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A good understanding of the MAC address learning process on a switch and the MAC lookup process performed via ARP by network devices is vital when learning about networking. Since almost all networking traffic is sourced from and destined to an Ethernet network, these processes are integrated into almost all types of network usage. The advantage is that they work, and work well; but this is also a disadvantage, because networking beginners are used to having the network “just work,” without having to understand the mechanics. This low-level understanding will make the networking student aware of how networking communication begins. This knowledge is often called upon as students rise on the networking career ladder.

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