Last week’s announcement that that Cablevision’s Optimum Lightpath division had expanded services with another data center is further vindication of its bold move into Ethernet three years ago.

What Optimum Lightpath did in January 2005 was reduce its portfolio of services from 3,000 time division multiplexing (TDM)-based products to a core of 30, all Ethernet based. At the time, Lightpath had been in the business services arena for 17 years, but that 100-fold simplification of its offerings was a game changer.

"When you think back at the time, that was a very trailblazing decision," said David Strauss, Optimum Lightpath VP marketing. "The marketplace has validated that it was actually a very smart decision." Big boon to customers The validation comes from Ethernet having become faster and cheaper and having continued its evolution into a Metro or carrier-class technology. It’s also reflected in Optimum Lightpath’s accelerated success throughout the enterprise space, especially within certain verticals, such as health care, financial and data centers.

Last week’s announcement of expanded work with Xand Corp. is a case in point.

A provider of data infrastructure and business continuity services, Xand became an Optimum Lightpath customer in June 2003, when it acquired DS-3 connectivity to several customers’ T-1s, and voice PRI services. What Xand added this year was high-speed Internet services riding over Ethernet, and Ethernet private line service directly serving some of their clients.
"That’s been a big boon," said Xand VP Sales Jim Kramer, "because we now have redundant circuits in and out of our dual entrances in our facility."

What Hawthorn, NY-based Xand provides its clients are mission-critical enterprise server hosting and collocations services and secondary site services for the replication or mirroring of data, as well as a business continuity workplace, which it recently expanded by 40,000 square feet.

Redundancy and diverse connectivity are key components of either a primary or secondary site service.

"One they have this high-speed Internet connectivity, there’s actually remote disaster recovery possibilities available because you’re actually bringing a whole new paradigm to the amount of bandwidth available," said Glen Calafati, Optimum Lightpath director of product development.

That point speaks to Ethernet’s vaunted flexibility. "You’re not constrained by a T-1 or a DS-3," said Califati. "They can go up to Gigs of bandwidth to draw down files in the event of an emergency." "A resounding cry" While Ethernet has its lingering doubters, the proponents appear to have the upper hand, especially where data centers are concerned. "We just did a recent survey of network managers," said Cindy Borovock, IDC research VP for datacenter networks.

The result? "A resounding cry to move to Metro Ethernet," Borovick said. "It looked like the respondees were going to triple their investment over the next several years."

In addition to Xand and its 30,000-square-foot Westchester Counter data center, Optimum Lightpath also counts among its customers Blue Hill Data Services and Cervalis.

Optimum Lightpath provides direct connectivity to Blue Hill’s 50,000-square-foot remote data center, which resides in a 1.2 million-square-foot facility in Pearl River, NY. With data centers in Wappingers Falls, NY, and Stamford, CT, Cervalis has been an Optimum Lightpath Metro Ethernet customer since Q1 2005.

– Jonathan Tombes Read more cable news on Communications Technology‘s Web site at

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