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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.
This was first published in June 2003