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Vol. 2 No. 4 June 2003

Inverse multiplexing

Inverse multiplexing: A networking technique that speeds up data transmission by dividing a data stream into multiple, concurrent streams that are simultaneously transmitted across separate channels (such as T-1 or E-1 lines) and are then reconstructed at the other end back into the original data stream. Inverse multiplexing is the reverse of ordinary multiplexing, which combines multiple signals into a single signal. It's commonly used where data in a high-speed LAN flows back and forth into a WAN across the bottleneck of a slower line such as a T-1 (1.544Mb/s). By using multiple T-1 lines, the data stream can be load-balanced across all of the lines simultaneously. As a general rule, inverse multiplexing across up to eight T-1 lines (or E-1 lines in Europe and elsewhere) is said to be less expensive than the cost of renting a T-3 (45Mb/s) line. Inverse multiplexing is also sometimes used in combination with frame relay and asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) transmission, and is sometimes called inverse muxing or imuxing.

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Features in this issue

  • Inverse multiplexing

    Inverse multiplexing

  • Copy basics

    by  David Braue

    Snapshot and replication are important tools in building a foolproof disaster recovery plan. This article helps you pick the optimal solution that fits within your budget and is best suited for your company's individual backup needs.

  • The case for network smarts

    Let's face it: SANs as they currently exist only deliver about half of what you might hope for in the way of efficiency and optimal utilization. The best bet to deliver the other 50% is network-based storage intelligence. You'll have to get past the magic-wand claims for this latest pancea from storage vendors, though. And not every incarnation of smart switches or appliances is going to be right for you.

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