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Local Area Network Emulation

Definition

Local Area Network Emulation, often known as LANE, is a technique used in telecommunications that allows Ethernet or Token Ring local area networks (LANs) to operate over an Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) network. This is accomplished by emulating the native LAN traffic and conveying it over the ATM network. Essentially, LANE enables existing LAN users to exploit the benefits of ATM without significant changes to their current systems.

Phonetic

The phonetic spelling of “Local Area Network Emulation” is:Local: LOH-kuhlArea: EH-ree-uhNetwork: NET-wurkEmulation: eh-muh-LAY-shuhn

Key Takeaways

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  1. Local Area Network Emulation (LANE) is a communication protocol that allows local area network (LAN) services to be provided over an Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) network. This technology is significant because it integrates existing LAN networks with an ATM backbone network without changing the user’s existing LAN applications.
  2. LANE emulates existing LAN services and supports the existing LAN protocols such as Ethernet and Token Ring. This feature enables LANE to leverage the high-speed capabilities of ATM, while still maintaining compatibility with common LAN services.
  3. LANE consists of two main components – LANE clients and LANE servers. LANE clients are software programs that reside on workstations, servers, or routers connected to the ATM network, whereas LANE servers are responsible for creating and managing LAN Emulation services across the ATM network.

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Importance

Local Area Network Emulation (LANE) is a significant term in technology because it designates a technology approach that allows efficient transmission of data over an asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) network. This is crucial because its purpose is to let existing local area networks (LANs), such as Ethernet and Token Ring, over ATM networks operate in a way that appears natural to their users. In essence, LANE extends LAN applications over wide areas. It enables devices connected to the ATM network to communicate with devices on the LAN, essentially emulating a LAN through the use of ATM. Therefore, it is key in businesses and organizations with distributed computing environments, facilitating communication between various systems within a broader network. It makes the migration to newer network technologies smoother and less disruptive by allowing the legacy networks to function as they always have.

Explanation

Local Area Network (LAN) Emulation, often abbreviated as LANE, is a technology designed to allow existing local area network resources to communicate in a more extensive environment like a metropolitan area network (MAN) or wide area network (WAN). Essentially, LANE is a technique used primarily in network communication to facilitate and replicate the operations that occur in a LAN over a different network type, typically an asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) network, a high-speed network that can transmit voice, video, and data simultaneously.The impetus behind the LANE’s usage stems from the need to integrate the high-speed capabilities of ATM networks with established LAN systems without incurring massive restructuring or replacement costs. By emulating a LAN, which is familiar to most organizations, over an ATM network, businesses can efficiently exploit the benefits of ATM while conserving their existing network infrastructure. This leads to benefits such as higher data transfer rates, improved scalability, and the ability to handle more complex and bandwidth-demanding tasks.

Examples

Local Area Network (LAN) Emulation (LANE) is a method for connecting LANs through Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) Networks. Due to its network emulation ability, various real-life applications have used this technology to perform a myriad of tasks. Here are three real-world examples:1. Corporate Offices: Local Area Network Emulation is often used in corporate offices to ensure smooth and uninterrupted communication between different departments. LANE technology allows computers from different levels or branches of a company to communicate faster and more efficiently using ATM links which have high-speed potential.2. Universities and Educational Institutions: Many universities and colleges use Local Area Network Emulation to connect different departments or buildings within the campus. This technology allows students and faculty to access servers and shared resources from nearly any building on the campus.3. Internet Service Providers: Some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) utilize LANE technology to deliver high-speed internet services to their customers. The ISPs use LANE to emulate a LAN connection and facilitate fast data transmission between the service provider and the customers.These real-world examples reflect how LANE technology can be applied to enhance and speed up network connections in various settings.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

**Q: What is Local Area Network Emulation?**A: Local Area Network Emulation, often abbreviated as LANE is a networking technology that enables the communication between devices on a Wide Area Network (WAN) as if they were on a Local Area Network (LAN). **Q: What are the benefits of using Local Area Network Emulation?**A: LANE allows for network scalability and integration, reduces infrastructure costs, and allows users to flexibly access resources regardless of their location. It provides the speed and efficiencies of a LAN over a larger WAN infrastructure.**Q: What is the difference between a LAN and LANE?**A: A LAN is a network of connected devices within a small geographic area like a home, school or office building. LANE, on the other hand, allows devices over a much broader geographic area to communicate as if they are on a LAN.**Q: How does Local Area Network Emulation work?**A: LANE uses a technique called ‘tunneling’. Data packets from the LAN are encapsulated in a LANE header before being sent over the WAN. Once they reach the destination, the header is removed and packets are delivered as though they are on the local network.**Q: Are there any weaknesses or challenges in using LANE?**A: LANE can sometimes suffer from latency or delay since the data has to be encapsulated before transmission and then decapsulated at the receiving end. It is also subject to the same security risks as any other data transmission over the Internet.**Q: Is there any specific hardware or software required to implement LANE?**A: LANE doesn’t require any specific hardware or software, it can be implemented on existing networks. However, appropriate measures should be in place for security, like firewalls or other encryption tools.**Q: Who uses Local Area Network Emulation?**A: Organizations with distributed networks such as large corporations, universities, and public bodies often use LANE. This technology is also useful for telecommuters and remote teams, allowing them to communicate and share resources more effectively.

Related Tech Terms

  • LAN (Local Area Network): A network system that connects computers and devices in a limited geographical area such as a home, office, or group of buildings.
  • Network Emulator: A tool that mimics the behavior of a real network allowing developers to test the performance of applications in simulated network conditions.
  • Network Virtualization: The process of amalgamating hardware and software network resources and network functionality into a single software-based administrative entity, a virtual network.
  • Data Traffic: Refers to the amount of data moving across a network at a given point of time. In LAN emulation, this becomes an important factor in predicting network performance.
  • Network Topology: The physical or logical structure of a network, determining the way in which different network nodes. i.e., connections, interact.

Sources for More Information

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