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In this article we will create a Frame Relay in GNS3 to learn how to configure Frame-Relay. Note: If you need to revise your Frame Relay knowledge, we recommend you to read our Frame Relay tutorial first. To configure Frame-Relay on R0, R2 and R3 we need to enable Frame-Relay encapsulation and specify a type of LMI (ansi – in this case). Note: Data link connection identifiers (DLCIs) are numbers that refer to paths through the Frame Relay network. By default, Cisco uses Inverse ARP to map remote IP address of the PVC with the DLCI of the local interface as we can see here. The show frame-relay pvc command is used to display the status of all configured connections, traffic statistics, BECN and FECN packets received by the router. E: The broadcast option allows packets, such as RIP updates, to be forwarded across the PVC.
Non-Broadcast Multi-Access (NBMA) networks are types such as Frame Relay, X.25, and Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM). PPP (Point-to-Point Protocol) allows authentication such as Password Authentication Protocol (PAP) and Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol (CHAP) and multilink connections (allow several separate physical paths to appear to be one logical path at layer 3) and can be run over asynchronous and synchronous links. PPP can work with numerous network layer protocols, including Internet Protocol (IP), Novell’s Internetwork Packet Exchange (IPX), NBF and AppleTalk. PPP only supports error detection, not error correction so answer E should be understood as “provides error detection”. Inverse ARP is a technique by which dynamic mappings are constructed in a network, allowing a device such as a router to locate the logical network address and associate it with a permanent virtual circuit (PVC).
How should a router that is being used in a Frame Relay network be configured to avoid split horizon issues from preventing routing updates? At Attalla router, we find a deleted status but the next map statement indicates an active status, which if for Gallant.
In the previous article, Demystifying Frame Relay, we had a long journey trying to understand the subtleties of Frame Relay technology as well as its configuration. For any troubleshooting attempt to be successful, you need to have a good understanding of the technology, so you may want to spend some time reading the first article about Frame Relay, if you haven’t done so yet. People get scared of Frame Relay not because troubleshooting is complex, but because they lack the theoretical knowledge. Of course, there will be other commands used for troubleshooting, but they would only be used in some specific situations, as we will see later in this article. Before going into details, let’s see what kind of information we get with these two commands.
Run without any arguments, the command shows, in the beginning, a summary of all the PVCs and their statuses – active, inactive, deleted or static – as well as their usage – local, switched, unused. With all this info in our toolbox, let’s dive into some scenarios and also discover some other useful commands. In the beginning, we will examine two of the most common problems with Frame Relay: PVC status inactive and deleted. The router learns all the DLCI provisioned by the service provider Frame Relay switch through LMI and then it tries to use them, either on the main physical interface (by default) or on some other sub-interface according to the configuration.
In this example, the LMI type is changed from default to Q933A, which causes a communication problem between R1 and the switch.


As a troubleshooting rule: whenever you see PVC status inactive, the problem is most likely on the other router or on the Frame Relay switch. Most of the time, the problem of PVC status DELETED is caused by typos in the configuration on the local router.
Another possible cause for this problem is the lack of LMI communication between router and switch. As a troubleshooting rule: if you see PVC status deleted, most likely the problem is local on the router. As the word implies, whenever a DLCI learnt from the switch is not usable by the router, it will mark it as unused. In the example shown above, the DLCI is unused because there’s no IP address configured on the interface. If you see that the usage of a DLCI is SWITCHED, this will be a clear indication that the device is performing Frame Relay switching, so it acts as a FR switch. You can configure back-to-back Frame Relay between two routers connected directly via a serial link without any Frame Relay switch in between.
Local Management Interface (LMI) provides signaling and diagnostics between the DTE router and the Frame Relay switch. Note that mismatched keepalive timers between router and switch can also cause connectivity problems. When you deal with a Frame Relay problem, you will have to make sure that the status of the PVC is Active and DLCI Usage is Local.
By default, all DLCI learnt from the switch via the LMI messages are assigned to the main physical interface. Move the incorrect DLCI to a separate sub-interface that does not have an IP address configured. After you checked that the interface is UP, line protocol is UP, PVC status is Active, DLCI usage is not unused, the DLCI is assigned to the correct (sub) interface and the mapping is correct, you may still have problems with the routing protocols running over these Frame Relay links.
We all know that most of the routing protocols use broadcast or multicast to establish adjacencies between routers. This time we have the EIGRP peering up and receiving successful replies when pinging the broadcast address.
Hub-and-spoke and partial-mesh topologies create an environment for a lot of mistakes and sometimes the troubleshooting may not be so straight forward. The problems start from the fact that the spokes don’t have direct layer 2 connectivity though they may have IP addresses in the same subnet. In order to receive the routes from the other spokes, you have to disable split horizon for EIGRP under the multipoint sub-interface, as shown above. Costi Serban is a network and security engineer with over 10 years of experience in multi-vendor environments. Intense School has been providing accelerated IT training and certification for over 12 years to more than 45,000 IT and Information Security professionals worldwide. Stay up to date with InfoSec Institute and Intense School by connecting with us on Social Media!
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Notice that R1 will be Frame-Relay switch in this lab so its interfaces don’t need IP addresses. Notice that Inverse ARP is enabled by default on Cisco routers so we don’t need to type anything to activate it. In practical, the Frame-Relay switch (R1) is placed at the ISP side so its interfaces should be set to DCE. DLCI values are used on Frame Relay interfaces to distinguish between different virtual circuits.
What is the meaning of the term dynamic as displayed in the output of the show frame-relay map command shown? Actually, troubleshooting can be considered an easy task since there are only a few commands to be used and they give you all the information needed to solve any problem. The target is to have an active status for the PVCs; after solving that, you can move to troubleshooting higher level problems. As you can see, there are no DLCI learned on that interface since there is a LMI mismatch between them. If there is a mismatch between the locally configured DLCI and the one(s) learnt via LMI, the local DLCI is marked as DELETED.
In order to fix them, you have to match the list of DLCIs received from the switch to the list of locally configured DLCIs. As a result, if the endpoints are two Cisco routers and both are configured with different encapsulation types (as in the above example), there is no connectivity problem. Once this is solved, according to the above troubleshooting sections, you can move forward if the problem persists. The router will not check if the destination IP address from the received InARP messages is in the same subnet as the IP address of the local interface. Also, remember that when configuring multiple mappings for the same DLCI, use the broadcast keyword only once!
He holds a CCIE Routing and Switching certification and is currently pursuing CCIE Security certification.
DLCIs have local significance because the identifier references the point between the local router and the local Frame Relay switch to which the DLCI is connected.
Incorrect DLCI assignments that are configured normally shown up as “deleted” in the frame relay maps. Of course, if you know for sure that the locally configured DLCI numbers are correct, then you need to contact the service provider to provision them on the Frame Relay switch.
Of course, if one router is Cisco and the other is non-Cisco, the encapsulation mismatch will cause connectivity problems. Cisco routers support 3 standards for LMI type – cisco, ansi and q933a – that are not compatible between each other, so you have to make sure that local communication between the DTE router and the DCE switch uses the same standard. In the next sections we will cover the problems that are not visible within the PVC status.




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