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Quick Tech Tip – FDDI – Fiber distributed data interface

Fiber distributed data interface (FDDI) provides a standard for data transmission in a local area network that can extend in range up to 200 kilometers (124 miles). FDDI is a token-passing, fiber ring, network. The fiber optic media can be multimode fiber and can be as large as 100 kilometers – with no more than 2 kilometers between nodes.

Why FDDI?
– More Powerful Workstations and Servers.
– Resource Intensive Network Applications.
– Growing Distributed Client/Server Applications.
– Larger Spans of Distributed Networks.
– Increasing Numbers of Network Users.
– Bigger and More Powerful Software Applications.

FDDI Benefits:
– Higher Capacity and Performance than older LANs.
– More Simultaneous Transactions.
– Higher Availability (dual ring topology).
– Predetermined Performance (adding users have minimal impact on throughput).
– Longer Distance Loops (2 kilometers to 100 kilometer).

FDDI uses dual-ring architecture with traffic on each ring flowing in opposite directions (called counter-rotating). The dual rings consist of a primary and a secondary ring. During normal operation, the primary ring is used for data transmission, and the secondary ring remains idle.

FDDI specifies the physical and media-access portions of the OSI reference model. FDDI is not actually a single specification, but it is a collection of four separate specifications, each with a specific function. Combined, these specifications have the capability to provide high-speed connectivity between upper-layer protocols such as TCP/IP and IPX, and media such as fiber-optic cabling.

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