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Verifying and Analyzing Ethernet Switching

A Cisco Catalyst switch comes from the factory ready to switch frames. All you have to
do is connect the power cable, plug in the Ethernet cables, and the switch starts switching
incoming frames. Connect multiple switches together, and they are ready to forward frames
between the switches as well. And the big reason behind this default behavior has to do
with the default settings on the switches.

Cisco Catalyst switches come ready to get busy switching frames because of settings like
these:
■ The interfaces are enabled by default, ready to start working once a cable is connected.
■ All interfaces are assigned to VLAN 1.
■ 10/100 and 10/100/1000 interfaces use autonegotiation by default.
■ The MAC learning, forwarding, flooding logic all works by default.
■ STP is enabled by default.

This second section of the chapter examines how switches will work with these default settings,
showing how to verify the Ethernet learning and forwarding process.

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