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Frame Relay vs Point to Point vs ATM...

By macdoc711 ·
I am looking into changing our current broadband service (currently 128K Frame Relay and DSL service). We are probably going to move to a full T1 and intend to utilize video conferencing between NY, FL and TX in the future. My problem is that I am not well versed in the advantages/disadvantages of ATM, Frame Relay, Point to Point etc. We will try to go with a Tier 1 provider and possibly the same provider for all three locations. My concern is that we are in South Florida so we are susceptible to hurricane outages for five months of the year. I need something stable yet flexible. Can anyone out there help me?

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Frame Relay vs Point to Point vs ATM...

by mebudman In reply to Frame Relay vs Point to P ...

We just went through the research of just this particular problem. We invited the major players, Qwest, AT&T, Sprint, WorldCOM. And the big thing we learned was that Qwest, AT&T and Worldcom were offering Ethernet based WAN configurations implementing VPN connectivity between sites. Sprint was trying to push ATM solutions (huge cost). I don't want to influence your decision, but you should have them come pitch their offerings to you and then you would have the facts about what the future direction these companies are looking to. The good selling point of the VPN solutions (whether they are LAYER 2 or LAYER 3, makes no difference, that is just the backbone of the provider, which you would not see) was the ability to connect to all of your sites directly. Frame tends to use a hub and spoke approach, unless you pay the extra for PVC's between all sites. Point to point is similar to hub and spoke, you would need point to point to all offices back to all offices. With the VPN approach each office would connect to the VPN "cloud" and be able to access any other office without having to create any move interfaces. This is call fully meshed. We likened it to the next version of frame relay, which was offering a more robust solution that strict frame relay. But again, have their sales people come in and explain their offerings, be sure to request a technical analyst come also to help answer some of the technology questions you will have that the sales people tend to gloss over.

Hope this helps.

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Frame Relay vs Point to Point vs ATM...

by macdoc711 In reply to Frame Relay vs Point to P ...

The question was auto-closed by TechRepublic

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Frame Relay vs Point to Point vs ATM...

by McKayTech In reply to Frame Relay vs Point to P ...

Point-to-point lines are generally expensive and very inflexible because they are dedicated and individually configured. They are arguably somewhat more secure than frame-relay and will consistently deliver a known speed because your traffic is theonly traffic on the line.

Frame-relay is a shared-medium where your data shares the pipe with traffic from other users. It's more cost-efficient but there are times when the throughput falls far short of the nominal speed of the connection. Forexample, the guaranteed rate on our T-1 frame-relay lines (nominal 1.544mbps) is only 0.900mbps and I've seen lines offered with a CIR (committed information rate) of far less than that.

ATM is extremely fast, provides excellent facilities for prioritization of time-sensitive data (e.g. audio and video) but likely cost-prohibitive for your system. It also typically requires fiber into your facility so it cannot be easily re-deployed in a disaster recovery situation.

My only concern aboutthe VPN networks being offered is that you give up some control over your network and I'm aware of some nightmares getting the VPN vendor to make configuration changes to support certain types of special traffic.

Overall, your situation sounds like frame-relay is likely to be your best bet. With only three sites, a fully-meshed network is easy to accomplish if necessary.

paul

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Frame Relay vs Point to Point vs ATM...

by macdoc711 In reply to Frame Relay vs Point to P ...

The question was auto-closed by TechRepublic

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Frame Relay vs Point to Point vs ATM...

by macdoc711 In reply to Frame Relay vs Point to P ...

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