Frame relay is a wide area network tool. Frame relay is able to identify the physical and the logical layer of digital communication channel using packet switch method. This protocol was designed to facilitate the data transfer over ISDN (integrated services digital network). The data in the frame relay is carried using frames or data packets. These frames are identified by the ID on every packet. Frame relay is a leased and switched service.
The Origin of Frame Relay
Frame relay is an advanced version of X.25 protocol. It has freed itself from the erroneous burden of X.25. Frame relay is highly efficient in detecting errors. Whenever it identifies an error it drops the relative packet. Frame relay is based on the technique of shared access and practically there is no delivery of error free data. However it is reliable because it is able to make use of high speed and efficient packet switched technology. Initially frame relay was presented in 1984 but it does not come into account till 1990. Cisco development and Startacom formed a group to further develop the Frame relay.
Just like other protocols of WAN network, frame relay also operates on the data link layer of the ISO model. There are two types of circuits permanent and switched virtual circuits. The first type of circuit is permanent virtual circuit. The virtual circuit is that circuit which is operated on the packet mode communication. Virtual circuit networks are a reliable source of communication and it is very efficient in terms of error detection and ARQ (automatic repeat request). The circuit switch is just like virtual circuit but it is much efficient because it is capable of delivering much more bit rate. The data is carried to its destination using virtual circuits. The success of the frame relay is based on the working of the virtual networks. Virtual circuits utilize bandwidth only when they transport data this is the reason why each device can use more bandwidth hence the overall speed and efficacy of the network is enhanced. The circuits are linked to the packet switches, which makes sure that any data packet is transferred to the ultimate destination correctly.
Advantages of Frame Relay
Frame relay is an attractive option to replace X.25 networks and dedicated links. Hence it is more suitable for connecting LANs to bridges and routers. Frame relay is often a desirable option for transmitting data because the data is not lost in this way. The detection of erroneous frames is possible by the error handling capability of frame relay. The error handling and identification initially, the time taking error detection process is slowed down. Frame relay removes the need for separate multiple dedicated circuits. The data is sent over the network using frame relay in a very efficient manner. Frame relay operates in a variable bandwidths ranging from 56 Kbps and 45Mbps. Therefore a user can exploit any of the bandwidth for commercial or domestic use. The frame relay technology can be used on any network whether wired or wireless. It can be installed on your existing twisted pair cable network. Or it can be implanted to the optical fiber. Moreover it can be used with the wireless technologies such as microwave and infrared technologies. Frame relay provides a user with voice, data and video signals at a fast and reliable speed. Hence it can also provide a user with a facility of video conferencing. This protocol is mostly used for dedicated LAN to LAN network and it also helps in connecting to the internet. It is a feasible and inexpensive solution for businesses which require flexible connectivity and fast connectivity.