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Ethernet Providers And What They Can Do For You
Any business with semi-autonomous stations, each requiring the employee to use a computer, will have to sort through Ethernet providers. It's as necessary a part of your business as the coffee and the notepads. Get this decision wrong and you'll face intermittent periods during which, so far as the rest of the world is concerned, you simply do not exist.
The Ethernet was invented at the prestigious Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) in 1973 by Bob Metcalfe. It was the first time several computers had been linked together off a common copper wire through which all communicated with all. It goes without saying that this was a key prerequisite to the Internet itself. Each computer would be known as a "station" or "node", suggesting that it was the entire network, collectively, that would be considered as the unity.
Today, the Ethernet is the most common network technology in the world. Every time one employee performs a data entry which then appears in a database held in common with 100 other employees at their computers, without that entry having to be made manually at every computer, some businessman is indebted to Bob Metcalfe. Originally, and for many years afterward, a simple copper coaxial cable was the preferred medium through which stations communicated.
Today you might see a fiber optic cable carrying one thousand times that amount of information. Some basics, however, haven't changed at all. Each entry or message is known as a "frame", and each frame includes the sender's address and the recipient's address. Though every station will receive the frame, all but the one it is addressed to will discard it. This allows the network the flexibility to calve off into private communication.
Much of the technology surrounding Ethernet was designed to overcome the limitations of copper wire. Now that those limitations have been rendered moot by more advanced media, these same devices provide truly awesome capability. These include repeaters, bridges and routers, all of which allow greater volumes without collision.
As a consumer, there are few thing you can do to save yourself from a headache. Anytime you're establishing a new business or moving to a new space, make certain that you're moving into a "lit building" - in other words, a building that's already wired for Ethernet. You'll have to pay significantly more if it isn't, and the burden falls upon you to have the copper wire installed.
Make certain you find the right fit between your budget, the processing speed, and the hardware you have available. A DS1 ("Digital Signal 1") is standard for telecommunications, the least expensive, and quite adequate for most businesses. Only if you have a very large LAN (Local Area Network) in which each station needs to send and receive full-speed video, would a DS3 be a necessity. Since it could cost ten times what a DS1 or copper cable might, be certain that's what you need.
We're fortunate to have such powerful telecommunications tools at our fingertips. Used well, they can magnify the scope of your enterprise. Before you begin, it's always best to consult your local Ethernet providers.
May 22, 2013, 8:42:40 am, America/Chicago