The MAN or Metro Area Network is the networking solution between LANs or Local Area Networks and the much larger WAN or Wide Area Network. The MAN serves an important function in transporting voice, data and video traffic within a limited geographical area. Without the MAN, you are left to concocting your own solution by piecing together a collection of individual point to point telecom lines. Many companies have done this over the years with T1 lines and their own central router. But the MAN offers more bandwidth options and a significant cost savings.
Where does the cost savings come from? It’s a function of amortizing the cost of operating the network among the customers who subscribe to it. The MAN service provider installs a protected SONET fiber optic ring or IP core network and enough access points to reach business locations within the metropolitan area. Fiber optic networks are well suited to this application. They have nearly unlimited bandwidth when you install multiple core cables and use wavelength division multiplexing. An add-drop multiplexer a key points of presence makes it easy to get traffic on and off the network. All you need then is access connections from each location to the MAN.
SONET metropolitan area networks were the first to be installed using proven technology from the telephone industry and operated by the incumbent local telephone companies. OC3 connections at 155 Mbps have been popular with enterprise companies. Those needing higher bandwidth levels can upgrade to OC12 at 622 Mbps and even OC48 at 2.5 Gbps.
The Ethernet MAN is newer and offers some advantages over SONET based networks. First, Ethernet is scalable in small increments, so you can generally get whatever level of service you need from 10 Mbps standard Ethernet on the low end through 100 Mbps Fast Ethernet, 1000 Mbps Gigabit Ethernet and now even 10 GigE running at 10 Gigabits/second. Need more than that? Lease wavelength services or a dark fiber and install as much bandwidth as you require.
Ethernet services include Ethernet line service for point to point connections between two locations or Ethernet LAN service to interconnect as many locations as you require. These are level 2 switched services to that you can treat your entire operations in the metro area as a single bridged LAN.
Finally, Ethernet MAN services generally have a significant cost advantage over traditional telecom services. Bandwidth cost per Mbps is sometimes a fraction of what you would otherwise pay. This is due to a high degree of competition in metropolitan areas among independent carriers that have installed their own metropolitan and long haul fiber optic networks.
Do you have a need for MAN connections to support your business or organization? If so, check Metropolitan Area Network prices and availability now.