Frame Relay is commonly used data link protocol based on packet switching technology. It is mainly incorporated by the corporate data networks due to its cost-effective data transmission, and flexible bandwidth. Frame relay is mostly used to connect local area networks with major backbones; also used in public wide area networks and in private network environments with leased lines over T1/E1 lines.
Frame Relay access is usually at data rates range of 56 to 2Mbps. Low bit-rate voice compression algorithms such as ITU G.723.1 and G.729A permit the greatest number of simultaneous multiple calls while maintaining high quality voice. The data packets in Frame Relay are relayed as HDLC frames at the data link layer of the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model.
GL's Frame Relay Protocol Analyzer can be used to analyze and decode frames conforming to Q.921, Q.922, LAPF, Frame Relay Forum standard -FRF.9 and FRF.12, Multiple Protocol Encapsulation, LCP RFC1661, Q.933 SVC and LMI SNAP, PPP, IP, SMTP, POP3 and so on.
GL Communications supports the following types of Frame Relay analyzers:
- Real-time Frame Relay Analyzer (Pre-requisites: GL's field proven E1 or T1 internal cards or USB Laptop E1 or T1 external units, required licenses and Windows XP (or higher) Operating System)
- Remote/Offline Frame Relay Analyzer (Pre-requisites: Hardware Dongle, and Windows XP (or higher) Operating System)
In addition the following application is supported that further helps in emulating Frame Relay protocol:
Frame Relay Analyzer Main Features
- Frame Relay Emulation using Client-Server
Additional features supported by Real-time/Remote Frame Relay Analyzer are
- Supports decoding of encapsulated protocols, and long frames up to 16 Kbytes.
- Analyze Permanent Virtual Connection (PVC) and Switched Virtual Connection (SVC) frames.
- Supports filtering and search based on LAPF parameters and Q.933 layer parameters such as DLCIs, Message Type, FECN, BECN, DE, NLPID's TCP, IP, SMTP, POP3, and so on.
- Displays Summary, Detail, Hex-dump, Statistics, and Call Trace Views, the contents of this view can also be copied to clipboard.
- Summary View displays LAPF information like DLCI, FECN, BECN, Q.933 Message Type, IP address, TCP/UDP port address, and etc in a tabular format.
- Detail View decodes of user selected frame from the Summary View.
- Statistics View displays statistics based on frame count, byte count, frames/sec, bytes/sec etc for the entire capture data.
- Hex dump view displays raw frame data as hexadecimal and ASCII octet dump, the contents of this view can also be copied to clipboard.
- Call Detail View displays called/ calling number, released calls, call status, & more.
- Call Detail Recording feature includes data link groups that help in defining the direction of the calls in a given network and form logical groups comprised of unidirectional (either 'Forward' or 'Backward') data links.
- Capability to export Summary View details to a comma separated values (CSV) format for subsequent import into a database or spreadsheet.
- Capability to export detail decodes information to an ASCII file.
- Any protocol field can be added to the summary view, filtering, and search features providing users more flexibility to monitor required protocol fields.
- Remote monitoring capability using GL's Network Surveillance System.
Additional features supported by Offline Frame Relay Analyzer:
- Supports capturing of encapsulated protocols, and long frames up to 16 Kbytes.
- Streams can be captured on the selected time slots (contiguous or non-contiguous), sub-channels or full bandwidth. Frames may also be contained in either one, n x 64 kbps, or n x 56 kbps data channels.
- The following variations are accommodated in the software: inverted or non-inverted data, byte reversal or non-reversal.
- Supports decoding of FRF.12 fragment with both UNI-NNI fragmentation and End-to-End fragmentation.
- Supports decoding of frames with FCS of 16 bits and 32 bits, or none
- Recorded trace files can be played back using HDLC Playback application
- Multiple streams of traffic on various T1/E1 channels can be simultaneously decoded with different GUI instances
- Multiple remote clients may access a single T1/E1 server, Also, the T1/E1 server is fully functional while being accessed as a server. Thus, a user may perform T1/E1 operations locally on the server while a remote client is accessing the same server in real time. (For Remote Analyzers only).
- Trace files for analysis can be loaded through simple command-line arguments.
- Multiple trace files can be loaded simultaneously with different GUI instances for offline analysis.