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Local Area Transport (LAT) is a proprietary network protocol developed by Digital Equipment Corp. and used in local area networks and terminal server connections. LAT was created to provide connection between terminal servers and host computers via Ethernet cable, and enable communication between these hosts and serial devices such as video terminals and printers.
The LAT protocol was designed to maximize packet efficiency over Ethernet by bundling characters from multiple ports into a single packet.
The LAT protocol was launched in 1984 as a terminal server connected to a virtual memory system cluster (VMScluster). It was later optimized through the addition of grouped transport packets from multiple Ethernet port characters. Eventually, LAT protocol data exchange hosts were created for a number of operating systems. By virtualizing the terminal port at the host end, a larger number of plug-and-play terminals could connect to each host computer system.
Internet Protocol and Ethernet routing cannot be used for alternate site communication between LAT and TCP/IP.