What are passive and active components

Network components

In network technology, a distinction is made between active and passive network components. While active network components have their own logic, passive network components are part of the permanently installed network infrastructure.
As a rule, network components are used to couple the network stations. One therefore speaks of coupling elements.

Passive network components

  • Patch cables and installation cables
  • Junction box
  • Connectors
  • Patch field / patch panel
  • Network cabinet / patch cabinet

Note: The passive network components include the components of the cabling. This is not defined in the OSI layer model.

Active network components

In small private networks, network components still have clear names, such as switches or routers. In large company networks, the naming of the coupling elements is not always clear.

Switch

A switch is a coupling element that connects several stations in a network with one another. In an Ethernet network based on the star topology, a switch serves as a distributor for data transmission.

Router

Routers connect networks with different protocols and architectures. Routers are often found at the external borders of a network. This is where the connection to other networks and the Internet is established.

Gateway

A gateway is hardware or software, or a combination thereof, that provides an interface between two incompatible networks. The gateway takes care of the fact that the form and addressing of the data are converted into the respective other format and the protocols of another network.

Firewall

Security is always an overall concept that defines what needs to be protected from what, what the attack surfaces are and how they can be closed or minimized. In a local network, the attack surface is the interface to the Internet.

server

What a "real server" is can be argued about. In most cases it will be a computer with a powerful processor, a lot of RAM, several hard drives and a generous network connection. Central tasks are processed, managed and saved on servers.

Assignment in the OSI layer model (active components with distribution function)

layerRepeaterHubbridgeSwitchRouterGatewayFirewall
7     x(x)
6     x(x)
5     x(x)
4    (x)xx
3   (x)xxx
2  xx x 
1xx   x 

Software Defined Networking (SDN)

Software-defined networking, software-defined network or software-defined network, or SDN for short, includes network components whose functions can be programmed individually. A higher-level control of all network components is possible at the same time.

Security in network technology

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