Ethernet

If it is available in your area, Metro Ethernet warrants serious consideration for most SMBs if you have not made the move away from T1/TDM technology already.  What follows is a quick listing of benefits that your organization can likely derive from moving to Ethernet technology:

1)      Delivers Higher Bandwidth
Simply put, the bandwidth that can be carried by T1 or any TDM technology is paltry compared to the almost limitless capacity of Ethernet over Fiber EoF) Bandwidths of 1-10Gbps or more are  routinely available on a single line, which is simply not possible with TDM technology.

2)      Lower Monthly Recurring Cost (MRC)
At all but the very lowest levels of T1 service, which is inadequate bandwidth for most organizations, the MRC for Ethernet is considerably less expensive that TDM technology that provides the same bandwidth.  The difference in cost of TDM vs Ethernet becomes more pronounced as the bandwidth needs of your organization increase.

3)      CapEx Savings
Ethernet uses “off-the-shelf” equipment that costs less initially and scales better down the road than TDM equipment.  A bandwidth upgrade of an existing Ethernet circuit requires no capital expenditure, while T1/TDM requires a significant investment in new equipment.

4)      Easy Scalability
Once your organization has Ethernet service, increasing the bandwidth is normally a matter of contacting your service provider and amending your existing agreement.  From the providers prospective, they are very happy to quickly provision additional bandwidth.  Typically nothing else is required on the user end.

5)      Buy Only Bandwidth that You Need
When purchasing or upgrading bandwidth, Metro Ethernet offers the ability to purchase bandwidth in smaller increments than TDM or SONET Technology.  For example, if your organization requires 30Mbps, if you use DS3 you need to purchase 45Mbps, and you will not have the ability to easily upgrade the service when you outgrow the 30Mbps service.

6)      Simple Technology = Less Burden on IT Staff or Owners
Because Ethernet is ubiquitous in the IT world, there is greater knowledge and a higher comfort level among users of Ethernet than TDM technology.  In addition, Ethernet in the WAN is the same technology that is used in the LAN, which simplifies interactions between the two.

7)      Enables Cloud Technology (Applications and Storage)
“The Cloud” provides SMBs with tremendous opportunities for increased efficiencies and enhanced capabilities. Many applications that hadn’t been thought of 5 years ago, like DropBox or Freshbooks, are now relied upon by Managers and Business Owners to do some of the heavy lifting in their organizations.  Metro Ethernet provides affordable reliability and scalability so that these increasingly critical applications can be accessed on demand.

8)      Enables Video Conferencing & Collaboration
Video conferencing and applications like GoToMeeting or WebEx are used to communicate with remote locations, vendors, and customers. These applications have become indispensable to many organizations.  Inadequate bandwidth and poor Quality of Service can turn these applications into a headache or even a liability.  Ethernet can easily help you stay ahead of bandwidth issues and prevent these problems from happening.

9)      Enables Quality VOIP and Unified Communications
Ethernet service provides adequate bandwidth for current needs, and can be scaled quickly to meet future needs and avoid quality of service (QoS) degradation.   Ethernet can also be configured to provide Class of Service (CoS) in order to segregate VoIP traffic from other network traffic, avoiding packet loss and latency which can cause noticeably poor quality voice and video connections.

10)   Enables Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery
Organizations can use Ethernet to tie into data centers in order to run real time applications offsite, and establish redundancy that may be required for practical as well as for good risk reduction practices and regulatory compliance.  In addition, flexible Ethernet connectivity facilitates offsite data backup and recovery, as well as remote work locations that may need to be established in the event of severe weather or other disasters that prevent workers from traveling to affected office locations.   

Conclusion
Metro Ethernet service is experiencing explosive adoption and growth because it delivers high value relative to costs for its users, who are largely SMB and enterprises and other organizations who are technology reliant. T1 Service has been a technology relied up for many years, but the demands placed upon TDM exceed its ability to deliver the performance and value needed today.