Brackets and packets

Looking at the sorry state of my NCAA tournament bracket (on my own time, of course), made me think about the article that begins on page 19 of this issue.

Looking at the sorry state of my NCAA tournament bracket (on my own time, of course), made me think about the article that begins on page 19 of this issue. Seriously.

As I write this, up here in New England we're preparing for the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight matchups that will take place in Boston March 26 and 28. Those matchups will feature the teams from … well, let's just say, not exactly from the four schools that I picked to advance that far. In other words, I wanted certain teams to make it from early-round games in such disparate locations as Dayton, OH; Boise, ID; Philadelphia, PA; and Greensboro, NC to Boston, MA so that my bracket would shape up nicely. But some of my picks got bottlenecked along the way and did not successfully make it to Boston. No bragging rights for me at the water cooler.

That blow to my ego might be a laughing matter, but the real-life scenarios it brings to mind are nothing of the sort. What if an organization's interoffice communications couldn't make it from offices in Dayton, Boise, Philadelphia, and Greensboro to a headquarters location in Boston? Or if it did, the process was painfully slow and economically inefficient?

That's the kind of business frustration the Metro Ethernet Forum would like to do away with. Now nearly eight years in existence, the MEF is advancing the use of Ethernet among service providers, with one of the objectives being to improve inter-office connections for enterprise end users. After spending its first several years defining itself, gaining membership, and implementing carrier Ethernet technologies, the MEF has recently turned its attention to the group it believes should be the ultimate beneficiary of its efforts—the enterprise customers who will consume these services.

Market data presented in the article indicates healthy adoption of carrier Ethernet services last year, even amid the economic meltdown. So, the case is being made and many customers are seeing value in these offerings. One of the MEF's objectives has been to make it easy for the enterprise user to specify the exact level of service desired. Acquiring these services should be a painless process between you as a user and your service provider. Should be.

The old saying that the public network is the real bottleneck for corporate enterprises should be just that—an old saying. If your service provider is making it sound like quality connectivity between your offices is out of reach, perhaps your provider actually does offer the service, but the individual you're dealing with doesn't have the story straight.

He or she probably picked Wake Forest to do some real damage in the tournament, just like I did.

PATRICK McLAUGHLIN
Chief Editor
patrick@pennwell.com

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