The constant need for more bandwidth has driven the surge in Ethernet solutions. Where it once took days or weeks to increase bandwidth using other Wide Area Network (WAN) technologies, Ethernet usually requires only hours.
Ethernet is one of the most significant innovations of this generation—and has now evolved from Local Area Networks (LANs) to the Metro Area Network (MAN). The implications of these capabilities are immense.
- Scalability, Ubiquity, and Reach: With many businesses seeing capacity growth rates of 20 to 30 percent per annum, Ethernet scalability is vital to meeting this capacity demand. Ethernet is already available in a wide range of interface speeds from 5 Megabits per second (Mbps) to 10 Gigabits per second (Gbps). The next dimension to scalability is geographical reach. Carrier Ethernet spans metro, national, and global networks. Work is ongoing at the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) to standardize the interconnection of Ethernet networks operated by different service providers to further increase the reach of such services and offer customers a consistent end-to-end service.
- Performance, QoS and Suitability for Convergence: Inherently, Ethernet networks utilize packet switching technologies (MPLS, IP) that require less processing to operate and manage multiple IP technologies at higher bandwidth(s) than legacy platforms. Low Latency and Delay variations over fiber medium make Ethernet the best solution for voice, video, and data.
- Cost Savings: The Carrier Ethernet and MPLS technologies used for service delivery reduce cost by eliminating many network add, move, and change procedures by simplifying network operations as compared to legacy WAN support protocols. With network elements and simpler network operations, there are plenty of opportunities to save through network consolidation.
- Control, Simplicity, Familiarity: IT departments manage Ethernet connectivity every day and now have more control with simpler network provisioning and configuration management, with lower cost.
- Expediting and Enabling New Applications: Ethernet accelerates implementation of data applications for data file transfer, internet access, off-site data storage, access to hosted servers, outsourced mail, file servers, and application servers with reduced resources for overburdened IT departments.
- Consistency, Predictability and Risk Reduction: The Class of Service (CoS) mechanisms and Layer 2 control processing methods provide guaranteed performance of such parameters as delay variation, information rates, and information loss recovery mechanisms.
- Reliability and Protection: The Ethernet E-LAN and E-Line Operation, Administration, and Maintenance (OAM) tools on the Ethernet platforms create the highest degree of network reliability. Secure, easily managed connectivity with Virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) creates a secure Layer 3 VPN. Unlike ATM and Frame Relay solutions, virtual circuits do not need to be defined for connectivity to each networked location.
- Flexibility, Adaptability: When network architectures are continuously evolving and new service delivery models are constantly emerging, customers require unprecedented flexibility in network platforms to adjust to their changing future.