals can always be routed, prioritization option

  • Disadvantages: transmission delay in nodes, variable delays can cause jitter, extra overhead for packet addresses

Business Data Communications, 5e

Packet switching illustration

Packet Switching Illustration

Business Data Communications, 5e

Packet switching techniques

Packet-Switching Techniques

  • Datagram

    • each packet treated independently and referred to as a datagram

    • packets may take different routes, arrive out of sequence

  • Virtual Circuit

    • preplanned route established for all packets

    • similar to circuit switching, but the circuit is not dedicated

Business Data Communications, 5e

Packet switched routing

Packet-Switched Routing

  • Adaptive routing changes based on network conditions

  • Factors influencing routing are failure and congestion

  • Nodes must exchange information on network status

  • Tradeoff between quality and amount of overhead

Business Data Communications, 5e

Packet switched congestion control

Packet-Switched Congestion Control

  • When line utilization is >80%, queue length grows too quickly

  • Congestion control limits queue length to avoid throughput problems

  • Status information exchanged among nodes

  • Control signals regulate data flow using interface protocols (usually X.25)

Business Data Communications, 5e

Wans for voice

WANs for Voice

  • Requires very small and non-variable delays for natural conversation--difficult to provide this with packet-switching

  • As a result, the preferred method for voice transmission is circuit-switching

  • Most businesses use public telephone networks, but some have implemented private voice networks

  • VoIP uses packet transmission over Internets and intranets; it is enjoying gradually growing acceptance as an alternative

Business Data Communications, 5e

Wans for data

WANs for Data

  • Public packet-switched networks

  • Private packet-switched networks

  • Private leased lines

  • Public circuit-switched networks

  • Private circuit-switched networks (interconnected digital PBXs)

  • ISDN (integrate packet and circuit switching)

Business Data Communications, 5e

Wan considerations

WAN Considerations

  • Nature of traffic

    • stream generally works best with dedicated circuits

    • bursty better suited to packet-switching

  • Strategic and growth control--limited with public networks

  • Reliability--greater with packet-switching

  • Security--greater with private networks

Business Data Communications, 5e

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