Abbey National has completed a major upgrade to its retail network in preparation for an IP centric future.
The installation, which comprises over 950 Motorola 6560 multi-service networking products, forms part of a project to boost resilience and increase the flexibility of the bank's network.
Gary Wass, telecommunications manager at Abbey National, said that the bank's Wan had to be refashioned to support IP applications, while retaining the ability to prioritise X.25 traffic.
"X.25 is our lifeblood - it supports our automated teller machines (ATMs) and retail branches," said Wass. "We need the ability to run X.25 natively."
Wass said this was important because the bank used X.25 features to control the throttling of end to end traffic flow between branches and the bank's mainframe. The Motorola offering was selected mainly because it does not encapsulate X.25 in IP.
Abbey National's branch network carries the retail data from over 2,200 ATMs, as well as supporting office systems for the bank's 820 branches and 60 support sites nationwide.
The Frame Relay based Wan connects to two central host sites near Milton Keynes and ensures resilience via 36 additional concentrator sites, each supporting up to 30 branches with full ISDN backup. The bank uses BT's managed Framestream service with 64Kbps connections from branches.
Wass said the network runs over a mixture of X.25 and IP, but IP traffic, driven through a corporate Intranet and branch office operations, would become increasingly mission critical.
Abbey has made its network voice over IP and voice over Frame Relay capable, but stated it has no immediate business needs for these technologies.
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