Thursday, May 29, 2008

What Makes a Great MAN

Metropolitan Area Networks were once the realm of telecom companies and major corporations only. But something has changed recently to make access affordable for even small and medium size companies. If you need to communicate between two or more locations in town, you might just benefit from access to a metro network.

Metro Ethernet is the new way to provide data connections in metropolitan areas. This includes major cities and suburban areas. There are two types of Ethernet MAN service. E-Line is an Ethernet Line that connects two locations. A common application is between a main business location and a remote data center. The E-Line is also good if you want to connect to a warehouse, factory or branch office.

The other type of Ethernet MAN service is E-LAN. While E-Line is point to point, E-LAN is for multi-point connections. It's like a LAN, only spread across a city. This is also called WAN or Wide Area Network connections. With E-LAN service, you can connect your main office with multiple branch offices or retail locations, warehouses, factories and other locations in the metropolitan area. E-LAN and E-Line connections are good ways to tie local area networks together into a single, larger company network.

What really makes for a great MAN is a combination of speed, reliability and low cost. MAN connection speeds can be just about any bandwidth, but Ethernet MANs typically mirror the standard Ethernet LAN speeds of 10 Mbps, 100 Mbps and 1000 Mbps.

MAN networks typically use fiber optic lines for speed, capacity and reliability. If you want Gigabit Ethernet connection speeds, you'll definitely need to have your building "lit" for fiber optic service. Business locations in major metropolitan areas, where you'll find metro network access, are often "lit" or near a carrier POP, or point of presence. This is especially true for large office buildings with multiple business tenants and colocation facilities where companies house their server farms.

If there is enough bandwidth demand from the clients in your building, carriers will often build-out access connections to "light" the facility. In places where this is too physically difficult or not financially viable, you may still be able to get Ethernet MAN connections using EoC or Ethernet over Copper technology. This is a system that uses existing twisted pair telco wiring to transport Ethernet speeds at 1 to 100 Mbps, depending on distance from the carrier's office.

The best news of all is that competitive carriers have driven the cost of MAN connections far below the traditional telephone company offerings. You may find that using Ethernet MAN service will cost only a fraction of what you expected to pay. How little? Find out using our GeoQuote Ethernet Service Locator service to see what's available for your business address.

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

Follow Telexplainer on Twitter