Local Area Network (LAN) Emulation

What Does Local Area Network (LAN) Emulation Mean?

Local area network (LAN) emulation (LANE) is a technique used to run LAN application software on an Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) network to take advantage of increased ATM transmission bandwidth.


LANE also refers to a set of software applications or components that facilitate ATM functionality with legacy networks and applications, allowing legacy LAN applications to run on an ATM network.

Techopedia Explains Local Area Network (LAN) Emulation

Older LAN application and software versions could not provide high-speed data transmission and communication between different networks. To facilitate high-bandwidth transmission, a variety of methods were introduced, including LANE.

LANE features include:

  • Flexibility: All existing and legacy LAN applications operate over ATM networks without applying substantial changes. All Ethernet components are connected to an ATM network that is only used as needed. Additionally, ATM backbones may be directly connected to a logical LAN.
  • Data transmission: LANE uses different protocols to establish connectivity. Multiple stages required for data transmission include initialization, configuration and joining.
  • Emulation architecture: Four LANE components work as a single backbone. The LANE Client (LEC) is an end-system that uses LANE applications to communicate with other clients. The LANE Configuration Server (LECS) is used to configure the LEC and LANE Server (LES). Each LANE network has one LES, which defines all network clients. Finally, because ATM does not support broadcast communication, a Broadcast Server bus is used to broadcast, unicast and multicast LEC traffic.
  • Fault tolerance: The best LANE feature. If a LEC is disconnected from a network, LANE efficiently recovers the client status from the fault point. If the LES fails and restarts, the LEC is automatically self-configured.

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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…