The Converged Closet
By Gary Audin, Delphi, Inc.
Published Fall 2004, Posted September 2004




Looking forward to a converged network? Are your LAN and WAN networks ready for converged data, voice, and video? The industry consultants are speculating that 40+ percent of the data networks are not ready for VoIP. Most of the attention has been directed to the wide area network (WAN). There will also be an investment in the closets, cabling, AC power, and air conditioning. These may be hidden costs that will make the organization and network designer think twice about the total cost of ownership (TCO) for VoIP.


The cost of procuring, operating, and maintaining any system or network must be predicted if financial approval is expected. When you choose to write a TCO it should include:


  1. Maintenance over the installation lifetime

  2. Depreciation over the installation lifetime

  3. Replacement parts over the installation lifetime

  4. Electrical power budget and possible UPS requirements

  5. Floor/closet/rack space requirements

  6. Training (salary, instructor fees, lost productivity, certification, staff testing)

  7. Downtime factors (mean time between failures (MTBF), mean time to repair (MTTR), scheduled downtime)

  8. Any changes necessary to implement or accommodate the expenditure

  9. Monetary inflation over the installation lifetime


This article will focus on items 4, 5, and 8.



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About the Author:


Gary Audin has over 40 years of computer and communications experience. He has planned, designed, specified, implemented and operated data, LAN and telephone networks. These have included local area, national and international networks as well as VoIP and IP convergent networks in the U.S., Europe and Asia. He has advised domestic and international venture capital and investment bankers in communications, VOIP, and microprocessor technologies.


He has been an independent consultant for 25 years. During this time he designed a national bank ATM network. He specified the functional requirements for a wide area and local area network for the data transmission of the City of New York. He also designed a statewide multi-agency frame relay network for Louisiana.


Mr. Audin has been published extensively in Data Communications Magazine, Business Communications Review, Infosystems, Computerworld, Computer Business News, Auerbach Publications and 4 other magazines. He has made over 200 presentations at trade shows including INTERFACE, COMNET, INFO, PC Expo, VoiceCon and MultimediaCom. He has been the Keynote speaker at several user conferences. He is a founder of the ANSI X.9 committee. He is a senior member of the IEEE. He is on the steering committee for the VoiceCon conferences.


He has a BSEE from New Jersey Institute of Technology and graduate work in Computer Science at Syracuse University. He has presented over 2000 seminars for BCR, Telcordia, ACUTA, Nortel, Datapro Research, American Management Association, Washington University (St. Louis), Princeton, IBM, NCR, Burroughs, Sperry, UNISYS, Bell Northern Research and the American Institute of Banking. He has been an Adjunct Professor at Pace University and an instructor at Boston University.

Republished with the permission of the ACUTA Journal of Communications Technology in Higher Education, Volume 8 Number 3. ACUTA Website


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