RealTime IT News

Hyatt's MPLS is in The House

Australian communications provider Telstra is helping the Hyatt hotel chain throw over its legacy, point-to-point networking system in favor of a mesh topology.

The hotel chain tapped Telstra for an $8.4 million outsourcing deal that includes an MPLS-based (multiprotocol label switching) managed service platform.

Hyatt plans to move hosting of its the application service providers to Telstra's platform as part of the multi-year deal. Telstra is set to provide the mesh networking standard in order to link the Hyatt's international headquarters in Chicago with hotels throughout Europe, South America and the Asia-Pacific region. Forty-five hotels in the chain are covered by the deal.

Dan Kerth, president of Telstra, said the company would manage the Hyatt's network and hardware, in order to help Hyatt focus on its core business.

For Hyatt, the deal shows that it's getting up to speed with the latest networking protocols and putting some of its older networking systems, such as fixed-bandwidth frame relay , out to pasture in place of an MPLS mesh backbone.

The deal puts a mirrored computing platform in all the hotels covered in the contract.

Mark Retnam, director of Global WAN Services for Hyatt International in Chicago, said it decided to go with a turnkey system in order to integrate provisioning and management of local access, CPE, and security-enhanced Internet services.

Hyatt said because of the MPLS network that Telstra is providing, it has been able to make a number of efficiency improvements in its systems operations. For example, it consolidated customer reservation and accounting activities into common shared services centers. In addition, the Telstra network is able to centralize the hotel's ASPs and push out the functions to all the hotels in the system, which saves the hotel the costs of running hardware on each hotel site.

Kerth said the network's ability to provision bandwidth to where it's needed most is another key feature of the MPLS network, compared to older network architectures.

He said VoIP deployments were not part of the contract. But he also agreed that, if the hotel were to deploy an IP telephony system, the MPLS protocol makes for an easier rollout.