Ethernet wan or IP VPN—what’s your call?

by Lee Sheehan

You may have noticed that Ethernet WAN and network-based IP VPN are both growing in popularity with existing enterprises. But what’s exactly the right combination of services for what your business needs? And what models can you follow?

Considering that today’s enterprise information and communications technology demand increasingly larger amounts of bandwidth —and an extremely reliable set of converged virtual private network services from their service providers—those aren’t exactly questions you can put off.

Let’s start with the technologies themselves. Painting with a broad brush, network-based IP VPN provides a flexible platform, unifying communications across an enterprise’s distributed locations; Ethernet WANs, however, are best at supporting high-throughput applications within a more limited footprint, and are often used to connect multiple LANs in a single metro area (or to interconnect metro WANs). And, not surprisingly, both services work optimally when deployed in environments that closely match their intended capabilities.

So the first variable to consider is how your business needs best map to either solution. AT&T can help your strategic analysis and network planning, starting with our related white paper, Enabling High-Performance Data Services with Ethernet WAN and IP VPN, and continuing with our webinar, VPN Service Choices: Ethernet, IP VPN… or Both?

But as you delve deeper into your strategy, you’ll also notice the potential for evolving hybrid models—a customized mix of both Ethernet WAN and IP VPN services. Our webinar will show you recent examples of how they can work, including industries and verticals that are already taking the lead with applications.

Which brings me to my final point: choosing the right carrier. Consider carriers only with an established background—and a comprehensive suite of both global network-based IP VPN and Ethernet WAN features. That includes network planning, management, WAN optimization, and managed application service choices, as well. Keep in mind that you’re choosing a strategic partner, here—one that can proactively advise you on improvements and optimizations as your business (and network) grows.

It’s a big decision, and a lot to consider. But before you get locked in, get the facts: Learn more with a quick visit to AT&T’s Enterprise Business website and look at the latest Ethernet WAN and IP VPN trends.

Until then, let’s talk about your experience with Ethernet WAN and network-based IP VPN to date. Are you leading the way, or just getting your feet wet?