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Insurance tracker has 2000-mile T1 link.

Insurance Tracker Has 2000-Mile T1 Link Taking full advantage of the speed and flexibility of T1, Transamerica Premier Services Inc. (TPSI) links a mainframe in California with terminals nearly 2000 miles away in Atlanta.

TPSI works with banks and other lenders in tracking insurance policy applications of purchasers of big-ticket items such as homes and cars. TPSI also offers insurance policies for such purchases.

In all, 555 terminals in seven U.S. locations are joined by point-to-point connections to the mainframe computer at TPSI's data processing center in South Pasadena, Calif. The T1 link connects the mainframe to 125 terminals at an operations processing center in Atlanta.

There, customer service representatives use terminals to input policy changes and loan information.

Equipment in Atlanta includes Protocol Computers/Telematics Inc. SmartNet 3600 asynchronous Switching Packet Assemblers/Disassemblers (PADs), SmartNet 3700 Switches/concentrators and the SmartView IBM PC-based management system.

SmartNet 3600s provide 24 ports each for terminals and two X.25 links for routing. Switching PADs allowed Transamerica's upgrade of the South Pasadena to Atlanta connection.

"They make it possible for us to use the X.25 protocol and packetize data to maximize the T1's information carrying capacity," says Larry Moretti, datacomm manager. "We transmit data through all 24 channels of the T1 at 56 kb/s."

Switching PADs convert data from the varied terminals in Atlanta to the X.25 protocol. SmartNet 3600s assemble the terminal data into variable-length packets.

Packets are sent to South Pasadena through the most expedient channel of the T1 carrier. All packets in a single message may not travel the same channel; at TPSI's data processing center, the mainframe reassembles data in appropriate sequence.

SmartNet 3700 Switches provide the connection and call routing between the Switching PADs in Atlanta and the mainframe in South Pasadena. They also execute switching between TPSI's primary T1 and secondary links.

Network traffic is automatically switched to the secondary link in the event of a primary link failure.

"We try to build redundancy into every aspect of our network," Moretti says, noting that Switching PADs are interconnected for automatic backup. "The cost of making sure of our system's reliability is insignificant compared to the cost of downtime."
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Title Annotation:Transamerica Premier Services Inc.
Publication:Communications News
Date:Mar 1, 1990
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