What is Metro Ethernet and who uses it?

Metro Ethernet

If you’ve been busy using the Internet to research leased line services, you might have occasionally come across the term “Metro Ethernet”. This term might have baffled you, and we wouldn’t entirely blame you. This is why we have decided to write this article going into what Metro Ethernet actually is, who uses it, and whether you, too, could benefit from turning to it.

A wonderfully versatile type of connectivity

The term “Metro Ethernet” refers to when carrier Ethernet technology is used in MANs, otherwise known as metropolitan area networks. As a Metro Ethernet system will typically be put together with funding from numerous sources, the bandwidth management it enables can be relatively cost-effective, reliable and scalable – certainly compared to what other networks can make possible.

Metro Ethernet can be pleasingly versatile; it can connect corporate LANs – local area networks – and individual end users to a WAN – wide area network – or the internet. It can be especially useful in large cities, where academic institutions, businesses and government agencies can use it to hook up offices or branch campuses to an intranet.

When used in MANs, “pure” Ethernet technology is not expensive in comparison to systems using Synchronous Digital Hierarchy or Multi-protocol Label Switching – respectively known as SDH and MPLS. Nonetheless, in urban areas, these two technologies can be used for Metro Ethernet where there is the willingness to put sufficient money towards this strategy.

There remain limits to Metro Ethernet

Metro Ethernet has become a more feasible technology over time. In the late 1990s, for example, this feasibility grew due to technological breakthroughs outlined by Techopedia. These developments enabled transparent traffic tunnelling via virtual LANs as point-to-point or multipoint-to-multipoint circuits. However, today, while Metro Ethernet can be appealing in a financial sense, it can also be limited in scalability and reliability. Hence, it tends to be used for small-scale deployments with customers numbering no more than a few hundred.

Now, if reading this article was leading you to consider utilising Metro Ethernet for your own organisation, another, obviously more vital issue to keep in mind is that, in the UK, this technology is not even available… or, at least, not yet. In the UK, a suitable alternative to Metro Ethernet would be a managed point-to-point. Here at Leased Line Comparison, we would welcome you getting in touch with us for a free quote on a managed point-to-point service.

Why we can help your organisation to cater for its needs

While a Metro Ethernet service might not currently be an option for your UK-based operations, you can still choose another kind of Ethernet leased line. Furthermore, we can compare leased line services from various providers to help you to get a deal that is especially financially attractive.

The leased lines that you can pick from are, like Metro Ethernet, based on carrier Ethernet technology. Plus, they cover a broad range of needs; whether you want a modest 10MB line, a much more capable 10GB line, or something in-between, we would be thrilled to assist.

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