What’s with all the new high-bandwidth construction by EarthLink and others? In case you haven’t heard, business is automating like crazy and heading to the cloud. The enduring slowdown in economic expansion has given corporations a chance to re-examine their operations and re-engineer for what they’ll need in the future. One thing they’ve found is that office automation can be as big an enabler of employee productivity as the factory automation of decades past. That means more computers, more processing and more communication between business sites, vendors, customers and remote employees. Any business that has outsourced overseas has found that a key to making this work efficiently is to tie together the far flung operations as if they were right next door. You can’t do that physically, of course, but you can do it virtually if you have the right networking.
The cloud is also seen as a game changer in a world where it’s hard to predict what resources you’ll need next season or even next month. Traditional in-house data center construction is a capital and time intensive approach. If what you are doing will run just as well in a remote data center, you gain the advantages of avoiding capital investments and buying what you need by the moment with the knowledge that additional resources are always available when you need to scale up. Scaling up is the expected path as a company grows over the years. Now you have the option to scale up and scale down as business fluctuates so you never have idle resources running up expenses.
The one thing that process automation, outsourcing and cloud operations have in common is that they are bandwidth intensive. That bandwidth was fairly easy to come by when everything was on your local network. Now you need the same big conduit going between cities, across the country and perhaps overseas.
SONET is the proven core network technology for fiber optic WAN networks. You can certainly run legacy OC3, OC12 and OC 48 fiber optic connections for your business connectivity. But today it’s Ethernet services that are hot. No problem. Ethernet runs over SONET just fine. In fact, many advertised Ethernet fiber optic networks are really running SONET at their core. OC-192 is a good match for 10 Gigabit Ethernet, with a special WAN-PHY protocol designed especially to transport 10 GigE on a OC-192 optical carrier.
EarthLink is expanding their nationwide fiber network and their suite of business telecom services that include MPLS networking, full and fractional DS3, EVDO 3G wireless, SIP trunking and Metro Fiber Ethernet. They added three new data centers in Rochester, NY, Marlborough, MA and Columbia, SC with 10 Gigabit fiber rings connecting each location to the network backbone. Such high bandwidth connections allows them to offer real time data replication and cloud services to interested companies.
Is your business re-engineering for higher productivity and more agile operations? If so, you may benefit from some of the new cloud services and high bandwidth network connections that have become recently available. Even your current operations can cut costs while retaining the same performance with competitive telecom services.