In order to work with today's networks that handle integrated text, data, and interactive voice and video, you must possess a thorough understanding of switches and the newest technologies that make sophisticated network services possible. Building Switched Networks provides a comprehensive, technical survey of the networking technologies that comprise the core of evolving LAN and WAN infrastructures. This book gives you essential background information, clear descriptions of relevant technologies, and an understanding of how those technologies will be employed throughout networks in the near future. In particular, the text focuses on developments that support our increasing demand for network bandwidth--multilayer switching, delivery guarantees, and multicasting--and examines performance issues, resource allocation, network policy, and network services. Using a ground-up approach, the book begins with network demands, examines various kinds of available switches, and progresses to the state-of-the-art technologies that are quickly permeating our networking infrastructure. Specifically, you will learn about: *Virtual LANs and the 802.1Q and 802.1p standards *Layer-2, Layer-3, and Layer-4 switching *The emerging Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) standard *Quality of Service (QoS), delivery guarantees based on specified parameters, and resource management *Class of Service (COS) priority queuing techniques *IP multicast--a key technology for enabling networks to scale *Service Level Agreements (SLAs) that formalize service characteristics *Network Policy, with a discussion of Directory Enabled Networking (DEN) and the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) *Emerging sophisticated network services made possible by the above technologies, including Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and Voice over IP (VoIP) Building Switched Networks then widens the scope of discussion beyond the details of these technologies to examine the demands that will be placed on networks in the future and successful management strategies for meeting those demands.