Monday, June 17, 2013

100 Gbps Wavelength Service Open for Business

At a time when many businesses are discovering the benefits of Fast Ethernet at 100 Mbps, the upper limit of bandwidth available to business is, if anything, accelerating. Would you believe that you can now order 100 Gbps wavelength service up and down the West Coast?

High bandwidth fiber optic connection spped traffic to and from the cloudThat’s not just a small increment over typical 100 Mbps Ethernet. It’s a factor of 1,000x. How on earth can you use this much bandwidth... and where can you get it?

Oddly enough, what’s driving the demand for 100 Gbps bandwidth are the same factors that are establishing 100 Mbps as almost entry level. I say almost because many smaller businesses are just now becoming totally frustrated with their old dependable T1 lines. Today’s online activities drag along at 1.5 Mbps. You really need 10x or 10 to 15 Mbps to do much of anything productively.

Once you get beyond email, general Web surfing, inventory management and customer support, that 100 Mbps Fast Ethernet service starts looking pretty attractive. What pushes the capacity of the line is video downloads and streaming, big data and cloud computing. It’s really the move en masse of businesses to the cloud that is generating the stampede to 100 Mbps, 1 Gbps, 10 GigE and now 100 Gig Wavelength.

What’s the cloud got to do with it? Pulling up stakes and moving your IT services to the cloud completely changes your network requirements. Ethernet has grown for decades on the model that all of your computers, servers, switches, routers, printers, storage and other assets will connect on a wired, copper or fiber, local network (LAN). Your WAN connection only needs to be big enough to support communications outside the company.

This was no big deal for most companies prior to Internet-everything and outsourcing to the cloud. T1 lines and DS3 bandwidth were plenty to support even mid-size companies. It worked because the vast majority of traffic stayed within the company walls. Only communications to and from remote sites, franchises, some customers and vendors needed to traverse the outside network (WAN).

That was good because the cost of telecom services prior to competitive deregulation was astronomical. In fact, the availability of lower cost bandwidth has been a driver in the rise of the Internet. It’s also been an enabler of relocating data center facilities to colocation centers as a cost savings measure. Once you start moving your servers off-site, it’s an easy jump to the cloud.

That’s really all the cloud is. Each cloud is a very large data center with infrastructure and perhaps software supplied and maintained by a vendor. You no longer need to invest in IT. You rent everything. Payment is by the “seat” by usage or as a monthly fee. No more capital expenses, no more long cycles to upgrade capacity, and no more round the clock staffing to keep everything working.

The only fly in the ointment is the shift in bandwidth requirements from the LAN to the WAN. Your traffic no longer zips around in-house. Instead everything goes to and from your offices over the WAN. All the heavy computing is out there in the cloud. So is the data. If you want to send a file, get a file or perform any process you’ll be doing it over the WAN.

Companies that didn’t take this into consideration are hurting. They’re the ones frantically shopping for higher bandwidth levels at reasonable prices. A slow WAN connection means everybody waits. While your employees are killing time waiting for the system, you are flushing money down the drain.

Fortunately, the cost of high performance bandwidth has been plummeting with the skyrocketing demand and entry of new regional and national fiber optic networks. There’s a mad scramble on now to light every building with fiber and ensure enough capacity in the system to prevent traffic jams. This is where Zayo comes in.

Zayo is a premier international provider of bandwidth infrastructure services with massive fiber optic capacity. This is the company that is establishing 100 Gbps Wavelength services, not just for carriers, but for businesses too. Their initial buildout is in the high tech corridor of the West Coast, from Seattle to Los Angeles. The latest rollouts are the ability to originate and terminate add/drop 100 Gbps service to Seattle, Portland, Sacramento, San Francisco, Modesto and Los Angeles. There is a similar network on the Eastern Corridor that includes New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, DC. and a path through Chicago that connects the East and West coasts.

Do you really need 100 Gbps Wavelength service? Probably not unless you are a content distributor, Internet service provider, cloud service provider, large corporation, government agency or massive organization dealing with the biggest of big data operations. Nevertheless, you should know that higher bandwidths are in your future and that fiber is well within reach of most company budgets.

Do you feel constrained by your current modest WAN bandwidth? Now is the perfect time to get a new set of competitive quotes for high speed copper and fiber connectivity just to see what new services are available and how low the costs have plunged since you last went for quotes.

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

Note: Photo of high speed traffic courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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Note: Photo of high speed traffic courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.