Frame relay is a high - speed WAN protocol designed specifically for interconnecting geographically dispersed LANs or WANs through a shared network. Frame relay uses multiplexing; this allows multiple users to access a frame relay virtual circuits and ports from a single location. Frame relay allocates bandwidth efficiently based on user demand. This reduces the waste incurred in Time –Division multiplexing systems where bandwidth in allocated time slots is not used. It also saves costs by allowing many devices to share a common network infrastructure and because new virtual circuits take a shorter time to provision. Frame relay operates at the data - link layer of the OSI reference model that can transport a variety of routed protocols. Routed protocols data packets are encapsulated within frame relay packets generally known as frames (Chin).
Frame relay is now the one of the most popular technologies in use. Facilities used in frame relay are less error prone than when X.25 was used and they transmit data with less overhead. Frame relay cost effectiveness makes it run at speeds of 64Kbps to 1.544 Mbps. According to Anthony Ramirez, writer for New York Times; “Frame relay can handle as much as 1.54 million bits of information each second - 27 times faster than is possible with X.25 packet switching” (Ramirez). Most carriers offer a range of Committed Information Rate (CIR) speeds that include 56 Kbps, 128 Kbps, and 256 Kbps, 384 Kbps, 1.5 Mbps, 2 Mbps and 45 Mbps. Frame relay provides a communication interface between Data Terminal Equipment (DTE) and Data Circuit- Terminating Equipment (DCE) devices. DTE include PCs, routers and bridges - customer – owned end – node and internetworking devices. DCE comprises carrier – owned internetworking devices (Singh).
FRAME RELAY VIRTUAL CIRCUTS
Frame relay forwards frames from the source to the destination through a frame relay on virtual path circuits. This can be Permanent Virtual Circuits (PVCs)...