Skip to main content

backbone network

backbone network (bearer network) The underlying nodes of a multilevel distributed network, providing communication services for the rest of the network (the hosts). The backbone network usually consists of dedicated packet, message, or circuit switches connected by high-capacity trunk circuits, along with some special diagnostic and control equipment.

Backbone networks must be extremely reliable. For this reason they are usually built out of homogeneous (essentially similar) processors and run by a centralized administration, although the rest of the network may be highly heterogeneous and under distributed authority. Distributed procedures are often used to control the operation of the backbone network in order to reduce the possibility that a single failure might disrupt the entire network. When a central control system is used, there is usually a standby system ready to take over when the active system fails.

Backbone networks are often characterized by distributed traffic patterns. Packet switching may be used internally by backbone networks to take advantage of these traffic patterns, even though the backbone network may present a circuit-switching appearance to external hosts (see virtual circuit). Traffic-pattern analysis may be used to construct backbone networks that minimize certain network parameters, such as average delay, circuit costs, etc. Backbone networks may themselves be multilevel, incorporating low-capacity terrestrial links, high-capacity terrestrial links, and satellite links.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"backbone network." A Dictionary of Computing. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Oct. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"backbone network." A Dictionary of Computing. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 16, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/computing/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/backbone-network

"backbone network." A Dictionary of Computing. . Retrieved October 16, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/computing/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/backbone-network

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.