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Typical Enterprise LANs

Enterprise networks have similar needs compared to a SOHO network, but on a much larger
scale. For example, enterprise Ethernet LANs begin with LAN switches installed in a wiring
closet behind a locked door on each floor of a building. The electricians install the Ethernet
cabling from that wiring closet to cubicles and conference rooms where devices might need
to connect to the LAN. At the same time, most enterprises also support wireless LANs in
the same space, to allow people to roam around and still work and to support a growing
number of devices that do not have an Ethernet LAN interface.

Figure 2-3 shows a conceptual view of a typical enterprise LAN in a three-story building. Each
floor has an Ethernet LAN switch and a wireless LAN AP. To allow communication between
floors, each per-floor switch connects to one centralized distribution switch. For example, PC3
can send data to PC2, but it would first flow through switch SW3 to the first floor to the distribution
switch (SWD) and then back up through switch SW2 on the second floor.
Free CISCO CCNA Routing and Switching ICND1 Study Guide
Figure 2-3 Single-Building Enterprise Wired and Wireless LAN
The figure also shows the typical way to connect a LAN to a WAN using a router. LAN
switches and wireless access points work to create the LAN itself. Routers connect to both
the LAN and the WAN. To connect to the LAN, the router simply uses an Ethernet LAN
interface and an Ethernet cable, as shown on the lower right of Figure 2-3.
The rest of this chapter focuses on Ethernet in particular.

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