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Short for Data-Link Switching. DLSw is a means of tunneling Systems Network Architecture (SNA) and NetBIOS traffic over an IP network. Before the development of DLSw, SNA and NetBIOS traffic was transported via Source-Route Bridging (SRB), a protocol for transporting in token ring environments. DLSw uses Switch to Switch protocol instead of SRB between routers to create DLSw peer connections, locate resources, forward data, handle flow control and error recovery. The routers are called data link switches.

Initially a proprietary solution developed by IBM in 1992, DLSw was submitted to the IETF as RFC 1434 in 1993. DLSw is now documented in detail by RFC 1795, submitted in April 1995.

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