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Layer 2 WAN encapsulations

When you type command 

router#config t
router(config)#int s0/0/0
router(config-if)#encapsulation ?

ISO will list many layer 2 WAN encapsulation options. Here let's quickly brief through, we will have detailed discussion later.

Frame Relay

Frame Relay is a standardized wide area network technology that specifies the physical and data link layers of digital telecommunications channels using a packet switching methodology. Originally designed for transport across Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) infrastructure, it may be used today in the context of many other network interfaces.

PPP

In computer networking, Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) is a data link layer (layer 2) communications protocol used to establish a direct connection between two nodes. It connects two routers directly without any host or any other networking device in between. It can provide connection authentication, transmission encryption, and compression.  

PPP is used over many types of physical networks including serial cable, phone line, trunk line, cellular telephone, specialized radio links, and fiber optic links such as SONET. Internet service providers (ISPs) have used PPP for customer dial-up access to the Internet, since IP packets cannot be transmitted over a modem line on their own, without some data link protocol.  

Two derivatives of PPP, Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet (PPPoE) and Point-to-Point Protocol over ATM (PPPoA), are used most commonly by ISPs to establish a Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) Internet service connection with customers.

MPLS

Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) is a type of data-carrying technique for high-performance telecommunications networks. MPLS directs data from one network node to the next based on short path labels rather than long network addresses, avoiding complex lookups in a routing table. The labels identify virtual links (paths) between distant nodes rather than endpoints. MPLS can encapsulate packets of various network protocols, hence its name "multiprotocol". MPLS supports a range of access technologies, including T1/E1, ATM, Frame Relay, and DSL.

HDLC

High-Level Data Link Control (HDLC) is a bit-oriented code-transparent synchronous data link layer protocol developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). 

DSL


Digital subscriber line (DSL; originally digital subscriber loop) is a family of technologies that are used to transmit digital data over telephone lines. In telecommunications marketing, the term DSL is widely understood to mean asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL), the most commonly installed DSL technology, for Internet access.  The bit rate of consumer DSL services typically ranges from 256 kbit/s to over 100 Mbit/s in the direction to the customer (downstream).

ISDN

Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) is a set of communication standards for simultaneous digital transmission of voice, video, data, and other network services over the traditional circuits of the public switched telephone network. It was first defined in 1988 in the CCITT red book.[1] Prior to ISDN, the telephone system was viewed as a way to transport voice, with some special services available for data. The key feature of ISDN is that it integrates speech and data on the same lines, adding features that were not available in the classic telephone system. 

PPPoE


The Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet (PPPoE) is a network protocol for encapsulating PPP frames inside Ethernet frames. It appeared in 1999, in the context of the boom of DSL as the solution for tunneling packets over the DSL connection to the ISP's IP network, and from there to the rest of the Internet. PPPoE provides many PPP features such as authentication, encryption, and compression. Typical use of PPPoE involves leveraging the PPP facilities for authenticating the user with a username and password, predominately via the PAP protocol and less often via CHAP. 

On the customer-premises equipment, PPPoE may be implemented either in a unified residential gateway device that handles both DSL modem and IP routing functions or in the case of a simple DSL modem (without routing support), PPPoE may be handled behind it on a separate Ethernet-only router or even directly on a user's computer. (Support for PPPoE is present in most operating systems, ranging from Windows XP, Linux to Mac OS X.) 

ATM

Asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) was developed to meet the needs of the Broadband Integrated Services Digital Network, as defined in the late 1980s, and designed to integrate telecommunication networks. Additionally, It was designed for networks that must handle both traditional high-throughput data traffic (e.g., file transfers), and real-time, low-latency content such as voice and video. ATM uses asynchronous time-division multiplexing, and encodes data into small, fixed-sized packets (ISO-OSI frames) called cells. This differs from approaches such as the Internet Protocol or Ethernet that use variable sized packets and frames. ATM uses a connection-oriented model in which a virtual circuit must be established between two endpoints before the actual data exchange begins. These virtual circuits may be “permanent”, i.e. dedicated connections that are usually preconfigured by the service provider, or “switched”, i.e. set up on a per-call basis using signalling and disconnected when the call is terminated.

HFC

Hybrid fiber-coaxial (HFC) is a telecommunications industry term for a broadband network that combines optical fiber and coaxial cable. It has been commonly employed globally by cable television operators since the early 1990s.  In a hybrid fiber-coaxial cable system, the television channels are sent from the cable system's distribution facility, the headend, to local communities through optical fiber subscriber lines. At the local community, a box called an optical node translates the signal from a light beam to radio frequency (RF), and sends it over coaxial cable lines for distribution to subscriber residences. The fiberoptic trunk lines provide adequate bandwidth[weasel words] to allow future expansion and new bandwidth-intensive services.

VSAT

A very small aperture terminal (VSAT) is a two-way satellite ground station with a dish antenna that is smaller than 3.8 meters. The majority of VSAT antennas range from 75 cm to 1.2 m. Data rates, in most cases, range from 4 kbit/s up to 16 Mbit/s. VSATs access satellites in geosynchronous orbit or geostationary orbit to relay data from small remote Earth stations (terminals) to other terminals (in mesh topology) or master Earth station "hubs" (in star topology).

Metro Ethernet

A metropolitan-area Ethernet, Ethernet MAN, or metro Ethernet network is a metropolitan area network (MAN) that is based on Ethernet standards. It is commonly used to connect subscribers to a larger service network or the Internet. Businesses can also use metropolitan-area Ethernet to connect their own offices to each other.

Cellular network

A cellular network or mobile network is a communication network where the last link is wireless. The network is distributed over land areas called cells, each served by at least one fixed-location transceiver, but more normally three cell sites or base transceiver stations. These base stations provide the cell with the network coverage which can be used for transmission of voice, data, and other types of content. A cell typically uses a different set of frequencies from neighboring cells, to avoid interference and provide guaranteed service quality within each cell.  

When joined together, these cells provide radio coverage over a wide geographic area. This enables a large number of portable transceivers (e.g., mobile phones, tablets and laptops equipped with mobile broadband modems, pagers, etc.) to communicate with each other and with fixed transceivers and telephones anywhere in the network, via base stations, even if some of the transceivers are moving through more than one cell during transmission.