Act Networks NetPerformer Reference Manual


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Act Networks NetPerformer Reference Manual


This redundancy switch manual describes the configuration and operation of the NetPerformer® series of Integrated Multi-Protocol Access Devices.


The NetPerformer series offers a full-featured line of Integrated Multi-Protocol Access Devices that integrate SNA, other legacy data, LAN traffic and voice/fax communications over public or private Frame Relay networks and leased lines. Its Cell Relay technology brings the advantages of ATM cell switching technology to lower speed WANs (up to T1/E1 speeds) without requiring a large investment in equipment or a restructuring of the network. Access switching capabilities are broadened by routing virtual rather than physical connections, which reduces the number of PVCs and Frame Relay connections required. Regardless of the size or topology of the network, NetPerformer provides improved performance, simplified management requirements and a reduction of recurring line costs.

The NetPerformer merges SNA and other legacy traffic with LAN internetworks. They link TokenRing and Ethernet networks over analog or digital dedicated or switched wide area network (WAN) services, as well as Frame Relay. Reliable response time is guaranteed through prioritization of mission-critical protocols such as DLSW, LLC, SDLC or any user-defined protocol. Through Virtual Connections the network can be dynamically restructured according to optimal routing paths, providing greater network flexibility, efficiency and security. In addition, the NetPerformer can replace SNA leased lines with a single Frame Relay connection supporting both PVCs and SVCs.

On each NetPerformer, multiple serial interfaces can be configured as either user (device input) or WAN (composite link output) data ports. Voice/data integration products also include voice channels with both Telco and E&M connectors. Some models provide expansion slots for installation of optional Ethernet or Token-Ring LAN expansion cards. On others the LAN interface is factory installed. T1/E1 support using CAS, CCS (Q.SIG) and transparent signaling is available on some models, providing efficient and rapid throughput over multiple channels. ISDN-BRI is also available as an expansion option.

Between each pair of NetPerformer units, multiple communication lines can be installed for load balancing, Bandwidth-On-Demand and automatic link backup functions. Composite link activation can also be triggered by activity on a user port, or through manual intervention.

The voice channels support connections to public and private networks, central offices (COs), PBXs, Key Telephone System (KTS) extensions, standard telephones, modems and fax machines, and integrate their traffic with regular LAN/WAN data. The NetPerformer is equipped with a variety of powerful features to ensure that voice, fax and data are reliably integrated with data from other sources and efficiently transmitted across the network. It performs analog-to-digital conversion, automatic voice/fax prioritization and cell relay for rapid transport of voice/fax traffic on a wide variety of interfaces and signaling types. Excellent voice quality is maintained from source to destination by means of toll quality voice compression, echo cancellation and intelligent congestion control.

The NetPerformer can be configured from an attached TTY or terminal emulation console or through SNMP-compatible network management support. In addition, the console can be reached from a remote site using a direct or dial-up connection, or through any TELNET network device. Firmware upgrade is easily performed using specialized console commands or the FTP (File Transfer Protocol) access method, and takes advantage of FLASH EPROM firmware design.