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AIM: - Lane Emulation Over ATM Network
LANE was defined by the ATM Forum in 1995 as a way to allow legacy networks such as Ethernet, Token Ring, and FDDI to use an ATM network as backbone connections. In July of1997, the ATM Forum ratified an enhanced LANE specification called LANE 2.0, which adds support for QoS and other necessary features. rather than frame-based or that it uses virtual connections rather than a connectionless scheme. Integrating ATM with legacy LANs is not easy. Keep in mind that ATM is a connection-oriented technology. It requires that virtual circuits exist between source and destination before any data can be sent. Data is transmitted in fixed-length cells. Legacy LANs transmit data in variable-length frames over a shared connectionless network. What LANE does is automate SVC (switched virtual circuit) setup across ATM networks for LAN clients. Before LANE, administrators had to manually configure PVCs (permanent virtual circuits) between hosts. Another thing LANE does is map MAC (Medium Access Control) addresses to ATM addresses. It also defines a scheme for encapsulating higher-level protocol datagrams into ATM cells and delivering them across the ATM backbone. Since LANE emulates layer 2 protocols (data link layer), it can transport higher-layer protocols such as TCP/IP and SPX/IPX without modification. This allows existing LAN applications to be used without change. They don't need to know that the underlying network is cell-based Since LANE operates in layer 2 (the MAC layer), it is limited to creating bridged networks (and not routed networks) over the ATM switching fabric. You can create multiple ELANs, but if you want clients in those ELANs to talk to each other, you'll need to implement external routers. This external router is often called the "one-arm router." MPOA (Multiprotocol over ATM) is a related technology that provides inter-ELAN routing directly on the ATM network so that separate routers are not needed. MPOA adds a cutthrough routing service that allows clients on different VLANs to connect with one another using the routes learned by the MPOA routing service. MPOA is derived from LANE. The problem with LANE is the requirement that traffic go through an external router when the underlying ATM network is fully capable of creating a direct connect between two devices connected to different VLANs. MPOA adds this capability. LANE Configurations A LANE configuration consists of a number of special servers and processes that help end systems obtain SVCs across the ATM networks. LANE also gives the ATM network the ability to simulate the broadcast nature of LANs. Because ATM is connection oriented, it does not have the ability to broadcast to every end system, so LANE adds this functionality. The three servers are described below. Note that these "servers" are really processes that can be located on the same physical piece of equipment:



) and the ATM network. LECS (LAN emulation configuration server) Manages host assignments to LANs. it retrieves this information first. token ring) in the same LANE network. The LEC process usually runs in a switch. Also note that data servers are connected directly to the ATM backbone.   LES (LAN emulation server) Manages address resolution. It maintains a database of information about the LANE network. but you cannot mix different LAN types (Ethernet. LECS. When a LEC first starts. The LECS keeps track of each ELAN and LES/BUS combination in its database. Token Ring. Keep in mind that LANE does not provide 49 1186886 . BUS (broadcast and unknown server) Manages broadcast and multicast traffic. etc. This process is required since ATM does not have broadcast capabilities. an ATM network can support multiple ELANs. The LEC is responsible for interfacing between the LAN interface (Ethernet. Also note that the LES. The final piece in the LANE configuration is the LEC (LAN emulation client). similar to ARP in the IP/Ethernet environment. Figure 1: LANE configuration As mentioned. then joins the ELAN using the procedure described later. Network administrators make entries into the database about which ELAN a LEC should join. Basically. but it may also run in a router or any other device that has an ATM interface. The typical scenario is to connect an Ethernet LAN to an ATM edge device such as a switch. including the ATM addresses of the LESs that control each ELAN. Each ELAN acts like a broadcast domain and is managed by a LES and BUS process. the BUS maintains a connection with all the LECs in a particular broadcast group and sends broadcast messages to them as individual messages. The LANE configuration is pictured in Figure L-1. which has Ethernet ports on one side and ATM uplinks on the other side. and BUS may be integrated into a single server or may run in individual servers.

Upon start up. Once the LEC has joined. Finally. which the LEC will use in the future to identify (and ignore) its own messages when they are broadcast by the BUS. Next. it must join an ELAN. it will attempt to discover the address by asking other LEC clients and using the BUS if necessary. Once the LEC has the address of the LECS. the LEC must first find a LECS so it can find out which ELAN it is supposed to belong to. The LEC looks in its own internal table to see if it has an ATM address that corresponds to the MAC address. When a LEC first starts up. the LES has already obtained the MAC addresses of each of the hosts attached to LECs. the LEC contacts the BUS and joins the broadcast group. so ELANs can only communicate with other ELANs by going through external routers or bridges. The process of joining an ELAN is outlined below. Upon verification. it can begin participating in the emulated LAN. and that the network consists of multiple ELANs: 1. LANE builds multiple ELANs (emulated LANs) across the same ATM network. but if doesn't know an address. The LEC may query the directly attached ATM switch for this address. by MAC or IP address).routing. it is returned to the requesting LEC. 4. 2. However. If not. 3. ATM signaling is used to set up a VCC (virtual channel connection) between the two systems.g. or it may use a fixed address or "well-known" virtual circuit to access the LECS. including by protocols. it contacts the LES over the VCC in order to resolve the address. The LECS sends the LES ATM address to the LEC and the connection between the LEC and LECS is dropped. 6. the LES provides the LEC with the address of the BUS. A network administrator should have previously entered this information into the LECS database. Figure 2 illustrates how this works. The LES verifies with the LECS (via a separate connection) that the LEC is valid and allowed to join. 7. it contacts the LECS. Assume that the LEC device is an Ethernet switch with an ATM uplink that supports LANE. It objective is to find out which ELAN it is supposed to join and obtain the ATM address of the LES that manages that ELAN. 5. the LES issues a special client ID to the LEC. Note the following: 50 1186886 . The LEC now contacts the LES. Usually.. The LEC then sets up a connection to the destination and begins the process of fragmenting frames into cells and forwarding them across the connection. Assume that a workstation attached to the LEC-enabled switch wants to connect with a server. An ELAN is a VLAN (virtual LAN) over an ATM network. it is defined at the MAC layer while VLANs may be defined in a variety of ways (e. The packet arrives at the ATM/LAN switch where the LEC reads the destination MAC address. Once the corresponding address is discovered.

or with a software router in the server that implements LANE at both of its interfaces. routers are required to move packets from one emulated network to another. 51 1186886 . Servers can run a LEC for each ELAN. and this way enables the migration from existing LANs to an ATM environment that provides benefits such as significant bandwidth increases for the backbone and server connections . Routing between ELANs/VLANs is accomplished in this configuration with external routers. starting at 155 Mbps or even 622 Mbps today. LAN Emulation (LANE) LANE is a standard defined by the ATM Forum. especially when you consider the fact that the underlying ATM network can provide adirect virtual circuit between two end nodes. As mentioned. LANE provides the backbone infrastructure that allows existing Ethernet and Token Ringattached stations to keep their current application interfaces while allowing high bandwidth servers and routers to be connected directly via ATM . A separate LES is needed for each ELAN/VLAN.Figure 2: Virtual LANs in the LANE environment     Each ATM/LAN switch runs a LEC for each ELAN. even if they are on different ELANs. but the MPOA (Multiprotocol over ATM) topic does. allowing users from any ELAN to access the same server. The LANE specification does not accommodate this. As always. Its a service that emulates the operation of traditional LANs such as Ethernet or Token-Ring over an ATM network. moving packets through a router is inefficient.

an ELAN. group. 52 1186886 . therefore LANE has to provide the appearance of such a connectionless service to the participating end systems. end systems share the same media which makes broadcasting an integral part of the service. so that the data sent across the ATM network is packed in the appropriate LAN MAC packet format LANE does not attempt to emulate the actual MAC protocol of the LAN and it doesnt require any modifications to higher-layer protocols to enable their operation over an ATM network. Multicast Services In LANs. the LANE service must support the use of multicast MAC addresses (meaning broadcast. therefore. In order to develop an emulated LAN which satisfies the above objectives. or functional MAC addresses).The term which describes an emulated LAN over ATM is ELAN. it is necessary to settle the differences between the following environments: Technical Requirements The technical requirements needed from the LAN emulation service are as follows: Connectionless Services As mentioned before. Figure 3 : A physical LAN Vs. LAN stations can send data without previously establishing connections . The LANE protocol defines a service interface for network layer protocols that is identical to the one in the traditional LANs.

the LANE service has to support the same MAC driver service. such as NDIS (Network Driver Interface Specification). There are several standard interfaces between MAC device drivers and higher layer protocol stacks. and ODI (Open Data-Link Interface). LAN emulation must provide these interfaces and services to the upper layers. This includes connectivity both from ATM stations to LAN stations as well as LAN stations to LAN stations across ATM.MAC Device Driver Interface The main goal of the LANE service is to enable existing applications to access an ATM network through higher layer protocols (such as TCP/IP.) as if they were running over traditional LANs. as pictured in figure 6. Connectivity The LAN emulation service has to enable connectivity between ATM-attached stations and LAN-attached stations. etc. Since these protocol stacks are configured to communicate with a MAC driver. NetBIOS. LAN Emulation connectivity requirements 53 1186886 .

An example of such a registration procedure using ILMI is defined by the ATM Forum. point-to-multipoint VCCs) they will be used by LANE for multicasting. it uses the services of the ATM adaptation layer (AAL) to fragment and reassemble its protocol data units. the ATM network must provide a registration procedure in which an end system can discover its own ATM address. ATM-attached end systems must know their ATM address. the LANE service must support broadcast/multicast traffic. maintaining and releasing the Point-to-Point VCCs. For SVCs the ATM network must provide the means for establishing. If no such service is provided by the network.ATM network service requirements The LANE service uses some of the ATM network services such as the following: ATM Adaptation Layer Since the LANE service is a frame-oriented data transfer service. for example by sending the same message to all members of the LAN. ATM Registration Procedure In order to use Direct VCCs to connect end system in the LANE service. Point-To-Point Virtual Channel Connections The ATM network must provide point-to-point virtual channel connections (VCCs) as permanent virtual connections (PVCs) or as switched virtual connections (SVCs). Multicast Virtual Channel Connections As mentioned before. If the ATM network provides multicast services (for example. one by one. the LANE service would provide an equivalent service. 54 1186886 . Therefore. The preferred type of AAL is AAL Type 5.

(ILMI meansnterim Local Management Interface. The LANE Protocol Architecture The main function of the LANE protocol is to translate MAC addresses into ATM addresses so that LANE end systems can set up direct connections with each other and then transmit data. storing the mapping in a table which for the end system is known as Destination Address Association Table or DAAT. storing 55 1186886 . and managing that table. ATM-attached LAN switches and routers. this function gives the LANE server a way to support the use of a Direct VCC by an ATM end system. in order to exchange control and user information. mapping the MAC address to an ATM address. connecting the LANE layer in an end station or in an ATM-LAN bridge . The ports on the LAN switches are assigned to particular ELANs independently of physical location. 1. There are two types of ATM-attached equipment that implement the LANE protocol: ATM network interface cards (NICs) and LAN switching equipment. Address Registration The address registration function provides the MAC addresses to the LANE layer in ATM end systems for local filtering of incoming LAN frames. This includes: mapping the MAC address to an ATM the LANE server. and thats a set of SNMP-based procedures used to manage the user-network interface (UNI) between an ATM end system and an ATM switch). 2. This method includes: learning the ATM address of a target station. create an ELAN service. The network-layer protocols on the end system keep working as if they were on a LAN by using known procedures. Similarly. ATM NICs implement the LANE protocol and interface to the ATM network but present the current LAN service interface to the higher-level protocols in the attached end system. but now they can use the bigger bandwidth of ATM networks. the end system obtains access to the Default VCC. Address Management and Resolution The address management and resolution function provides a method which allows the ATM end system to learn a destination ATM address in order to establish a Direct VCC for the exchange of LAN frames. LAN Emulation Service's Functions The LANE service consists of the following five functions: Initialization In the initialization function.

LEC The LEC implements the LANE layer in an end system and performs: data forwarding. LAN frame forwarding includes identification of the VCC type (Default or Direct) through which a LAN frame will be sent using the address management table and encapsulation of the frame. according to the LAN frame filter controls specified by the higher layers. If the data frame is indeed received. 56 1186886 . release. and maintenance of Direct VCCs. For the LANE server. this function performs the de-capsulation of the frame before delivering it to the user. in hardware on a specialized LANE ATM adapter. Similarly.the mapping in a table which for the server is known as Server Address Association Table or SAAT. the LAN frame receive function decides if an incoming data frame should be received by this end station. The LANE server does not change the contents of received LAN frames. the LANE protocol defines the operation of a single ELAN which contains the following components: LAN Emulation Client . The above LANE layer functions can be implemented completely in software. the LAN frame transmit function of the LANE server determines the outgoing VCC over which a frame is to be forwarded by querying the address management table. managing the table. or in a combination of both.LES The LES is a central control point to which LECs forward registration and control information. establishment of the various VCCs. the LAN frame receive function delivers every frame it receives to the LAN frame transmit function. An ATM end system that connects to multiple ELANs has one LEC per ELAN. LAN Emulation Components Although multiple ELANs can simultaneously exist on a single ATM network. LAN Frame Receive For a specific ATM station. and providing the mapping to ATM end systems. address resolution. LAN Emulation Server . LAN Frame Transmit The LAN frame transmit function in ATM end systems involves LAN frame forwarding and VCC control. VCC control includes the establishment. registration of MAC addresses with the LAN emulation server (LES) and provision of a standard LAN interface to higher-level protocols on LANs. Its main control function is resolving destination MAC addresses into ATM addresses.

Broadcast and Unknown Server . 57 1186886 . which means that all the frames cells must be received by the BUS before the frame can be forwarded to its destination(s). its main function is to flood traffic with unknown destination address and to forward multicast and broadcast traffic to clients of a specific ELAN.An emulated token-ring LAN cannot have members that are emulating an Ethernet LAN (and vice versa).LECS The LECS provides configuration information to clients. One LECS per administrative domain is enough to serve all the ELANs within that domain. The LECS gets requests from LECs and responds with the correspondent ELAN identifier. Each LEC is associated with only one BUS per ELAN. Each ELAN must have a LES and only one LES exists per ELAN. The LES may be physically internal to the ATM network or may be provided as an external device. LAN Emulation Configuration Server . but logically it is always an external function which simply uses the services provided by ATM to do its job. meaning. . This means that cells of different frames mustnt be intermixed. The BUS is actually the component which simulates the shared-media LAN over an ATM network. the ATM address of the LES that serves that ELAN.BUS The BUS is a multicast server . there must be an instance of a LES for every type of LAN emulation. It manages a database of LECs and their corresponding ELANs. Thus. The BUS works in a store-and-forward mode.

servers.Figure 4: LAN Emulation Components Figure 5 : An ELAN consists of clients. and various intermediate nodes 58 1186886 .

LAN Emulation Connection Types The LANE entities communicate with each other by using several ATM VCCs. Its usually a point-to-multi-point connection. 59 1186886 . Multicast forward VCC is a uni-directional VCC set up by the BUS to the LEC. 3. this way connection resources are conserved and the time dedicated to connection setup is saved. Two LECs usually use the same data-direct VCC to carry all packets between them. 2. Multicast send VCC is a bi-directional point-to-point VCC set up by the LEC to the BUS. with each LEC as a leaf. Figure 6 : LANE data connections use a series of VCLs to link a LAN switch and ATM hosts. LANE data connections The LANE data connections kinds are: 1. LECs have separate connections for data transmission and control traffic. Data-direct VCC is a bi-directional point-to-point VCC set up between two LECs that want to exchange data.

lets examine the following stages of the LEC operation: Initialization and Configuration The initialization process begins when the LEC obtains its own ATM address. LECS. using a well-known LECS address. and ATM host. 2. The LAN Emulation Operation In order to explain and understand the operation of a LANE system and components . or using a well-known permanent connection to the LECS. Control-distribute VCC is a uni-directional VCC set up from the LES back to the LEC (usually a point-to-multipoint connection). Configuration-direct VCC is a bi-directional point-to-point VCC set up from the LEC to the LECS. which usually happens during the address registration. 1.LANE Configuration and Control connections Figure 7 : LANE control connections link the LES. the LEC determines the location of the LECS and thats accomplished by one of the following methods: using a defined ILMI procedure to determine the LECS address. LAN switch. 60 1186886 . Then. Control-direct VCC is a bi-directional VCC set up from the LEC to the LES. 3.

This information is managed so that two (or more) different LECs cant register the same MAC or ATM address.As soon as the LECS is located. When the BUS receives the signalling request. it joins the BUS by creating a special signalling packet. Finding and Joining the BUS Once the LEC has successfully joined the LECS. 3. maximum packet size on the ELAN. and ELAN name.distribute VCC. sometimes using a flush procedure. That information includes: ATM address of the LES. it adds the LEC to its point-to-multipoint multicast forward VCC. the ATM address of the destination LEC is resolved. as a leaf. the LES adds the LEC to its point-to-multipoint controldistribute VCC. If the LECS find a matching entry . and sends through that VCC an LE_JOIN_REQUEST. Now the LEC is a member of the ELAN and it can start transmitting data. it must find the BUS ATM address in order to join the broadcast group and become a member of the emulated LAN. it sets up the control-direct VCC to the LES. and confirms the client's membership. it checks with the LECS through its open connection. Data Transfer This final stage. When the LES receives the LE_JOIN_REQUEST. verifies the request. 2. type of LAN being emulated. 1. When the LEC obtains the BUS' ATM address. If the verification is successful. Once the LEC got the LES address. the LEC sends an LE_ARP_REQUEST packet with the MAC address 0xFFFFFFFF on the control-direct VCC to the LES. The LES responds with the BUS' ATM address on the control. and sends the LEC a successful LE_JOIN_RESPONSE containing a unique LAN Emulation Client ID (LECID) which is used by the LEC to filter its own broadcasts from the BUS. as a leaf. First. the LEC sets up a configuration-direct VCC to the LECS and sends a LE_CONFIGURE_REQUEST. Joining and Registering with the LES A LEC joins the LES and registers its own ATM and MAC addresses by the following three steps:. 61 1186886 . and the data is transferred. Thats the way the LEC registers its own MAC and ATM addresses with the returns a LE_CONFIGURE_RESPONSE to the LEC with the configuration information thats needed to connect to its target ELAN.

0 adds is support for the other service classes:   CBR (Constant bit rate) Provides a fixed amount of bandwidth that is always available for streaming data such as voice and video. but network bandwidth is only used when data is sent. Now. although the choice of paths may change over time. The BUS then forwards it to all LECs on the ELAN (using the multicast forward VCC). Data transfer and flushing: After an LE_ARP is received. the LEC sets up a data-direct VCC to the destination node. The LEC then sends a LE_ARP_REQUEST control frame to the LES (using a control-direct VCC). Switching between the two paths can cause frames to be delivered out of order to the receiving client. In the flush procedure. If the LES knows the answer. LANE 2. the sending client and the receiving client have two paths between them for unicast frames: one via the BUS and one via the data-direct VCC between them. LANE 1.0 sends traffic using the UBR (unspecified bit rate) service.Address resolution: When a LEC has to send a data packet to an unknown-destination MAC address. 62 1186886 . In order to do so. a control cell is sent down the first transmission path (BUS) following the last packet. and sends back the response.0 LANE 2. it has to find out the ATM address of the destination LEC that can lead it to that specific address. the LEC first sends the data frame to the BUS (using the multicast send VCC). which does not guarantee any bandwidth. The LEC waits until the destination acknowledges the receipt of the flush packet before using the second path (VCC) to send packets. UBR and other ATM services are discussed under the ATM heading. A client is supposed to use only one path at a time for a specific LAN destination.0 adds QoS features and provides support for multicasting. Additional enhancements include the ability to multiplex multiple emulated LANs over a single ATM virtual circuit. What LANE 2. VBR (variable bit rate) This is similar to CBR in that a peak cell rate is specified. it translates the destinations MAC address to its corresponding ATM address. If the LES does not know the answer. and if there are switching devices with LEC software in the ELAN . The Flush protocol is therefore provided to make sure that data frames are delivered in the right order. it floods the LE_ARP_REQUEST to some or all LECs.they translate and forward the ARP on their LAN interfaces.

Switches must also be LANE 2. which means that end systems must be ATM aware in order to take advantage of them.0 aware. ABR (Available Bit rate) Provides a specific bandwidth out of what is available and allows client to use more bandwidth for bursts if it is available. these services must be requested. Of course. 63 1186886 .