The Internetwork Packet Exchange, which is otherwise known as IPX, is part of the IPX/SPX protocol stack and is itself a historically significant but nowadays obsolete OSI-model network layer protocol. The aforementioned stack is duly supported by the NetWare network OS (operating system) of the Novell company. The aforementioned protocol stack and internet working protocol enjoyed the height of its popularity during the late nineteen-eighties to the middle of the nineteen-nineties, which was also the time when NetWare had gained popularity as well as a network operating system among businesses. In fact, Xerox Network Systems' IDP protocol served as the basis for the IPX as well.
Usage of the IPX protocol has generally been decreasing as of late thanks mostly to the boom of the worldwide web and the near-universal adoption of the TCP/IP protocol instead. Simply put, this OSI model is nothing more than a relic of the past nowadays, and it's quickly going the way of the floppy disk and DOS-based operating systems in terms of wide usage in today's Internet-obsessed society. Because networks and computers are presently capable of executing a multitude of network protocols, so nearly all IPX sites will be running under TCIP/IP as well in order to enable Internet connectivity (a prerequisite in the majority of companies these days).
More to the point, IPX is nothing more than a redundancy at this stage in its lifespan because it's possible to run Novell-brand products without IPX's assistance since all of them have been dually compatible with both TCP/IP and IPX ever since late 1998, when the fifth iteration of NetWare was released. Coupled with the fact that no one in the industry except Novell are even using IPX nowadays, and it's clear why it has become such an obsolete artifact of a bygone age a couple of decades ago.
When it comes to IPX addressing, it involves the following traits, facts, and behaviors: an FF:FF:FF:FF broadcast address, the current network sporting a network number of 00:00:00:00, the hosting of a 48-bit node address that's appended to the network address to make a one-of-a-kind identifier for the network host, the aforementioned address being set to the network interface card's MAC address by default, and designating logical networks with a distinctive hexadecimal address that's 32 bits and ranges from 0x1 to 0xFFFFFFFE.
Conceptually speaking, the network address of the IPX variety has many similarities to its more famous counterpart, the IP address—specifically the network part of an IP address. The node address means the same to IPX as the bits are to IP, particularly when the netmask bits are set to 0. The MAC address of the network adapter is also identical to the node address; as such, the Address Resolution Protocol isn't required. As for routing, the IP routing tables and the IPX routing table entries are quite similar to each other as well. Both types of routing tables specify a network node of the next router for each network address in the same fashion.
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