T1 vs T3 vs 2 T1′s

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Bandwidth
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Microsoft Exchange
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ROI & cost justification
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I currently have two offices that will become one big office. There will be at most 150 users. Each office currently has a T1 and we do not really have any problems since we also use a Packeteer Packetshaper. If someone wanted to increase the pipe, would they go from a T1 to a T3 or is that over kill? If I did 2 T1's, how does that work with the current configuration with one T1 and one router that it connects to? Thanks, KevinS

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Running multiple T1 lines isn’t normally a problem. Your ISP should know how to aggregate them into a single virtual connection. We just moved up to our fourth T1 connected to a single router.
Another possibility is to use a partial T3. With this arrangement you have a T3 to the ISP but only contract to use and pay for part of the capacity. If you anticipate significant changes in connectivity needs this may be a better option. When you need more bandwidth you just call the ISP, they turn up the bandwidth, and you get a bigger bill the next month.
You might also want to look at other options like DSL. You could connect the sites using a VPN.
As you can see, there are a number of possibilities. You should weigh each one considering price, availability, functionality, and security and decide which is best for your environment.
rt

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  • DrillO
    I would suggest that now would be a good time to investigate alternatives to the T-1 option. There are now many other ways to connect remote sites or even "upstream" to the Internet. Many are more cost effective for the bandwidth return. Check with your local Utility they may have an option for you as many are getting into this these days. Now is a good time for research....you may be pleasantly surprised. Paul
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  • Kevins74
    Thanks, Both offices are closing and we are moving into a new larger (just been built) office. I think we will see how it goes with the T1 with everyone and if we run into some issues we can go from there. I know it cannot be exact, but is there a standard scale for trying to determine if a T1 will be enough, based on number of people and typical applications running (exchange, websites, etc...) Thanks, KevinS
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  • Dougkelsey
    Seems in your scenario the use of the connectivity is for internet use as you will no longer have a remote office. Our little company moved in 2004 and found that we could afford a bonded T1 solution (4 T1s combined to act as one connection as described in a previous post)for the price of our current single T1. The price for the T3 was well above the combined T1 solution. We are extremely satisfied with the bonded T solution.
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  • Cherie
    Kevin, Our company is similar in size to yours. As a technology company, we generate a considerable amount of traffic in and out of our site (FTP to/from client sites, VPN out to customers and in from remote employees, regular web browsing, etc.). The single T1 we started with was not able to keep up with our increase in usage as the company has grown. We currently have two T1s, bonded to act as a single 3Mb pipe, which is better but still not ideal. I don't think there's a standard scale for trying to determine if a T1 will be enough, what you get for internet connectivity and your new site should be based on your current combined usage. Of course that includes considering the number of people and the type of traffic you'll be generating. I'm sorry if this isn't much help, but it's my $.02...
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  • Griffin2020
    My company is only slightly smaller than yours, and with the growth in internet usage (including streaming media etc) and the fact that we serve our own webpage, we are beginning to run into the bandwidth wall on our single T1. My solution is to add a second pipe using Comcast business cable in a rollover configuration to a single Firewall/router so that if either connection goes down we are not completely cut off. (since SBC, our T1 provider just became AT&T, who we have had trouble with before, we fully expect future issues).
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  • Paul144hart
    For reliability, I would how multiple T1s and ask that they be confirmed as coming from different physical sources. For sizing, O'Reilly has a book on desinging large scale lans that has a section on sizing. Of course, this would be a help if you have a current profile of usage.
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  • Jrerickson
    The very first thing you need to do is see what your current utilization is. Try to classify what is intersite traffic, and what is outbound to the Internet, that way you can estimate (accounting for growth) what your outbound bandwidth needs will be when the offices merge. I don't know anything about Packetshaper, but I imagine it can help you gather this info. Putting up a multiple T1s, or a T3, without knowing if you are going to use it is a waste of money. ---JRE---
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  • BrantWellsTFC
    Everybody has excellent suggestions... I currently have approximately 1000 people on a pair of t1 lines right now (3meg connection)... With the PacketShaper and a couple of other solutions, it works, albeit slowly at times. One other thing I would recommend, is take a look on the PacketShaper and see how much total bandwidth is being used, and block all unnecessary apps. I block any P2P, and put a low limit on Internet Radio stuff, and have completely blocked some services. Recently, our provider told us that we could get a 10 meg partial OC3 line for slightly more than what we're paying now (we will be paying around 2 grand a month for the fiber).
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  • Dfng2002
    Replacing 2 T-1's with a T-3 is not very cost effective, the suggestion to keep 2 T-1's from seperate souces is a very sound and good idea. The need to cut costs if presented to you from above would then be to go to your provider and get an Ethernet connection for either a 2Meg pipe or 3Meg pipe from your provider, not nessisarily a T-3 which is costly but maybe a DS-3 instead if the etthernet solution is not possible.
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