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Network setup question

Posted on 2005-03-24
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Last Modified: 2010-04-17
We currently have 3 sites, setup like this:


site1-------------T1---------------site2
 |                                             |                                                
Internet                               Internet    

site1-------------T1---------------site3
 |                                             |                                                
Internet                               Internet      

site2-------------T1---------------site3
 |                                             |                                                
Internet                               Internet                                      


Site 3 is the headquarters.
Each site is connected to one another via T1. Furthermore, each site has their own T1 connection to the internet.   I'm not in charge of the network, but doesnt this seem like an expensive solution???  Couldnt they do frame relay and have "site 3" have the frame relay router (central router).   We send a lot of images in between sites which is why I guess we are using leased lines instead of frame?

thanks
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Question by:dissolved
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LVL 79

Expert Comment

by:lrmoore
ID: 13626539
The primary consideration of private line vs frame-relay is packet delay. You get much better guarantee delay times across leased lines. However, you are accurate in thinking that you really only need a single T1 at Site 3 with frame-relay point-to-point PVC's to each other site. This reduces your T1's at all sites by 4x T1's and their monthly recurring costs.
Another alternative would be an MPLS solution from one of the major providers. This is typically a single frame-relay T1 at each location, but instead of point-to-point dlci's, you have one PVC to the provider's "cloud".
You could also, say, have 2xT1's at site 3 and one at each other site for full site-to site connectivity plus higher bandwidth at HQ.
MCI calls their service Private IP - PIP
AT&T calls it IP-enabled Frame-relay - IPFR
Sprint just came out with it and I don't know what it's called.
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Author Comment

by:dissolved
ID: 13627501
thanks! so it is indeed possible to meet our bandwidth requirements if we use frame? I would imagine so?  We're only on t1s, so frame would work for us?
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LVL 79

Expert Comment

by:lrmoore
ID: 13627718
Can't say difinatively, but it should. First, you will have to determine the current utilization of all the lines that you have to see if a single T1 would suffice. Try something like SolarWinds or MRTG to get a full 30 day history on each link.
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Author Comment

by:dissolved
ID: 13627740
thanks!
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Author Comment

by:dissolved
ID: 13629808
eh, dumb question. I know you said we'd only have one T1. My question is, where will the single T1 be?
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LVL 79

Accepted Solution

by:
lrmoore earned 1600 total points
ID: 13629859
Each location get's only one T1
Each site has 2 PVC's

HQ - T1 - PVC to #1
              PVC to #2

#1 - T1 - PVC to HQ
              PVC to #2

#2 - T1 - PVC to HQ
              PVC to #1
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Assisted Solution

by:jeopboy
jeopboy earned 400 total points
ID: 13631736
Sprint also calls their offering PIP - Private IP.

Am I missing something?  Unless you're also eliminating the internet T-1's, you're not really reducing your T-1's.

Today:  3 T-1's:  S1-HQ, S2-HQ and S1-S2.
Future:  3 T-1's:  S1-WAN provider, S2-WAN Provider, S3-WAN Provider.

If you can consolidate Internet access at HQ:

Today:  3 Internet T-1's:  S1-Internet, S2-Internet, HQ-Internet.
Future:  2 Internet T-1's + 1 more WAN T-1:  HQ-Internet x 2 for capacity, PLUS 1 additional WAN T-1: HQ-WAN for capacity

Overall you should be able to bring your costs down by moving to what lrmoore suggested, but it might not be as much as you think.  

You really see the benefits of converting when you have 4 or more locations.  

Mathematically, For N sites, you need
Private LIne:  N * (N-1)/2 physical connections for a full mesh
Frame or other provider "cloud": N physical connections
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