Thursday, January 31, 2013

Gaming Industry Claims Broadband Is Holding Them Back

The video game industry is frustrated with the lack of adequate broadband speed across the globe. While we've made great strides on that front (remember how bad Valve's Steam used to be in the younger days of broadband?), Eidos President Ian Livingstone recently told conference attendees that the game industry was "fighting broadband."

The biggest problem is that broadband speeds aren't keeping pace with the growing size of downloadable games and patches, but Livingstone said the industry is also still struggling with high latency connections a decade after lingo like "HPB" and "LPB" exited the gamer lexicon. "We have to worry about broadband when we should be thinking about making better games," says the Eidos boss.

You can read more and follow the comments here:

Gaming Industry Needs More Broadband

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Business Ethernet Pros And Cons

Business ethernet is by far the best choice for a company voice/data network. Need proof? Just read on.

The most obvious pro for business ethernet is lower cost, while the biggest con against ethernet is geography (it's just not avilable everywhere yet). For the future, Wifi will some day be a connection of choice once higher speeds and significantly reliability becomes a priority.

Ethernet Technologies...

In the OSI model, Ethernet technology operates at the physical and data link layers - Layers One and Two respectively. Ethernet supports all popular network and higher-level protocols, principally IP.

Traditional Ethernet supports data transfers at the rate of 10 Megabits per second (Mbps). Over time, as the performance needs of LANs have increased, the industry created additional Ethernet specifications for Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet. Fast Ethernet extends traditional Ethernet performance up to 100 Mbps and Gigabit Ethernet up to 1000 Mbps speeds. Although products aren't yet abvailable to the average consumer, 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10000 Mbps) also remains an active area of research.

Ethernet cables likewise are manufactured to any of several standard specifications. The most popular Ethernet cable in current use, Category 5 or CAT5, supports both traditional and Fast Ethernet. The Category 5e (CAT5e) cable supports Gigabit Ethernet.

Types of Ethernet....

Often referred to as Thicknet, 10Base5 was the first incarnation of Ethernet technology. The industry used Thicknet in the 1980s until 10Base2 Thinnet appeared. Compared to Thicknet, Thinnet offered the advantage of thinner (5 millimeters vs 10 millimeters) and more flexible cabling, making it easier to wire office buildings for Ethernet.

The most common form of traditional Ethernet, however, is 10Base-T. 10Base-T offers better electrical properties than Thicknet or Thinnet, because 10Base-T cables utilize unshielded twisted pair (UTP) wiring rather than coaxial. 10Base-T also proved more cost effective than alternatives like fiber optic cabling.

Numerous other lesser-known Ethernet standards exist, including 10Base-FL, 10Base-FB, and 10Base-FP for fiber optic networks and 10Broad36 for broadband (cable television) cabling.

- Fast Ethernet

In the mid-1990s, Fast Ethernet technology matured and met its design goals of a) increasing the performance of traditional Ethernet while b) avoiding the need to completely re-cable existing Ethernet networks. Fast Ethernet comes in two major varieties: 100Base-T (using unshielded twisted pair cable), 100Base-FX (using fiber optic cable) .

By far the most popular of these is 100Base-T, a standard that includes 100Base-TX (Category 5 UTP), 100Base-T2 (Category 3 or better UTP), and 100Base-T4 (100Base-T2 cabling modified to include two additional wire pairs).

- Gigabit Ethernet

Whereas Fast Ethernet improved traditional Ethernet from 10 Megabit to 100 Megabit speed, Gigabit Ethernet boasts the same order-of-magnitude improvement over Fast Ethernet by offering speeds of 1000 Megabits (1 Gigabit). Gigabit Ethernet was first made to travel over optical and copper cabling, but the 1000Base-T standard successfully supports it as well. 1000Base-T uses Category 5 cabling similar to 100 Mbps Ethernet, although achieving gigabit speed requires the use of additional wire pairs.

For help designing a network to meet your requirements using business ethernet for the foundation....and including free quotes from available providers....simply ask here:

Business Ethernet

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Business Ethernet Facts

Developed by Xerox, Ethernet competed in the early days with Token Ring and Token BUS applications that were largely proprietary. It is used today because it is the only early network protocol that got the backing of the ECMA and eventually the IEEE so that a series of standards (802.3) could be put in place to dictate what the requirements were for interconnectivity using that standard. Ethernet had the backing of multiple companies (Xerox, Intel, & Siemens among others) which probably led to its early adoption vs. other more proprietary offerings.

Ethernet is the "preferred choice" for businesses today because it is really the only choice available. Nobody is extending a Token BUS circuit to businesses these days. "Business Ethernet" is no different than any other form of Ethernet - it's all just a technology used for connectivity. As such, it's hard to address the pros and cons of the technology since there is really no competing technology out there (perhaps wireless, but even that relies on Ethernet at some point). The real pros and cons come in to play with the mechanism used for the delivery of Ethernet.

- T1 - Pros: higher reliability, dedicated bandwidth. Cons: higher cost, lower bandwidth

- Cable Modem - Pros: lower cost, higher speeds. Cons: shared bandwidth

- EoC - Pros: dedicated bandwidth, higher speeds. Cons: distance limitations

- Fiber - Pros: highest speeds, dedicated bandwidth. Cons: usually highest cost

- DSL - Pros: low cost. Cons: low bandwidth, shared bandwidth, distance limitations

- Wireless - Pros: no wires. Cons: Cost, lower bandwidth (usually), signal interference

Ethernet (whether fast ethernet or gigabit ethernet) is certainly helping to change the landscape for many companies. I recently helped a client upgrade their network to 10Xs the speed at roughly the same cost. So the cost per megabit is certainly attactive. The biggest CON is availablity. During the RFP process, we had many carriers come through stating that it was available everywhere, but when push came to shove, a few sites had to settle for traditional DS3. Additionally, construction delays as well as equipment upgrades to handle the additional bandwidth needs to be taken into account.

Carrier Ethernet services are also easily managed end-to-end - including provision of user level information on the SLA metrics, using Ethernet OAM standards such as Y.1731.

Having dealt with WAN resiliency for many years with IP based networks/services then the approach of Y.1731 for path based monitoring and link loss forwarding to client CPEs makes things fairly simple and effective.

I realize that MPLS does provide similar functionality but with the benefits already listed I think OAM component rounds off the technology nicely.

In the future - I would think that Mac Sec deployments will also provide a bonus in terms of the security feature set of Ethernet services.

For help designing the best fit network for your business....including free quotes from available providers....simply ask here:

Dedicated Bandwidth

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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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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Business Ethernet As The Prefered Choice For Business Voice/Data Networks

Given that business ethernet is the likely prefered choice by businesses today ... what makes it so attractive?

Ethernet is preferred because all customers have devices that already have Ethernet ports, everyone sort of knows what the cables look like (I have seen 4 line phone cables used - so maybe not quite simple enough for a lobotomized chimp, but still close). The interfaces already exist in, and lowers the cost of, switches, routers, firewalls and servers.

Also as the Telco’s bring Ethernet to the demark, it allows the customer to place less expensive and more basic equipment against the telecom provider (the WAN port), and it also allows the Telco to press a less expensive network management product deeper into the customer network – it’s a win/win for both the customer and the telecom vendor.

Most of the terms (business ethernet, metro ethernet, carrier ethernet, ethernet over copper, fast ethernet, and ethernet-MPLS) are marketing terms, those terms don’t exist in the technology. MPLS is MPLS, terms about how a packet enters the network is just some marketing person putting terms together so the salespeople can understand and explain the product. Marketing terms may “sort of” mean something, but a vendor can assign any meaning they want to them.

It’s like adding routing to a switch, and then calling it a Layer 3 switch. Layer 3 is routing, the definition of routing is an interface decision made at Layer 3 – marketing makes it a L3 switch, not technology.

The exception is “Fast Ethernet”. Ethernet started out at 10 Mbs – “Fast Ethernet” refers to all the 100Base-T products (100 Mb/s). Ethernet is a Packet type, not a port type, it can run over copper, fiber or wireless. There is also Gb Ethernet (1000BaseT), 10 Gb, 40 Gb, and 100 Gb. 40 and 100 are sort of inverse multiplexing of Ethernet – but that’s a different story.

The need for reliable data access that can accomodate remote workers and multiple locations makes the right connectivity a critical decision. No matter what term you use....or flavor you choose...business ethernet rises to the challenge.

For help designing a network solution to meet your needs using business ethernet....and including free quotes from available providers....simply ask here:

Business Ethernet

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Monday, January 14, 2013

DS3 Bandwidth Meets Business Network Needs

What applications and/or situations are good candidates for deploying DS3 bandwidth into your business network? Given that business ethernet would likely be the prefered choice for business data/voice networks today ... if it's available (e.g. metro ethernet...USA). My opinion is that DS3 bandwidth still has a place as costs have dropped dramatically in recent years making it much more cost effective....and business ethernet is not always available even if it may be prefered from a cost persepective if nothing else.

For example - - - a medical campus network with a major requirement for medical imagery (e.g. PACS, tomography), in addition to HIPPA, patient record management, and diagnostic data transfer ... an engineering firm with a heavy CAD load and video conferencing ... a financial entity with sensitive requirements for large transaction traffic, security, and data storage ... a resort/hotel complex with conferencing center, retail/restaurant section, high end business clientele, and significant daily business requirements (e.g. reservations, billing, vendor tracking, supply chain, etc.). These are just a few of many applications where DS3 bandwidth makes a lot of sense as a network solution.

A DS3 line is usually ordered by a business as a T3, “DS” and “T” mean the same thing to the user. DS technologies are “built-up” from DS0 – in other words, a DS0 will have 56K of bandwidth if the underlying “line encoding” is “AMI” and it will have 64K if the line encoding is B8ZS. AMI and B8ZS usually used different “framing” – so with the terms there will be a Super Frame (SF) or Extended Super Frame (ESF).

In the US, there are 24 DS0 to a T1 for 1.54Mbs of synchronous bandwidth, and there are 28 T1’s in a T3 for about 45Mbs. In UK and EU they are called E1’s and E3’s, the E1 has 32 DS0’s for about 2Mbs, and the E3 has 16 E1’s for about 34Mbs

A T3 gives you 45 Mbs of bandwidth, in 28 T1’s. The advantage of the T3 over other technologies is the underlying frames are transmitted regardless of whether or not they contain data. The T3/DS3 carries the 45 Mbs of data to a carrier Point of Presence (POP), where it attaches to a DAC’s or HLI/MX panel, where it’s aggregated to fiber to leave the PO for further routing. At this, or any subsequent point, it may terminate into a switch or router.

While you can take advantage of the fact the DS3/T3 is made up of DS0, which can be “rerouted” individually from the POP – you may also just treat the T3/DS3 as just 45 Mbs of bandwidth to use however you choose.

An example would be sending videos around the country over ATM. Many large companies would buy one at HQ, and then split each T1 to a remote offices either P2P or doing an ATM (on the DS3) to Frame Relay (at the remote) conversion (you can also do this with MPLS). The DS3 line can also be attached to Internet routers as a 45Mbs path, analog Voice (or SIP/VoIP), or Point-to-Point lines between sites.

An advantage of the DS3 over Ethernet service delivery is it can carry packet data and analog data at the same time. It is a vastly superior interface to Ethernet, not withstanding the more complex installation. It can do anything an Ethernet delivered service can do, and more.

For help designing a network solution to meet your business needs using DS3 bandwidth .... and including free quotes from available providers .... simply ask here:

DS3 Bandwidth

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

New Cloud Networks - Everything Cloud

New Cloud Networks has quickly become one of the telecommunication industry's most popular suppliers and a favorite cloud supplier. In fact, New Cloud Networks is one of the industry's leading suppliers of custom cloud services. Unlike most Telecom suppliers, New Cloud has an exclusive focus on cloud services, enabling them to customize and build cost-effective solutions.

New Cloud Resources:

* Insider's Guide to Selling Cloud
* NewCloud Launch
* Cloud University Trainings

New Cloud Networks Advantages:

* reductions in infrastructure costs
* Instant flexibility to scale IT resources
* Faster time-to-market for new applications
* Full server hardware redundancy
* Compatibility with existing application code
* Enterprise quality data center
* Scalability, security, redundancy, reliability, virtualization, rapid deployment
* Two redundant power feeds
* Redundant Uninterrupted Power Supply
* Diesel powered generator with separate fuel tank
* Fire Suppression
* Badged access for physical security
* Round the clock video surveillance
* Dual Fiber Based Bandwidth for Redundancy
* Expertise in both Voice and Data
* Best of breed components such as: Cisco, Checkpoint, Juniper, SuperMicro, and EMC
* 99.999% Guaranteed Uptime
* 24x7x365 technical server support
* Web-based, self-service ticketing
* Phone support with a professional technician or engineer
* Network-based security protection
* Bandwidth monitoring and tracking
* Customer access to knowledge base

To engage New Cloud Networks for a cloud solution for your business .... simply request more information and a free quote HERE

Custom Cloud Services

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Wednesday, January 09, 2013

CES and Voice over Internet Nostalgia from January 2005

A bit of Voice over Internet nostalgia ... can you guess who authored this email on Wed, 12 Jan 2005 10:00:48 -0500? What memories does it bring back to you who were involved in VoIP before it went mainstream? Now, because of this very important person in the history of voice over Internet and the progress of thousands of developers, manufacturers, thought-leaders and distributors ... it has benefited from or may be labeled ... rich communications, IP communications, broadband communications, unified communications and/or session initiation protocol. (Note that the 2013 CES show is this week from January 8 - 11 in Las Vegas.)

Straight copy: "After spending last week at CES, my take away was that VoIP has gone mainstream. This was evident on both the CES show floor and by those who joined us at our first Consumer VoIP Summit. My experience at CES only increases my excitement for Spring 2005 VON http://www.von.com taking place March 7-10th in San Jose, which is shaping up to be our biggest VON ever.

It was a year ago at Spring 2004 VON where the industry's momentum first became evident and a year later things just seem to be growing even stronger. Every communications provider appears set on rolling out VoIP services this year in a big way. The momentum for VoIP continues to grow daily and 2005 will be the year for IP communications!

The Regulatory landscape for VoIP continues to get shaped and, while the FCC began to provide clear direction in 2004 as to the jurisdiction and regulatory treatment of IP communication services, the early part of this year has seen 3 states challenge the recent Vonage ruling.  (At least everyone seems to have recognized the value of, and the futility of challenging, the pulver Order enabling computer-to-computer communications). And Congressmen Stearns and Boucher have reintroduced legislation that could have
dramatic consequences on the legal and regulatory treatment of IP communications. We can expect increased activity in Congress, in the Courts, in the States, at the FCC, and in many countries throughout the world.

Regulators, legislators and other policymakers will be abound at Spring 2005 VON. Our unique mix of speakers is a reflection of how pervasive VoIP is these days and collectively they will be sharing their unique perspectives on how the marketplace is evolving and what one should expect to see during the course of 2005.

Our Spring 2005 VON exhibit hall will have over 220 exhibitors, making it our largest exhibit hall in the  nine year history of our VON events. There is not another event you could visit where you will be able to see so many vendors focused on VoIP under one roof.

Our early bird pricing ends January 21st and if saving $500 on a
conference registration is meaningful to you, please consider registering today http://von.com/register.html.

Oh, and by the way if you don't already have your travel plans confirmed, now would be a great time to book your hotel room before you get shut out of having a place to stay in downtown San Jose. (Details are available at the website.)

I'm looking forward to producing Spring 2005 VON and hope to see you there."

I thank Broadband Nation blog for enabling me, Suzanne Bowen, co-founder of Super Technologies, DIDX, and Elegant Group Inc. and TMCNET monetizing IP communications blogger, to be a part of his blogger team!

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Monday, January 07, 2013

Mobile Backhaul 101

An overview of the mobile backhaul market, the demands being placed on backhaul networks by wireless technologies such as 4G LTE, and technologies such as Carrier Ethernet that can help create more robust mobile backhaul networks.

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Thursday, January 03, 2013

Wireless Broadband Service ... Broad Sky Networks

Broad Sky Networks was founded by Telecommunication and Technology experts to provide a single source for the delivery of Business Class Broadband Satellite, 3G/4G , WiMAX and Optical Wireless Broadband services. In addition to offering superior wireless services Broad Sky also provides other ancillary services to fulfill service portfolio requirements to allow customers to stay focused on their business.

WiMAX

Broad Sky Networks now offers Spectrum WiMAX, a fixed wireless solution in 60+ markets. Their Spectrum WiMAX bypasses the local telco, so installation can happen in days, it is easy to deploy and scale and offers bandwidth from 2Mbs to 1000Mbs for a fraction of the price. Our WiMAX guarantees 100% uptime, managed services as well as Point to Point offerings.

* Major Metropolitan Areas
* Primary or Redundancy
* Provides SLAs
* Large Bandwidth, 2Mb – GigE speeds
* Great for fluctuating bandwidth needs
* Point to Point services

3G/4G

Broad Sky now offers their Spectrum 3G Fixed Wireless service, covering 90% of the United States population. Broad Sky's 4G covers 38 markets coast to coast. Spectrum 3G/4G service is a great alternative to DSL, they use all 3 major carriers, offer innovative equipment bundles and flexible pricing options. Broad Sky also offer a fully managed 3G service perfect for retailers, banking, M2M, etc. with Mobility options as well.

* Primary, Redundancy, Mobile or Temporary
* Average 3G speeds of 1.5K x 384K
* Average 4G speeds of 5M-12M down 2M-5M up
* Flexible Equipment Plans and Service Plans
* Layer 3 or Layer 2 options
* Plans range from 50Mb to 10Gb, pooling plans also available
* Self Installs, ships in days

Satellite

Broad Sky offers a large range of satellite broadband solutions accommodating tele-workers to large private networks. Broad Sky is unique, they offer broadband internet from six different satellite providers all backed by industry leading Service Level Agreements. Broad Sky's satellite supports internet access, IPSec VPN traffic, POS, VoIP and Video applications. They are experts at securely linking locations anywhere in North America, South America, Alaska and the Caribbean.

* Primary or Redundancy
* Speeds from 500K x 128K up to 8M x 2M
* Private Network available for primary or redundancy
* Coverage as long as clear line of site to Southern horizon
* Disaster recovery plans available

Optical Wireless

Broad Sky now offers an Optical Wireless Point to Point or Point to Multi-Point solution, iBeam providing a high bandwidth solution at a fraction of the cost of Fiber or Microwave. This solution installs quickly with no trenching or construction and provides 100M to 1Gb connectivity. This is idea for campus environments, healthcare and municipalities.

* Connectivity from 100M to 1Gb soon to go to 2.5Gb
* 1/10th the cost of Fiber
* Point to Point, Point to Multi-Point and Mesh configurations
* Installs quickly

To take advantage of what B Sky Networks can do for your business, simply request a FREE quote here ...

Wireless Broadband Service

Broad Sky Networks Network Map

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