Routing calculates good paths through a network for information to take. For example, from node 1 to node 6 the best routes are likely to be 1-8-7-6 or 1-8-10-6, as this has the thickest routes.
Routing is the process of selecting network paths to carry network traffic. Routing is performed for many kinds of networks, including circuit switching networks and packet switched networks.
In packet switched networks, routing directs packet forwarding (the transit of logically addressed network packets from their source toward their ultimate destination) through intermediate nodes. Intermediate nodes are typically network hardware devices such as routers, bridges, gateways, firewalls, or switches. General-purpose computers can also forward packets and perform routing, though they are not specialized hardware and may suffer from limited performance. The routing process usually directs forwarding on the basis of routing tables, which maintain a record of the routes to various network destinations. Thus, constructing routing tables, which are held in the router’s memory, is very important for efficient routing.
There are usually multiple routes that can be taken, and to choose between them, different elements can be considered to decide which routes get installed into the routing table, such as (sorted by priority):
Prefix-Length: where longer subnet masks are preferred (independent if it is within a routing protocol or over different routing protocol)
Metric: where a lower metric/cost is preferred (only valid within one and the same routing protocol)
Administrative distance: where a lower distance is preferred (only valid between different routing protocols)
Most routing algorithms use only one network path at a time. Multipath routing techniques enable the use of multiple alternative paths.
Routing, in a more narrow sense of the term, is often contrasted with bridging in its assumption that network addresses are structured and that similar addresses imply proximity within the network. Structured addresses allow a single routing table entry to represent the route to a group of devices. In large networks, structured addressing (routing, in the narrow sense) outperforms unstructured addressing (bridging). Routing has become the dominant form of addressing on the Internet. Bridging is still widely used within localized environments.
Network service Edit
Network services are applications hosted by servers on a computer network, to provide some functionality for members or users of the network, or to help the network itself to operate.
The World Wide Web, E-mail, printing and network file sharing are examples of well-known network services. Network services such as DNS (Domain Name System) give names for IP and MAC addresses (people remember names like “nm.lan” better than numbers like “22.214.171.124”), and DHCP to ensure that the equipment on the network has a valid IP address.
Services are usually based on a service protocol that defines the format and sequencing of messages between clients and servers of that network service.