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How can you connect several different locations that use three different protocols (TCP/IP, SPX/IPX

How can you connect several different locations that use three different protocols (TCP/IP, SPX/IPX and SNA)?
In today's networking environment, encapsulating SNA inside TCP to transport across the network is the de facto mode of transportation for communication on AS400 and OS400 systems. Many routers and switches support data-link switching (DLSw), the method used to tunnel SNA through DLSw. This enables the device to encapsulate the SNA data into a TCP packet for transmission across the network.

With TCP and SPX/IPX traffic, multi-protocol routers will be required. While SPX/IPX traffic can also be encapsulated like the SNA traffic, it is not recommended. Multi-protocol routers support IPX filtering. Since RIP/SAP messages from all the device nodes are quite frequent and chatty, eliminate these messages from crossing the WAN as much as possible with IPX filtering. IPX Access lists and other methods exist for reducing this chattiness...

and streamlining the communications between the locations. Budget and networking requirements often dictate the availability of supported protocols. For this specific environment, the devices chosen for this scenario should support DLSw, SPX/IPX with filtering options, and of course TCP/IP. There are many vendors out there with supported infrastructure. To ensure interoperability and ease configuration requirements, choose a single vendor for the development of the networking environment.

This was first published in April 2005

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