Pt. to Pt. T1 and backup solution

I am currently shopping for vendors in my area to provide a Pt. to Pt. T1 with a backup solution. This is for a client or ours which will be the only traffic going through. Is it smarter to go with the same T1 provider and their backup solution or to have a T1 from one provider and a backup from another? How difficult is it setting up a backup T1 solution from either the same or different provider? I'm wondering if the level of difficulty would be in whatever backup solution I choose; i.e. DSL, IDSN, frac.T1.

Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

From a financial aspect, it would be wiser to get the backup T1 from the same provider because you can negotiate a slightly lower price for the second line.  Just make sure to have them route the second T1 through different switches than the first so that you get a true backup.  If the second line is routed through the same switches, both lines have the potential of being down due to a single switch going out.

A backup solution is easy to implement.  In fact, several firewalls/routers exist that accept two connections.  The connections can be used as either a load-balancing solution or set so that if the primary fails all traffic gets routed to the secondary WAN port.  With one of those, you can use a T1 as your primary and then a cheaper cable/DSL line as the secondary (since it is for temporary fail-over).
There are different levels of backup for this scenario:

1.  A secondary T1 on the same router.
2.  A secondary T1 on an HSRP neighbor router.
3.  An ISDN PRI line that dials directly.
4.  An ISDN PRI line that dials into a cloud.
5.  An ISDN PRI on a backup router that dials directly.
6.  An ISDN PRI on a backup router that dials into a cloud.

There are benefits and drawbacks to each.  A secondary router removes a failure point, a second T1 needs to be added on both ends can be expensive.  An ISDN interface needs to be created at both ends and may need special hardware, etc.  

If you get multiple T1s (since it's p2p and not going into a frame network) the most important thing would be that the first pop is different--meaning the last-mile portion goes to a different CO than the other one.  The same thing should be done at the other end of the p2p T1.  If at all possible have separate inter-office trunks used throughout the circuit.  All of this is refered to as multi-homing or dual-homing circuits.  The fewer common fail points you have, the more redundant your redundant ckt will be.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.