We decided to look at the Campus-RS -- a symmetric digital subscriber
line (SDSL) system from ADC -- which lends itself to a wide range of
applications especially for private networking environments, corporate
campuses, universities, medical complexes and military facilities where
copper or telephone cable is already running. We will focus this review on
the ADC Campus-RS Remote units, which provide reliable, high-speed
enterprise connectivity using the existing on-hand copper cable
The Campus-RS remote features a flexible, rate-selectable design and
seamlessly accommodates a wide range of network interfaces and access
speeds. For our testing we used the Campus-RS remote desktop units and
equipped them with the Campus-RS REX (Remote Ethernet eXpress) Ethernet
routing/bridging unit. The result is an innovative system that delivers
high performance and cost savings by supporting a wide range of
applications through a single platform solution. When equipped with the
right modules, the Campus-RS unit can be used for local-area network (LAN)
extension, remote data access, PBX networking, video conferencing, and
The Campus-RS REX (Remote Ethernet eXpress) is an interface module that
installs directly into a Campus-RS remote device or Campus-RS Star
concentrator and provides interconnectivity of geographically dispersed
Ethernet LANs within a private enterprise network. The Campus-RS REX
functions as a full-bandwidth Ethernet remote bridge or a static IP
router, using the existing copper infrastructure as the transmission
medium to provide repeater less connectivity between LAN segments.
The Campus-RS REXï¿½s robust architecture eliminates the need for other
bridges, routers and CSU/DSUs. It provides 10Base-T port, an embedded SNMP
agent, and IEEE 802.1d transparent MAC-layer bridging. HDLC and PPP
encapsulation options and static IP routing allow interoperability with
other internetworking devices. The greatest advantage is using the
existing copper plant/cables and getting up to 4.6 Mbps using two loops.
Our objective is to provide interconnectivity of campus wide dispersed
Ethernet LANs within a private enterprise network, using the existing
copper infrastructure as the transmission medium to provide repeater less
connectivity between LAN segments. That meant we needed a unit equipped
with a module that would eliminate costly bridges and routers, keep the
installation and management simple, and maintain logical network
We set up two Campus-RS remotes for our testing equipped with the
Campus-RS REX interface modules which function as a full-bandwidth
Ethernet remote bridge/router, thus using the existing copper
infrastructure as the transmission medium in order to provide repeaterless
connectivity between LAN segments. We selected the two-loop operation
(four-wire) and set for 4.6 Mbps.
After powering on, we used the console port and connected the console
cable to the PC serial port and were greeted by the Campus-RS remote login
password screen. From there we found an easy to use, well-defined
structured menu. Starting with the ï¿½1.System Statusï¿½ menu, which
provides you with the current system status and information, we proceeded
to the ï¿½2.REX2 Configuration and Statusï¿½ menu which provides options
to select the bridging/routing mode, ï¿½Encapsulationï¿½ between cHDLC and
PPP, ï¿½Timing Sourceï¿½ between internal or HDSL, followed by
router/bridge configuration i.e., IP address, RIP configuration etc.
Then we moved on to the ï¿½3.System Configurationï¿½ screen, where we came
across sub-menus for System parameters where we set the unit I.D, circuit
I.D, system access password, and the sub-menu for HDSL parameters where we
went about selecting the mode, the number of loops (we used 2 for our
tests) and the HDSL rate of 4.6 Mbps for our testing. By the time we
completed item 3 on the menu and the sub-menus the two networks were
talking, i.e., the remote users were able to access the central
application and e-mail servers.
We should point out that the ï¿½maintenanceï¿½ option allows you to run
diagnostics and reset the REX2. Finally, you can use item ï¿½Remote
loginï¿½ if the HDSl link is up and running to login and access the menu
on the other end.
We tested the bridge mode as well as the routed mode, and the unit
performed admirably. Once the copper pairs were identified and ready for
our setup and testing it did not take much time to get going.
As a matter of fact, the setup and testing should take but a few minutes
of configuration depending on whether you want to bridge or route your
traffic. Of course, you could also use the front panel for most of the
operations and if the unit has been allocated an IP address then you can
also telnet into it for all the configuration and maintenance.
Room For Improvement
There is one thing that we would like to see added: Web-browser-based
management. We would like to see the unit managed using a simple Web
browser locally in addition to the command port, telnet provided on the
ADC does provide access/management through the Central site Network
Management StarGazer GUI element management system application, but we
feel that browser management would still be useful.
It is noteworthy to mention that the ADC Campus-RS unit is a versatile
unit as it can be equipped with a variety of interfaces/network modules
like serial data interface modules V.35, X.21/V.11, RS-530, RS-449 CSU,
10Base-T Bridge/router, G.703 75/120 etc.
It is a quick, easy cost effective solution for both campus and
inter-office deployments. This product is the perfect solution for
high-speed branch office network connectivity that will allow
VoIP/Voice-VPN and video applications. We found the unit to be very useful
for extending Ethernet LAN with both bridging and routing capabilities
using simple voice grade copper cables that you already have in place
allowing you to clock up to an impressive 4.6 Mbps.
- Written by Biju Oommen
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2004 Table Of Contents ]