Introduction to ATM

Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) describes several related, standards-based technologies that provide high-speed communication over a broad range of media. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU-T) defines ATM as "a high-speed, connection-oriented multiplexing and switching method specified in international standards utilizing fixed-length cells to support multiple types of traffic." Before you can decide whether to deploy ATM in your network, you need to understand how it integrates with current networking environments and how it functions in new networking environments. Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) is a wide array of services and concepts. At this time, ATM technologies are used selectively in local and wide area networks. Some networks have been completely transformed into native ATM networks, with software, end-station hardware, and network fabric all made up of ATM devices and drivers. In other networks, ATM is used only in the network backbone, shuttling data from one local area network (LAN) to another. In some instances, ATM is deployed in small pockets intermixed with standard LAN components and other networking technologies. ATM is continually evolving. In some cases, its usefulness is judged by how well it emulates legacy networks; that is, how it compares with traditional LAN technologies such as Ethernet and Token Ring. In other cases, ATM provides so many clear advantages in terms of speed, manageability, and accuracy that it has quickly been recognized as the only viable solution.

ATM Overview
Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) is a connection-oriented, unreliable, virtual circuit packet switching technology. ATM technology includes:



Scalable performance ² ATM can send data across a network quickly and accurately, regardless of the size of the network. ATM works well on both very low and very highspeed media. Flexible, guaranteed Quality of Service (QoS) ² ATM allows the accuracy and speed of data transfer to be specified by the client. This feature distinguishes ATM from other high-speed LAN technologies such as gigabit Ethernet. The QoS feature of ATM also supports time dependent (or isochronous) traffic. Traffic management at the hardware level ensures that the level of service exists end-to-end. Each virtual circuit in an ATM network is unaffected by traffic on other virtual circuits. Small packet size and a simple header structure ensure that switching is done quickly and that bottlenecks are minimized. Speed ² ATM imposes no architectural speed limitations. Its pre-negotiated virtual circuits, fixed-length cells, message segmentation and re-assembly in hardware, and hardware-level switching all help support extremely fast forwarding of data.

High evolution potential. because their small size is advantageous to the often limited space available in a typical ATM. legacy technologies Provides the best multiple service support Supports delay close to that of dedicated services Supports the broadest range of burstiness. as required by the particular application. with all the promise of ATM¶s capabilities many details are still in the standards process ATMs are based on a PC embedded at the center of the machine. etc. . cash dispensers. at present. Low Profile PCI boards are a particularly good choice for these applications. touch screens. delay tolerance and loss performance through the implementation of multiple QoS classes Provides the capability to support both connection-oriented and connectionless traffic using AALs Able to use all common physical transmission paths like SONET.Advantages of ATM y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y ATM supports voice. video and data allowing multimedia and mixed services over a single network.. card readers. cameras. Cable can be twisted-pair. works with existing. printers. although it will decrease with time New customer premises hardware and software are required Competition from other technologies -100 Mbps FDDI. This serial connection is made via multiport serial cards or adapters which can provide up to 16 ports each. coaxial or fiber-optic Ability to connect LAN to WAN Legacy LAN emulation Efficient bandwidth use by statistical multiplexing Scalability Higher aggregate bandwidth High speed Mbps and possibly Gbps ATM disadvantages y y y y Flexible to efficiency¶s expense. The diagram below depicts an ATM implemented with Quatech's QSCLP-100 four port RS-232 Serial Universal PCI Low Profile Board. This PC connects to multiple serial peripherals such as keypads. for any one application it is usually possible to find a more optimized technology Cost. 100 Mbps Ethernet and fast Ethernet Presently the applications that can benefit from ATM such as multimedia are rare The wait.

A fullfeatured ATM ENS offers a broad range of in-building (e.. APPLICATIONS ATM technologies. video. It is called an ATM enterprise network switch. and SOO-RIMM. Workgroup ATM is more of a niche market with the wide acceptance of switched-Ethernet desktop technologies. LAN. Over the evolution of computers their has been several different variations of RAM used in computer. ‡ ATM workgroup and campus networks²Enterprise users are deploying ATM campus networks based on the ATM LANE standards. Below is an example image of a 512MB DIMM memory stick. ‡ ATM enterprise network consolidation²A new class of product has evolved as an ATM multimedia network-consolidation vehicle. Computer RAM diagram. Determining how much RAM is installed and available. also known as main memory or system memory.g. and services are being applied in a wide range of networking environments. as described briefly below ‡ ATM services²Service providers globally are introducing or already offering ATM services to their business users. SO-DIMM. Additional information with installing computer hardware. SIMM. Unlike ROM. voice. is a term commonly used to describe the memory within a computer. 6. all data is also lost.Hardware RAM Short for Random Access Memory. Some of the more common examples are: DIMM. RAM is a volatile memory and requires power. RAM. and . y y y y Computer memory help and support. RIMM. if power is lost. standards.

leased line. frame relay. and ATM at narrowband and broadband speeds) and supports ATM switching. circuit switched. typically including customer-located equipment and offered on an end-to-end basis).. to use as a networking infrastructure for a range of data services. and full-service virtual privatenetworking capabilities (these including integrated multimedia access and network management). Examples include managed ATM. LAN. ‡ Internet backbones²Internet service providers are likewise deploying ATM backbones to meet the rapid growth of their frame-relay services. voice and video services (these being provided on a per-application basis. ‡ Multimedia virtual private networks and managed services²Service providers are building on their ATM networks to offer a broad range of services.ATM) and wide-area interfaces (e. and integrated multiprotocol routing. voice networking. frame-relay SVCs.g. and to enable Internet classofservice offerings and virtual private intranet services .

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