Users continue march to IP VPNs

Site-to-site as opposed to remote-access VPNs are on the rise and replacing frame relay and ATM networks in many cases, according to an upcoming report from Forrester Research.

According to the research, which is not yet published, 27% of the telecom decision makers polled in North America plan to decrease their use of Layer 2 frame relay and ATM services this year. This was based on 327 users who responded to the question.

In a separate question, 21% of 407 users said that this year they would complete transitions to IP VPNs from other forms of corporate WANs.

This is likely due to a combination of factors. Service providers are improving their IP offerings to make them more attractive to customers. In addition, major IP service providers support interworking that allows customers to keep their frame relay connections and tie them in with sites connected via IP VPN. So customers could swap out frame relay at some sites in favor of less expensive IP VPN services, while keeping frame relay links where it makes economic sense.

The survey results don't sound the death knell yet for frame relay and ATM, though. At the same time that 27% of the 327 respondents said they would reduce their frame relay or ATM use, 18% of the respondents said they would increase it. And 48% said they would stay the same.

Similarly, while 52% of the 407 respondents questioned said they would complete switchover to IP VPNs by 2009, 42% said they had no plans at all to make the full transition. Another 7% said they didn't know yet what they were going to do.

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