Friday, March 27, 2009

Comparing Cost And Function Of DS3, OC3, FastE, And GigE Bandwidth Solutions

If your business already has a DS3 line .... and you are considering an upgrade to more bandwidth .... you need a solid understanding of how cost and function parameters may affect your decision. In particular how an OC3 circuit, fast ethernet (FastE), or gigabit ethernet (GigE) choice may .... or may not .... be the answer for upgrading your network connectivity.

Of course there will be a cost difference (more on that later). But beyond the cost difference between DS3 bandwidth, OC3 bandwidth, and ethernet bandwidth .... the more noticable variable is the wide range of speed from 45 mbps to 155 mbps to 100 mbps to 1000 mbps (FastE to GigE). However, in regards to reliability they're similar therefore this is not an issue. The reason is that all are dedicated bandwidth circuits. Meaning they're yours .... no sharing "traffic" with mobs of other users like the typical DSL lines for example.

So how does OC3 and ethernet fit into your upgrade decision?

An OC3 is part of the optical carrier numbering scheme called SONET .... for Synchronous Optical NETwork. OC3 runs at 155 Mbps at max speed. For comparison .... an ethernet connection whether it's a FastE or GigE (gigabit ethernet), can run at up to 1000 mbps. OC3 is the abbreviated term for Optical Carrier level 3, and is used to specify the speed level of fiber optic networks over SONET. The speed itself is measured through SONET (Synchronous Optical Network) standards.

You need to be aware that an ethernet connection is still limited in certain areas, usually to major cities where the network providers (e.g. AT&T, Verizon, Qwest, Sprint, Level3) have a fiber grid already laid out in the community. This is commonly called Metro E (Metro Ethernet). When ethernet isn't available, an OC3 bandwidth solution is the best option for a company needing more bandwidth to grow.

A popular option for providing just the right bandwidth solution for critical business network applications is an OC3 circuit . An OC3 circuit works as a reliable fiber optic backbone for large networks with substantial voice/data/video traffic needs. For example, applications that need high bandwidth such as headquarters phone lines (PBX and/or VoIP), company Supply Chain Management (SCM) systems, High traffic websites, Hospital medical imaging and diagnostic systems, data/disaster recovery and backup networks, video conferencing facilities, multi-media or virtual design centers, high security networks, and ISP backbones.

An important factor to understand is that OC3 circuits can be burstable, which allows you to start at usually 60 mbps and increase your bandwidth as your needs grow. A Burstable OC3 is the ideal solution for businesses who seek ultra-fast connectivity for their Internet needs ..... and don't routinely require full OC3 load capacity yet but may in the future. Options include selections from 60, 70, 80, 90, 100, 120, 140, or a full 155 Mbps of service. By the way ..... FastE or GigE are also burstable. So keep that in mind too.

Here's a tip to consider when making your decision. It is ideal to get an OC3, FastE, or GigE at one of the colocation/data centers as the fiber is already there. Plus you would have to pay very little local loop cost ... and at times only a cross connect charge of a few hundred. Otherwise the local loop for an OC3 can range from around $3,000 to $10,000+ per month .... depending on the location. The port charge may vary between around $3,000 to $7,000+ per month .... depending on the area and network providers.

If you're fortunate and you're in an area where ethernet connections are available .... whether they're FastE or GigE .... the cost can vary from around $1500 to $10,000+ per month depending on the bandwidth needed and local loop. The FastE cost and GigE cost are usually less per megabit than an OC3 or OC12. That would be the recommended option if a company is price sensitive and the solution is available.

Although the decision process to upgrade your network may appear somewhat complicated and frustrating .... it doesn't need to be. You can save a lot of time and effort on your part by availing yourself of the no cost assistance .... and rate quote comparisons for OC3, FastE or GigE .... available through Bandwidth Solutions

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very Nice description..

2:35 PM  

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