Layer 2 data networks offer valuable technical and business advantages; such as simplicity, scalability and efficiency. When secure encrypted data transmission is required, these benefits are increased.
The demand for Layer 2 networks (ethernet, fibre channel etc.) is growing as high-speed / high-volume data transmission increases and performance-intensive technologies such as Cloud Computing and Data Centre services grow.
Layer 2 networks provide the performance necessary for intensive computing tasks with lower latency and greater flexibility than Layer 3 networks. The business case for Layer 2 is strengthened further by transmission efficiency, bandwidth costs and economies of scale.
However, it is when sensitive data is encrypted that the real benefits become apparent. When encrypted, Layer 2 networks maintain their performance, whereas Layer 3 networks lose 50% to 70% of their bandwidth and speed performance.
Whilst both Layer 2 and Layer 3 data networks may be used in complex network architectures, Layer 1 (physical layer) data networks restrict network architectures (topologies) to simple point-to-point data links.
The business case for encrypting at Layer 2
Protecting high-speed data transmission without compromising network performance
Layer 2 data networks provide very high bandwidth and data transmission speed capabilities that Layer 3 networks just cannot match. They also enable the use of all network architecture topologies that Layer 1 cannot match. This is why major organisations and government agencies prefer Layer 2 networks for their mission-critical high data-volume wide area network (WAN) and Metro Area Network (MAN) operations.
Simply put, Layer 2 networks deliver reduced complexity; significantly lower data latency; reduced management overheads; greater flexibility; improved scalability and eliminate data traffic priority difficulties. When organisations implement mission critical technologies to optimise business efficiencies, including real-time data transmission, Layer 2 network characteristics enhance the performance of those technologies. Whatever the key technologies deployed:
- Cloud computing – software and infrastructure-as-a-service
- Data centres – remote storage, back-up and disaster recovery
- Big Data – processing and sharing information-rich data
- SCADA – critical infrastructure and industrial control systems
- CCTV and multi-media applications – video, voice and data streaming
- Microwave network integration – overcoming physical environment limitations
Making the most of Layer 2 – security by design
When it comes to cyber-security and the use of encryption to protect sensitive data from eavesdropping, theft and tampering, the business case for Layer 2 networks is even stronger.
Senetas high-assurance encryptors take full advantage of Layer 2 network efficiencies and enable the most robust, certified data encryption solutions – without compromising application or network performance.
- Full line-rate performance
- Near-zero latency and data overheads
- Scalability to meet changing network needs
- ‘Set and forget’ simplicity of deployment and management
- 100% encryptor interoperability
- Outstanding 99.999% uptime reliability
- Maximum data throughput, with no bandwidth wastage
- Zero impact on other network assets