The May 9th Telarus Tuesday call brought Telarus Co-Founder Patrick Oborn to talk about the various types of ethernet available through Telarus, and the tools you can use to find them instantly. The entire recording can be found here.
What is Ethernet?
Ethernet is a system for connecting a number of computer systems to form a local area network, with protocols to control the passing of information and to avoid simultaneous transmission by two or more systems. What ethernet boils down to is a layer two approach where you can talk from device to device with a MAC address (not an IP address). There is Metro ethernet which is a way for companies to communicate via the same layer two connection over long distances. ethernet is a way for carriers to connect into a customer with speeds ranging from 10 meg to 10 gig with an ethernet handoff. Cost and speed are two of the main reasons why ethernet has become so popular. ethernet essentially pushes down cost per meg a lot more than your typical copper based services like T1, and DS3 based services.
From the customer site to the actual service provider PoP, there are different ways to deliver the signal. Although fiber is the most desirable, it requires you to buy quite a bit of it before it’s a possibility. Another option is ethernet over coax, especially in the Comcast and Spectrum world. ethernet over coax is also known as EoHFC, the HFC stands for hybrid fiber coax and it delivers a symmetrical service over a coax pipe. There is also the option of ethernet over DS1, this is when you’re actually taking a T1 and making it an access pipe. Lastly, you can also go the ethernet over copper route also known as EOC. This method takes the copper pairs the utility company puts into a building and runs ethernet services over them. Although ethernet over copper is more inexpensive than ethernet over fiber, there are limitations on speed. This makes ethernet over DS1 a last resort.
The two main things to take into consideration when figuring out which types of access you’ll need are:
- How much the customer is going to need now and in the future
- What the physical limitations are. Has fiber been built in the building? Has coax been built into the building? Again ethernet over copper will be a last resort option
The Growth of Ethernet
The great thing about ethernet is that it’s seen a really stable growth as people need more internet and fiber continues to build out. There are a lot of carriers in the Telarus portfolio that have aggressive fiber construction schedules. The additional lit buildings these carriers keep lighting up create more opportunities and customers that continue to use fiber ethernet. As of right now, this is an eight billion dollar market, and it is expected to grow into a 10 billion dollar market within the next two years. The huge growth we’re seeing is mainly in Unified Communications for which fiber ethernet provides the backbone. As you continue to see the growth in SAS, you’ll also see the growth in the infrastructure and ethernet that is going along to power SAS.
Ethernet Private Line & LAN Service
An interesting thing to note when you’re dealing with a ethernet connection is that you can utilize the carrier network as a method of transport. This means you can have one office talking to another office over ethernet in a layer 2 environment where it replaces a physical connection. It is very secure as your packets never touch the outside internet. This is what we call ethernet private line. Carriers also offer ethernet private lines through a wide area network connection, meaning from outside your premise to another premise on the other side of the country or even the other side of the world. This can also be configured to be a multi-point solution which is what we call ethernet LAN service or ethernet local area network service.
How Does Ethernet Fit into SD-WAN?
Do you need internet access? You will need a router, which means you’ll need to find an ethernet provider that can interconnect. An internet connection is not standard with ethernet as it is usually a private line type service, so if you want to get an internet connection through your fiber ethernet you will have to pay extra for that internet access. The reality is that in order to get to most cloud applications you will need access to the internet at some point, when you are choosing an ethernet provider you will have to take into consideration which providers have physical access into cloud providers.
Ethernet and MPLS are over 50 percent of all of the primary SD-WAN connections. As we have said before, ethernet over fiber is your go-to way to access the internet and there are a few things that are different with carriers that offer fiber ethernet. When looking at carriers, keep in mind that if their core network isn’t great, you’re not going to have a great experience.
Carrier ethernet is still the way to go on metro ethernet, everything else is the backup for the ethernet. You’ll find that when the SD-WAN router is making decisions the carrier ethernet is usually the lowest latency and the highest availability circuit.
Telarus Ethernet Suppliers and Tools
Geography is a major drawback when we talk about ethernet, but the good news is Telarus has created tools to show you exactly where services are located. Telarus started with a fiber map in 2010, and has continued to innovate since then.These tools are something that Telarus is very excited to have, but the most amazing thing is Telarus now offers free internet monitoring on all ethernet circuits ordered. Below, you can view the Telarus ethernet tool timeline.
Telarus takes great lengths to partner with the best ethernet carriers in the market. Below you can see which of the carriers in our portfolio offer ethernet, to learn more about each of them visit us at http://www.telarus.com/carriers.php.