Frame Relay

A virtual circuit technology that provides low-level (physical and data link layers) service is response to the following demands: Higher data rate at lower cost Bursty data Less overhead due to improved transmission media

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Frame Relay versus Pure Mesh T-Line Network

6-LANs to be connected Frame relay – originally designed to provide a 1.544 Mbps - today it can handle up to 44.376MBPS ( = T3 line)
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Fixed-Rate versus Bursty Data

Frame relay accepts bursty data A user is granted an average data rate that can be exceeded during bursty period

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X.25 Traffic

X.25 provides extensive error checking and flow control Station-to-station checking: Each station keeps a copy of the original frame until it receives confirmation from the next station Source-to-final destination checking (network layer)
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Frame Relay Traffic

The quality of transmission media has improved, more reliable and less error prone Frame relay does not provide error checking or require acknowledgement in the data link layer
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Comparison Between X.25 & Frame Relay
Feature Connection establishment Hop-by-hop flow control & error control End-to-end flow control & error control Data rate Multiplexing Congestion control X.25 At the network layer At the data link layer At the network layer Fixed At the network layer Not necessary Frame Relay None None None Bursty At the data link layer Necessary

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Advantages of Frame relay over X.25 & T-lines
• Operates at a higher speed • Operates in just physical and data link layers
– Can be used as a backbone network to provide services to protocols that already have a network protocol. Ex. TCP/IP

• Allows bursty data • Less expensive
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Disadvantages
• The data rate is still not high enough for protocols with even higher data rates ( e.g. B-ISDN) • Frame relay allows variable-length frames. This may create varying delays for different users; users of small frames are punished • Not suitable for sending delay sensitive data such as real-time voice or video ( e. g. teleconferencing)

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Frame Relay Network

DTEs – device that connect users to the network DCEs – switches that route the frames
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Virtual Circuit
• Permanent Virtual circuit
– Connection is established between 2 DTEs by the network provider

• Switched Virtual circuit

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Data Link Connection Identifier (DLCI)

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DLCI have local jurisdiction

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PVC DLCIs

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SVC Setup and Release
This job needs the service of the network layer protocol This makes a connection request using the network layer addresses of DTEs

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SVC DLCIs

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DLCIs Inside a Network

DLCIs are unique only for a particular interface

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Frame Relay Switch

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Frame Relay Layers
Simplified version of HDLC

Any protocol recognized by ANSI
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Comparing Layers in Frame Relay and X.25
1.5 layers

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Frame Relay Frame

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• C/R – used by upper layer • EA – 0 means another address byte is to follow
– 1 means that the current byte is the final one

• FECN – set by any switch – traffic is congested in the direction in which the frame is traveling
– Informs the sender that congestion has occurred

• BECN – congestion problem in the direction opposite to the one in which the frame is traveling
– Informs the sender that congestion has occurred

• DE – indicates the priority of the frame
– 1 – tells the network not to discard the frame – Can set by the sender or any switch in the network
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BECN

2 methods: 1. The switch can use response frames from the receiver, full duplex mode 2. The switch can use a predefined connection (DLCI=1023) to send special frames for this specific purpose
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FECN

Receiver can delay the acknowledgement, forcing the sender to slow down (communication at a higher layer)
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Four Cases of Congestion
Congestion may occur if users send data into the network at a rate greater than that allowed by network resources (bursty data)

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Leaky Bucket

Same situation occurs in a Frame Relay since it does not use flow control

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A Switch Controlling the Output Rate

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Flowchart for Leaky Bucket Algorithm

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Example of Leaky Bucket Algorithm

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Relationship between Traffic Control Attributes

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User Rate in Relation to Bc and Bc + Be

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Three Address Formats

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FRAD

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