Practical Uses for Private Line Ethernet: Lit Fiber Networks in Action
With more and more companies and organizations needing high-speed, high-security, high-reliability network connections, private line ethernet is becoming more and more popular. And why not? Having a dedicated network connection between data centers, research facilities, universities, hospitals, or offices (just to name a few) provides a demonstrable competitive advantage for organizations willing to invest in their own private network connection. Private line ethernet, primarily constructed from unused dark fiber that is “lit” and put into use, means that computers, servers, and storage appliances connected on the same network can transmit data faster and without intrusion.
Private line ethernet between multiple locations often comes down to a real need for hardened security, uninterrupted access, and large quantities of dedicated bandwidth. There are three different ethernet private line configurations in wide use. They are:
- Single point to single point: A single point to single point private line connection brings together two different machines or locations for a seamless and secure transfer of data.
- Multi-point to multi-point: A multi-point to multi-point private line network connects many different locations and machines to each other. A schematic of such a network would closely resemble a net or spiderweb in appearance. An example of a multi-point to multi-point network might be all of the machines in multiple data centers that serve to backup data via raid configuration. Having data split across multiple machines in different locations creates redundancy and security beyond a single-storage appliance. A multi-point private ethernet means that each of these machines can send and receive data without interruption, thus delivering a better customer experience and more reliable service.
- Single point to multi-point: A single point to multi-point private line ethernet connects one machine or location to multiple other, non-networked machines or locations. Imagine a badminton shuttlecock, with a single point at the top and an expanding web beneath. A single point to multi-point private line network would resemble the shuttlecock in appearance. A configuration such as this might be useful for a corporate headquarters needing direct connections to multiple satellite offices. Restaurants and retail locations are often networked this way; the locations are tied into the home office or headquarters without necessarily being networked to each other.
At first it sounds like having a private network near-impervious to intrusion or interruption is inherently appealing. But despite the decreasing costs, private line ethernet isn’t the right solution for everyone. In fact, most organizations lack the need for a private network. Aside from the time and energy required to administer your own lit fiber network, conventional business networks are often more than sufficient for the connections required by most businesses. The expanding capability of commercially available internet connections means that even the smallest business on a modest budget has access to transmission speeds exponentially faster and more reliable than just a few short years ago. So what types of companies or groups benefit from private line ethernet?
- Organizations with wild traffic spikes that need flexibility in their available bandwidth.
- Financial institutions looking for low-latency communication between traders exchanging time-sensitive financial information.
- Hospitals looking to keep patient records confidential while sharing them between clinic locations.
- Universities like those in Chicago looking to collaborate on research initiatives in a way that allows secure transport of large data sets.
- A hosting company with georedundant server infrastructure requiring low-latency connectivity between distributed data centers.
The total revenue generated by the private line ethernet market has plateaued at approximately 35 billion dollars per year. But make no mistake, decreased prices have obscured the fact that adoption among enterprise is increasing over time. The utility and versatility of private line ethernet are hard to overstate. And with overall costs coming into competitive range of traditional business broadband, why would an organization NOT want a private line ethernet connecting its offices and institutions?
Quite simply, the management and administration of lit fiber is still maturing. While many providers can offer support and service to help develop the right private line ethernet for your growing company, the implementation and long-term management still pose challenges to the uninitiated. Even organizations with full-service IT departments must allocate resources for the management and upkeep of the private network, should they choose that option. In many cases, the conveniences, price, and ever-expanding bandwidth available through ISPs is simply too good to pass up unless an organization has a demonstrated need for private line ethernet.
If your company is interested in learning more about private line ethernet or exploring the different connectivity options available, Mosaic NetworX can help! Mosaic NetworX offers a wide variety of broadband and transport options to businesses of all sizes and in all industries. Click here to contact Mosaic NetworX today!