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Senior Editor

Frame relay management tools

Jul 14, 20032 mins

* How some big companies manage their frame relay networks

This week our Special Focus takes a look at how a few big companies are managing their frame relay networks.

Our author ( writes that while United Parcel Service (UPS), Staples and the South Carolina National Army Guard operate different types of frame relay networks, all have benefited from using products from NetScout, SolarWinds.Net and Visual Networks respectively.

For example:

* UPS deployed NetScout’s nGenius Performance Manager to get a better, more detailed look at its network so it could pinpoint which applications were driving bandwidth consumption. UPS operates 51 frame relay networks that connect 2,500 sites worldwide. The company works with a handful of service providers including AT&T, Equant and Sprint to support an architecture that spans the globe.

* Staples is running a large frame relay network, but capacity planning was a bigger issue for the chain of office supply stores. Staples deployed SolarWinds.Net Orion management tool to get a better handle on utilization across its 1,200-node frame relay network. Staples was using HP OpenView, which provided the status of each circuit and alerts when a problem occurred, but the company needed more, says Sally Jo Bernard, director of network operations. When Staples deployed the product about 18 months ago, Bernard and her team monitored capacity on all frame relay connections at 256K bit/sec or above. They determined that many sites did not need that much bandwidth. “We moved many to 64K bit/sec to 128K bit/sec ports, which saved quite a bit of money,” she says.

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