A network element ( NE ) is a designation for a device in a telecommunications network . The designation as an element bypasses a function specification or other more detailed designation in order to define an abstract generic term under which devices such as multiplexers , concentrators , routers , gateways or servers can be subsumed.
Common feature of the network elements is
- the addressability,
- a protocol-controlled transmission with error correction,
type-specific controllability through network management .
In general, a network element also contains software. In network management, a network element is managed by an element manager or an element management system (EMS). In autonomous networks, the network elements configure and manage themselves.
The term network node has an almost identical meaning . The focus here is not on the function, but on the topology of the network edges , i.e. the connections between the devices. It is a generic term for a device that connects two or more transmission paths in a telecommunications network. The also common short term network node applies analogously. The methods of mathematical topology are applied to such network elements as in networks of other types ( traffic networks , relationship networks ).
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