What is a STUN connection? Why is it used and how is it useful over regular serial connections?

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Serial tunneling is used when you have traditional SNA network which you want to integrate with multi-protocol network like IP, Decnet, IPX etc. STUN encapsulates SDLC frames in either the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) or the HDLC protocol. STUN provides a straight pass-through of all SDLC traffic (including control frames, such as Receiver Ready) end-to-end between Systems Network Architecture (SNA) devices.

Cisco's SDLC local acknowledgment provides local termination of the SDLC session so that control frames no longer travel the WAN backbone networks. This means end nodes do not time out, and a loss of sessions does not occur. You can configure your network with STUN, or with STUN and SDLC local acknowledgment. To enable SDLC local acknowledgment, the Cisco IOS software must first be enabled for STUN and routers configured to appear on the network as primary or secondary SDLC nodes. TCP/IP encapsulation must be enabled. Cisco's SDLC Transport feature also provides priority queuing for TCP encapsulated frames.

This was first published in June 2003

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