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Bell Business Insights newsletter

October 2012 edition

Connectivity options for data centres: Exploring Ethernet

In this issue

A Q&A with the connectivity experts at Bell

Organizations count on their data centre for many things: to deliver mission-critical applications, store vital corporate data, serve up high-bandwidth video and provide business continuity through data backups. Connectivity requirements can vary considerably depending on the latency, bandwidth and management requirements of the applications and services being delivered.

Bell Business Insights recently sat down with Bell connectivity experts to get answers to some of the key questions organizations have when considering Ethernet as a data centre connectivity option.

Q: What should organizations look for when they evaluate their options for data centre connectivity?

A: It all depends on what they're trying to accomplish – whether they're aiming to consolidate their data centre resources, achieve better scalability or adopt more cloud services. When it comes to connectivity for metro and wide area networks, one size does not fit all. What's needed is a connectivity approach rather than a specific solution.

Q: What are the key features of an effective approach to data centre connectivity?

A: You need to start by defining your application requirements: the amount of network control you need, bandwidth, latency, service-level assurances. If your data centre is delivering video, you can't have latency. If you're using your data centre to support financial transactions, you need a lot of control and security. When investigating solutions, be clear about your needs. Keep asking a potential provider questions until you're completely satisfied you have the answers to make a smart choice.

Q: One of the areas receiving a lot of attention these days is Ethernet. Why is it gaining such wide appeal?

A: Ethernet combines the advantages of a number of other connectivity solutions, which is why it's becoming a more popular choice. You get network control, security, low latency and high availability. And it's evolving. Ethernet Private Line services give you dedicated, transparent, high-priority bandwidth between metro and WAN locations. Carrier Ethernet – which is the class of Ethernet used in service providers' own networks – provides scalable class-of-service and bandwidth options, letting you increase capacity while managing costs.

Q: How does Ethernet handle high-bandwidth applications?

A: With Carrier Ethernet, you can scale up and down quickly and easily in increments – from as small as one megabit per second up to gigabits per second. Ethernet Private Line services can go all the way up to 10 gigabits per second. That will give you the capacity you need for the vast majority of applications, but more importantly, the flexibility to adjust as your needs change.

Q: Is Ethernet difficult to adopt?

A: Not at all. Ethernet is the standard interface for most devices, even within a data centre. It's been used for LAN and metro area networking for years, so IT personnel are very familiar with how it works, making it very easy to implement and manage. The new developments in Ethernet build on this familiar foundation as a data centre connectivity option, making it easy to adopt and implement.

Q: So, overall, how does Ethernet compare to other data centre connectivity options?

A: Ethernet offers converged traffic, low latency and large, variable network loads. It has higher capacity than IP VPN, and offers more management capability than wavelength. If you're looking for a solution that provides business continuity or supports hosted services and cloud-based applications, Ethernet is a good fit. No matter what your data centre needs are, they will change over time, and Ethernet has the flexibility and scalability to adjust and adapt as your requirements evolve.

Talk to Bell

Bell can meet all of your data centre connectivity needs. Our flexible network gives us the ability to we're able to manage, secure, and provide performance assurances on your data centre connectivity from end to end – whatever connectivity you choose. Our service-level agreements cover data delivery and performance both within the data centre and over the network, backed by 24 x 7 x 365 support.

If you'd like to learn more about data centre connectivity solutions from Bell, contact your Bell representative or request that a Bell representative contact you.

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