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.

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