There was a time when taking space in a data center owned by someone else meant limitations on who you used for access and often high costs mixed with low performance. Thankfully the new preferred model is now available in many large markets and has come or is coming to many second tier markets. It’s called “carrier-neutrality” and sums up as a data center facility that has multiple access carriers available and no investment in your choice of who you use.
This means the facility itself doesn’t offer these services, and only facilitates your ability to connect to them through a section of the facility called the “Meet-Me-Room”
(MMR). Since the facility is not “owned” by a single network provider data center clients can choose one or more, should they seek additional redundancies, that fit their budget and business needs. This also creates a climate where access carriers are motivated to give you the best price and service as they compete for your business. Data centers that feature carrier-neutrality keep you from “painting yourself into a corner” by giving you several options and provide for greater flexibility as your needs grow or change.
The Enterprise benefits of neutrality
Ethernet Brings Even More Savings
Ethernet technology is the most deployed technology for high-performance Local Area Network (LAN) environments. Enterprises around the world have invested network connectivity, equipment, processes, and training in Ethernet, with other protocol contenders seeing decreased IT mind-share. And while GigE is popular as a LAN solution, the significant change is Ethernet’s role in the Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) market, which has historically used SONET (Synchronous Optical Networking)/SDH (Synchronous Digital Hierarchy).
Legacy metro transport networks are built primarily of time-division multiplexing (TDM) technology. TDM “circuit-switched” services are optimized for delivering voice. The underlying technology of a TDM network is a SONET/SDH ring. A TDM network consists of digital multiplexers, digital access cross-connects (DACs), SONET/SDH add/drop multiplexers (ADMs), and SONET/SDH cross-connects. Plus SONET networks are broken into a multitude of channels as they service everything from traditional telephone service to old T-1s.
Thanks to standardization advances in Quality of Service and Operational Administration and Management (OAM), Ethernet has now supplanted SONET for Metro transport networks, capitalizing on its inherent benefit of being optimized for data transport versus voice services, as was SONET.
Ethernet transport uses Ethernet interfaces instead of SONET/SDH interfaces and is designed to retain SONET/SDH’s strengths while addressing its weaknesses.
Ethernet transport uses a centralized management system (Control Plane) that takes the place of distributed management systems such IP/MPLS. This permits use of the same low cost Ethernet switches used in the VLAN solution while providing network control that has functionality very like IP/MPLS. With centralized control network, operators can immediately invoke prepared contingency plans for network recovery rather than rely on individual network elements
By combining the flexibility and cost competition of multiple access providers with an Ethernet network topography, clients aren’t painted into that corner that a single provider offers, avoid the pitfalls associated with SONET ring access and save money on top of it all. And after all…no one wants to be painted into a corner!