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Internetwork Packet Exchange (IPX) is a set of packet-switching and packet-sequencing protocols designed to function in small and large networks. In the OSI model, IPX is the network layer protocol in the Internetwork Packet Exchange/Sequenced Packet Exchange (IPX/SPX) protocol stack, which is primarily used on Novell Netware operating systems.
IPX provides peer-to-peer support connectivity.
IPX follows a layered structure of protocols. These layers allow applications to control the application layer, presentation and session layer. Each layer services the layer above it and is provided by the layer below it.
IPX/SPX is similar to TCP/IP and other Internet protocols, but IPX/SPX was designed as a TCP/IP alternative. IPX/SPX is ideal for local area networks or private networks with different protocol and communication functions. Like IP, IPX is connectionless and contains end user data, such as IP and network addresses. SPX is connection-oriented, and is used for connection-related functions and data routing.