Redundancy vs Protection Switching


Are redundancy and protection switching synonymous terms, or is there a difference between the two? I had assumed all along that they are synonymous. In fact all software implementations of redundancy that I have seen implement the various protection switching schemes out there. However, I have also seen terms like "redundancy and protection switching" in the literature, which makes me think that they may not be

** EXACTLY ** the same.

Thanks Nimmi

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I think people use the terms interchangeably even through they are different.

Redundancy means you have additional resources that you can switch over to when a "primary" resource fails. A resource could be a card/facility - T1/E1/T3/E3/SONET/SDH/etc./a system/and so forth. The Redundant resource takes over when the primary fails.

Protection switching means that you have a criteria that you use to decide when to switch to a redundant resource. A good example is Linear Automatic Protection switching as defined by Telcordia/ITU/etc. In this example, a protection switch means that you switch your traffic to a redundant facility - a protection SONET/SDH fiber for example.

You could write an entire book talking about these subjects.

Bill wtm at

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We make & sell software that implements redundancy and protection schemes for T1/E1/T3/E3/SONET/SDH interfaces.

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Bill Matern

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