The Importance of Training Hands-On Frame Relay: Principles and Practices
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Course Description

Learn what a frame relay network is, how it works and why it is so important to data network designers. Essential concepts such as permanent virtual circuits, Committed Information Rates and LAP-F frame formats are explained. Mechanisms to manage network congestion such as the "leaky bucket" are prime topics, since network overload can cause serious user problems. Knowing the difference between an access and a backbone network is important to understanding how modern networks are built. Characteristics that make access and backbone networks unique are discussed and examples given.

Theory is translated into practice as students configure a series of Cisco routers to communicate with each other through a frame relay switch which is also configured in class. Once configured, students confirm proper operation by sending traffic from one local area network to another. Then various faults are introduced. Students see for themselves the difference between correct and incorrect operation by using a specific series of router commands that indicate how well the network is (or is not) working, as well as how to isolate common faults.


By the end of class, students understand what frame relay is, how it works and why it is so useful. They will be able to explain the underlying concepts essential to its efficient working and why frame relay is such important technology. Further, students will have gained direct hands-on experience configuring routers to run TCP/IP over frame relay, and understand each step in the configuration sequence. Just as importantly, the way frame relay interacts with other network protocols such as TCP/IP will be clear to each partipant. A comprehensive list of the latest Internet references is also provided.

 When students complete this class, they can:
· Itemize the features, functions and benefits of frame relay service
· Define the needed components in a frame relay PVC
· Set up necessary DLCIs and PVC parameters such as CIR and LMI type
· Do so both in routers and on switch ports
· Set up and configure IP to frame relay DLCI maps
· Understand and implement proper encapsulation using LAP-F
· Use router commands to show that PVCs are working correctly
· Understand what Inverse ARP is, why it is used and how to see if it is working correctly
· Prove proper operation by transferring TCP/IP traffic over frame relay links
· Understand router-derived link-level (LMI) status messages
· Gain familiarity with all frame relay-related Cisco commands, including debugging tools
· Learn how to avoid complications such as those introduced by split horizon

Instructional Methods

Balanced lecture and discussion; self-quizzes, paper and hands-on exercises.


Networking people responsible for designing and supporting LANs and WANs. These include: Systems and network engineers and analysts, data communications managers and analysts, information managers, LAN/WAN specialists and technicians. Sales and sales support specialists will be well-prepared to understand and solve customer issues after they complete this class.


Familiarity with LANs, WANs and TCP/IP is required. Completion of the two-day Hands-On Introduction to TCP/IP class meets this prerequisite. Prior Cisco hands-on experience, as offered in LANs, WANs and Cisco Routers, is also required, or six months' equivalent experience.


Two days
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