Point to Point Ethernet Connections
Options to connect two or more business locations with high performance low cost Ethernet services.
By: John Shepler
Any company with two or more locations that need to be interconnected to share data have a need for point to point line service. The traditional solution is a T1 data line with 1.5 Mbps of bandwidth. Today, you have more options.
To Bond or Not to Bond
If it’s just a matter of increasing bandwidth on a T1 service that works just fine, you do have the option to bind in additional T1 lines. An extra T1 gives you 3 Mbps, 4 T1s are good for 6 Mbps, and 7 T1’s will get you up to 10 Mbps. Outside of metro areas, this may be your best bet. But if you are located within a large metropolitan area, point to point Ethernet might be a better choice.
Ethernet is Cheaper
Why? It’s a matter of cost and service options. Bonding T1 lines incrementally increases bandwidth and cost by about the same amount. Ethernet, however, is generally lower on a per Mbps basis, especially as bandwidth increases. That 10 Mbps connection might cost you half or less than you’ll pay for bonded T1.
Bridge Your LANs
Ethernet sounds like a perfect fit for linking two LANs, and it is. Your data starts off as Ethernet, continues through the WAN service as Ethernet, and is back on your far end LAN as Ethernet. Not only is that inherently efficient, but you also get the option to make that connection at layer 2 rather than layer 3. In short, you can treat your two locations as being on the same bridged Ethernet LAN rather than completely separate networks that happen to have a telecom link.
What you are looking for is called E-Line service. It’s a direct replacement for TDM private lines, such as T1. It is implemented as a single EVC or Ethernet Virtual Connection between two UNIs or User Network Interfaces. Think of it is a very long Ethernet cable between Location A and Location B.
EVPL for Multiple Lines
While E-Line service is the most popular Ethernet bandwidth connection, there are some other Ethernet services that you may also want to know about. One is EVPL or Ethernet Virtual Private Line. Why would you want a virtual rather than an actual Ethernet line? The difference is that multiple Ethernet services can be carried on the EVPL. You’ll have one physical connection to your building, but you may be bringing in a dozen or so Ethernet virtual private lines.
E-LAN for Multipoint
If you have multiple locations that all want to communicate with each other, you need more of a meshed network that simple point to point lines. That’s where E-LAN or Ethernet LAN service shines. Each location connects to the “cloud” network via an Ethernet line service. All locations can then communicate as if they were on the same LAN.
A third service is called E-Tree. This is a point to multipoint connection that is useful for content delivery to multiple users. The users have no interaction with each other and simply get their content from the “root” organization.
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