Friday, July 31, 2009

How To Easily Sell Wireless Phones And Data Plans From Any Small Retail Location

Here's the scenario .....

You're in the process of opening a small retail location. Say for example ... for local it support, sales, and service. Could even be a mall kiosk site. At some point you would like to offer Wireless phones and data plans to your customers.

Are you wondering how difficult it is to become a reseller for a small shop, and how profitable the business is in general?

Here's an idea that may be a bit out of the box .... and won't saddle you with ordering, inventory, keeping up with specials, complicated approval paperwork, or any of the other possible hassles.

Simply set up a couple computer stations (PC or laptop) for customer self use .... or have one that you can personally walk potential customers through ... loaded with a website that does all the searches, comparisons, ordering, and shipping for you. From multiple providers at the same time.

There's no cost to you except the internet link and laptop/pc ..... so overhead is minimal. All the hassle is carried by the provider chosen by the customer "online". You just facilitate the order and receive a sale commission for each. As easy as it can get.

Commission varies by what is sold and for whom .... average is around $50-$300 or more per sale (depending on plan, model, etc.) ..... free and clear to you.

It's not for everybody but is an option to consider.

Plus .... you wouldn't be restricted to say any one provider (e.g Verizon). You could offer whoever the search turns up.

If this may ineterest you ... here's a link for more information (application to be a reseller agent is in the bottom right .... no cost to you by the way). Simply click on the cell phone category in the left side menu to see what you could use as your customer "search portal". There's more than 1 choice.

How To Sell Cell Phones

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Why Ethernet Is Becoming The Prefered Choice For Business Networks

Seems like ethernet based solutions (e.g. metro ethernet) have become the "choice du jour" for many company voice/data networks. T1 still has it's place for small and some medium size businesses .... depending on the applications to be supported of course. MPLS has helped that arena survive. Plus there's still a need for DS3 and OC3 Bandwidth solutions in medium to large size businesses. Particularly to multiplex several voice channels and to support legacy SDH based networks layed over an ATM layer.

But ethernet popularity and applications is growing .... fast.

Ethernet access circuits are becoming more prevalent because they are much less expensive. Ethernet for typical IP traffic - the majority of corporate data traffic - is a good solution and, depending on the QOS capability of the Ethernet vendor, can be very reliable.

Considerations ....

1. Requires fiber to the customer premise. Common in urban areas, less common in rural areas. Where only copper is available, DS1/DS3 will be the most common offering.

2. Ethernet is a shared medium. As I noted, critical and sensitive IP communications (voice, video) will depend on the QOS SLA the Ethernet vendor can support.

3. Legacy voice and video equipment (PBX's and video conference systems) rely on T-carrier circuits. PBX's because they require DS0 channelization; legacy video conference systems because they use either ISDN or ATM.

As voice and video migrate to IP and Metro Ethernet vendors implement reliable QOS, you will more see dramatic profit potential in that market. In the meantime, Metro Ethernet is competing to be the lowest cost alternative.

The advantage of an ethernet handoff to the customer is no extra network equipment is needed.

An OC handoff requires a SONET head at the customer premise, and then channelized interfaces - the customer has to purchase some mix of CSU/DSU's, WIC ports, router serial interfaces, and so on ... then active channels have to be configured, protocol and framing, redunancy, ASR's ...

With a simple ethernet handoff - the customer plugs the cable into their Layer 3 Switch, Ethernet router, or firewall (that they own anyway). Everyone knows how ethernet works, why would you use anything else if ethernet is available? Almost everything gets turned into IP at layer 3 these days anyway.

Ultimately the decision to implement one connectivity solution over another depends on four things:

Is it available? Is it highly available? What pricing is available? And, are there features not available with the other available solutions? It's a question of availability.

For free assistance finding the most effective and efficient ethernet solution for your business try this:

Business Ethernet

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Why Can't I Have Technology "Gadget" Functions Do What I Want .... The Way I Want It?

We all have mobile phones these days, laptops and/or netbooks for work and home, our own WiFi networks at work and at home, plus Bluetooth, plus plus plus!

So why can't I put all these together ?

Why can't I listen to music from my personal mobile whilst taking calls using the same headset on my Blackberry from work and from MS Communicator on my PC?

Why can't I forward my Live Meeting conference calls to the mobile?

Why can't I pair all these devices together with Bluetooth at the same time?

Why doesn't it recognize that I am in the car and switch to the car radio handsfree without switching off the stereo headset?

How come I can't store all my work and personal documents where they are equally accessible but highly secure?

How many more generations will I have to go thru before WiFi and 3G (or 3.5G or 6G etc) work out the best price performance for any given connection / application automatically?

I want my applications (and documents, music, books etc) all stored somewhere "in the cloud" and not tied to specific devices or applications or locations.

Who is going to fix this for us ? and WHEN ???

This is one of those things that looks very easy but it is quite hard. It will be a very long time before this is accomplished.

First, all these different things you mention require memory and processing power that is not practical in a cell phone. One of the most common complaints with smart phones is that the battery runs out too soon. The more performance, the more current required to sustain it.

Battery performance is stuck in some principles of physics and safety ... how many Kw hours do you want near your body parts. At a certain point, the amount of energy becomes more like an explosive than a battery.

Another issue is that mobile phones obtain the battery longevity they do by sleeping a lot, literally between key strokes. Something active and animated live meeting would run down the battery in minutes, even less time than a typical meeting.

Bluetooth is a point to point protocol. It is a radio replacement for a wire. People think of it as broadcast because it is a radio but it is not. To connect to multiple devices would require multiple buffers, multiple processors to account for time lags in each device. This would kill the battery and create a need for more RAM than could be readily and inexpensively provided.

For storing work and personal documents where they are highly secure, I recommend the IronKey.

I also suggest a netbook instead of a cell phone. This device is larger than a cell phone but not as large as a laptop and is a good compromise for some of the stated needs.

The reason for generations of connection rates etc. is quite simply that the supporting infrastructure needs to be built out. For a cell tower to handle Multimegabit traffic to all the cell phones in its vicinity would require say, 100 fold that capacity to the tower. That pushes the envelope and is quite expensive.

"The Cloud" is not what its being hyped to be. It is not a concept of some nebulous and unformed "out there" that does everything for free. The cloud is about resources expanding and contracting with need, using a particular software interface design. Although some services might provide you with the ability to store all your stuff, there will always be a catch of price, enduring advertising or uncertain security.

It will not be fixed in the foreseeable future. It is neither technically or economically feasible.

It's interesting to look at "The future" as it was anticipated 30 or 40 years ago. It has not turned out as expected. A favorite touch stone is the Kubrick Movie "2001". There you see a spaceport in the sky, routine trips to the moon and a manned trip to Jupiter. You also see a computer that has a personality and responds to conversational speech. These things seemed in reach to many people in 1969, but to people who looked deeper, completely unrealistic.

The movie and others of its time also assumed computers would be very large, something you would walk into. They are very small and modern design actually requires a computer to be small since the switching speed is so fast that a signal crossing a room would take too long, due to never exceeding the speed of light.

The best approach to technology is to work within what it provides. There are reasons why your dreams are not fulfilled and they will not be fulfilled in your life time (at least not all of them). On the other hand, there are things that you don't think of that are already in the works.

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Friday, July 24, 2009

How To Find The Best High Speed Internet Service Provider For You

You want high speed internet .... whether for home or small business.

Maybe it's a new service at a new location.

Or maybe you're unhappy with your current provider and want to know what options are out there for you.

But you're frustrated with all the choices (or maybe lack thereof) available to you.

Who is available at the location you want service?

What provider really has the best deal?

Should you go with DSL, cable, or satellite?

How can you tell what is best for you and your situation?

It can frustrating, confusing, time consuming ... and expensive if you don't have all the information you need to make the best decision.

But not anymore.

You CAN learn which High Speed Internet Service Provider is right for you.

How?

There's a simple to use online tool which will search all available high speed internet providers at your location of need .... and compare them for you. It's simple to use ... just plug in your address and zip code ... and an email to send the information to ... and you're all set.

Quick, easy, and specific to your needs.

It doesn't get any easier than this.

To see for yourself go to: Compare High Speed Internet Service Providers

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What To Consider When Setting Up A WiFi Hotspot

If you're interested in setting up a WiFi hotspot for any reason .... the effort can get confusing if you're not careful. To help simplify things for you here's some tips for deciding what system (equipment) setup to use ... and where to find a source for your internet connection backbone.

First .......

There are a number of systems (equiment) you can choose from, with different models and pricing schemes. Some of the things to consider are:

1. Are you looking to provide free access to anyone, or do you want to limit access to your customers?

2. Do you want to limit what sites your customers can access? (i.e. Do you want people being able to surf porno on your Internet connection?)

3. Are you planning to limit the time a customer can use your connection? (i.e. Do you want customers sitting around all day surfing on your connection?)

4. How much are you willing to spend?

5. Do you want to limit access to your connection, or do you want to be part of a network of places that subscribers can come to for Internet access?

6. Do you need to house your portal site in-house, or are you comfortable with a web-based portal management system somewhere out on the Internet (for which you will pay a subscription fee)?

With those in mind, take a look at some of these sites. They should help you figure out what solutions you want, in light what you're looking to do.

Sputnik
WiFiFreeSpot
Netopia

My personal preference has been for Netopia's products. They provide a turnkey solution, with limits based on one-time-use codes you can give or sell to your customers, that limit them to either 1-hour or 24-hours of use. You can put limits on what types of sites the customers can access, and they're not outrageously expensive.

To find the best solution for your internet access backbone you can use this online search portal to find what DSL, cable, or satellite provider in your area is the best fit.....

High Speed Internet Access Providers

If you need more bandwidth capacity and reliabilty (depending on the size of your operation .... you might consider a fractional or full T1 circuit. You can get free help evaluating your options here ....

Bandwidth Solution

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Monday, July 20, 2009

How To Find Great Deals Online For Cell Phones, Accessories, Blackberry, Bluetooth, Ring Tones, And More

Are you looking for the best price for ....

- Cell phones from Alltell, AT&T, Verizon, Nextel, Sprint or others?

- Blackberry?

- Bluetooth headsets?

- Cell phone car power adapters?

- Cell phone cases and holsters?

- Cell phone batteries?

- Memory cards and SD adapters?

- Ring Tones?

- Or anything related to cell phones and mobile communication?

Well .... you can easily find this and more all through one convenient online resource.

Called "The Cell Phone Shoppe" this website is packed with information on anything and EVERYTHING related to cell phones.

If you know what you are looking for .... it's there.

If you're not sure what you're looking for ..... their easy search functions will help you find it.

Plus .... they not only list everything you can think of related to cell phones and mobile communication .... they also show you how to order AND get special prices for what you want.

Pretty cool .... and easy.

To see for yourself go to:

Cell Phone Shoppe

As another online option you can use what's called the "Cellular Comparison Search Engine" to shop for phone equipment, service provider, and/or service plan.

Maybe you used to prefer shopping for cellular phones at the mall. But, this online tool is so easy to use .... PLUS you'll find better deals here than you ever could in the 'real-world' store!

To use this amazing resource go to:

Cell Phone Comparison

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Is DS3 Bandwidth The Right Network Solution For Your Business?

The question of whether DS3 bandwidth is the right choice for today's business newtorks is a valid question.

The common T1 bandwidth line was ... and still is to a degree .... the circuit of choice for most businesses. Particularly small to medium size business with manageable voice and data transmission requirements. However, with the explosion of multi-media and other bandwidth intensive applications in the business world (both voice and data) ... the standard T1 circuit is not always the best choice.

As a business’s bandwidth requirements increase, the next step up is DS3, which is 672 times faster than DS0 and thus transmits 672 voice conversations (or the equivalent in other data) at once. Today’s primary DS3 users are high-traffic Web sites, supply chain networks, data intensive applications (think multi-media including video conferencing), medium to large Web-hosting companies, WISP network grids, medical centers, call centers, universities, and government offices for example.

In short, DS3s are typically used today by many mid-large businesses, as well as Telecommunications carriers for routing traffic throughout their own networks.

DS3 lines, also called T3 lines, are becoming more and more common in company networks today. Their high capacity (45Mb) makes them sought-after as the backbone of today’s Internet. Also, DS3 lines are more complex than T1 - technically, they run 28 T1 lines alongside one another, and that takes extra equipment and software to work properly. But even that is easier and cheaper in today's world compared to a short time ago.

DS3 bandwidth can be a combination of multiple T1 services, or a single service type (such as access from an ISP). DS3s, by definition, are a copper-based service, but more and more frequently, Telecommunications Carriers have expanded their fiber optic systems closer to the end user, and DS3-level customers are their highest priority. As such, a large percentage of DS3 circuits are actually all-fiber, but with a DS3 interface point on the light-wave terminating equipment. In other words DS3s can be provisioned over SONET-based optical systems.

Not long ago DS3 lines were not cheap. However, DS3 bandwidth prices are dropping as ever-more users need DS3 and competition in this market rises.

Here's a tip .... businesses that don’t need constant DS3-level bandwidth should consider a “burstable” connection, which involves sharing DS3 access with another company or companies through the DS3 provider. This gives access to extremely high transmission rates for much less than the cost of a full DS3 set-up, because the companies sharing the burstable connection don’t usually combine to use all the bandwidth at the same time.

Unless you are a trained Telecommunication engineer ... and most businesses don't have those ... you'll need help to determine if DS3 bandwidth is the right bandwidth solution for your voice/data newtork requirements. That can be a risky task without such assistance ... plus more than a little scary.

But you don't need to stress over that effort. To help navigate that minefield and reach the other end unscathed and confident you are doing the right thing .... I strongly recommend taking advantage of the NO COST support provided by DS3 Bandwidth Solution.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Facts About DS3 Bandwidth

What is DS3 Bandwidth?

DS3 is a Telecom term for "Digital System 3" .... which represents a 45MB circuit that is carried by 4 copper wires (or via fiber and converted back to copper at the customer site) .... and can support a wide range of services to include voice, data, and video. Through multiplexing, this single DS3 network can carry a combination of many types of services into a single circuit, reducing monthly access costs.

How and Where DS3s are Used?

The DS3's bandwidth is very large. Being a high capacity circuit, a DS3 is typically used by Telephone companies and large business users that require more than a DS1 (T1 or 1.544Mb) of connectivity. In terms of capacity, a DS3 is equal to 28 DS1s (T1s) of capacity. Due to equipment multiplexing limitations, most business users that need more than a few T1s of capacity opt for the next "level" of service as a DS3, because access costs on NxT1 vs. a DS3 will typically break-even at about 4 T1s (6mb). Once the DS3 facility is leased, adding T1 capacity requires very little lead-time, and no additional monthly cost for the access facility.

What Are The Common Names / Muxing Levels For DSx Bandwidth?

* DS0 = Digital Service Level 0 (64kb)
* DS1 = T1 = Digital Service Level 1 (1.544mb) = 24 DS0s
* DS3 = T3 = Digital Service Level 3 (45mb) = 28 DS1s or 672 DS0s

What Are Typical DS3 Bandwidth Applications?

DS0s are typically used as voice-level or dial-up data channels. DS1s are typically used as either private point-to-point circuits between facilities, or more typically, access from a business to either their local or long distance provider. DS3s are typically used where more than one DS1 is needed for capacity. While a DS3 might be deployed for capacity reasons, not all DS1s must be activated, so if a company needs 6MB of capacity, a typical installation might have a DS3 established for "access" and only 4 DS1s "activated" on the DS3 facility.

If you're still a bit confused ... and are unsure whether a T1 line or DS3 circuit is the best soluion for your network application(s) .... make it easy on yourself and use the NO COST help offered by DS3 Bandwidth.

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Monday, July 13, 2009

How Much Bandwidth Does VoIP Use?

The dirty secret of VoIP is that while it enables calls that don’t cost much, it eats bandwidth that can cost a lot.

Bandwidth is the amount of data that computers can transmit through a wire or wireless channel each second. A single voice conversation requires a bandwidth of 64 kilobits per second for good call quality, so 64 kbps is the basis for discussing transmission speeds.

Despite technicians’ best efforts to compress voice signal size using algorithms you need a Ph.D. in math just to read, voice signals remain large. For your business to carry VoIP effectively and reliably, you need the appropriate computing firepower and a big-enough pipeline to handle VoIP call volume into, out of and around your network.

64 kbps is called digital signal zero, or DS0, and is not considered to be a high-speed line nowadays; the minimum for high-speed transmission is about 24 times faster than DS0, and is called DS1. This may be more familiar to you as a “T1” line. A dedicated T1 line is always on, transmitting and receiving the equivalent of 24 voice conversations from the Internet provider’s servers.

Businesses should consider a dedicated T1 connection as the minimum to support VoIP and other data traffic—but when that starts to feel cramped, upgrading to a DS3 line (or a fraction of one) should solve a company’s bandwidth problems for awhile.

Depending on your network and needs, you may be able to get by with a relatively low-bandwidth connection - but grow beyond a certain point and it may be time to upgrade to a DS3 line connection.

To ensure you get the right bandwidth solution for your VoIP network application .... you can put your mind at ease by taking advantage of the FREE assistance available through Business VoIP Solution.

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Friday, July 10, 2009

Leads For Telecom/IT Equipment And Services Sales

Leads For Telecom/IT Equipment And Services Sales
If you sell, install, or service LAN or WAN networks, phone systems, telecommunication equipment, routers, switches, servers, business VoIP equipment, IP PBX, or point of sale hardware ..... you should consider joining the Telarus VAR (Value Added Reseller) Program.

They're offering an additional resource to all vendors/providers of the above for equipment and network sales and installation leads.

You'll find more information and an online application here......

Telarus Var Network

Telarus VAR Partner

Essentially ... Telarus will give you quality leads for your sales in return for leads on T1, DS3, MPLS, Ethernet, etc bandwidth sales for them. Heck of a deal for you ..... you benefit from their extensive branding and consumer reach to gain sales leads you'd never have a shot at before.

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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

What Makes A Great iPhone App?

What follows is the result of a conversation with my techno-geek yougest brother. He has the latest for everything .... and I do mean EVERYTHING.

Let's get it over with: he loves his iPhone. Love it. It's never quite inspired the awe in him it did in some others, who were stroking their new Jobs - given gift the way the apes at the start of 2001 stroked the monolith. But now there's so much stuff you can do with it - and the groups of people have moved from "ooh, shiny" to "here, look what THIS app does..."

...so what are your favourite iPhone apps - and what makes a really great iPhone app that you'd share with friends?

Is it stuff like:

- useful information

- "fun" ways to work with info - like the "twist and shake" function to sort your "to do" list on Done!

- gaming

- customizable look and feel

And what apps have you hated?

Now don't get take me wrong here. I'm not trying to be sarcastic.

The iPhone is a great device. It doesn't necesarily have features that no phone before it has had, but it does the things it does very well. Apps are a huge part of the phones success.

For me when I am checking out an app I look first at the user interface, and then at its content and features. An app may be capable of solving all the problems of the universe, but if those features can not be quickly and easily accessed by a great UI then what good does it do anyone? The apps that stand out from the pack are the ones with great features, enabled by a great UI.

Apps I really like right now ....

* Pandora. How can you not like free streaming music anywhere you have signal?

* Daylite. Expensive yes but so useful, and the UI is brilliant.

* GV Mobile. I am an avid Google Voice user and this app makes integration with my iPhone very easy.

* Dial Zero. This app has a user managed database of phone numbers that get you directly to a human for most big companies. They either have a special number or a sequence of codes you push in that bypass the auto answering system. Users can vote different numbers up or down depending on how well they work.

* Tweetie - Hands down the best Twitter client. Clean, well-thought out. Clever in all the right places. It's no surprise the developer worked on the original iPhone.

Apps I don't really like but use anyway ....

* Mint, I love the web version, but the iPhone app is just not very full featured. However what it does offer is useful, it's just a shame because it could be so much more.

* AT&T app.

As far as apps I hate ......

* Jobs - Worst task tracker ever. Beautiful icon though. Too bad it looses data randomly and the dev won't update it.

To be a bit more analytical .... this is how I'd "evaluate" the worth of an app:

* Instantly accessible - If the user has to read instructions, the app is a failure.

* Gorgeous design - Had a conversation with an apper today who said designing the icon of an app is like designing an album cover. I'd agree with that. This is one case where ugly does not sell.

* Does what it's supposed to but has a clever twist - Don't violate the first point in trying to be clever but still be clever. Hey, this Apple, right? We can have zen rules for design.

* An active developer - Watch for updates and dialogue. Does the developer engage the audience? If so, I guarantee the app is going to be a winner. If not, well, we know what happens...

OK .... now what do YOU think? If you have an opinion .... jump in and leave your comment.

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Monday, July 06, 2009

Should You Buy T1, DS3, OC3, Or Any Other Bandwidth ... Soley On Price?

Here's the scenario ......

You're looking for "X" bandwidth for your voice/data network (WAN). Think T1 line, DS3 bandwidth, OC3 Circuit, etc. Your focus is totally on getting the cheapest price period ... stubbornly overlooking or giving little consideration to other important aspects that must be considered in choosing the best bandwidth solution to meet your requirements {e.g. # users, # locations, specific locations, application(s), hardware interfaces, reliability, redundancy, capacity, SLA/QOS, scalability, circuit framework, etc.}.

The application(s) etc.are not really important to the overall question. Nor is the amount of bandwidth you're requesting. That really isn't important to the "question" either.

In short ... you are shopping on price alone. However, the key here is that you need to see the light" that deciding solely by cheapest price ..... isn't the best approach to meet the requirements of your network. In other words ..... it's not in the best interests of your over all business.

As a Telecom agent I personally refuse to give in knowing that I'm doing you a diservice if I do. I'd rather lose the sale and retain my professionalism .... than make the sale and sacrifice ethics and integrity to do so.

I know you'll scream bloody murder when you start having problems ... the network doesn't function as it's supposed to (or you want/need it to). Because you went completely for the lowest dollar rather than the best combination of cost effectiveness and performance.

Unfortunately some people think cheap = value for money and in some cases that is true, but not so much when it comes to connectivity and bandwidth. I believe if your internet connectivity and bandwidth is mission-critical then buying on price alone and not taking service and support into account is a massive risk.

This kind of situation is becoming more and more common in the current economic climate, with a lot of companies saying that they recognize the risks but they have to cut costs. My response to this is a simple one - "is it fair to say that you would lose a lot more money if your network was to fail?"

I do agree though that if the customer/prospect is insistent, it is much better to walk away from the deal and maintain your professional integrity. I have done this frequently in the past only to find months down the line the prospect comes back to me as they've discovered that the cheapest is not always the best.

To borrow an old cliche - "you get what you pay for". Cheap bandwidth may serve your purposes if you can forgo the best in customer support, and can live with potential outages, and If you don't need the best quality & reliability.

But if your network supports mission critical applications and you want customer support and trouble shooting 24x7 and guarentees that network problems will be fixed in specified timeframes, and SLAs (Service Level Agreements) that guarentee latency, jitter, and avaiability, perhaps the lowest price is not best for you.

What you NEED is the best bandwidth solution where cost effectiveness is a key factor ... but NOT a solution with absolutely cheapest cost.

There's a quote from Napoleon that I like to keep in mind in situations like this: "Any commander-in-chief who undertakes to carry out a plan which he considers defective is at fault; he must put forth his reasons, insist on the plan being changed, and finally tender his resignation rather than be the instrument of his army's downfall."

Now ... if you are in need of a true bandwidth solution for your voice and/or data network .... I suggest taking advantage of the NO COST assistance available here:

DS3 and OC3 Bandwidth

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Friday, July 03, 2009

Ethernet Over Copper .... Pros And Cons

The only PROs for Ethernet Over Copper (EOC) is definite immediate cost savings and maybe rapid implementation with the CONs being upgrade limitations, susceptibility to external influences (aging copper line plant and distance from the CO) and the interference.

For core/backbone links I think fiber is a must in most cases as it gives you the ability to easily scale up for increased bandwidths and different technologies, (MPLS, CWDM etc) over the same fiber. The distance limitations are at least 100 times that of EOC in most cases (dependent on interconnecting technology) The only CON here is the cost of implementation but the ROI over the years to come would be so worth it.

EOC does have its place as last mile to the users, from the wiring closet to the servers, workstations etc where distance is far less of an issue and in most cases interference sources can be limited by proper cabling SOPs.

I have had the chance to see it from the Service Provider perspective and there is hardly ever an issue with a fibre connection apart from hardware failure on the interconnecting devices and even that is rare.

So the maintenance cost with the fiber is normally small to non-existent whereas for EOC expect routine maintenance to ensure QoS or even basic service in some situations.

No doubt copper technology is cost effective as compared to Fibre Optics in short distance. But considering the long distance, Fibre Optics is the best solution in terms of maintenance and several losses occurring in the electrical medium.

Copper wires are very susceptible to several interferences. One that is the worst case is the EMP effects on electrical medium such as copper wires. With a burst of electromagnetic radiation from an explosion or a suddenly fluctuating magnetic field .... the resulting electric and magnetic fields may couple with electrical/electronic systems to produce damaging current and voltage surges. This results in likely damages to electronics equipment and electrical infrastructure.

So, especially the most critical applications or any mission critical departments should consider these effects. Care should be taken while designing the network of an organization. This must include your electical wires also which comes outside to your organization. To eliminate the EMP effects in electrical wires, one should use EMP filters depending upon the capacity to isolate your standby equipment.

Let me throw out some of the more esoteric differences.

* Copper interfaces and modules are more prevalent and possibly cheaper.

* Copper interfaces usually come at the cost of higher oversubscription rates for the ASICs compared to fiber primarily due to port densities on the modules or cards.

* Physical separation between the copper plant and fiber plant is often desired to differentiate between client/server and network infrastructure traffic. Often separate raceways are (or should be) employed.

* Higher bandwidth technologies come available over fiber before copper catches up.

In addition to being dramatically cheaper (multimode fiber can double the cost of a workstation), copper is the only realistic means to implement power over ethernet, which can also realize savings in a number of ways.

Fiber is great for backbones if it is cost effective. Ultimately if the business need for fiber exceeds the cost then go with fiber. The same applies to freespace, though the costs with freespace are more administrative than equipment.

I would default to 10/100/1000 copper and answer questions about bandwidth, EM interference, and user motility with fiber and RF as the cases arise. A good example of needing fiber is in applications where cables pass by machinery, like in a CAD/CAM/JIT shop. Jobs come in and are passed into the hopper which is on a machine next to a big lathe. Also in energy production you are going to want fiber passing withing a certain distance of turbines.

A solid foundational understanding of engineering principles won't steer you wrong. And to the question of distance with copper you can always install low power ARM microservers configured as routers and repeaters that are powered by the ethernet cables themselves.

Basically, it all depends on the size of the budget. Particularly in the sense of local area networking .... where the choices are wireless or wired.

Fiber is the ideal choice if your budget can support it due to the low cost to expand bandwidth in the future. With glass, you pay up front for future expansion.

Now, let's focus on WiFi/WiMax v. EOC.

1. Do you have a competant staff who can support access points, intrusion detection and mitigation, and wireless security in general?

2. Do you have an existing EOC infrastructure? How old, how capable?

3. Multi-building campus? Hybrid technologies are best here. A combination of glass, copper and wireless.

In summary, the answer is "It depends."

If I had an existing plant, with patch panels and switches, I'd keep them running as long as possible. Not every PC needs Gigabit Ethernet access.

I would, however, run redundant fiber rings connecting every closet and the data centers.

For assistance navigating all the decisions to reach the best solution for your network .... I suggest the free help available via Bandwidth Solution

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Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Ethernet Over Copper (EOC) ..... Good Choice For A Network Architecture?

Assuming that Ethernet is a constant, which may or may not be valid, your other choices are fiber or freespace, meaning optical or radio. I prefer fiber for all backbone runs for a few reasons:

1) It's more future-proof, allowing scalability in bandwidth as well as entirely new technologies. (FC, ATM, SONET, TDM, CWDM, and others can all run on the same fiber bundle) Glass is faster than metal for digital transmission.

2) It's somewhat more immune to the Oops factor. Lots of people are in closets and racks playing with copper connections. Fiber is usually more isolated and folks think twice, or maybe at least once, before messing with it.

3) Distance is much less of an issue.

4) Fiber doesn't conduct electricity, which eliminates a lot of odd errors due to grounding, lightning, surges, offsets, RFI, and other things that go bump in the night, particularly in industrial settings or between buildings.

5) There is a perceived security advantage to fiber. It costs more to tap it.

Optical and radio have their place as well. The most obvious is getting across public rights-of-way where getting a fiber or copper connection is both expensive and time consuming (although I have done it). Both are technologies of last resort, and neither is as robust as a fiber (or copper) connection. I refer here to point-to-point backbone type connections. Wireless for client connections has it's own issues, and I wouldn't touch it with a 10 meter stick as an alternative to copper to the desktop. That's a whole discussion to itself, with lots of opinions, but wireless has been bread and butter for some for over a decade .... and there are more ways to do it wrong than you can imagine. If you are in IT, on call, and value sleep, don't do wireless to the desktop as a primary connection.

Remember that Copper doesn't just mean plain old Ethernet over Cat5. There is a lot of DSL derived technology that can extend Ethernet over significant distances at quite reasonable speeds. It is a good alternative where copper exists and fiber doesn't and would be cost prohibitive to install.

In summary, copper from closet to desktop, fiber between closets, buildings, and backbone equipment, wireless PtP where you have to, and wireless to the client as a convenience and special case, not as a primary connection.

If you're looking for assistance in finding the best network solution for your situation .... we'd be happy to help. Our assistance is free by the way .... just submit a request with your details via: Bandwidth Solution

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