The market for Ethernet is continuing fajardo taxi taxito grow, as UK organisations appreciate the cost savings, performance and efficiency gains to be made from deploying services based on this transport technology. Businesses that choose Ethernet-based connectivity for their corporate Local and Wide Area Networks can expect greatly increased productivity and profitability, as well as significant competitive advantage, from the capacity to introduce new applications and services to customers and staff. When choosing an Ethernet service provider, companies need to consider a range of factors including: the fibre-based coverage offered by the provider the methods used to protect, optimise and guarantee network performance the price and flexibility of deploying future services. 1 Introduction
Ethernet offers superior network performance at vastly reduced cost compared to traditional Leased Lines or services based on Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) or Frame Relay transport technologies. It makes it affordable and achievable for organisations of any size to create a single network that is easier to manage, provides the flexibility to grow with the business and enables new applications to be added as required, simply and cost-effectively.
The tangible business and it management benefits of the technology are fuelling massive growth in the adoption of Ethernet services by UK corporations, with market estimates for continued growth over the next few years already being exceeded.
2 Business drivers
There are compelling business reasons why companies are embracing Ethernet as their connectivity of choice for the corporate LAN and Wide Area Network (WAN):
Bandwidth on Ethernet is less expensive than bandwidth on Frame Relay or ATM-based networks and you only pay for the bandwidth you actually need. This means you can get far greater capacity for an equivalent investment %u2013 in fact, businesses can expect to treble their bandwidth capacity for the same price as their current Frame Relay/ATM networks. Where providers offer scalable bandwidth upgrades, you can initially set lower capacity while you determine your network%u2019s needs, then increase capacity as and when required, easily and cheaply, without having to replace the fibre over which the service runs.
You can explore the opportunity to use your greater bandwidth capacity to introduce new services and applications that will improve your overall efficiency and competitive edge:
consolidate servers and storage networks to facilitate their management and reduce IT costs Take advantage of multimedia applications to improve business practices and customer service, such as delivering interactive training courses with live video Use Voice over IP to enhance staff productivity by introducing hot-desking move to thin clients within a web-based software architecture, saving capital equipment costs (servers and software) and minimising hardware wastage. The reduced cost and greater bandwidth flexibility of intersite Ethernet enables you to be confident that your network availability will be robust enough to support new services, as well as increasing the performance of existing applications.
As Ethernet is well-established within the LAN environment %u2013 there are almost a billion Ethernet interfaces in use worldwide today %u2013 and increasingly being adopted on the WAN, equipment is more readily available and costs far less than the traditional WAN routing equipment used to support Frame Relay/ATM based networks.
By enabling you to consolidate your WAN into a single network, you can make major savings by eliminating the need for the hardware involved in multiple networks. With fewer systems to purchase and house at additional sites, you can save on the capital cost of servers and related equipment. This has a knock-on effect of reducing software licensing fees and support costs.
Centralising your network also simplifies its management, monitoring and back-up and streamlines the administration of software licensing, generating further cost savings. Before Metro and National Ethernet services became widely available, companies had two main options for their network management. They could either allocate networking staff to manage the main servers on the network at every physical location, or centralise resources and connect them via ATM or Frame Relay %u2013 both of which were expensive.
This also resulted in many companies under-utilising their capital equipment by being forced to duplicate resources across multiple sites, often implementing upgrade programmes before some sites became truly obsolete and failing to optimise the skills and availability of their staff across the entire network.
An Ethernet-based network also gives you flexibility in where you centralise your network management. Rather than recruiting and locating staff in headquarters, for example, you can instead choose to move network management to a regional office, where staff skills are cheaper to acquire and property overheads lower. According to Ovum 1, 70% of the cost savings from consolidating network resources comes from such staff and accommodation cost reductions.
Reduced staff costs
The overall staff costs of managing a single Ethernet network are lower than with ATM/Frame Relay-based networks, because Ethernet skills are widely available and cheaper to recruit than WAN/router specialists.
2. 2 Increased IT efficiency
With Ethernet, the integrated LAN can effectively extend anywhere, yet be managed centrally. This is both cost-effective and efficient.
The WAN can use the same protocol as the LAN, making it far easier to manage the two. Companies that have Wide Area or Metro Area Ethernet solutions can also manage their LAN and WAN with a common set of management tools %u2013 which in turn removes the need to source and recruit specialist skills in Frame Relay or ATM technologies.
Centralising the management of the network also simplifies system monitoring and back-up, substantially reducing the level of maintenance needed on the network.
By reducing maintenance and management issues with an Ethernet-based network, you can reallocate staff that would previously have been required for reactive management and maintenance to it projects that proactively support business progress.
Disaster Recovery, the process of regaining access to the data, hardware and software necessary to resume critical business operations after a natural or man-made disruption, often implies preparation for a freak catastrophic incident. However, very often the type of events that can affect business continuity are much more mundane or routine occurrences, such as a power cut, or even simple human error.
So it’s vital to ensure uninterrupted availability of that information in the event of system downtime “for whatever reason” and to deal swiftly with any issue that affects any part of the network and has the potential to threaten the smooth operation of your business.
The growing importance of adequate business continuity measures is being driven by companies%u2019 dependence on IT and by the higher expectations of their customers, who demand the kind of 24×7 service that can only be delivered by the most robust technology.
Historically, putting a business continuity or disaster recovery solution in place to protect the business was a complex and expensive task. However, Ethernet now makes it possible to deploy a highly cost-effective solution by enabling business critical data to be backed up remotely over a high speed network between corporate HQs, regional locations and business continuity sites.