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FDDI Still the Networking Technology of Choice for Mission-Critical Applications
Publication: CI Press Release Issued: Date: 1996-01-01 Reporter: CI Systems

CI Press Release


Despite the urge to hitch their wagons to Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM), the new star in the networking firmament, many network managers will continue to use tried-and-tested technologies such as FDDI for high performance, mission-critical applications.

This is the opinion of Richard Young, Managing Director of CI Systems, a Cape Town-based company dedicated to provide value-added, cost-effective, multi-disciplinary IT solutions in the commercial, industrial and military arenas.

Young says that, historically, some organisations in South Africa have elected to implement the very latest technologies, despite the shortcomings these might have.

However, when it comes to networking, even these bleeding edge users are tending to stick to proven technology to protect their business-critical applications.

Young says: "Although ATM offers many advantages over existing technologies, the very real need for reliability means that the likes of FDDI will remain a feature of major networks for many years to come.

"In mission-critical environments, in particular, network managers will continue to rely on the proven capabilities of FDDI."

"The high-availability, high-performance installations that we, and others, have been involved with over the years form a critical backbone that supports the operations of businesses crucial to the economic prosperity of this country."

"While new technologies show promise, today none is sufficiently developed to replace the existing systems and provide the requisite level of robustness."

Among the advantages of FDDI are :

  • Multi-Vendor LAN standard FDDI is not a proprietary solution and therefore ensures interoperability of systems. FDDI addresses today's critical network problems, providing a solution that supports increased data traffic, range, size and speed over existing networks;
  • Enabling networking technology it is designed for reliable data transmission at high speeds and low latencies. The 100 Mbps bandwidth provided by FDDI meets the demands of today's bandwidth-intensive applications such as distributed databases, networked multimedia and collaborative simulation;
  • A timed token protocol to manage access to the network. This allows deterministic, collision-free access, thereby improving throughput regardless of the number of stations connected; and
  • Dual counter-rotating ring topology for complete redundancy. The primary ring transmits all traffic on the network while the secondary ring acts as a backup path. Should the primary link fail, a switch to the secondary ring is accomplished transparently.

Young concludes: "FDDI networks make sense today. Not only are they faster than any currently deliverable technology, they also operate on safe, secure fibre or inexpensive copper cable, are easy to install and simple to manage."