Metro Ethernet provides more flexible connectivity than legacy WAN approaches since it can support all types of topologies to connect to your data centers. Metro Ethernet supports point-to-point, point-to-multipoint (hub and spoke), and multipoint (any-to-any) connectivity. This flexibility enables you to optimize your data center connectivity to your business locations. You can also leverage this flexibility to more quickly and cost-effectively connect additional business locations to your data centers or add additional data centers for business continuity.
You assign 30 Mbps for the Gold CoS with a <15ms latency and <0.001% packet loss for your latency and loss sensitive applications and 70Mbps is for the Silver CoS with a <50ms latency and <1% packet loss for applications which have little to no sensitivity to packet latency or packet loss. Refer to Figure 3.
As applications are migrated to run in remote data centers instead of locally on the in-building LAN, network availability becomes a critical factor in order to maintain normal business operations. If the WAN connection to your data center experiences an outage, you no longer have access to your remote applications. Therefore, you need to carefully evaluate the performance metrics related to Metro Ethernet network availability such as:
- Availability (or Service Availability)
- Mean Time to Respond
- Mean Time to Restore
The Availability metric also includes other types of failures that may be intermittent such as the service’s packet loss or packet latency exceeding the maximum service level objective over a brief time period. The Availability metric is clearly an important factor in WAN connections to data centers. Availability can be significantly improved by ensuring that the Metro Ethernet network is self healing, i.e., it has multiple levels of redundancy built-in to keep the network operational as faults occur. The Availability metric is critical to understand when using Metro Ethernet to connect to data centers.
Network Availability becomes a
critical Metro Ethernet performance
metric as you migrate your applications
to remote data centers
The Mean Time to Respond can be defined as the average time the Metro Ethernet service provider has to respond to troubleshoot a problem after it is either identified or reported to the network operations center. Mean Time to Restore can be defined as the average time to restore service to an operational condition as defined by the Availability metric in the SLA. These two metrics are important and interrelated because a small Mean Time to Restore would be negatively impacted by a long Mean Time to Respond and vice versa. These two metrics in conjunction with the Availability metric ultimately determine the Metro Ethernet network availability which again, is a critical metric as you move your applications to remote data centers using a Metro Ethernet service.
IP Version Transparency
Metro Ethernet does not require you to coordinate IP addressing and routing information with your Ethernet service provider. You can use existing IP addressing to your data centers with the freedom to use any IP addresses or routing protocols as you add additional data centers or business locations. Also, Metro Ethernet services transparently support IPv6-based applications alongside IPv4.
Enterprises are migrating applications to centralized data centers to achieve significant capital and operational expense savings while enabling efficient scaling of their organizations’ requirements during changing economic conditions. Ethernet enables you to standardize on a common technology for LAN, WAN and a converged data center. Metro Ethernet provides flexible, scalable bandwidth and network connectivity options with the QoS performance and IP transparency you need to connect to your data centers. As you migrate your applications to a remote data center, the WAN becomes a critical component and Metro Ethernet has become the technology of choice to meet these data center connectivity requirements.
REFERENCES AND RESOURCES
Understanding Business Ethernet Services, Comcast white paper
Ethernet Services for Multi-Site Connectivity, Comcast white paper
Metro Ethernet Services – A Technical Overview, Ralph Santitoro, Metro Ethernet Forum
ABOUT COMCAST BUSINESS ETHERNET
Comcast offers a complete range of MEF certified business Ethernet services including Ethernet Private Line, Ethernet Virtual Private Line, Ethernet Network Service (MEF E-LAN compliant) and Ethernet Dedicated Internet. Each service is offered with a 10 Mbps, 100 Mbps, 1 Gbps, or 10 Gbps Ethernet port in customer-selectable bandwidth increments ranging from 1 Mbps to 1 Gbps. For more information or to request a consultation about Comcast’s Business Ethernet Services, please visit http://business.comcast.com/ethernet.
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