Connection-Oriented Environment (NDIS 5.1)

Note NDIS 5. x has been deprecated and is superseded by NDIS 6. x. For new NDIS driver development, see Network Drivers Starting with Windows Vista. For information about porting NDIS 5. x drivers to NDIS 6. x, see Porting NDIS 5.x Drivers to NDIS 6.0.

NDIS supports the following connection-oriented drivers:

  • Connection-oriented client

  • Call manager

  • Integrated miniport call manager (MCM) driver

  • Connection-oriented miniport driver

The following figure shows a configuration of connection-oriented clients, a call manager, and a miniport driver.

The following figure shows a configuration of connection-oriented clients and an integrated MCM driver.

A connection-oriented miniport driver controls one or more network interface cards (NICs) and provides an interface between connection-oriented protocols (connection-oriented clients and call managers) and the NIC hardware. For a summary of connection-oriented operations performed by a connection-oriented miniport driver, see Connection-Oriented Operations Performed by Miniport Drivers.

A call manager is an NDIS protocol driver that provides call setup and tear-down services for connection-oriented clients. A call manager has the following characteristics:

  • Uses the send and receive capabilities of a connection-oriented miniport driver to exchange signaling messages with network entities, such as network switches or remote peers.

  • Supports one or more signaling protocols, such as ATM UNI 3.1, as specified by the ATM Forum. For a summary of connection-oriented operations performed by a call manager, see Connection-Oriented Operations Performed by Call Managers.

An integrated MCM driver is a connection-oriented miniport driver that also provides call manager services to connection-oriented clients. An MCM driver has the following characteristics:

  • Provides the same connection-oriented services to clients as a call manager that is paired with a connection-oriented miniport driver; however, the call manager-to-miniport driver interface is internal to the driver and therefore opaque to NDIS.

  • Multiple call managers and MCM drivers can coexist in the same environment.

  • Each call manager or MCM driver can support multiple signaling protocols.

For a detailed comparison, see How an MCM Driver Differs from a Call Manager.

A connection-oriented client has the following characteristics:

  • Uses the call setup and tear-down services of a call manager or MCM driver.

  • Uses the send and receive capabilities of a connection-oriented miniport driver or an MCM driver to send and receive data.

  • At its upper edge can provide its own network and transport-layer services to a higher-layer application

  • At its lower edge uses the services of a call manager and a connection-oriented miniport driver, or it uses the services of an MCM driver

  • Can be an adaptation layer, such as IP/ATM and LAN Emulation (LANE), that resides between a legacy protocol and connection-oriented NDIS.

    Both IP/ATM and LAN Emulation (LANE) use call management services to establish underlying connections, but hide the connection-oriented nature of this interface from the connectionless protocols above it.

Note The definition of a connection-oriented client's upper-edge interface is beyond the scope of NDIS documentation. If a client serves as an adaptation layer, its upper-edge interface is defined by the protocol that it adapts to connection-oriented NDIS.

For a summary of connection-oriented operations performed by a connection-oriented client, see Connection-Oriented Operations Performed by Clients.

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