Backbone (telecommunications)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Backbone ( English for backbone , main line , basic network ) describes a connecting core area of ​​a telecommunications network with very high data transmission rates , which usually consists of a fiber optic network and satellite-supported communication elements.


Since the data rates of all end users are bundled in the backbone network , this network requires particularly high transmission rates. At the same time, special safety precautions and intentional redundancies are necessary in order to be able to redirect the data streams in the event of partial failures in the backbone.

In addition to the traditional telecommunications companies, in particular Deutsche Telekom , the cable television network operators and the large energy providers, e.g. B. E.ON , via large fiber optic networks in the backbone area. For the latter, laying fiber optic cables at the same time as building or retrofitting pipelines or high-voltage networks causes comparatively little effort.

WAN (Wide Area Network)

In the WAN area , the term “backbone” refers to the connecting core network in a hierarchical network structure, which is usually protected against failures by duplicating its components ( redundancy ).

The connections of the backbone enable the members of different access networks (different providers , university, state and company-owned connection facilities) to connect with each other.

Backbones are broadband high-speed connections between network nodes . Many of these network nodes are only used to operate the backbone ( e.g. routing ). Other nodes form the transition points into the subordinate, independent network segments of the access networks.

LAN (Local Area Network)

In the LAN area one speaks of a building backbone or core switch and means that part of a structured cabling that connects the floors, or even just the backbone, then one means the area network that connects several buildings.
A distinction is made between two types, especially when it comes to floor wiring:

Collapsed backbone

The collapsed backbone is a virtual backbone that is formed in a coupling element such as a router or a switch or in its backplane . The few active network components enable central management of the backbone, which leads to simple maintenance and thus a more reliable, more secure network. In addition, a collapsed backbone improves the overall performance of the network and facilitates the transition between network types of LANs and WANs. The only disadvantage of the collapsed backbone lies in the fact that in the event of a device failure, communication between all tertiary areas breaks down.

Distributed backbone

Distributed backbones are a rather outdated variant. Here the individual floor distributors are connected via a ring, which must also run through the building distributor within the structured cabling. In the past, 10Base5 or FDDI were used for this. Since the backbone forms its own subnet, devices on layer 3 of the OSI model must be used within the floor cabling in order to generate their own subnets. This also makes it more difficult to manage and create VLANs across buildings .

Web links

  • Mapnet (Java applet for the visualization of worldwide backbone connections)
  • (overview maps of the infrastructure of a German backbone)

Individual evidence

  1. Fast Internet: Energy companies are driving broadband expansion in Germany. Retrieved July 20, 2019 .