With our fibre optic network able to connect to 85% of UK businesses, high-capacity services aren’t just for carriers any more. We investigate a quiet revolution in connectivity.
What’s changed in high-capacity services?
Until 3 years ago, pretty much the only organisations with high-capacity networks were telecoms carriers or systems integrators building their own networks. But now high-capacity services are being used by more and more businesses outside these traditional markets. Why?
Three big changes in the UK telecoms market have made this new diversity possible:
- National fibre networks. With Virgin Media Business’s optical fibre network able to connect to 85% of UK businesses, high-speed access networks are now available to more organisations than ever before. High-speed, high-capacity data traffic is possible over long distances.
- Booming bandwidth demand. The demand for bandwidth-hungry apps is growing fast, with financial batch processing and overnight backups being replaced with real-time data access that depends on low latency and high performance. Suppliers are raising their game in response, and that means a greater need for fibre access.
- Data centres spreading outside London and the South-East. As the rising cost of both space and power drives data centres out of their historical heartland in London and the M4 corridor, providers need seriously big pipes that can reach the length and breadth of the UK to get their customers connected.
If high-capacity services are moving beyond their traditional users, what are the benefits for the new breed of high-capacity customer? In short: flexibility, speed and end-to-end mapping.
“We can deliver dedicated high-capacity services over distances of up to a hundred kilometres – with multi-protocol optical fibre all the way, from end to end, right into your data centre,” explains David Green, senior product manager at Virgin Business Media. “Our biggest customer has put in 160 10gb links between 2 sites.”
The magic ingredient is DWDM (Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing) – meaning that the huge bandwidth and capacity advantages of an all-fibre network can be used for customers who need multiple protocols. This gives them a single system for their storage area network (SAN), their IP network, Ethernet services and data connectivity, all at the same time and delivered down the same dedicated pipe.
DWDM’s performance benefits are complemented by Virgin Media Business’s all-fibre, next-generation access network that can connect to 85% of UK businesses – making high-speed connectivity practical for the first time in thousands of organisations nationwide.
And because the Virgin Media Business network delivers extremely low latency, it’s suitable for real-time financial trading – not simply public web traffic.
Who’s using it?
High-capacity services from Virgin Media Business are being taken up by:
Merchant banks – with millions of pounds riding on milliseconds of response time, our network’s extremely low latency and super-fast response is an obvious winner. Overnight batch processes can increasingly be replaced with real-time transactions.
Mobile operators – optical backhaul is helping them to meet increasing consumer demand for bandwidth-hungry content – exactly what our network was built to deliver.
Systems integrators – with end-to-end fibre, we’re helping them keep the promises they make to customers. We connect end users to data centres faster than ever, so that remote applications and infrastructure work seamlessly and instantly – keeping capital costs low and end users happy.
Three HCS myths exploded
Given their history as the exclusive preserve of businesses that needed the biggest, fastest pipe, it’s perhaps understandable that we expect high-capacity services to be a major undertaking. But that’s just one of three persistent myths...
Myth 1 – high-capacity is difficult
In the past, maybe – especially if you were outside the magic London/Heathrow corridor. But that’s all changed thanks to the ability to connect across greater geographical distances – Virgin Media Business’ all-fibre network can connect to 85% of all UK businesses, delivering end-to-end fibre nationwide.
Myth 2 – high-capacity is inflexible
It’s now possible to build high capacity networks that use Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) to provide services using multiple protocols, all down the same pipe. Flexible network infrastructures mean customers aren’t tied in to the setup they choose when they sign up – your network can respond to their changing demands.
Myth 3 – high-capacity is only for carriers
The increase in geographical reach of fibre means that the exclusivity of high-capacity services is a thing of the past. Sure, carriers still need high-capacity core networks – but Virgin Media Business’ all-fibre access network brings the potential of superfast networking to more businesses than ever before, with a range of services that can be tailored to their precise needs.
Want to talk HCS? Contact your Virgin Media Business account manager