re: "Are you aware of any such cases?"
Before I run too far afield of my main point, it's the LAN closets right now that
are superficial and require the most attention and overhauling. Also on tap are
local in-building data centers, remotes, colos, etc. And not necessarily in that
every other piece of hardware that I have been responsible for in even a
35-person, simple LAN setup ... has had to have me lay hands on it at odd, unplanned
times to keep working.<<
You can't lay your hands on equipment that's no longer in existence because it's
been eliminated, for starters. This is probably the most important point to
grasp. There is no LAN equipment on site anymore once you've backhauled your
desktops directly to a central site over optical channels.
And to do this, fiber to the desktop (and a generous smattering of WLANs never
hurts) must be considered first, no longer brought back to the local closet, but
rather to one or two central locations that could either be in-building or to a
nearby data center or colo. Or as far away as applications will permit. That last
sentence should serve as evidence that I've learned my lesson
Some enterprises (including several large federal government agencies) have done
parts of what I'm referring to, but none that I am aware of has done it all. By
the same token, nothing that I've mentioned has NOT been tried somewhere by some
enterprise before, which is to say that every aspect of fiber extension that I've
mentioned thus far is currently working somewhere in an enterprise or shared data
In the large enterprise space we've already seen, time and again now, how leased
optical facilities and dark fiber networks alike support server farms in remote
data centers and public colos bringing data back to desktops in business offices.
VPNs also come to mind. Think: FiOS.
Why would supporting the desktops of a 1,000 or 10,000 employee company, which
desktops would be scattered over a half-dozen or a hundred urban and exurban
sites, be any different than supporting the same number of residential
subscribers who are being supported by fiber to the home?
Indeed Verizon has already deployed the equivalent of FiOS to some federal
government agencies, while holding back in the enterprise. I suppose they are
holding back in the enterprise for fear of cannibalizing its own lucrative leased
line business, although there could be other reasons having to do with the
awkward and time consuming process they undergo while formally "productizing"
Multiple cable system pperator Bright House Networks is using passive-optical
networks (PONs) today akin to Verizon's FiOS, sans the video part, to do this
very thing in support of businesses in central Florida as I type.
The method of supporting end users being used by Bright House Networks is the
same as I outlined earlier in respect to the LAN admin operating from Mumbai. In
general, the LAN part, or more to the point, fiber to the desktop is a relative
slam dunk compared to the intricacies of tuning applications within data centers,
colos and IXes, I grant you that. As they say, however, you've gotta start somewhere.
Frank A. Coluccio
DTI Consulting Inc.