Monday, April 20, 2009

How To Find Metro Ethernet ... And Other Tips

Metro Ethernet can be a high quality, reliable, and cost effective solution to interconnect sites most anywhere in the world ..... IF a network is available. Therein lies the limitation. Metro ethernet isn't available everywhere. So there's your 1st question that needs answered (see the end of this article for a tip about a little known "metro ethernet look-up tool").

If metro ethernet is not available .... you may consider use of DS3 bandwidth or OC3 bandwidth for your network backbone.

Other subjects you need to consider next ... are just as important for endpoint successful operation of your network and applications. After you find that metro ethernet is available of course.

For example, you do need to ensure the service level agreement and underlying technology is appropriate - some suppliers provide Ethernet over a single fibre pair, which if cut could take many hours to fix.

If Diverse Ethernet is too expensive, you can back it up with xDSL, giving slightly lower throughput if the main link fails, but increases availability significantly. However, I always recommend back-up be done over T1 or DS3 bandwidth circuits. Better to pay a bit more than xDSL and have piece of mind (an "up" network).

Also with Ethernet you should review what topology and "layer" you are operating on. Layer 2 Ethernet offers higher security for organizations which have to be paranoid, whilst a hybrid offers the most cost effective yet highly secure network.

Local access via Layer 2 Ethernet provides good security. For example your VPN traffic and Internet traffic can be kept separate on different VLANs or even separate Ethernet ports for enhanced security.

Meshed MPLS VPN provides the site to site connectivity, with QoS to ensure key applications get all the capacity they require. However, it is also possible to interconnect the sites using Layer 2 Ethernet, either by VLANs or Ethernet VPN.

For help in finding the right metro ethernet solution for your applications ... including availability in your area and taking all your business requirements into consideration .... use this free online tool:

Metro Ethernet Look-Up

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