Comcast Metro E Strategic White Paper

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  • 1. 1 next pageBetter Network ConnectivityDrives Business TransformationCIOs are discovering that high-performance connectivity is more thanjust plumbing it also provides competitive advantage.Seven in 10 IT professionals view networkdemand, survey respondents are showing a fiber investments over the next 12 to 24connectivity as strategic or transfor- clear preference for Ethernet/fiber networkmonths. These investment dollars appear tomationalnot simply a tactical asset,solutions over T1, T3, frame relay and other be coming, at least partially, at the expenseaccording to the 2012 CIO/Computerworld/ networking technologies. of T1 technology: 72 percent of the respon-Comcast Business Class survey.dents said their T1 usage will decline or Investing in Network remain flat.Increasingly, organizations see employingInfrastructurehigh-performance network connectivityTechnology budgets have been tight overSeveral trends and technologies aresolutions as not just a way to cut expensesthe past few years. Network connectivity contributing to the demand for high-perfor-or reduce TCO, but also as a critical enablerinvestments, however, appear to be some- mance network connectivity. These driversof competitive advantage in the global what insulated from recent economicinclude bandwidth-intensive applicationseconomy. pressures. In the survey, 41 percent of(74 percent), business continuity/disaster the respondents said current economicrecovery (56 percent) and virtualizedThe timing is right for this shift. Demand for conditions have had no effect on their resources (51 percent).high-speed, high-performance connectivityinvestments in cost-effective networksolutions is increasing, fueled by growth in connectivity, and 26 percent said they Among the survey respondents, line-of-mobility (requiring more bandwidth-inten-have actually increased investments in business professionals show a significantlysive, always-on applications) and emerging connectivity solutions. Larger organizations higher tendency than respondents in thetechnologies such as virtualization and(with six or more interconnected locations)aggregate (56 percent versus 39 percent)cloud services. Remote workers expect theare even more likely to be spending on to cite cloud computing initiatives assame functionality and performance onnetwork connectivity, with 31 percent citing a driver of high-performance networktheir mobile devices that they do on their increased investments. connectivity. This could be indicative of ITdesktop systems. Investments in Ethernet/fiber solutions inThese trends are driving new demandparticular are expected to increase in thefor scalable, reliable and secure networknear term. Most of the survey respondentsconnectivity solutions. To meet this said they plan to make additional Ethernet/n white paperBetter Network Connectivity Drives Business Transformation

2. n white paperBetter Network Connectivity Drives Business Transformation2 next page etwork connectivity has evolved from an operational N as drivers of networking demand. Clearly, the former see network connectivity as an necessity into something that actually enables business asset that can transform the enterprise by improvements. IT and non-IT executives are nowenabling key business initiatives. embracing the infrastructure as a strategic asset. Kevin OToole At Eastern Bank, a Boston-based bank withsenior vice president of product management and strategy 123 locations throughout New England, Comcast Business Services a switch from SONET to metro Ethernet network services in 2010 enabled it to shorten response times and deploy new applications that have improved customerprofessionals relatively cautious approach the growth of private and public clouds, service and enabled new-product roll-to utilizing the cloud for critical company organizations need to make smart invest- outs across its contact center, ATMs andprocesses and data. It may also signal aments in their infrastructure, including branches. Robert Primavera, the banksgrowing tendency among lines of businessadvanced network connectivity. This is a vice president of network engineering, esti-to circumvent IT and purchase cloud-based major shift, says Kevin OToole, senior mates that the Ethernet network providesproducts and services directly. vice president of product management nine times the SONET networks bandwidthand strategy, Comcast Business Services. at a lower price, saving the bank more thanIn some instances, investing in network Network connectivity has evolved from an$75,000 annually.connectivity is actually a way to saveoperational necessity into something thatmoney by improving operational efficiency.actually enables business improvements. IT Were providing a lot of non-traditionalThe Washington Post, for example, isand non-IT executives are now embracingservices at traditional locations, saysupgrading legacy networking hardware to the infrastructure as a strategic asset.Primavera. The Ethernet network is laying1- and 10-gigabit Ethernet switches as partthe foundation for that, he adds.of its ongoing virtualization and data center Respondents who see network connectivityconsolidation efforts. Its more about as a transformational or strategic asset Realizing Business andupgrading than expanding, says Roger are more likely than those who view it asTechnology BenefitsCrawford, lead engineer for The Washingtona tactical asset to emphasize bandwidth- The Eastern Bank example shows that ITPost. We are reviewing older hardware to intensive applications (83 percent versusprofessionals can make a business case forsee what can be virtualized. When its all56 percent ), business continuity/disaster high-performance connectivity that extendsdone, it will be much less expensive.recovery (62 percent versus 41 percent) andbeyond reducing costs or improving TCO. Itvirtualization (58 percent versus 35 percent)stands to reason that increased bandwidthTransforming the EnterpriseAlthough cost management is still animportant part of any IT departmentsmindset, were also seeing signs that IT Previous/Current View of Networkexhibit 1:and business professionals are beginningto realize how technology can drive busi-Connectivity as an Assetness performance. Seventy percent of theView of Network Connectivity as an Asset Two Years agorespondents view network connectivity asa strategic asset (38 percent) or a transfor-mational asset (32 percent)a 67 percent18% 24%51% 6%increase over their view just two yearsn Transformational n Strategicn Tacticaln None ofago. The respondents who said they viewAssetAssetAssetthe Abovenetwork connectivity as a tactical compo-nent has dropped 47 percent over thesame period (see Exhibit 1).32% 38%27% 3%Current View of Network Connectivity as an AssetWith greater reliance on complex applica-tions, the continued data explosion, andbase: 234 qualified respondents 3. n white paperBetter Network Connectivity Drives Business Transformation 3 next pageand more reliable network connectionscan improve the ability of employees to dotheir job. In the survey, nearly three-quarters Business Benefits of High-Performanceexhibit 2:(73 percent) of the respondents said high-Network Connectivityperformance network connectivity increasesproductivity and more than two-thirds said itIncreases productivity 73%increases efficiency (see Exhibit 2).Increases efficiency67%These benefits extend outside theImproves ability to meetorganization as well: 54 percent said high- customer needs 54%performance connectivity improves theirability to meet customer needs. Reduces operational expenses35%The biggest thing we measure is user Lowers total cost of ownership 22%experience, which includes internalemployees and visitors to our publicOther 2%website, says The Washington PostsCrawford. Network upgrades, virtualizationbase: 234 qualified respondentsand code improvements have all contributedto network performance improvementscutting response times in half in someincreased bandwidth (64 percent) are theout of five respondents in the survey ratedcases, Crawford says.most commonly anticipated benefits of reliability, security, high availability and cost-high-performance connectivity. Respon-effectiveness as critical or highly importantOrganizations that view high-performancedents from large organizations (500+evaluation criteria for network connectivitynetwork connectivity as a transformationalemployees) are much more likely thantechnologies.or strategic asset more frequently associatesmaller organizations to cite reducedbusiness benefits with high-performancesecurity risks as a key technology benefitEthernet/fiber is establishing itself as aconnectivity, as opposed to organizations(30 percent versus 17 percent). best-of-breed solution that meets all ofthat view the network as a tactical asset.these criteriain some cases by a wideThese benefits include increased produc-margin. When the survey participantstivity (78 percent versus 63 percent),Ethernet/Fiber: Emergingwere asked to rate connectivity tech-increased efficiency (72 percent versus Best-of-Breednology across nine criteria on a scale of 156 percent) and improvements in their As organizations embrace the potentialto 5, Ethernet/fiber was the clear choice,ability to meet customer needs (59 percentstrategic benefits of network connectivity,compared to multiprotocol label switchingversus 41 percent). choosing the right high-speed solution(MPLS) technology, for its ability to increasebecomes increasingly important. IT profes-efficiency (67 percent rated it a 4 or a 5,From a pure technology standpoint,sionals use several criteria to evaluatecompared to 45 percent for MPLS), itsapplication performance (77 percent) andconnectivity technologies. More than fourability to meet customer needs (66 percentversus 44 percent), its scalability (65 echnology and business benefits have led to theT percent versus 46 percent) and its ability toincrease productivity (65 percent versus 47 increased adoption of Ethernet solutions. As businessespercent). T1, T3, HFC/cable and ATM/frame increasingly operate within virtualized IT environments, relay technologies lagged even further in their demand for high-performance connectivity willthese categories. continue to grow. These results should help explain why Kevin OToolesenior vice president of product management and strategyEthernet/fiber connectivity solutions are Comcast Business Servicesthe most common technology choiceamong the respondents for data center 4. n white paperBetter Network Connectivity Drives Business Transformation4page 1connections today (62 percent) and in thefuture (64 percent). Current and Expected Data Center Connectivityexhibit 3:An increase of Ethernet/fiber in the data Technology Implementationscenter will come at the expense of T1, T3and ATM/frame relay technologies, all of Ethernet/Fiber62%which are expected to decline over the 64%next 24 months (see Exhibit 3).T1 34%20%Technology and business benefits have ledto the increased adoption of Ethernet solu- MPLS 30%32%tions, says OToole. As businesses increas-ingly operate within virtualized IT environ-T314%ments, their demand for high-performance 12%connectivity will continue to grow. These 9% HFC or cablebusinesses require high-bandwidth con- 11%nections across multiple sites and value Current connection ATM/Frame Relay6%the lower cost of ownership and scalable 5%Future connection expectedcapacity of Ethernet solutions.Dont know 3% 7%ConclusionHigh-performance connectivity solutionsOther 3% 4%are essential in todays enterprise. As thebase: 234 qualified respondentsCIO/Computerworld/Comcast BusinessClass survey shows, business and IT profes-sionals increasingly view high-performanceease of use/support, scalability and security. improve workforce productivity andconnectivity as a strategic or transforma- improve connections to customers,tional asset for their businessa significantLowering TCO remains an importantsuppliers and remote sites. Building achange over two years ago.piece of network connectivity investment,strong business case for high-performancebut IT professionals are now finding annetwork connectivity can help CIOs in theirPart of the reason for this shift in percep-even more powerful story to tell: how high-ongoing quest to reposition IT as a strategiction is that organizations are developing aperformance Ethernet solutions can enabler of sustainable business growth. nbetter understanding of the business andtechnology benefits of high-performancecomputing. Beyond just lowering connec-tivity costswhich remains an impor-Sponsored bytant considerationhigh-performancenetworking can improve productivity,increase efficiency and enable new applica-tions that improve customer service andhelp grow the business.Comcast Business Services, a unit of Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), providesadvanced communication solutions to help organizations of all sizes meet their business objectives.Bandwidth-intensive applications andThrough a modern, company-owned fiber network that is backed by 24/7 technical support, Comcastemerging technologies such as virtualizationdelivers Business Class Internet, TV and Voice services for cost-effective, simplified communicationsmanagement.are driving the need for high-performancenetwork connectivity solutions, such as Launched in 2011, the Comcast Business Class Ethernet suite offers high-performance point-to-pointand multi-point Metro Ethernet services with the capacity to deliver cloud computing, software-as-a-Ethernet/fiber, to address these needs. service, business continuity/disaster recovery and other bandwidth-intensive applications. ComcastRespondents rated Ethernet/fiber as the top-Metro Ethernet services are significantly faster than T1 lines and other legacy technologies, providingperforming connectivity technology across scalable bandwidth from 1 Mbps up to 10 Gbps in more than 20 major U.S. markets.all evaluation criteria, including reliability, For more information, call 1-866-429-2241 or visit


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