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.
T1 is Going Obsolete
T1 lines have been available and declining in cost for decades. They are now at the point of obsolescence due to greater demand for bandwidth and a desire of the telco companies to decommission thier copper cabling. Fiber is the replacement and Ethernet over Fiber is the preferred technology.
Ethernet is Cheaper
It’s a matter of cost and service options. Ethernet is generally lower on a per Mbps basis than T1 lines, DS3 bandwidth and SONET fiber, especially as bandwidth increases. A 10 Mbps connection can be had for the price of today's T1 line and 100 Mbps or 1,000 Mbps connections are very affordable.
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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