In order to be more competitive in a harsher business environment and tougher global market, business need to have better and more reliable interconnectivity and communications facilities with their subsidiaries, suppliers and customers. However, connecting private networks between different geographical locations poses great technical and financial challenges.
Ideally, fibre optic connections between distant sites is the best solution for this challenge however, this would entail considerable expenditures as well as technical specialisation in setup, maintenance and repair to have this established. Traditional Ethernet is limited in distance to within 100 metres – anything beyond that would require routers that poses a different set of issues on their own. Wi-Fi is cost-effective but is subject to weather conditions, antenna strength, and presence of obstructions that can affect signal strength.
Ethernet Private Circuits and Ethernet Extensions provide cost-effective solutions to these issues, giving business straightforward wide area communications and connectivity capabilities. Point-to-point or point-to-multipoint connections between different locations within the city or even at other locations across the globe are made possible with these technologies.
Ethernet Extensions and Ethernet Private Circuits
Also known as LAN extension services or LAN link circuits in the UK, Ethernet private circuits provide point-to-point connectivity at speeds from 10 Mbps or up to 1 Gbps. Ethernet Private Circuits were originally designed to interconnect nearby buildings without the need for routers. This is done through the use of Ethernet extenders or network extenders, allowing connections that go beyond the 100 meter limit of traditional Ethernet connections.
The term Ethernet private circuit is often used interchangeably with Ethernet extensions, but the latter is usually used to refer to interconnections within the larger metropolitan area, regions or even at offshore locations. This is achieved through the service provider’s Ethernet Network to Network Interconnection or NNI with other local or international providers.
These services allow transmission of any kind of data traffic within the network including real-time VoIP and video between multiple locations.
Who Should Use These Services?
Users that have large amount of data transmission to and from their various sites, including business-critical processes and application, would make use of Ethernet extensions to facilitate high speed file transfers. This would be similar to integrating all your sites in a single local area network.
Other users that require cost effective alternatives to fiber optic-based leased lines without compromising on their high bandwidth demands can benefit from the flexibility and highly reliable performance of Ethernet extension services between their sites.
The Benefits of Ethernet Extensions and Ethernet Private Circuits
Businesses can benefit from Ethernet private circuits or Ethernet extension services through the following:
• Guaranteed performance in terms of bandwidth, delay and re-routing time
• Cost savings as compared to private leased lines: no need to purchase multiple leased lines for multipoint connections
• Scalability: on-demand bandwidth as compared to fixed bit rates on leased lines
• Burst Capability: burstable traffic support which is not available in leased lines
• Circuit Protection: re-routing to alternative paths during link failures
Key Features of Ethernet Extensions
The following describes the key features of Ethernet Extensions:
• Point-to-point or Point-to-multipoint linkages between sites
• Unlimited usage for a fixed-priced digital high bandwidth channel
• Scalable speeds which include 10Mb, 100 Mb or 1Gb Ethernet depending on your requirements
• Remote Peering: remote internet exchanges with other partner networks is possible
• Virtual PoP: allow connections for off-net customers, remote locations and VoIP carriers
Choosing Ethernet Extension Services
When choosing Ethernet extension services, always go for providers that offer proactive SLA, that includes off-net guarantees. Aside from that, choose providers that offer scalable bandwidth and bandwidth on demand, particularly in instances where you have an unexpected increase in your traffic level. The service should also feature online access to network performance, customer service statistics, and a 24x7 proactive help desk and customer support.