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Packet Type The service that created the packet.

Destination Network Network address of the destination network. Destination Node Media access control (MAC) address of the destination node.

Destination Socket Address of the process running on the destination node. Source Network Network address of the source network.

Source Node MAC address of the source node.

Source Socket Address of the process running on the source node.

The other part of the protocol suite, SPX, works at the Transport layer and guarantees packet delivery by making the destination node verify that the data was received correctly. If no response is received within a specified time, SPX retransmits the packet. If several retransmissions fail to return an acknowledgment, SPX assumes the connection has failed and informs the outside world of the error condition. All packets in the transmission are sent in sequence, and they all take the same path to their destination.

If we compare the IPX/SPX protocol suite to the TCP/IP family, IP and IPX are connectionless datagram protocols, and SPX and TCP are connection-oriented protocols. IPX provides routing and internetwork services similar to IP, and SPX provides Transport layer services similar to TCP. Novell NetWare uses two routing protocols:

■    Routing Information Protocol (RIP)

■    NetWare Link Services Protocol (NLSP)

NLSP is more efficient at maintaining routing information and adapting to changes in the network configuration and allows large or small networks to be connected without causing routing inefficiencies. This is because NLSP doesn’t determine a route based on the number of routers, but rather on the individual route’s «cost» (a value determined by several factors like speed, available bandwidth, etc.).

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