Frame Relay is definitely an option. I don't know about U.S. pricing, but I'd
guess you might be looking at $300.00 - $400.00/drop/month. I've worked with
FRADs connecting multiple AS/400s and 5294/5394/5494 controllers, and it works
quite well. You need to look at things like CIR (Committed Information Rate -
your guaranteed bandwidth). A 56K Frame Relay line doesn't guarantee you 56K
of bandwidth. Here in Canada the network is generally underutilized, so its
not a big concern, but I understand that the situation may not be so favorable
in the U.S. In terms of comm equipment, I'd look at SNA friendly routers
(such as IBM's 2210 series), rather than FRADs (IBM's 2218s, Motorola
Vanguards), especially if you anticipate having more than twinax workstations
in your future. Routers give you a lot more future flexibility if you start
adding PCs and/or Network Computers.
AS/400 Support Analyst
>We are looking for a more cost effective way of connecting our remote
>locations to our AS400. We currently use a leased 56k multi-drop circuit
>to connect 3 remote locations to our main system. It works ok, but it is
>VERY expensive, $2800/mo for all locations. The remotes are 5394
>controllers with approx 8 twinax workstations at each location. I'm new to
>the frame relay world, and was wondering if this would be a viable solution
>for us. From what little information I have been able to gather, it seems
>that frame offers better reliablitly at a substantially lowere cost.
>Anyone, have any suggestions or experience? I would appreciate anything.
AS/400 Support Analyst 1136 - 10th Avenue S.W.
Cell: (403) 861-0353 Phone: (403) 297-0200
Fax: (403) 297-0209