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ATM Defined
ATM is a cell-switching and
multiplexing technology that combines the benefits of circuit switching (guaranteed capacity and constant transmission delay) with those of packet switching (flexibility and efficiency for intermittent traffic) CISCO. It utilizes fixed length cells to carry the information

Circuit Switching and Packet Switching

ATM is circuit switched because it establishes virtual circuits for communication At the same time, the virtual circuits are established over packet switched networks

As such, it combines the benefits of circuit switched and packet switched technologies

ATM Usage and Bandwidth

In theory, ATM can be deployed from small LANs to very large WANs
At present, it is used mostly on backbones, but this may change in the future with declining prices for ATM equipment

ATM deployments can operate at speeds starting in the Mbps range scaling up to Gpbs range
Speed wise, it is easily scalable

Protocol Architecture (diag)

ATM Protocol Reference Model

Map data to the ATM cell structure Framing, cell structure & Logical Connections Various data rates (155.52 Mbps, 622.08 Mbps) over various physical media types (Fiber Optic, SONET, UTP, etc.)

Reference Model Planes

User plane
Provides for user information transfer

Control plane
Call and connection control

Management plane
Plane management
whole system functions

Layer management
Resources and parameters in protocol entities

ATM Cell Basics

ATM carries information based on fixed length cells Compare this to the other packet switching technologies such as Frame Relay etc. where each packet may be of a different length The length of each cell is 53 Bytes First 5 bytes are used as the cell header Next 48 bytes are used as the payload carrying the data

An ATM Cell

Fixed Length Cell Advantage

Delay or latency is significantly reduced ATM is therefore suited for voice and video transmission Fixed length cells make it easier to switch data across multiple networks ATM networks are built based on switches and not routers Fixed length cell is similar to container based road transportation Some parallels can be drawn with respect to the advantage of fixed length transportation based on the benefits of container transportation

ATM Cell Format

Multiplexing Using Different Packet Sizes

Multiplexing Using Cells

ATM Multiplexing

ATM Devices
ATM networks are built around two categories of devices ATM Switch ATM end-point

An ATM switch can be connected to either another ATM switch or and ATM end-point

Architecture of an ATM Network

ATM End-Points
Will contain and ATM end-point adapter Examples of ATM end-points Workstations LAN switches Routers DSU/CSU Units Video Coder-Decoders (CODECs)

Devices on Which ATM Has Been Implemented PC, workstation, and server network interface cards switched-Ethernet and token-ring workgroup hubs workgroup and campus ATM switches ATM enterprise network switches ATM multiplexers ATMedge switches ATMbackbone switches

ATM Switches and Interfaces

ATM switch supports two types of interfaces User-Network Interface (UNI) Connects an ATM end-point to a switch Network-Network Interface (NNI) Connects two ATM switches

ATM Services
There are basically three types of ATM services Permanent Virtual Circuits (PVC) Switched Virtual Circuits (SVC) Connectionless Service Note: SVC is the most widely used service

ATM Virtual Connections

Two types of connections exist One is known as the Virtual Path (VP) The other is known as the Virtual Circuit (VC)

TP, VPs, and VCs

Example of VPs and VCs

Connection Identifiers

Virtual Connection Identifiers in UNIs and NNIs

SVC Setup

Routing with a VP Switch

Figure 19-12

A Conceptual View of a VP Switch

Routing with a VPC Switch

A Conceptual View of a VPC Switch

ATM Layers

ATM Layers in End-Point Devices and Switches

AAL Types





ATM Layer

ATM Header

PT Fields

Service Classes

ATM Quality of Service (QoS)

ATMs advantage over competing technologies is that it is able to offer a specified QOS For example, ATM providers can guarantee to their customers that the endto-end latency will not exceed a specified level

QoS Offered by ATM

Constant Bit Rate (CBR) Variable Bit Rate (VBR) Unspecified Bit Rate (UBR) Available Bit Rate (ABR)

Service Classes and Capacity of Network

Constant Bit Rate (CBR)

Highest grade service (Grade A) A constant bandwidth is available for the virtual channel Suitable for voice-over-IP (Transfer fixed rate uncompressed video), and other traffic that requires steady, guaranteed throughput

Variable Bit Rate (VBR)

Second in the level of service (Grade B) It is divide into to categories
Variable Bit Rate Non-Real Time (VBR-NRT) Variable Bit Rate Real Time (VBR-RT)

Variable Bit Rate Non-Real Time VBR-NRT

Provides bandwidth only as needed Traffic that is not very sensitive to celldelay or latency is handled by this service An example use would be to send multimedia e-mail

Variable Bit Rate Real Time VBRRT

Again, this is similar to VBR-RT in providing bandwidth as needed But VBR-RT is designed for applications where cell-delay or latency cannot be accommodated

Sample Applications for VBRRT

Voice with speech activity detection

Compressed interactive video

Video conferencing

Available Bit Rate (ABR)

Third in the level of service (Grade C) Bandwidth is adjusted based on the amount of traffic in the network Suitable for data traffic such as file transfer and Email that are basically not time sensitive

Unspecified Bit Rate (UBR)

Fourth in the level of service (Grade D) Dose not offer any fixed values for the traffic parameters