Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Ethernet Connections To The World

If there was any doubt that Ethernet has moved from beyond the LAN to encompass the world, it should be settled by the establishment of first Carrier Ethernet Exchange, CENX, and the carriers that are connecting their networks to it.

Connect to the word with Carrier EthernetWhat is CENX? It is the world’s first neutral exchange provider specializing in Carrier Ethernet services. CENX provides interconnect services that link carrier networks in the United States and around the world. What this does is give independent Ethernet based carriers access to each other’s networks and customers, so that voice, data and video packets can be transferred efficiently from anywhere to anywhere.

If this sounds familiar, it’s because the idea of international connectivity was first established with the telegraph and telephone companies more than a century ago. You don’t think twice about being able to direct dial anyone, anywhere in the world, even from your cell phone. The Internet is a digital example of the same idea. Large network operators connect to each other at designed peering points to exchange data. Without peering, either one company would have to own and operate the Internet or there would be only local and regional connectivity.

Carriers can always make their own individual deals with other carriers to exchange traffic, but the emergence of CENX makes this process easier and more efficient. Interested carriers meet at strategic interconnection points called “carrier hotels” to get connected to the CENX service. Carrier hotels are also called colocation centers and are in-demand by businesses that want to locate their servers and other network equipment in close proximity to a multitude of carrier services. Often, you can get the best bandwidth prices at the “colo” due to competition and the trivial construction needed to connect with the carrier of your choice.

Carrier Ethernet Exchange is just getting started. CENX has three connection points operational in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. London is expected to come online in June. They have a partnership with Interxion, a provider of colocation data center services in Europe with 27 data centers in 11 European countries. CENX presence in Asia, South Africa, Australia and South America is under development.

What carriers are connecting to CENX? Big ones, including XO Communications, Verizon and Level 3 Communications. Ethernet connections to CENX now exceed 5 million locations, likely just the tip of what will be a Carrier Ethernet iceberg. Why? Carrier Ethernet offers advantages of point to point and multipoint network connections using the same protocol that’s the universal standard for local networking. Bandwidth scales easily from 1 Mbps to 10 Gbps with many granular levels offers by Ethernet carriers. In many cases, Metro Ethernet is the low cost solution. Now it has the opportunity to be the worldwide low cost connectivity solution.

Does your business have a need to connect with locations nationwide or internationally? If so, you should get a competitive pricing quote for Ethernet service to see just how much bandwidth you can get for your budget. You may be pleasantly surprised by the result.

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

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