IP Every Where

With this picture we can see the strength of IP - it's flexibility. If we imagine the hourglass as representative of three layers of the protocol stack, we can see why IP is so popular.

IP is flexible enough to run on top of most protocols, so you can run IP on an Ethernet network, you can run IP on a X.25 network, you can run IP on a FDDI network or an ATM network. IP doesn't really care about the underlying network technology - it will run on all of them.

Similarly, IP will support lots of different services. So you can run your e-mail software on top of IP, you can surf the web, you can read Usenet and so on. IP is flexible enough to offer all these services.

This is the key to IP's success - it's flexibility. It will happily run on top lots of different networks and will happily support lots of different services. This is the beauty of IP.

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