Slash Branch Office WAN Costs: Dump the T1s


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While the cost of a T1 ranges in price depending on a number of factors, enterprises can typically expect to spend $500 per month for a dedicated T1 connection. If a Frame Relay or MPLS port charge and Class of Service (CoS) is added, the cost can quickly approach $800 per month. With many higher throughput and less expensive broadband services widely available, multi-site enterprises stand to save big on monthly connectivity costs and improve branch office WAN performance at the same time.

The T1 Legacy

If so many better options are available, why are there so many T1s out there? Well, there are a few reasons. Over the past decade, several broadband options have slowly become widely available, but there are so many T1s installed and so many WANs are built on T1s, that it is difficult to displace them. Also, T1s provide dedicated (as opposed to shared) bandwidth and are very reliable. SLAs with availability and performance guarantees are almost always available with a traditional T1. The T1 legacy of performance and reliability is the main reason they remain ubiquitous in the enterprise WAN, but complacency and maintaining the status quo is likely the secondary reason.

2 Comments

  • Missing comment
    Tom Wilkinson | 02-24-2010

    Good overview of the various alternatives to basic T1 connections.

  • Missing comment
    Troy Sorzano | 05-11-2010

    Many UTMs/firewalls support multiple WAN connections for outbound connections like the Hawking H2BR4. The trick comes when you need inbound load balancing or failover. BGP at one time was the only choice. But now you can do inbound load balancing for DNS based traffic. It does it magic by having a DNS server on the device. So when it responds to DNS requests it knows which WAN ports are up/down and the current utilization of each. The same device can bond multiple WAN connections for VPN traffic between two offices (you need the same device on each side). We use a very cost effective device from www.peplink.com. Other vendors are Xroads, mushroomnetworks, ecessa and the grand daddy of them all FatPipe.

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