Broadband services

SlideshowThe Legacy of Legacy

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kq4ym 1/16/2018 | 11:58:45 AM
Re: ISDN It is amazing that there are so many reasons to explain the legacy problem. And yet, to those affected they are legitimate reasons why to hold on as long as they can. Pending the incentives either short term or long to invest and move on, we'll still be seeing those systems hang in there. Don't remind me of why I have closets full of old equipment I can't see to let go of!
BinuA 1/4/2018 | 9:56:38 AM
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brooks7 1/2/2018 | 2:09:37 PM
Re: Legacy lines support legacy apps Duh!,


It reminds me that POS systems have been using 2400 bps modems for the longest time.  The training time of faster modems was longer than the entire call time using one of these archaic beasts.  I think these will mostly die with the use of Chip Technology. 

Duh! 1/2/2018 | 11:47:48 AM
Re: Legacy lines support legacy apps Rudyard Kipling's blind men trying to describe an elephant. I suspect that all the hypotheses here are correct, but none of them are dominant. Some other points:

Strategic applications evolve, because there is usually a business case grounded in changing needs and technological improvements which can be quantified and proven out in financial analysis. The networks that support those applications follow. It is much harder to make a case for upgrading non-strategic applications. Many of those legacy circuits terminate on CPE sitting in dusty corners. The applications have no constituency and in some cases the people who understand them are long-since gone.

A perusal of telco tariffs reveals all sorts of oddball services. Somebody needed each of those for something. Each can probably be emulated over IP, but doing so is a development project. Those projects are one-offs, probably done by contractors. They can be hard to justify.

In embedded industrial systems, changing an interface can have a domino effect on  upstream hardware lifecycles. At least until a few years ago, some electrical substations were equipped with communications controllers with built-in dial-up modems or DS-1 interfaces. They can't be field upgraded, and drop-in replacements don't exist. Upstream, Remote Terminal Units (RTUs), Programable Logic Controllers (PLCs) and Intelligent Electronic Devices were designed around those controllers, often with proprietary protocols, and often not field upgradable. Replacing those requires a significant engineering effort. This was a big problem in the electric power industry when Frame Relay was being discontinued, and more so when new cyber-security regulations affected dial-up.

Sometimes, legacy equipment developers designed-in timing or protocol dependencies as short-cuts, work-arounds or bugs. Bad practices, even in the '70s and '80s, but nonetheless common. Changing these things is almost impossible, since schematics, source code and expertise are long-since lost and nearly complete re-design is sometimes necessary.
brooks7 1/2/2018 | 1:40:06 AM
Re: Legacy lines support legacy apps  


I think that large organizations that would have used ATM or Frame Relay have long gotten rid of them.  Most of the Legacy Services go to small business.  I know for a long time (I am not sure if it is still true) that Jewelry Stores got a break on their Insurance if they had dry copper alarms.  That rate reduction was a lot more than the value of the service, so they kept it.  Think about businesses that have less than 25 employees where the most technical person in the organization has a High School Diploma.  There are literally millions of these businesses.  In the residential world, I guarantee you that Telcos would like to stop deploying POTS.  Cable would like to get rid of analog channels.


lightreceding 1/1/2018 | 12:10:03 PM
Legacy lines support legacy apps I think that a lot of organizations are still running their same old in house applications that were developed in the days of ISDN, FR and ATM. They are probably afraid of breaking something by moving, or at least don't want to go through the effort if there isn't much to gain. As they move to SaaS they can easily make the move to broadband. SD-WAN is a good transition stratgy with support for old and new access types. However if organziations are not using any or many new apps they might not care to make the move to SD-WAN. POS systems and CC verification systems still work on ISDN. Some hosting providers are offering to host and manage legacy applications and free the customer from having to manage the infratructure. That might speed the transition away from old technology. However there seem to be more than a few holdouts.
brooks7 1/1/2018 | 10:58:02 AM
Re: Business and Speed @Joe,

What do you do now that you can't even buy ebay spare parts for DMS100s and 5ESS systems?  There are lots of these services that have no products (or 1 product) that can still do them.  And the OSS environment.  Not just TIRKS but Switch/DLE from our old friends the Sopranos...err Telcordia.

It is much worse than Y2K.  It is what happens when you drive your suppliers out of business.


Joe Stanganelli 12/31/2017 | 11:55:30 AM
Re: Business and Speed @Carol/seven: Then might this suggest that operators are innovating in areas where innovation is not necessarily in demand -- i.e., creating and selling solutions in search of a problem?

If the legacy solutions are still in demand, res ipsa loquitur.
Joe Stanganelli 12/31/2017 | 11:53:55 AM
Legacy saves If people/organizations really want to use legacy, good luck stopping them.

Thus, the argument about operators being "forced" to retain legacy skills doesn't really resonate for me. Remember Y2K? It was those dinosaur COBOL programmers who saved the day.
brooks7 12/30/2017 | 3:25:11 PM
Re: Business and Speed Carol,


I think it is split.  There are businesses with significant internal IT departments - many of them are SaaS vendors,  Those businesses are always looking for what is better or next.  Other businesses (typically smaller) have little to no IT resouces.  Those are really stuck and are reluctant to change because there is little to no way for them to revamp what they do.


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