Protocols over Frame Relay

Joel Halpern <> Thu, 15 November 1990 22:45 UTC

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Date: Thu, 15 Nov 90 16:46:55 CST
From: Joel Halpern <>
Message-Id: <>
To: frame-relay@NRI.Reston.VA.US
Subject: Protocols over Frame Relay

Several people have observed that there is an open question
about how to handle protocols over frame relay.

One can use PPP and treat it as a collection of point-to-point
links.  For now, that will work.  However, that is clearly not
desirable in the long run.  We need a better solution.

While I am not picky about where the solution comes from, I do
wish to note that this a rather larger than just an IP problem.
OSI has the same questions, as do any proprietary protocols which
do address resolution of some kind (appletalk? XNS?).

When I asked the folks who have organized the frame-relay consortium,
I was told that maybe when the consortium meets this could be put into
the plan of work.  Waiting that long seems like a disaster.  This 
mechanism is much more useful if we can treat it as a limited LAN.

Related to that, in the implementors agreement there is reference to
multi-cast capabilities.  However, it is not at all clear what these are,
what they can do, how they work, or how they are administered.  I also
noted that Northern telecom is not planning on supporting them.  If
they are not supporting multicast addressing, I do not see how it can
work.  Is there anyone out there who can explain that part to me?
(It seems like multi/broad/cast capability is a very useful way to
solve some of these problems, if the traffic can be kept down.)

Joel M. Halpern
Network Systems Corporation