What constitutes telecom past? It’s the legacy transport services developed as telephone technologies and later pressed into service to connect data networks through the public switched telephone network. That includes such favorites as Frame Relay, T1, DS3 and SONET/SDH.
What’s so bad about these venerable telecom services? Nothing at all. They are time-tested solutions to business connectivity. All of these services are readily available, perhaps with the exception of Frame Relay which is being rapidly replaced by MPLS networks. They offer high reliability and dedicated bandwidth suitable for business operations. The only real question is whether these are the BEST options available for your connectivity needs.
There’s a newer networking technology being deployed nationwide, indeed worldwide, right now. What it does is simplify the LAN to MAN to WAN connection. Everything is standardized on the Ethernet protocol. Connectivity is seamless, since outside network connections simply plug into your network edge Ethernet switch and become an extension of your LAN.
Contrast this approach to having to install a CSU/DSU interface card into a router to make the networks compatible. Inside your company, everything is packet based. Outside, those packets have to be shuttled into and out of TDM channels that transport them between locations or to and from the Internet.
With an all-Ethernet system, you also gain some service options you didn’t have before. Ethernet line service gives you a point to point connection between two LANs at different locations. Ethernet LAN service creates a multi-point to multipoint network that links 3 or more locations. All of these locations will appear to be on one large bridged network with switched Ethernet service. The engineer at the desk across town is effectively right next door to the marketing manager a couple of states away and the warehouse on the other side of the globe.
Just to add icing to the cake, Ethernet services also tend to be lower in cost per Mbps than equivalent legacy telecom services. It’s not uncommon to get 3 Mbps Ethernet at the same price as 1.5 Mbps T1 service. The distinction gets even larger as you go up in speed and include multiple locations.
Are you missing out by still depending on yesterday’s telecom technology to support today’s business needs? Check pricing and availability of switched Ethernet service to see if you can get better service for less money? There’s a good chance you can.