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Let ISDN back you up, and pocket the difference.

If you're writing big checks each month to a carrier for little-used dedicated backup facilities, you could save your company money by looking into ISDN to accomplish the same purpose. What some companies find is that they use a backup Ti link only a short time each month. Maybe the main facilities are down briefly--or maybe these companies use the backup only to run tests in case the main facilities do go down.

Sure, they might also throw some data over the backup TI during a peak time, but there's no doubt it's a vastly underused connection.

As a switched service, ISDN can accomplish the same thing. One major retailer (one of those companies that's shy about attaching its name to publicity) has just implemented that strategy and is sold on it so far.

It found that the primary network was failing only about an hour a month. That didn't justify high capacity backup facilities.

Once this company compared T1 and ISDN costs, the choice was clear. More than $38,000 worth of clear. It had its Tls taken out and now uses ISDN with inverse multiplexing to satisfy its backup data needs.

"Their objective is to reduce recurring line costs without sacrificing too much in the way of availability," explains Robert McGuire, product manager for Tn/En products for Ascom Timeplex, vendor to this retailer.

"They are using our latest release of Link2, which includes a card that can be used to access ISDN, dialing it up in the event the primary link fails, They can use ISDN to dial up a predefined number of B channels to bring in backup bandwidth.

"It really comes down to cost. The occurrence of failures is fairly rare on their dedicated T1 s, which means they are spending money each month for dedicated backup facilities that they are not using that often."

The cost of a strictly T1 strategy in this case was $91,800 a month. With the primary rate ISDN and TI mix, the cost drops to $53,028 a month. That saves this retailer $38,772 a month, close to half a million dollars a year.

Managers know that backup is like catastrophic health insurance. You don't want to do without it, but you hope you'll never need it. Same with our retailer, who as of this writing hasn't seen a network failure but has done some preliminary testing in which they purposely brought the data center down.

"As they need a temporary data link, they can bring up bundles, They use B channel access, bundling the channels using inverse multiplexing. It gives them a lot more flexibility. If they have a high-speed application they need to set up for a couple of days, they can use bundles orb channels, ' '

"We'd like to see more customers looking at something like this," McGuire says. "Customers are still hung up on what does ISDN really mean. They are in this wait and see mode, not doing anything until the RBOCs do something. This is a good example of an application and how it can be justified. If you're going to wait, you're going to lose money."


This summer, Huntsville, Ala., home of innovative Redstone Arsenal, became the first all-ISDN city. The last of its seven central office switches was outfitted with ISDN hardware and software,

Six of the COs have AT&T 5ESS switches and one has a Northern Telecom DMS 100/200. BellSouth is making ISDN services available to singleline business customers this month, with residential ISDN available in early 1993.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Nelson Publishing
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:ISDN Forum; integrated services digital network
Author:Tanzillo, Kevin
Publication:Communications News
Article Type:Column
Date:Sep 1, 1992
Previous Article:INTUG takes note of restrictive policy questions.
Next Article:Look for chances to eliminate needless regulation.

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