Key Differences between Metro Ethernet and Leased Lines

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Metro Ethernet and Leased Line

Businesses of every size need to make data transfers based on their user activity. Medium and large-scale businesses heavily use the Internet for their tasks. Automation has increased the reliance of many activities on Business Internet connectivity.  Businesses rely on efficient data transfer between locations. Two common solutions are metro ethernet and leased lines.

Metro Ethernet connection leverages familiar ethernet technology. It offers a cost-effective and scalable connection within a metro area. Leased lines, on the other hand, provide a dedicated, point-to-point connection with guaranteed bandwidth. Choosing between them depends on factors like security needs, scalability requirements, and budget.

Understanding Metro Ethernet

Metro Ethernet leverages carrier Ethernet technology to create cost-effective data networks across cities. Unlike traditional options, it allows businesses and organisations to share resources. This way, it brings down the overall cost. This network offers reliable and adaptable bandwidth management, making it a strong choice for data-reliant tasks.

Metro Ethernet can connect various entities, including business LANs, individual users, and even wide area networks(WANs). This allows institutions within a city, like universities or government offices, to connect their branches to a shared internal network. The physical connections typically involve star or mesh network layouts, with routers and servers linked by cables or fibre optics.

While “pure” Ethernet is a budget-friendly option compared to older technologies, some cities may invest in more advanced systems like MPLS for Metro Ethernet. These require more resources but offer additional features.

Exploring Leased Lines

Organisations can rent special phone lines, called leased lines, for private communication. These bidirectional lines allow for voice calls, data exchange, and other telecommunication needs. Unlike standard phone lines, leased lines are dedicated connections between two locations, often purchased from phone service providers.

A leased line connection is a reserved circuit between two communication points that is always active and rented monthly. Leased lines are dedicated, meaning that any bandwidth associated with the leased line is solely for private, organisational use. This is different from traditional telecommunications methods that reuse the same circuit through switching.

Dedicated Leased lines create a constant tunnel between two points to enable a continuous data flow. Typically, the first location is a corporate office, with the second location set as another corporate office, a data centre, or a corporate wide area network. The line itself runs on high-speed, high-capacity fibre optic cables.

Although metro ethernet and leased lines both offer high bandwidth solutions, they differ in some aspects. Find out how they differ in further sections of this article. 

Metro Ethernet vs. Leased Lines: Scalability

When it comes to scaling bandwidth, Metro Ethernet outpaces Leased Lines. It allows businesses to easily adjust their data capacity as needs evolve. This makes it ideal for growing companies. Leased lines, on the other hand, offer fixed bandwidth.

Businesses require a new line if a company’s needs increase.

Metro Ethernet vs. Leased Line: Cost Comparison

Deciding between Metro Ethernet and leased lines often comes down to cost. Leased lines offer guaranteed, high-speed bandwidth, but this comes at a premium. Metro Ethernet, while typically cheaper overall, has variable pricing. Its cost depends on the bandwidth used. It can be advantageous for businesses with fluctuating needs. 

Additionally, Metro Ethernet services often benefit from shared infrastructure. It brings the price down further. However, for consistent high-bandwidth users, leased lines may offer a more predictable cost structure.

Reliability and Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

Both Metro Ethernet and leased lines boast high reliability. However, service level agreements (SLAs) can differ. SLAs are contracts outlining guaranteed uptime and response times. Leased lines often come with stricter SLAs, backed by hefty penalties for outages. Metro Ethernet SLAs may vary depending on the provider, so it is important to evaluate their terms before making a choice.

Speed and performance contrast

Leased lines are supreme in raw speed. They offer dedicated connections capable of reaching up to 10 Gbps. Metro Ethernet fibre, while still fast, typically reaches speeds in the hundreds of megabits per second range. However, Metro Ethernet can often be more flexible. They allow businesses to burst to higher speeds for short periods if needed.

Flexibility in deployment

Metro Ethernet shines in its deployment flexibility. Unlike leased lines, which require dedicated point-to-point connections, Metro Ethernet leverages a shared infrastructure. This allows for various connection options, like point-to-point, point-to-multipoint, or even Virtual LANs (VLANs), for segregated traffic within a single network. This flexibility caters to diverse business needs, from simple branch office connections to complex multi-site networks.

Security features compared

While both Metro Ethernet and leased lines offer a level of security due to their private nature, leased lines hold the upper hand. Leased lines are dedicated circuits, inherently isolating the data from other users. Metro Ethernet, on the other hand, shares the underlying infrastructure with other customers.

However, security for both options relies heavily on additional measures. Encryption and firewalls are crucial for protecting your data on either network. Additionally, with Metro Ethernet, VLANs can be implemented to create virtual, secure subnetworks within the shared infrastructure.

Conclusion: choosing the right solution

The ideal choice between Metro Ethernet and leased lines hinges on your specific needs. Metro Ethernet excels for cost-conscious businesses with fluctuating bandwidth demands. It offers flexibility in deployment and scalability, making it ideal for growing companies. However, security might require additional measures due to the shared infrastructure. 

Business Leased lines prioritise guaranteed, high-speed connections and ironclad security with dedicated circuits. This comes at a premium cost and lacks scalability, making it more suitable for businesses with consistent, high-bandwidth needs.

Choosing the connectivity solution depends primarily on the requirements of your business. Airtel Dedicated Internet Leased Lines can be an ideal solution that can meet ideally every business requirement. It helps businesses prevent outages and stay connected with fixed bandwidths. No more outages holding you back!!

Airtel Business is India’s leading and most trusted provider of ICT services with a global network across the USA, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia-Pacific, India and SAARC regions. We serve over 1200 global enterprises, 2000 large and 1 million medium/small businesses across India.