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FDDI (Fiber Distributed Data Interface) - an explanation

100 Mbps Local Area Network standard developed by ANSI designed to work on fiberoptic cables using techniques similar to token-ring. Also operates over twisted-pair cable for short distances.The Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI) standard is ANSI X3T9.5 . The Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI) topology is ring with two counter rotating rings for reliability with no hubs. Cable type is fiber-optic. Connectors are specialized. The media access method is token passing. The maximum length is 100 kilometers. The maximum number of nodes on the network is 500. Speed is 100 Mbps. FDDI is normally used as a backbone to link other networks. A typical FDDI network can include servers, concentrators, and links to other networks.

Devices called concentrators provide functions similar to hubs. Most concentrators use dual attachment station network cards but single attachment concentrators may be used to attach more workstations to the network.

FDDI token passing allows multiple frames to circulate around the ring at the same time. Priority levels of a data frame and token can be set to allow servers to send more data frames. Time sensitive data may also be given higher priority. The second ring in a FDDI network is a method of adjusting when there are breaks in the cable. The primary ring is normally used, but if the nearest downstream neighbor stops responding the data is sent on the secondary ring in attempt to reach the computer. Therefore a break in the cable will result in the secondary ring being used. There are two network cards which are:
  • Dual attachment stations (DAS) used for servers and concentrators are attached to both rings.
  • Single Attachment stations (SAS) attached to one ring and used to attach workstations to concentrators.
A router or switch can link an FDDI network to a local area network (LAN). Normally FDDI is used to link LANs together since it covers long distances.