Friday, May 15, 2009

Part III .... What Are The Pros And Cons Of T1, DS3, OC3, And Ethernet Bandwidth Solutions For Voice/Data Networks?

This is the 3rd and final part of a 3 part series that will hopefully help guide you to making better decisions on bandwidth solutions (T1, DS3, OC3, And Ethernet) for your voice/data network. Read closely and soak up every tidbit from all three parts of this series (see previous posts for Part I and II).

When you speak about T1 versus DS3 verus OC3 you are speaking about primarily physical layer protocols. These protocols define the size of the data pipe, the type of connectors used, etc.

What I think you need to be more concerned with is which Layer 2 protocol to run. I myself favor MPLS as it is rapidly becoming the de facto standard for most carriers in their own backbone networks. And most of the larger carriers (i.e., AT&T, Global Crossing, Sprint, etc.) have 'productized' MPLS and made it available to their customers. The advantage to MPLS is it can run on any and/or all of the aforementioned layer 1 platforms.

In addition, MPLS afford you the ability to prioritize your network traffic. The most immediate impact is the ability to successfully collapse voice traffic onto your data network, effectively getting 2 networks for the price of 1 through the use of VoIP. MPLS allows you to set a higher priority "tag" to ensure VoIP gets routed in a time efficient manner by the carrier(s). If you want to see a large scale deployment of this, look at any of the major carrier's own internal LD backhaul network. AT&T and Global Crossing have both been using VoIP/MPLS LD backhauls internally for years now.

I believe a properly designed network infrastructure can be cost justified to all but the very smallest businesses. And even that line is starting to blur as some DSL carriers are offering MPLS over DSL now.

If you need assistance (FREE) finding the best fit MPLS solution for your network ... I recommend you use the no cost services of the folks here: MPLS Solution

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