Today, companies are faced with the problem of how to capitalize on the advantages of end-user computing while encouraging data-sharing and ensuring integrity and confidentiality.
Using personal computers and associated peripherals, companies have been able to create local area networks (LANs) within their offices; wide area networks (WANs) have been implemented when companies link computer systems across wide geographic areas. These networks make it possible for users in one location to access and modify data created in another location. Confidentiality is ensured since the data is maintained within a company-only network, and there can be significant improvements in productivity. The following diagram provides a sample network layout for a company with offices in different locations which needs to transfer multimedia information across a wide variety of locations:
In the above example, the local loop would most likely be a broadband network. The broadband network concept came from the fact that a wide range of voice, data and video service can be simultaneously carried on the same optical system. Broadband is the provision of subscriber access targeting business and residential customers. It is regarded as an all purpose network that will provide integrated access and support a wide variety of applications in a flexible and cost-effective manner.
The transfer mode for broadband integrated services data networks (B-ISDN) must be able to handle both narrowband and broadband rates, continuous and spurts of traffic, satisfy delay or loss-sensitive quality requirements, and meet otherwise unforeseen demands. Neither circuit mode nor packet mode is suitable for meeting all of these requirements. Asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) exists between circuit and packet mode and is the target solution of B-ISDN. ATM is a specific packet-oriented transfer mode which uses an asynchronous time division multiplexing technique. It has b...
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