DLSw – Data-Link Switching

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.

Switch to Switch Protocol

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.

Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal is a freelance business and technology writer covering Internet technologies and online business since the late '90s.

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