Monday, January 21, 2013

Why Is Business Ethernet So Popular?

Frankly, business ethernet popularity was pure luck leading to an effective monopoly.

Back in the 80s there were a number of competing network technologies, and several that could have been the basis for the dominant choice - ethernet just happened to grab pole position, which caused a positive feedback loop - because it was more used, the investment in further development could be funded and the competitors withered away, leading to further dominance.

Ethernet devices are cheap, and a lobotomized chimp could deploy it.

The disadvantage is the ports aren’t timed, and there is no native multiplexing for the separation of traffic (the closest you can get to running two completely separate networks over one port is VLAN and QOS). The disadvantages have been somewhat neutralized by advances and consolidation in the higher level protocols, a reduction in switch cost, and the raw speed of the devices.

The “break out” point for Ethernet in the office was when the 100BaseT switch was introduces. Not only was it a 10 fold increase in raw speed, throughput went from 40% of bandwidth to around 90%. Token Ring, FDDI (basically 100 base TR), and consumer ATM basically died that day.

Business Ethernet services have become standardized, largely due to the work of the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF). Ethernet has also improved significantly from just being ‘best effort’ and can provide service performance rivaling private line services, but with improved flexibility, scalability and cost effectiveness. One of the more appealing aspects of Ethernet services is it uses the same fundamental Ethernet technologies that are familiar to IT personnel and businesses can leverage this to have a common pool of resources to manage both their LANs and WANs.

Many Enterprises today use a wide variety of voice, video, data applications that run fine in a high-speed LAN, but have challenges being delivered remotely over WAN technologies not designed to accommodate them. These services are often delivered over a single private line, or multiple private lines to try and reduce contention, or over the Internet resulting in unpredictable application behavior, drop in quality, delays, user frustration. With Ethernet, application types can be configured with their own bandwidth profiles and QoS resulting in high performance for each application type and eliminating the need to overprovision private lines to accommodate.

For help designing a network utilizing business ethernet as the foundation .... and including free quotes from available providers....simply ask here:

Business Ethernet

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