Evolving Your Fixed-line Data Network to a New-breed, Flexible and Cost-effective Beast

J. Stradling
J. Stradling

Summary Bullets:

  • Putting applications and data in the cloud and running corporate video is likely to require a switch to next-generation IP and Ethernet
  • Service providers have become good at monitoring and managing how applications behave in the network to offer optimized solutions

Traditional legacy data networks (e.g., Frame Relay, TDM/leased line and ATM) might not be ideal workhorses for the next-generation corporate network, where more applications and data reside in the cloud, and where video communications need new jitter and latency parameters in order to work.

IT managers, and strategy and finance decision-makers should be pushing their suppliers for sensible network migration paths to take advantage of the latest advancements in hybrid Layer 2 Ethernet and Layer 3 IP networks. These services should include applications monitoring and performance management tools to improve corporate productivity while reducing costs. Once you implement, for example, a Layer 2 Ethernet circuit between two remote LANs, the multi-service and multiprotocol aspect of this technology can support voice, video and data all on a single link.

Service providers are more qualified than ever to talk about applications, rich communications tools including video and unified communications, and how applications behave in the network. Therefore, providers can offer solid advice on potential migration or network evolution to replace legacy platforms with modern IP and Ethernet solutions.

Business customers should examine the entire range of VPN services – asking, for example, what is available and to which geographies. Does the provider offer both IP VPN and a range of Ethernet WAN services – such as Ethernet Private Line (EPL) for point-to-point service, and E-LAN any-to-any virtual private LAN service (VPLS)?

Beware of carriers looking to shoehorn their clients into any given technology – evaluate a range of providers to see which one is telling the right story for any given customer’s needs. Finally once the RFQs from several potential vendors are on the table, the customer can line up SLAs and pricing to make an informed decision based on comparison.

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