Fiber Distributed Data Interface
(FDDI) A 100 Mbit/s ANSI standard local area network architecture, defined in
X3T9.5. The underlying medium is optical fibre (though it can be copper cable,
in which case it may be called CDDI) and the topology is a dual-attached,
counter-rotating token ring.
FDDI rings are normally constructed in the form of a "dual ring of trees". A
small number of devices, typically infrastructure devices such as routers and
concentrators rather than host computers, are connected to both rings - these
are referred to as "dual-attached". Host computers are then connected as
single-attached devices to the routers or concentrators. The dual ring in its
most degenerate form is simply collapsed into a single device. In any case, the
whole dual ring is typically contained within a computer room.
This network topology is required because the dual ring actually passes through
each connected device and requires each such device to remain continuously
operational (the standard actually allows for optical bypasses but these are
considered to be unreliable and error-prone). Devices such as workstations and
minicomputers that may not be under the control of the network managers are not
suitable for connection to the dual ring.
As an alternative to a dual-attached connection, the same degree of resilience
is available to a workstation through a dual-homed connection which is made
simultaneously to two separate devices in the same FDDI ring. One of the
connections becomes active while the other one is automatically blocked. If the
first connection fails, the backup link takes over with no perceptible delay.
Usenet newsgroup: comp.dcom.lans.fddi.
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