Networking Options

Posted on 2004-08-02
Last Modified: 2010-04-11
Our company has 5 buildings, one is our corporate hq, and the other 4 are satellite offices. We are all located within the same city. Right now, our corporate office has  a Full T-1 going to Building 1, while Buildings 2, 3 and 4 are all connected via a Frame Relay Cloud. The Frame Relay also goes to Building 1 for backup purposes in case the T-1 goes down.

I want to redo this configuration, because it seems like we're spending a lot of money on it. I was looking for some suggestions or opinions on how to redo this. Maybe have separate fractional T1's going to each building? Or can we somehow use the Full T1 going to Building #1 and continue it (or daisy chain, if you will) to Buildings 2, 3 and 4.

Any opinions and suggestions are most welcome. Thanks
Question by:ONYX
LVL 79

Expert Comment

ID: 11699944
You might want to look into an MPLS solution where you have one T1 at each site, all pointing to a MPLS "cloud" with any-any connectivity without worrying about full-mesh of Frame-relay PVC's.
MCI calls their service Private IP
AT&T calls it IPFR (IP enabled Frame Relay)
Sprint call is IP VPN (I think)
The pricing is  very competitive, and you get true any-any connectivity with just one T1.

Expert Comment

by:Jeff Rodgers
ID: 11700351
Depending on your environment you might want to look at a last mile solution... essentially it is a high speed wireless connection.

Companies like WaveRider are offering wireless solutions with ranges of up to 11 kilometers (7 miles).  I am not sure of the speed however numerous small communities which don't have a high speed provider are now utilising the technology to bring high speed home.  I believe the cost is around $5000 Cdn per set up however when compared to laying fiber or other forms of media is reasonable. Speeds are about 8 Mbps per 30 user base unit.

Check out for more details.

Expert Comment

ID: 11701412
I would agree with Irmoore, MPLS is the solution.
we actully going to replace the ATM connection by MPLS next month hopefully.

Here a good documentation on MPLS:

good luck

LVL 27

Expert Comment

ID: 11703415
We're also looking at migrating from ATM to MPLS.  However, there's nothing wrong with your setup.  You won't really know about pricing until you have a sit down with the providers and ask, "what have you done for me lately".  They're very competitive - which is good for you.  Another option, depending on if it's in your area, is a straight Ethernet feed - we have a 10Mb. Internet Ethernet feed from Time Warner.  Don't forget about other things than just the phone bill - you've got equipment replacement, retraining, maintenance agreements, etc.  Then you've got to look at levels of service your providers can give you - Service Level Agreements (SLA's) - if you're shopping, NOW is the time to get good SLAs.

Depending on where your buildings are, you could do it yourself - run fiber, get a hold of bare copper wire and use that, or go wireless with radio, laser, microwave.

Depending on your level of expertise, you might do well to bring in a  consultant to do an analysis for you.

Hope this helps.
LVL 10

Accepted Solution

ngravatt earned 100 total points
ID: 11710561
T1s to each building from the HQ.  Star configuration.  This is the most reliable way.  You can use the T1s for data and for voice (not VoIP).  12 channels data, 12 channels voice, or whatever you need.

Find a local provider that can offer the best price.  Get quotes from two or three providers and make sure they know others are bidding on the plan, this will make their prices competitve.  T1s within the same city should not be too expensive.  Getting quotes is free, and they might even take you out to lunch to show you their proposal.

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