Metro Ethernet services matter to VARs. The question is, “Why?”
A recent post on the Search Networking Channel blog from contributor Lynn Haber notes that selling metro Ethernet services has “generally been a play” for telecom providers, as “VARs are more commonly adding the technology to their portfolios in order to increase options in WAN services, disaster recovery and even basic connectivity for SMBs.”
So there’s a nice bundle of services right there. Add the fact that selling metro Ethernet WAN services can offer a cost-effective, scalable alternative, and that adding Metro Ethernet WAN services to the mix doesn't mean displacing MPLS, but rather having another arrow in the quiver.
And the real opportunity for VARs in metro Ethernet, Haber says, is reaching out to the SMB market. Edward O’Connor, vice president of network sales at telecom solutions provider Total Communications, told Haber, “With carriers taking Ethernet technology further out into the network, it’s virtually a plug and play option for businesses where Ethernet technology has been in use for more than 20 years.”
It’s good to combine MPLS and metro Ethernet WAN if your business needs to connect more than 100 regional, national or global offices and require multiple access options, including metro Ethernet. WAN pros find metro Ethernet services a fast, cheap alternative, and Haber says it’s even possible in certain scenarios that metro Ethernet will replace more traditional T1s and T3 circuits, or replace the DSL that’s often used by small businesses.
Metro Ethernet is delivered over fiber optic cable as opposed to T-1 connections that run over aging copper lines, and as Haber notes, from a cost perspective, metro Ethernet is a fraction of the cost of a traditional T1 circuit.
There is also the variety. VARs can sell a number of Metro Ethernet services offered by communications players, such as point-to-point connectivity between two customer sites for bandwidth-intensive applications, point-to-multipoint connection that allows customers to tailor bandwidth, performance characteristics and cost to meet the needs of their applications, multipoint-to-multipoint connectivity to connect organizations with high-bandwidth requirements, and other options.
It’s a growing technology, according to Haber, who adds, “Metro Ethernet is expected to be a $40 billion worldwide revenue opportunity with $5 to $7 billion driven by the channel, domestically.”
David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.
Edited by Tammy Wolf