Virtual Circuits

A virtual circuit or virtual channel (VC) is a logical connection between two communication ports in one or more communication networks. There are two types of VC’s: permanent virtual circuits (PVC’s) and switched virtual circuits (SVC’s).

A SVC is an automatically and temporarily created virtual connection that is used for a communication session. A PVC is a virtual circuit is manually created for a continuous communication connection. To create a PVC, routing tables in switches are manually configured one time to provide a continuous connection of end points through a network. The ability to dynamically or manually create virtual connections through a network has created a new type of network referred to as value-added networks (VAN’s). Rather than purchase leased circuits between corporate locations some companies chose to contract with VAN’s to transport their data between their sites. With leased data circuits from each corporate site to the closest VAN point-of-presence (POP), usually in the same metropolitan area, a company could establish PVC’s between its sites through the VAN’s network. These functioned similar to leased circuits and often provided a monthly cost saving to the corporation, yet delivered practically the same service as leased data circuits.

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