Businesses are evolving and looking for more effective and efficient methods of handling bandwidth, performance and end-point needs. In addition, they are trying to anticipate future needs to help make good networking decisions. Metropolitan ring solutions are being used to consolidate network access facilities for multiple locations, connecting them with each other, the WAN, the Internet and with common carriers and carrier hotels. Instead of maintaining an array of separate access connections at each building, the enterprise can link offices to carrier and WAN facilities through a high-speed ring network. The consolidation of traditional transport access services can also reduce overall access costs.
Metropolitan ring designs remain very popular because the configuration enables a business to handle multiple voice and data applications on a single, highly reliable network, while extending LANs across multiple infrastructures. A typical ring design consists of Nodes, Ports and Fiber. A Node provides connectivity to the ring at customer premises locations and Central Office (CO)/Point of Presence (POP) locations. The Nodeat the CO/POP performs network monitoring, and is where ingress and egress from the private ring takes place. Ports provide a service interface to the node (i.e. “on ramp”), and are configured to the speed and protocol of the requested service. Nodes are connected via diverse fiber pairs. Fiber is the medium used to transport data around the ring.
Ring solutions are often used for data mirroring, storage applications and network access consolidation. They also enable more rigorous continuity and disaster recovery options. Two optical standards are used today with ring architectures to transport information. They are Synchronous Optical Network (SONET) and Dense Wave Division Multiplexing (DWDM). Each delivers particular benefits, meeting the growing needs of diverse business situations.