by Dinesh Thakur Category: Network Technologies

Definition: Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) also called cell relay (transferring data in cells of a fixed size) that is operates at the data link layer (Layer 2) of OSI Model over fiber or twisted-pair cable, a high-speed switched network technology based on ITU-T Broadband Integrated Services Digital Network (B-ISDN) standard, developed by the telecommunications industry to implement the next generation network. ATM was designed for use in WANs such as the public telephone system and corporate data networks, though it has also been applied to create super-fast LANs.

ATM can carry all kinds of traffic: voice, video and data simultaneously at speeds up to 155 megabits per second. It Convert voice, video data to packets and passing large packet data through the same medium. ATM is differing from TCP/IP because it use fixed channel routing protocol routes between two end points. A real-time low-latency application such as VoIP and video takes precedence on an ATM network.

What is Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM)?

Asynchronous Transfer Mode

ATM is a dedicated connection-oriented switching technology, in which switches create a virtual connection or virtual circuit between the sender and receiver of a call that permanent or switched for the duration of the call. It is a small-packet switched system or similar to circuit-switched network, which breaks down messages into very small, fixed length packets called cells generally organizes digital data into 53 bytes in length (48 bytes of data plus a 5-byte header).   ATM frame structure

An ATM header can have User-Network Interface (UNI) and Network-Node Interface (NNI) two formats.
User-Network Interface (UNI) used for communication between end systems.
Network-Node Interface (NNI) used for communication between switches.

Two type of connections are supported by ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode)

Point-to-point connections: It connects either unidirectional or bi-directional two end-systems.
Point-to-multipoint connections: It connects one unidirectional ATM to number of destination ATM.
It is different in packet sizes from Ethernet data or frames. ATM is a core protocol for SONET that is the backbone of ISDN. The advantage conferred by such small cells is that they can be switched entirely in hardware, using custom chips, which makes ATM switches very fast (and potentially very cheap).
The asynchronous part of the name refers to the fact that although ATM transmits a continuous stream of cells over a physical medium using digital signal technology, some cells may be left empty if no data is ready for them so that precise timings are not relevant. Every cell is encoding data with asynchronous time-division multiplexing (TDM) and it queued before being multiplexed over the transmission path.
Every cell are encodes data and processed within their time slot allocated to it. When cell time slot allocated is finished, the next cell starts same procedure. That’s why it's called asynchronous time-division multiplexing (TDM);
This is ATM's greatest strength, as it enables flexible management of the quality of service (QoS) so; an operator can offer different guaranteed service levels (at different prices) to different customers even over the same line. This ability will enable companies to rent virtual private networks based on ATM that behave like private leased lines but in reality share lines with other users.
Available ATM service: Generally four data bit rates are available for ATM services: constant bit rate (CBR), variable bit rate (VBR), available bit rate (ABR) and unspecified bit rate (UBR).

by Dinesh Thakur Category: Network Technologies

The earliest electronic network is the telephone system. This telephone network commonly uses analog technology that was quite different from digital technology used in the computer-based networks. The advantages of digital technology over the analog technology in terms of economics and services forced the telephone industry to move rapidly to install fiber and digital networks.

by Dinesh Thakur Category: Network Technologies

A server process (program) fulfills the client request by performing the task requested. Server programs generally receive requests from client programs, execute database retrieval and updates, manage data integrity and dispatch responses to client requests.

by Dinesh Thakur Category: Network Technologies

ISDN structure includes a central ISDN office. All the users are linked to this office through a digital pipe. This digital pipe may be of different capacities and may have different data transfer rates. These digital pipes between the customers and central office are organized into multiple channels of different size.

by Dinesh Thakur Category: Network Technologies

BBS (Bulletin Board System): A single computer running special communications software that acts as a kind of electronic bulletin board. That allows remote users to dial in via a public telephone line to exchange messages and chat with one another. which is a service usually set up by an organization or a club to provide or exchange informationA BBS allows multiple people to use it at the same time in order to exchange ideas, offer help with software problems, and converse (through typed conversations) with other users currently connected to the BBS. You access the BBS through your modem , a device that transmits data through ordinary telephone lines. While connected to a BBS, a user can share information with other computer users, leave messages, and upload and download programs. One popular BBS is the Boston Computer Exchange, a place where members can buy, sell, or trade computers. Pay-for-use information services, such as CompuServe, Prodigy, and Internet are like BBS, but much larger. There are thousands of other BBSs across the globe offering a variety of topics and interests ranging from software support to dating services. To communicate with other computers, a modem is necessary.

by Dinesh Thakur Category: Network Technologies

Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) is a set of CCITT /ITU standards for digital transmission over ordinary telephone copper wire as well as over other media. This technology uses ISDN adapters in place of modems and provides very fast speed up. ISDN requires adapters at both ends of the transmission.

by Dinesh Thakur Category: Network Technologies

The client is a process that sends a message to a server process requesting that the server perform a task. Client programs usually manage the user-interface portion of the application, validate data entered by the user, dispatch requests to server programs, and sometimes execute business logic.

by Dinesh Thakur Category: Network Technologies

ISDN provides two basic types of interfaces to users.


  1. Basic Rate Interface (BRI)
  2. Primary Rate Interface (PRI)
by Dinesh Thakur Category: Network Technologies

Divides Application Processing across multiple machines.Non-critical data and functions are processed on the client Critical functions are processed on the server

by Dinesh Thakur Category: Network Technologies

AAL (ATM Adaptation Layer) is a third example message level protocol. A software layer that accepts user data, such as digitized voice, video or computer data, and converts to and from cells for transmission over an ASYNCHRONOUS TRANSFER MODE network. AAL software mostly runs at the end-points of a connection, though in a few circumstances AAL software is run inside an ATM switch. AAL includes facilities to carry traffic that uses other network protocols, such as TCP/IP, over ATM.


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About Dinesh Thakur

Dinesh ThakurDinesh Thakur holds an B.SC (Computer Science), MCSE, MCDBA, CCNA, CCNP, A+, SCJP certifications. Dinesh authors the hugely popular blog. Where he writes how-to guides around Computer fundamental , computer software, Computer programming, and web apps. For any type of query or something that you think is missing, please feel free to Contact us.

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