Boned T1 3 Mbps vs DSL 15 Mbps speed vs. MPLS?

Posted on 2009-05-01
Last Modified: 2013-12-14

we are currently using Covad DSL in NY manhattan for business. we are now around 10 users and the line is getting very slow.

we will be having around 50 users soon,  ranging from day traders, heavy data usage, some people will have voiceIP, some people will stream music video etc.

what should we use to be on the safe side no to experience any issues with speed or downtimes.

also what is a MPLS, is this something we can get extra or is extra equipment .. ? do we need that?

am confused how a T1 with 3 Mbps can be faster than DSL 15 Mbps.
Question by:expresscam
    LVL 2

    Expert Comment

    You may be paying for 15Mbp/s DSL service, but are you getting anything near those speeds?
    DSL speeds are somewhat based on distance from the POP site and line conditions. If you have noisy phone lines, or are pushing several miles (cable feet) from the POP, then you may not be getting what your paying for. Also, most DSL service is sold with a contention ratio. The provider makes a guess that only a percentage of users will make heavy use of the bandwidth at a given time.

    A bonded T1 will give you the advantage that you are paying for committed bandwidth inbound and outbound vs. what is probably burst with the DSL.

    MPLS is basicly a traffic prioritization scheme. MPLS will probably not be very useful unless you have multiple WAN sites that your trying to pass traffic between and you need to prioritize inter site traffic over everything else.

    What is your current WAN setup?

    Before jumping in and switching your entire WAN design around, you may want to determine how much bandwidth you currently have in use. Depending on what type of router you have, it may either have built in metrics for this, or you can probably setup SNMP monitoring for it with some free tools.

    LVL 10

    Accepted Solution

    If you are only connecting your site to the internet, then the distinctions are not as sharp. In general, a business class dsl/cable/fios service will be much less reliable than a dedicated line and when there are issues they will not be corrected anywhere near as quickly. But if you are not hosting servers, and your users are willing to tolerate up to 5 days of downtime a year during business hours, then the cost of the t-1s may drive you away.

    MPLS is a shared backbone method for network connections. It is an excellent replacement for a meshed t-1 network when as noted above you want to interconnect many sites relatively cheaply. For a single site internet access, it is merely a cheaper T-1.

    So in general, DSL is cheap, but it can be painful. The bandwidth is not garunteed and it is usually much slower outbound than inband. You are also sharing the internet pipe to the covad network with a lot of customers, in a minimally engineered fasion. If you decide to go with DSL, consider getting a second source of broadband, such as a FIOS or Cable connection and connect the two with a dual WAN dsl router like the hotbrick. Even if you need to cut it over manually, it is a good thing on those 5 days a year.
    LVL 8

    Assisted Solution

    lanboyo is spot on. There is this misconception that a T1 is really fast and better speeds than a DSL or Cable line. That is totally not true. Even on a day when your are getting less than optimal speeds from DSL or Cable its still much faster than a T1 normally.
    With that said, the big thing you get with a business class connection like a T1, T3, etc. is a service level agreement. In short its a contract to say, in most cases, that if the connection is down for any reason they HAVE to get it up within 4 hours. Also you can add in features like being able to run BGP and use your own IP space that you purchase from ARIN, etc.
    Metro Ethernet Fiber connections are good to use. Generally cheaper than a traditional T3 and speeds can range anywhere from a few MBPS up to a GBPS. Probably cheaper also (assuming your building is lit already)

    Author Closing Comment

    thank you so much. getting bonded T1. 2 x 1.5 Mbps and 15/1 DSL as backup
    LVL 8

    Expert Comment

    1 other side note, depending on your anticipated growth you may want to check out a fractional T3 or a ethernet connection because at some point adding more T1's becomes more expensive than just 1 bigger pipe. Obviously this depends on pricing but normally i think that point is around 6 mbps (4 T1's)
    you also have to consider a T3 requires a better, more expensive router and other things but thats a whole different discussion.
    Good Luck.

    Author Comment

    good to know. thank you akalbfell.

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