Monday, November 05, 2007

From T1 to Ethernet

Your LAN is running smoothly, but now you need to connect to the outside world for dedicated Internet service, point to point data transfer, or VoIP call termination. A T1 line seems like a cost effective solution, but your network protocol is Ethernet, not T1 data. How do you make the conversion?

Relax. Pick the right T1 line carrier and they'll take care of it for you. Yes, there was a time when you had to deal with Channel Service Units, Data Service Units, router setups and interfacing everything together. The new way is to let the service provider handle all these issues with a managed router.

A T1 router is a level 3 device specifically designed to work with T1 lines. The T1 standard is very specific with regards to line coding, framing, signal levels, impedances and synchronization. Ethernet is equally specific with regard to packet organization. The CSU / DSU portion of the T1 router accepts the T1 line signal from the Smart Jack at the demarcation point and performs all the necessary functions to transmit and receive data. The Ethernet interface gives you an RJ45 jack that connects to your LAN. The magic in-between makes sure that packets and frames get properly matched.

Another advantage of managed routers is that they allow the T1 service provider to monitor the complete WAN or Wide Area Network from their facilities through your router. That makes maintenance and troubleshooting easier and faster. It's likely your carrier will also set up automatic monitoring of your link so they can swing into action if something goes wrong even after business hours.

The latest option in WAN options is end to end Ethernet. The entire circuit between facilities runs IP protocol, not TDM the protocol of T1 lines. Your connection can be a level 3 router or level 2 switch, depending on how the network is setup. In practice, your field offices and main offices can be on the same LAN even though they are hundreds or thousands of miles apart rather than a few feet.

This service is also called Carrier Ethernet. It is provisioned directly onto an IP-based fiber optic carrier, so there are no awkward protocol conversions involved. It's also the most cost-effective WAN bandwidth you can get, especially for 10 Mbps, 100 Mbps and Gigabit Ethernet connections. You'll need to be in or near a building that is lit for fiber optic Carrier Ethernet. Such a facility might be closer than you think. Check to see if your building is lit for Ethernet.

Not very near an Ethernet carrier point of presence? One common solution is to relocate your servers to a colocation facility, where lower cost bandwidth is readily available. Another is to use T1 lines, alone or in multiples, to create the bandwidth connections you need. Call the toll free number or enter a quick online search now to see what service is available for your location.

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

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