Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Ethernet Port At Your Door

There's an Ethernet port that connects to the outside world. Where is it? It could be as close as your back door. Actually, it could be right there in your telecom closet.

Ethernet WAN (Wide Area Network) service is a fairly new development. Most companies and other organizations are used to getting their outside connections using the traditional telecom network. The same technologies that carry telephone calls have been repurposed to transport digital signals from point to point and as access to the Internet.

You're no doubt familiar with T1 lines. Perhaps you also use DS3 connections or OC3, OC12 or OC48 SONET fiber optic services. Did you know that all of these services got their start carrying telephone calls between phone company central offices? Since they are digital in nature, specialized equipment can do a protocol conversion from the Ethernet that runs on your local networks to the TDM (Time Division Multiplexing) that runs on the public switched telephone network.

Say you want to connect the LANs at two of your business locations. You may order a point to point T1 line to transport the packets between locations at a rate of 1.5 Mbps. If you need more bandwidth to keep the LAN data from having to wait on the WAN connection, you can order DS3 service at 45 Mbps. The protocol conversion will be performed at each end, so that your LANs and the telecom network each have the data in a format they can use.

This methodology works fine, and has been doing so for decades. But now you have another choice. Why not just connect your two LANs together with a very, very long Ethernet connection?

You are probably saying, "Ethernet doesn't work that way. There are strict limitations as to how far you can extend the network."

That's true within your own building or campus. But there is another set of standards that apply to Ethernet that is transported by common carrier over long distances. These long haul connections come under the category of Carrier Ethernet. Within a city, they are often called Metro Ethernet.

There's practically no limit on how far you can connect using Carrier Ethernet. Do you have an office and factory in different parts of town? Connect their networks with a level 2 Metro Ethernet connection. That's right, level 2. You can use network switches to make the connection and keep everything on the same network. You can also set up mesh networks for multiple locations in-town or around the country. How about the Internet? Use a Carrier Ethernet connection to provide your access to the Internet.

But why do that if your old telecom services work just fine? How about paying less, maybe 50% less, for the same connectivity? The higher your bandwidth requirements, the more Ethernet WAN connections can save. The reasons are that Ethernet services are often provided by competitive carriers with modern networks designed from the ground up for efficient IP transport. When they can provide the complete network, including connections to your buildings using EoF (Ethernet over Fiber) or EoC (Ethernet over Copper), the cost savings can be astonishing.

How much can you save? Run a quick check and see what Ethernet WAN services are available for your location.

Click to check pricing and features or get support from a Telarus product specialist.

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