To some, a layer is that extra sweater you put on before you head outside, into the freezing cold. To others, a layer is the part of the onion that peels off, making your eyes water and your breath stink if eaten. However, neither of these types of layers really have much do to with IT, networking, nor even computers in the slightest. No, when I talk about layers, I am talking about the OSI (or Open Systems Interconnection) model of layers. In total there are 7 different distinct layers in this system. They range from the Application layer (the seventh layer) to the Physical layer, the first layer. However today I don’t plan on touching on either of these, instead I want to just tell you a bit about the Data Link Layer, better known as “layer 2,” and more importantly, the networks you can build off of them.
The Benefits Of A Layer 2 Network
The Data Link Layer is responsible for the delivery of frames, which it does via hardware addressing. This means that layer 2 is in charge of taking the information being transmitted and sending it to the place where it should go, similar to layer 3. However, unlike layer 3, the layer 2 device does it automatically, instead of running a program to do it. There are many benefits to having this type of a network, but here are the main ones:
The layer 2 device does not have to “think” about where it is sending its information. It simply sends it to where it should go. This reduces latency within the network and latency is always something good to be reducing.
A layer 2 network is a very flexible network. It can scale its bandwidth up and down depending on needs, and it can be adjusted quite easily. It is also quite easy to add new locations to your network, such as a new building or a new addition to a building. Therefore it is really not much of a problem to keep a layer 2 network for years, which is key as a new network every couple of years ends up being quite the large investment
In a layer 2 network, only a certain number of things can go wrong, and it is all under your control. Layer 3 networks can sometimes go down, and nothing can be done about this until the problem is fixed by an external entity. So if a crisis arises, you can immediately get to work on the problem, without having to wait for another business that may or may not care much about your needs to fix it for you.
If you own a layer 2 network, you are the complete owner of the entire system. Every decision is about the network is yours to make. Making your own decisions is never a bad thing.
Layer 2 networks are clearly a good option for anyone who really needs a fast, flexible, fixable network that you can keep complete control of. If a layer 2 network seems like it would be something you could use, make sure you get in contact with us.
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