Understanding It and How It Fits in Your Network
Today, end users are continuously finding new ways to leverage the corporate wide area network for business advantage. The volume of traffic is rapidly pushing WAN backbones to the breaking point. At the same time, network IS professionals are struggling to support the different Qualities of Service (QoS) demanded by new applications such as web browsing, desktop conferencing, and collaborative groupware.
Asynchronous Transfer Mode, or ATM, is a high-speed transmission protocol in which data blocks are broken into small cells that are transmitted individually and possibly via different routes in a manner similar to packet-switching technology. In ATM a user starts the transmission process by sending a block of data addressed to the recipient. The data is broken into 48-byte data packets, forming a 53-byte transmission frame. These frames are then transmitted to the recipient, where the 5-byte control data is stripped and the message is reassembled.
We live in a fast changing world of networking. It's hard to keep up with which technology fits where and why. This section discusses ATM basics - where it its, its advantages and disadvantages, as well as common applications of the technology. Topics include:
Getting Past ATM's Jargon
ATM has its own jargon that may sound like a foreign language. It's wise to get a good overview of ATM technology and how it works, as well as an explanation of that "techno-babble".