Smart demarcation crucial for Ethernet services

13 Jul 2009

Enterprise Ethernet services are booming. According to Vertical Systems Group, the global business Ethernet services market will reach nearly $39 billion in 2013, with double-digit annual growth across all geographic markets. Despite the economic turmoil, more and more business Ethernet services are becoming available on metro, national and international scales.

Yet service providers face some challenges in helping enterprise customers embrace Layer 2 VPN\'s higher bandwidth rates, competitive pricing, flexibility, and scalability. These translate into the essential building blocks of new Ethernet service offerings, and generally are grouped in four categories:

·Customer migration to Layer 2 VPNs

·Connectivity and service reach

·SLA management for differentiated services

·End-to-end visibility and control for proactive monitoring and in-service troubleshooting.

When supported by intelligent Ethernet demarcation devices at the service hand-off points, these building blocks can enhance customer retention and provide growth potential for the carrier.

Overcoming reservations

When adding Ethernet VPNs to their service mix, carriers are often required to differentiate them from the currently more common IP-VPNs. It is important that CIOs and ICT managers understand how these benefits relate to their particular objectives.

For example, companies that are reluctant to hand over the control of routing information to service providers and require tighter WAN security will find Ethernet VPNs more appropriate. Likewise, fast-growing businesses in highly competitive markets, for which always-on connectivity and operational agility are critical, will appreciate the advantages of Ethernet\'s inherent support for quick site addition and bandwidth upgrades that involve minimal disruptions to core operations.

Another key factor is the reduced TCO (total cost of ownership) of Layer 2 VPNs and Ethernet-based access, including cost-effective customer located equipment (CPE), incremental expenditures on multi-site connectivity and lower price per Mbps, as well as Ethernet\'s "pay as you grow" flexibility, which allows businesses to purchase the bandwidth they need and easily upgrade it as their needs evolve.

By enabling multiple services and applications over the same access link, Carrier Ethernet access and intelligent demarcation devices allow enterprises to use a single-box solution from a single provider for all their networking requirements, including Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPNs, dedicated Internet access and VoIP services, as well as local and long-distance data connectivity (LAN-to-LAN).

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