Frame Relay is another 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 T3/E3 lines.
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 Frame Relay frames at the data link layer of the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model.
GL's T3 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.
Frame Relay Analyzer Main Features
- 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 features 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.
- Provides Summary View, Detail View, Hex dump, statistics, and call trace views.
- Summary view displays LAPF information like DLCI, FECN, BECN, Q.933 Message Type, IP address, TCP/UDP port address etc.
- Detailed view displays easy to understand decodes of user selected frame
- Statistics view displays statistics based on frame count, byte count, frames/sec, bytes/sec etc for the entire capture data.
- Hex dump view displays the frame information in HEX and ASCII format.
- Call Trace view displays called/ calling number, released calls, call status, & more.
- Capability to export summary as well as detail information to an ASCII file for subsequent import into a database or spreadsheet.
- Streams can be captured on the selected ports
- Multiple streams of traffic on various T3/E3 ports can be simultaneously decoded (single instance can decode multiple streams)
Following is a description of the protocols supported by GL's Frame Relay analyzer:
- Q.921, Q.922, LAPF
- Multi-protocol encapsulation, FRF.9, FRF.12, SNAP, PPP, link control protocol RFC 1661
- Q.933, SVC, and LMI signaling.
- IP, TCP, UDP, SMTP, POP3, STUN, DNS, DHCP, HTTP, FTP, SNMP, RIP
Summary, Detail and Hexdump Views
The T3/E3 Frame Relay analyzer application is invoked from the main menu of GL's T3/E3 Analyzer for real-time analyzer. The analyzer displays summary, detail and hex dump view in different panes. The summary pane displays Frame Number, Time, Length, Error, DLCI, DE, BECN, FECN, CTL, NLPID and more. To analyze in detail, user can select a frame in summary view to analyze and decode in the detail view. The Hex dump view displays the frame information in HEX and ASCII format.
Real-time and Offline Analysis
Users can capture and analyze Frame Relay frames using T3/E3 real-time analyzers. All or filtered traffic can be recorded into a trace file. The recorded trace file can then be analyzed offline and exported to ASCII file, or printed. Real-time capturing requires user to specify ports
Filtering and Search
Users can record all or filtered traffic into a trace file. Filtering and search capability adds a powerful dimension to the Frame Relay analyzers. This feature can isolate required frames from all frames in real-time/remote/offline. Users can specify custom values for frame length to filter frames during real-time capture. The frames can also be filtered after completion of capture according to Frame Number, Time, Length, Error, DLCI, DE, BECN, FECN, CTL, NLPID and more. Similarly, Search capability helps user to search for a particular frame based on specific search criteria
Call Trace and Statistics View
Call trace defining important call specific parameters like Call ID, Call Status, Call duration, Called/Calling Number, CRV, Release Cause displayed in Call Trace view. Call traces can also be logically grouped with each group comprised of unidirectional (either 'Forward' or 'Backward') data links.
Statistics is an important feature available in Frame Relay analyzer and can be obtained for all frames both in real-time as well as offline mode. Numerous statistics can be obtained to study the performance and trend in the Frame Relay network and it is based on protocol fields and different parameters e.g. Use Type (Key/Total/Field), Statistic type (Frame count, Byte count, Frames/Sec) and patterns like Range List, Wild card.
Enhanced Trace Saving Options
Users can control the captured trace files by saving the trace using different conventions such as trace files with user-defined prefixes, trace file with date-time prefixes, and slider control to indicate the total number of files, file size, frame count, or time limit. This feature also allows the captured frames to be saved into a trace file based on the filtering criteria set using display filter feature