TechTalk: LAN Address Conversions

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Q. When is address conversion required in a LAN, and where does the AS/400's network adapter address come into play?

-Ed McVani

A: Address conversion is required when a bridge (and in some cases, a router) connects LANs using different physical address formats (for example, when a bridge connects token-ring and Ethernet LANs). In this case, the line or controller description adapter addresses configured on opposite sides of the bridge must be converted to accommodate the different addressing formats used.

The AS/400 employs the Adapter Address (ADPTADR) parameter on token-ring, DDI, Ethernet, or wireless line descriptions to indicate the local system's adapter address. The ADPTADR parameter on the controller description specifies the remote systems' addresses.

Sometimes all nodes in a network use the same LAN configuration (all Ethernet, for example). Then the controller description ADPTADR value specified to identify a remote AS/400 system will be the same as the line description ADPTADR value that the remote system specifies to identify itself. In this scenario, no address conversion is required.

-Kris Neely