We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is an Active Monitor?

By S.A. Keel
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

An active monitor, in terms of computer networking, is the supervisory role one of the computers on a token ring local area network (LAN) takes on in order to maintain the network. This monitor takes charge of the network by watching all of the other computers attached to the network and making sure that data is able to travel through them to the others on the network. All of the other computers on a token ring network, then, are called standby monitors and will only rally for a new active monitor in the case the current one happens to go off-line.

The birth of the active monitor on a token ring network can occur in a couple different ways. In the case of a token ring starting up as each computer joins the network individually, the first computer to boot up claims the role. In other cases, though, such as if the network is established after all the computers are already running or the existing active monitor leaves the network for some reason, the establishment of the active monitor happens via an election process. Each of the computers on the network will send out what's called a claim token, declaring its intent to take charge of the network. As the claim travels around the network, it is quickly evaluated against all other claims and the computer with the highest media access control (MAC) address will win the election.

An active monitor is absolutely crucial in the operation of a token ring LAN. The first, empty token frame, the package that handles the delivery of data to the other computers on the network, is generated by the active monitor and sent around the ring. The monitor will send out one of these tokens every seven seconds to ensure that all of the computers on the network have learned the address and have subsequently identified themselves to one another. Should any extra tokens be circulating the network, the monitor is responsible for cleaning them up.

As a computer on the network requires the use of the token for transmitting data, it captures the token frame, converts it into a data frame and gives it an address. It then fills it with the data it wants to send, and puts it back out onto the ring. Since only one frame can be in use at a time, the active monitor then watches to make sure that if a data frame is in play, other tokens are withheld. Once the data has reached its destination, the frame is sent back to the originating computer, which is then required to release the empty token frame back onto the ring. If some sort of transmission error happens along the way, the monitor will issue a new token frame back into the ring.

Among the essential auditing of the tokens on the network, the active monitor also sets up a clock that makes sure all of the other computers on the network remain synchronized. They must capture and release the token in time with each other to ensure that the network operates efficiently. To be fair to all of the computers on the network, the active monitor also adds in a delay so that the token can make it around the ring.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.