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Let your switch do the routing.

LET YOUR SWITCH DO THE ROUTING

As a network manager, the last thing you want to do is leave call routing decisions up to your end users.

When faced with two choices for making a connection between two points, you can bet that an end user will randomly select the more expensive of the two.

That's Murphy's Network Management Law, says H. Charles Baker of Telecommunications Engineering in Richardson, Texas.

Baker conducted a how-to session on management in the age of ISDN at the International Communications Association conference in New Orleans.

On top of Murphy's law, Baker added his own Network Management Axiom: Whenever there is more than one way and one price to do the same thing, more management is needed to ensure is done cost-effectively.

Let Your Switch Do It

Moral: leave your routing decisions in your switch.

Baker told of a guy who used his company's FX line to call his next-door neighbor. That FX connection dialed the call in Chicago, 1000 miles away, turning what should have been a local call into a long-distance call. That's typical of costly choices you don't want your end users making.

"There are so many ways for doing things under ISDN, you'd better do it the right way. With good network management, ISDN can save you a lot of money," says Baker.

Without good management you'll find yourself overwhelmed by options, like a toddler in a playpen with too many new toys.

"Software in the switch (either your PBX or the telco's if you use centrex) is going to be a major factor in what kind of economies one realizes with ISDN," emphasizes Baker.

"Unless you have very well educated and disciplined end users. I would not let them make the kinds of decisions that are necessary for cost-effective calls.

"This is an ISDN version of call-by-call routing. But there are so many more options under ISDN. Everything is digital and there are going to be many more tariffs available."

Management may not be easier under ISDN, but it will be more responsive. Standards specify a registration packet that lets you subscribe instantly for a new service.

No Need To Wait

Such registration is not yet available, but if you wanted to add a WATS line you could insert a registration packet into the D channel, and almost immediately get back a confirmation packet. Service and billing start right away.

"You don't need pole climbers and punchdown tools to make it happen," says Baker. "You can do it all with software. That is a major advantage of ISDN, not having to wait for someone to come out and string wire."

The bottom line: you need a switch smart enough to make the necessary decisions to keep you in control of your network and its costs. That means several voice options, but even more ways of sending data under ISDN (see box below).
COPYRIGHT 1990 Nelson Publishing
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Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:ISDN Forum; includes a related article on sending data the ISDN way
Author:Tanzillo, Kevin
Publication:Communications News
Article Type:column
Date:Jul 1, 1990
Words:482
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