Microsegmentation Definition

Microsegmentation is the dividing of a network through the use of network switches such that only two nodes coexist within each collision domain.

A collision domain is a logical area in a computer network in which data packets can collide with one another. A collision occurs when two or more devices attempt to send a signal along the same transmission channel (e.g., the same section of copper wire or optical fiber) simultaneously. It can result in garbled, and thus useless, messages.

The two nodes in each collision domain will typically be a computer and a switch. The total number of segments will be one less than the number of nodes.

The main benefit of microsegmentation is that it allows each node to obtain access to the full bandwidth of the transmission channel instead of having to share it with other nodes on the network. As a result, chances of collisions are greatly reduced, especially in a full duplex environment (i.e., one that allows simultaneous transmission in both directions).

Created November 11, 2005.
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