IP Strives to Match TDM's Reliability
by David Yedwab and Chris Talbott

Published June 2002




Since the 1990s, the idea that converged networks and IP could ultimately replace TDM networks for voice as well as data has been toyed with and then dismissed. The basic reason was simple: Data networks—IP networks in particular—were thought to be too unreliable to meet the expectations of users accustomed to traditional TDM voice networks.


The phrase that characterizes the availability of digital TDM networks is "five-nines"—99.999 percent availability. How far are IP networks along the development curve toward that goal? The answer may surprise you: Within 18–24 months, there'll be parity in availability for well-designed and managed IP networks.


Based on our investigations for this article, this parity will be made possible through improvements brought about by Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), extended features of protocols such as IS-IS and OSPF and emerging hardware/software combinations for rapid fail-over. Together with a growing base of real-world experience in managing IP networks, the pieces to solve the converged networks puzzle are falling into place.


About the author:

David Yedwab is executive vice president of The Eastern Management Group, and Chris Talbott is a director with The Eastern Management Group.



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