Network Switching works at Layer 2 (Data Link Layer) of OSI model. Switching is a process of receiving frame from one incoming port (ingress) and then forwarding it to as desired destination (egress).
Switching is of 2 types –
- Circuit Switching
- Packet Switching
Circuit switching is a switching method in which a dedicated physical path is formed between two points in a network i.e. between the sending and the receiving devices. These dedicated paths are created by a set of switches connected by physical links. Circuit switching is the simplest method of data communication that has a fixed data rate and both the subscribers need to operate at this fixed rate.
Packet switching is a switching method in which data is transferred in the form of small broken pieces of variable lengths. These broken pieces of data are called as packets. The data is transferred in the form of packets, transmitted to the network line and reassembled at the destination making a complete file.
Thus, Packet Switching method uses Store and Forward technique. Each hop will store the packet and then forward the packets to the next host destination.
Related – Network Switching Basics