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Frame Relay Overview
Today's LANs and computing equipment have the potential to run at much higher speeds and transfer very large quantities of data. With the diversity and complexity of today's networks, management can be a mammoth task if you don't have the proper tools. Each environment is a unique combination of equipment from different vendors. Frame Relay, which is a relatively new wide area networking method, is gaining popularity. Like X.25, it uses a packet-switching technology, but it's more efficient than X.25. As a result, it can make your networking quicker, simpler, and less costly.
Frame Relay was developed to solve communication problems that other protocols could not: the increased need for higher speeds, an increased need for large bandwidth efficiency, particularly for clumping ("bursty" traffic), an increase in intelligent network devices that lower protocol processing, and the need to connect LANs and WANs.
Like X.25, Frame Relay is a packet-switched protocol. But the Frame Relay process is streamlined. There are significant differences that make Frame Relay a faster, more efficient form of networking. A Frame Relay network doesn't perform error detection, which results in a considerably smaller amount of overhead and faster processing than X.25. Frame Relay is also protocol independent—it accepts data from many different protocols. This data is encapsulated by the Frame Relay equipment, not the network.
The intelligent network devices connected to a Frame Relay network are responsible for the error correction and frame formatting. Processing time is minimized, so the transmission of data is much faster and more efficient.
In addition, Frame Relay is entirely digital, which reduces the chance of error and offers excellent transmission rates. Frame Relay typically operates at 56 kbps to 1.544 Mbps.
does Frame Relay do?
choose Frame Relay?
Frame Relay is protocol independent, it can process traffic from different networking protocols like IP, IPX™, and SNA.
Frame Relay is an ideal choice for connecting Wide Area Networks (WANs) that have unpredictable, high-volume, and bursty traffic. Typically, these applications include data transfer, CAD/CAM, and client-server applications.
Frame Relay also offers advantages for interconnecting WANs. In the past, setting up WANs required the use of private lines or circuit switching over a leased line. Single, dedicated lines are not needed to make each WAN-to-WAN connection with Frame Relay, reducing costs.
I need to get started?
Next, you need Frame Relay equipment. Because Frame Relay doesn't provide protocol conversion and error detection/correction, the end-user devices need to be intelligent. Typically you can access the Frame Relay service through Frame Relay devices, such as Frame Relay Access Devices (FRADs), frame routers, bridges, or switches.
Bridges, Routers, and
Bridges are easy to configure and maintain and they usually connect a branch office to a hub location.
Routers can handle traffic from other WAN protocols, reroute a connection if a line fails, or provide support for flow control and congestion control.
FRADs format outgoing data into the
format required by a Frame Relay network, and some even function as
routers. They work well in applications where a site already has bridges
and routers or when sending mainframe traffic over a Frame Relay network.
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