Ethernet Private Lines: The Answer for Mission-Critical Data

May 20, 2021

How Private Lines Can Guarantee QoS, Speed and Throughput

“The amount of data created over the next three years will be more than the data created over the past 30 years, and the world will create more than three times the data over the next five years than it did in the previous five.” – IDC

IDC forecasts for the “Global DataSphere” are staggering. Moving ever-increasing volumes of data quickly and securely presents a mounting challenge for enterprises. There’s a good chance your business is among them. That’s likely especially if your organization:

  • Is among the many that sharply increased video consumption as the pandemic forced us into a work-from-home model
  • Has critical, latency-sensitive applications and/or data backup requirements for with quality of service (QoS) needs, including guaranteed speed and throughput
  • Is in the healthcare, insurance, financial or other industry vertical that must comply with strict data privacy rules and regulations

In any of these cases you need a reliable data transmission solution that avoids the public Internet and eliminates the possibility of hacking, cyberattacks and security breaches.

An Ethernet Private Line could be the right answer. These point-to-point, dedicated connections between two sites, such as a headquarters and a data center, carry high volumes of data without traveling over the public Internet. In fact, since these Private Lines are not shared with other businesses, you can lock-in the speed, performance and privacy thresholds that you need.

What Are Ethernet Private Lines?

The benefits of using Private Lines for mission-critical data become apparent with a little research, but what does Ethernet technology have to do with it? Ethernet is a well-established local area networking (LAN) packet-based technology that was adopted as a standard by the IEEE back in 1985 for interconnecting and sending data between and among computers.

Over time, higher speeds and better performance at a lower cost pushed Ethernet ahead of competing technologies, making it the protocol of choice when sharing information, whether from a small office or a larger enterprise.

When Private Lines and Ethernet are used together, you get the security of point-to-point connections with the simplicity of the Ethernet standard. Your critical data traffic will transmit from point A to point B securely, and with the speed and performance that your selected Ethernet Private Line service guarantees.

What Are Ethernet Virtual Private Lines?

EVPL or Ethernet Virtual Private Line service is similar in providing private point-to-point connections, but EVPL also employs a multiplexing technique to support a one-to-many topology. In other words, an EVPL service can connect locations in both a point-to-point and a point-to-multi-point configuration. Typically, EVPL circuits are used for linking multiple offices, data centers and cloud infrastructure together as a single Wide Area Network (WAN) network.

Ethernet Private Line vs. MPLS

Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) is another popular packet-based wide area network (WAN) connectivity option, but it’s less efficient and more costly than Ethernet Private Line Services. Still, an enterprise will want to weigh the pros and cons of utilizing Ethernet Private Line vs MPLS for their particular business requirements.

How Does an Ethernet Private Line Work?

To set up an Ethernet Private Line transmission service, a point-to-point dedicated connection is provisioned through a provider’s network between two user network interfaces (UNIs) on the customer’s network equipment, with one UNI at the source location (see Location A below) and the other UNI at the destination location (see Location Z below).

How does an Ethernet Private Line work?

An Ethernet Private Line can use copper or fiber for its physical connection, but Ethernet over Fiber is preferred for handling very high-bandwidth connections. With fiber, the data transfer speed can go as high as 100Gbps. For reference, even a lower-end 10Mbps Ethernet connection is faster than a T1 circuit. A 100Mbps Ethernet connection offers twice the bandwidth of a T3.

Are Ethernet Private Lines Right for Your Business?

Ethernet has emerged as the preferred technology when deploying private lines to customer locations or between data centers, offering advantages in terms of security, performance, flexibility, scalability and guaranteed bandwidth. But, are Ethernet Private Lines right for your business?

First, carefully examine your business needs.

  • Are you moving high volumes of data between locations and data storage hubs?
  • Do you require high-quality, secure communications between locations?
  • Is rapid data backup and restoration critical to your business?
  • Are you looking to improve business continuity and redundancy?

With your answers to these questions in mind, consider the Ethernet Private Line advantages below. How critical are these to your particular data transfer requirements?

  • Data Security: By moving data over private lines, and not over the public Internet, it’s easier to comply with security requirements such as HIPAA. This is especially important for transferring high-resolution files and other high-volume data with strong security requirements.
  • Consistent QoS: Sending data over private lines with guaranteed bandwidth specifications eliminates delays, lags and other latency issues caused when a network is shared. You can select from multiple classes of service to prioritize business application traffic, further ensuring strong data transfer performance.
  • High-Speed Service: Private Lines based on fiber connections provide a direct path between two locations at speeds up to 100Gbps.
  • Flexible Scale: Ethernet Private Lines are scalable and simple to manage. Bandwidth can be increased quickly as needed from 10Mbps to 100Gbps. Upgrading a connection is often just a simple programming change in the provider’s software configuration.
  • Cost Savings: Ethernet Private Lines are more affordable than traditional Division Multiplexing or TDM private lines (T1, T3, etc.) and MPLS copper connectivity. The deployment cost is lower, as is the monthly cost for equivalent bandwidth.


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