Wan Physical Layer Standard

WAN physical-layer protocols describe how to provide electrical, mechanical, operational, and functional connections for WAN services. The WAN physical layer also describes the interface between the DTE and the DCE. The DTE/DCE interface uses various physical layer protocols, including:
EIA/TIA-232-This protocol allows signal speeds of up to 64 kb/s on a 25-pin D-connector over short distances. It was formerly known as RS-232. The ITU-T V.24 specification is effectively the same.
EIA/TIA-449/530-This protocol is a faster (up to 2 Mb/s) version of EIA/TIA-232. It uses a 36-pin D-connector and is capable of longer cable runs. There are several versions. This standard is also known as RS422 and RS-423.
EIA/TIA-612/613-This standard describes the High-Speed Serial Interface (HSSI) protocol, which provides access to services up to 52 Mb/s on a 60-pin D-connector.
V.35-This is the ITU-T standard for synchronous communications between a network access device and a packet network. Originally specified to support data rates of 48 kb/s, it now supports speeds of up to 2.048 Mb/s using a 34-pin rectangular connector.
X.21-This protocol is an ITU-T standard for synchronous digital communications. It uses a 15-pin D-connector.
These protocols establish the codes and electrical parameters the devices use to communicate with each other. Choosing a protocol is largely determined by the service provider's method of facilitation.
WAN Data Link Protocols
In addition to physical layer devices, WANs require data link layer protocols to establish the link across the communication line from the sending to the receiving device. This topic describes the common data link protocols that are used in today's enterprise networks to implement WAN connections.
Data link layer protocols define how data is encapsulated for transmission to remote sites and the mechanisms for transferring the resulting frames. A variety of different technologies, such as ISDN, Frame Relay, or ATM, are used. Many of these protocols use the same basic framing mechanism, HDLC, an ISO standard, or one of its subsets or variants. ATM is different from the others, because it uses small fixed-size cells of 53 bytes (48 bytes for data), unlike the other packet-switched technologies, which use variable-sized packets.
The most common WAN data-link protocols are:
Frame Relay
ISDN and X.25 are older data-link protocols that are less frequently used today. However, ISDN is still covered in this course because of its use when provisioning VoIP network using PRI links. X.25 is mentioned to help explain the relevance of Frame Relay. As well, X.25 is still in use in developing countries where packet data networks (PDN) are used to transmit credit card and debit card transactions from retailers.
Note: Another data-link layer protocol is the Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) protocol. MPLS is increasingly being deployed by service providers to provide an economical solution to carry circuit-switched as well as packet-switched network traffic. It can operate over any existing infrastructure, such as IP, Frame Relay, ATM, or Ethernet. It sits between Layer 2 and Layer 3 and is sometimes referred to as a Layer 2.5 protocol. However, MPLS is beyond the scope of this course but is covered in the CCNP: Implementing Secure Converged Wide-area Networks.


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