With the vast number of Ethernet solutions available on the market, the challenge has gone from determining whether or not Ethernet is the right choice for your business to figuring out which solution will best meet your needs.
Ethernet supports point to point, multipoint, intercity, metro, switched, private and public solutions. Determining which Ethernet solution is the ideal fit for your business can seem like a tall task. What makes it even more difficult is that, for as many solutions that Ethernet supports, it seems as though there are an equal number of providers with their own marketing agendas; that being said, however, there are a number of differences between offerings – some of which easier to understand than others. To start, there are the commonly advertised characteristics. These include things such as pricing, speeds, and Service Level Agreements (SLAs) that are relatively straightforward and easy to understand. On the other hand, there are characteristics that are not as commonly advertised that we will be covering here, like transparency and topology.
Transparency refers to the way a Wide Area Network (WAN) connection transmits the various types of data that flow through a user’s network. Unlike other types of services, the most transparent are fully dedicated and have the ability to transmit any type of traffic from one end to the other without modification. A high level of transparency is not ideal for all applications that run over a WAN connection. This is due to the fact that some applications have different protocols – language used by network equipment and computers to communicate – that require varying amounts of translation. So when it comes to your WAN service, the types of applications your network can support depend upon the amount of translation that is required.
Network topology is the manner in which sites are physically linked to one another. A point to point connection is the simplest topology available. As its name suggests, a point to point connection links two sites together. Because no one other than the two sites is able to access the connection, it is incredibly secure and easy to manage. On the downside, however, more point to point services must be purchased in order to connect additional sites. This means paying for more bandwidth, and ultimately, a greater number of individual connections that require management.
On the other hand, fully meshed services require even more management. This is because, as opposed to a point to point connection, they are designed around multiple connections. Every site has a network connection, and the network cloud handles the connectivity between those sites. Fully meshed services are best for businesses that utilize applications that call for data distribution among various sites. These applications include anything that allows you to send messages from any point to any point, such as video conferencing, web-based services and email.
The flexibility that Ethernet services provide makes it a great choice for businesses of all types and sizes. If you are interested in finding the ideal Ethernet solution for your business, give us a call at 888-972-BLUE. A FastBlue representative is always available to discuss how we can help grow your business and answer any questions you may have about our products or services.