GigE WAN network connections offer high bandwidth at reasonable prices.
By: John Shepler
The need for high bandwidth connectivity has sneaked up on some companies. That T1 line they ordered years ago turned into a DS3 connection and perhaps a move to OC3 fiber optic service. But it still seems like there is a bottleneck. Perhaps it is time to consider a move to GigE or Gigabit Ethernet.
About Legacy Telecom Services
One thing you should know about the other telecom services you’ve ordered over the years is that they are derived from telephone company technology. Yes, they’re reliable. Yes, they work just fine. But they weren’t designed from the ground up to mirror what you are running on your network today. As a consequence, you may have interface issues and you are probably paying a lot more than you would have to for the same connection speed.
Simplified Connectivity With Ethernet
The beauty of having Ethernet as your standard protocol both inside and outside of your facility is that there are no connectivity issues. It’s Ethernet all the way. You can use it like you use any other high bandwidth connection to transport voice, video or data packets from point to point. You also have the option to employ your Ethernet connection as a way to link multiple LANs together in one large bridged LAN. It’s a way to connect all your geographically diverse locations as if they were simply on different floors of the same building.
GigE Bandwidth Isn't Unreasonable Anymore
There was a time just a few years ago when Gigabit Ethernet running on a local area networks was as absurd an idea as ordering up a Gigabit Ethernet WAN connection. For one thing, Metro Ethernet and Carrier Ethernet are relatively new services. For another, Gigabit Ethernet was considered a ridiculously large amount of bandwidth.
Gigabit Ethernet Is In Demand
Nobody laughs at GigE anymore. They don’t even shake their head in disbelief. What they want to know is where they can get Gigabit Ethernet service and how much it will cost them.
Bandwidth Is Today's Scarce Resource
The reason for this change of attitude is that computer applications are sucking up bandwidth like it is an infinite resource. It’s the way that microprocessor clock speed just couldn’t get high enough or that RAM memory was always about half what you really needed. Multiple core processors and lower RAM prices have allowed computers to keep up with demanding applications such as video processing. It’s networks that are now under pressure.
GigE WAN Matches LAN Bandwidth
You may already be running Gigabit Ethernet on your LAN. Many PCs, peripherals, switches, routers and network appliances come with 10/100/1000 Mbps Network Interface Cards standard. GigE gives you the network throughput you need to efficiently transfer files and run real time simulations and processes without creating time wasting bottlenecks. Now, what about connections that leave your facility?
Gigabit Ethernet is No Luxury For Many Applications
If you need to transfer medical images or do video production, a Gigabit Ethernet connection may at the low end of what you’ll be needing. If you’ve consolidated data centers and need to access files remotely from a large facility, GigE is no luxury.
Fiber is More Available Than Ever
Fortunately, Gigabit Ethernet WAN connections are readily available in metropolitan areas. Downtown in major cities you may even have two or more carriers bidding for your business. What’s important is that you have or can easily get a fiber optic connection to your building. GigE is way beyond the capability of copper-based facilities and most wireless services.
Can you get Gigabit Ethernet at a reasonable cost?
It’s more affordable than ever and competitive carriers are more inclined to bring in fiber service by aerial line or underground. See if you have fiber facilities already in your area. Check now to find fiber optic services at or near your business location. If it’s on the map, you may be in luck.
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