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How Central Freight profits from F-T1 in IBM shop.

For more than 67 years Central Freight, based in Waco, Texas, has transported freight for customers throughout Texas and the Southwest.

Central's business is the timely, accurate handling of freight for clients both large and small. Central Freight's green 18-wheel trucks are a familiar site to the southwest motorist. While Central's business has not changed, deregulation and competition have brought challenges and opportunities that require a fresh approach to the information side of the business.

Mike Winter, Central's director of information services, faced two challenges. His first was to meet the needs of today's IBM 3270 network while increasing reliability and reducing cost. His second was to incorporate into the network a plan for future needs such as imaging, LAN to LAn, and client server applications.

All would require large amounts of bandwidth, so Winter needed to design a network that could grow without having to change the basic network design or replace existing equipment.

Winter's strategy outline called for supporting redundancy to the major offices and having no single point of failure.

The design would use the existing equipment mixed with new F-T1 equipment, reduce the RBOC loop cost by using F-T1 DACS (digital access cross-connect system) capabilities in the long-distance carrier's network, and allow for rapid change.

The network could then be expanded without making any major changes in network topology or philosophy.

Central chose Southwest Network Services (SNS), an Austin, Texas-based single-source network provider, to design and implement a network to integrate F-T1 and individual digital 9. circuits on a redundant backbone. This is being accomplished through the integration of the provider's intelligent nodes and F-T1 services, and equipment at key users' sites.

This gives Central a mix of services to meet their requirements today and in the future.

Central is first installing a redundant F-T1 ring (see diagram) between three of its major hubs: Waco, Dallas and Houston.

This was serve as the backbone from which to reach its many other offices. In the event of a network outage on the T1 backbone or on either T1 loop in Waco, data traffic can be rerouted by the SNS intelligent nodes back to Waco.

Data traffic from smaller offices will be added through the SNS nodes in Dallas and Houston and sent on to the corporate office in Waco using subrate (SRDM) technology. SRDM combines five 9.6 digital lines onto one F-T1 time slot (one DSO), saving bandwidth and equipment.

This also allows voice services to be mixed with data, providing further savings. As applications dictate, remote sites can be upgraded from 9.6 digital lines to F-T1 lines and brought into the network as feeders or as part of a larger redundant backbone from which to serve other officer.

Central's use of F-T1 backbones provides cost savings in several areas.

First, it allows them to use only the bandwidth they need. Second, they can mix different locations on one T1 local loop, saving local RBOC charges which often make up as much as 40% of the network cost. And finally, as the need arises, they can simply add bandwidth to the infrastructure of the network, saving the time of costly network redesign.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Nelson Publishing
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Fractional T1; Central Freight Lines Inc. installs network to improve service and reduce costs
Publication:Communications News
Date:Apr 1, 1992
Previous Article:F-T1 lets Bessemer distribute LANs cheaply.
Next Article:How to use cellular phones during a disaster.

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