Paradyne Gear Checks Frame SLAs over DSL

LARGO, FLA. (05/08/2000) - Are you interested in cut-rate frame relay that also includes service-level guarantees you can check?

Paradyne Corp. may have the answer with its new FrameSaver digital subscriber line (DSL) gear, which supports inexpensive frame relay over DSL services and can give customers the ability to monitor the performance of the frame relay virtual circuits.

Paradyne will show the new box for the first time at NetWorld+Interop 2000 in Las Vegas this week.

Service providers have been offering frame relay over DSL for awhile at prices that undercut regular frame relay. US West, for instance, has a service that costs $95 less per month than the equivalent service provisioned over a T-1.

The problem was that such services did not include a way to monitor how well the line performed.

That service-level verification is key to any frame relay network, says Rich Glasberg, manager of data communications for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

"What happens if something goes wrong out there and you have no way to manage [it]?" Glasberg says.

FrameSaver DSL actually runs ATM over the DSL link, enabling ATM's strict quality-of-service features, which could be used to support videoconferencing or distance learning, Glasberg says.

FrameSaver DSL integrates DSL hardware with Paradyne's FrameSaver Service Level Verifier software to let customers check network availability, latency and throughput. The device comes with software that lets a customer determine whether a line is up and running. An optional software package adds the ability to verify service-level agreements.

FrameSaver hardware has a customer facing V.35 port, just as a DSU/CSU would, which supports frame relay at up to T-1 speeds. The box takes in frame relay traffic from a customer's router and converts it into ATM cells that are sent over the DSL into the service provider's network.

The traffic would have to be reconverted to frame relay at the other end of the connection if the customer wants an all-frame relay network.

Paradyne says FrameSaver DSL requires carriers to have a Paradyne GranDSLAM DSL multiplexer to connect to the customer's FrameSaver DSL. Paradyne plans to make FrameSaver DSL interoperable with other vendors' DSL multiplexers, but wouldn't say whose.

The symmetric DSL equipment can deliver a 2.3M bit/sec speed on a phone line that is 10,000 feet long. That drops off to 144K bit/sec at 20,000 feet.

FrameSaver DSL costs $1,095.


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