Choosing the physical infrastructure

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Why is an ICT infrastructure so important for your organization? And what types of infrastructure are available to choose from? A solid digital network infrastructure is the foundation of every company. Especially now that data and applications are increasingly placed outside company premises, connectivity is priceless. If a connection becomes unavailable, the company could quickly run into issues with loss of revenue or damage to its reputation.

What the network is used for largely determines the choice of infrastructure. Does your organization frequently handle privacy-sensitive information and interact with business-critical systems? In that case, it is crucial to optimize your availability and reliability. If you rely on twin datacenters that run synchronized real-time backups of all data, you will need a different infrastructure than if your company just needs internet access and VOIP telephone services.

The difference between various physical infrastructures

There is no such thing as one single ICT infrastructure; the possibilities are endless. We explain a number of options in the following text, so you can get an impression of what type of connection might be suitable for you.

  1. Dark fiber is an unlit fiber optic connection. With dark fiber, organizations install their own equipment to light the fiber. This type of connection is often used to transport massive volumes of data, up to 100 GB/s or more, in which organizations can make their own decisions regarding bandwidth.
  2. DWDM stands for Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing. DWDM can be used for all data communication protocols, including Ethernet, Fiber Channel, SDH and non-compressed video. Each service has its own light path, which makes WDM extremely secure. The combination of WDM technology and fiber optics makes it possible to achieve speeds up to 1.6 Tb/s, which will provide organizations with sufficient data transport capacity for even the most demanding applications.
  3. Ethernet technology has been used for years to provide secure connections between connect offices, employees and datacenters. Based on the ethernet protocol, a virtual private network can be configured for secure transport ICT services such as internet, telephone and video. Combined with fiber optics, it is possible to achieve speeds up to 5 Gb/s.
  4. Coax, also known as ‘cable’ (as in ‘cable TV’), is mainly used for internet, television and radio and for consumer telephone services. In general, available choices are limited.
  5. DSL stands for Digital Subscriber Line. Unlike fiber optics, DSL does not have symmetrical bandwidths by default and can achieve maximum speeds up to 50 Mb/s (VDSL). DSL is mostly used by small and medium-sized organizations.

The right choice for your organization?

When security is a high priority, the best choice for your ICT infrastructure is a Managed Dark Fiberconnection. Of course the most secure option is a conduit that is completely yours. However, it is crucial in such situations to ensure that your organization has sufficient knowledge and expertise to light the fiber. If that knowledge is not available, then DWDM is a good choice. If you opt for DWDM, a telecom provider will provide an unlit fiber as well as the lighting equipment, but in both cases the network provider will take care of management and maintenance.

Debating whether to choose DWDMor ethernet? Then check how much bandwidth your organization needs. If you need high bandwidth, you’ll want to choose DWDM. If you have a centralized ICT landscape and therefore need a connection to give users access to the ICT environment, then an ethernet connection is what you need.

In conclusion

Privacy-sensitive data should preferably not be transmitted via public internet, since such a public channel offers hackers many opportunities to intercept data. The best choice for your organization therefore depends on how you plan to use the connection.

Would you like to know more about the right choice for your physical infrastructure?

We would be pleased to tell you about the different types of ICT infrastructures and help you address your challenges in the field of connectivity.

Contact us

This is a Lifeline article brought to you by Eurofiber. The Lifeline platform offers information and inspiration in the field of digital connectivity. Eurofiber.be/lifeline.