The Advantages Of Ethernet Services As Your Corporate Network Backbone
Ethernet technology has long been used to efﬁciently and effectively build LANs within business settings. Its widespread presence in the business world is a testimony for its simplicity and efﬁciency, as well as its ease of use and management. Now, Ethernet extends into the wide area as a cost-effective solution for connecting business sites to each other and to the Internet. Wide-area Ethernet services are an ideal choice if your business has intensive bandwidth demands and multiple locations in one or more major cities.
Until recently, only a select few service providers offered separate metro Ethernet services (connecting sites within the same city) and long-haul Ethernet services (creating a point-to-point connection between sites in different cities) over expensive ﬁber networks. Previously, the cost and availability of Ethernet technology put it beyond the reach of most businesses. Today’s Ethernet services use relatively inexpensive and omnipresent copper line to deliver the speeds that small and medium businesses and enterprises need.
In this design, the Ethernet service operates in the same way as any other access service, allowing one site to connect to another site on your network, whether across town or across the country, or connecting to the Internet. This design also means that sites can be conﬁgured into virtual private networks (VPNs), regardless of the access service used at each location.
Where available, Ethernet services offer bandwidth from 2x2 Mbps up to 45x45 Mbps per circuit, at a much lower cost than DS3 access or comparable bonded T1 service. Ethernet bandwidth is symmetrical, and delivers the same speed for uploads and downloads on the network connection, making it an ideal solution for businesses that need to upload and download data.
Ethernet services are easy to install and manage because the technology uses your existing copper-loop infrastructure, an Ethernet bridge, a router, and a standard, familiar 10/100 Ethernet interface. With some providers, it is also easy to add voice, security, and collaboration hosting services to your business Ethernet connection. This simplicity and support for multiple network services means Ethernet is easily scalable to meet the growing demands of your business.
By using loop-bonding technology, Ethernet offers greater reliability and bandwidth efﬁciency than a bonded T1 connection, which uses link-bonding technology. More ﬂexibly for using existing circuits is also possible with loop bonding, which can combine circuits with any mix of bandwidth. In contrast, link bonding requires the same bandwidth on each circuit, e.g., bonding only a 1.5 Mbps T1 circuit to another 1.5 Mbps T1.
Although both methods are effective, loop-bonding is a newer technology that reduces overhead and deals with loop failure more efﬁciently. That means more bandwidth is available for applications in an Ethernet service and your network connection will have higher reliability than alternative access methods.
Service providers offer Ethernet as a fully managed solution, with round-the-clock, proactive network monitoring and management. The solution is also typically backed by service level agreements (SLAs) that guarantee network uptime, as well as time windows for installation and problem response.
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