What does it take to manage multiple local internet vendors globally?

Global networking: Do it yourself? Better don’t!

Building and running a secure and robust global network comes with many challenges. Especially when you need internet access in exotic places, like an oil ridge off the coast of Colombia, a production plant in Africa’s heart of darkness or somewhere in Mainland China. Are you really sure that it is a good thing to do it yourself?

Challenges

Business challenges

  • How to build a flexible and dynamic network that follows the evolving requirements of the business and that enables the adoption of new technologies, the roll-out of new initiatives and the pursuit of new opportunities.

Networking challenges

  • How to build and run a global network that enables the business and supports your new global SD-WAN and SASE overlay? Is your access optimized for your cloud applications?

The situation: Global networking is messy

Global networking is a carnival of mismatches. Mismatches between what you wish for and what reality gives you. 4 mismatches that challenge global networking when building it yourself.

Mismatch #1: no internet coverage

You want to leverage local internet for your enterprise network. Surprise: high-speed, broad band access is not available at many of the locations that your network must support. E.g. in large parts of Brazil, Eastern Europe or the US, internet access is subpar or non-existing.

Mismatch #2: ‘I don’t understand what you’re saying’

For business continuity reasons, you only want to deal with the highest-quality access providers. How do you find your way in far away markets that present you with languages you don’t speak and scripts you can’t read. The access provider that matches your local requirements the best may be non-English speaking.

Mismatch #3: currency issues

You want to keep your business as simple as can be, and therefore consolidate your costs and expenses in a few major currencies to keep your CFO happy. Dealing with many currencies, local or regional invoicing and tax regimes that your local networking partners bring about proves to be a real pain in the neck.

Mismatch #4: ‘I want that connection now, not sometimes in three months’

You need to move quickly to keep your customers happy and your competitors behind you. Your network must be able to follow your business needs. In many countries, carriers and incumbent access providers are still quite bureaucratic and slow to respond. Your pace is not theirs. What do you do?

Solution: avoid a mess

Enterprises have just 2 choices: creating the network themselves, with all challenges and mismatches that are associated with this adventure. Or outsource it to a carrier or an MSP with a global reach and a one-size-fits-all offering. And then experience that what you get, is not primarily what you actually need. You get what they want to sell.

Modern times require a demand driven approach. Therefore, don’t be supplier driven. Don’t be tented by the solution that benefits them most as your  needs and interests come in second.

Fortunately, there is a third, more clever and flexible way: benefit from an approach that takes the granular needs and requirements of your business as the starting point and have then built your network from there. Don’t get stuck between a rock and a hard place. GNX will help you to navigate the muddy waters of global networking.

 

Lessons learned from the Facebook outage? Tech can break, and it will.

During and after the blackout at Facebook last week a lot of social media, IT companies and people on LinkedIn gave their view on the matter. Between disdain and sincere compassion about the cause of these issues and the time required to fix these issues there was a lot to do about BGP (and the misrepresentation of the meaning of that networking protocol acronym). Experts rushed to explain the way the internet worked and how Facebook should have built and managed their network better, vendors started their marketing machine claiming that their BGP implementation is better and that your service would never suffer this fate if you were to buy from them. Facebook shared in an official statement that it was a human-error that triggered the multi-hour blackout, due to the heavily automated network infrastructure this mistake propagated rapidly throughout the Facebook global network. Similar problems happened around the world, for example recently to Lumen (a big global ISP), and there’s plenty of examples just like this.

It really all shows only one thing – technology can fail – and it will. Stuff will break, people will make mistakes and processes can have loopholes that nobody thought about. Even when you have automated all of your systems with the correct approval and audit-trails, things will slip through. Then because of automation a simple mistake can turn into a massive outage very quickly, which historically would only impact a single node or part of the network.

Knowing that, what can you do about it? As a person or an enterprise?

Our tip would be to do a thought exercise where for each critical application, system or connection in your IT network you envision it suddenly breaks and takes hours or days to fix. Start by considering how failure domains are isolated in your network (can a single server, rack, office, datacenter site or country/continent fail?). Furthermore make there are proper procedures in place for either out-of-band reachability (via 4G, separate connections, etc.) or on-site recovery (it’s probably cheaper to have a 4G router in your rack than have datacenter smart hands resolve your unreachable server in the middle of the night).
Most importantly try to not rely on a single partner, carrier, vendor or solution – and if there’s really no practical way of doing so (there always is, it’s a matter of costs) make sure you have an understanding on the impact on your business. Because that’s the trade-off.

On the connectivity side (which is our thing) there’s plenty of options to make yourself more immune to big outages – it helps that we’re neutral and that everything is managed By GNX People (BGP).

SASE explained beyond the hype: Business Benefits

Software Defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WAN) have been around for a number of years by now. The next generation of this technology is here. Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) also known as Zero Trust Edge is where SD-WAN benefits really come to life and enable your secure journey to the cloud. This is the first piece about this topic.

Modern applications demand a lot more from the network than in the past. It’s critical to have secure access to any application at any place. It should not matter if the application is locally hosted in a private datacenter, in a colocation facility, hosted in public cloud provider space (IaaS) or offered as a hosted application (SaaS). Secure access that’s what it is all about. The underlying (interregional) network that the SASE or SD-WAN solution builds its services on is of crucial importance for a good user experience. Creating and maintaining that underlay is GNX’ expertise.

Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) is a cloud-delivered service that combines network and security functions with WAN capabilities to support the dynamic, secure access needs of today’s hybrid organizations. Conceptually, SASE extends networking and security capabilities beyond where they’re typically available. This lets users, regardless of location, take advantage of firewall as a service (FWaaS), secure web gateway (SWG), zero-trust network access (ZTNA), and a medley of threat detection functions.

Why do we need SASE?

As users are positioned anywhere to do their work, the IT team has a much harder job in ensuring that the right levels of security are still applied to users while they are not sitting at office desks or are in company buildings. SASE ensures that a consistent security policy is enforced without having to backhaul traffic to chokepoints like VPN concentrators in data center locations or headquarters with limited bandwidth.

This also heavily improves latency as users get direct access to SaaS applications from a geographically closer location rather than that traffic must be tunnelled all the way to a corporate site for further distribution. While simultaneously keeping track of user thread activity by streaming analytics and threat intelligence back to a central orchestrator, just like you would be able to when traffic goes through your big firewall.

The key to a great user experience is that connectivity is fast and reliable, while at the same time it adheres to the security standards and policies we need to adhere to. The demand on the network keeps growing every year and enforcing the same security standards becomes harder. Here SASE plays a big part by offloading network traffic to a global backbone that enables the user to connect to a location geographically close to him or her without losing any functionality in connecting to resources they need.

Benefits

  • Reduced complexity
  • Lower latency
  • Consistent security policy
  • Streamlined connectivity

Underlay

For SASE to be successful, it’s absolutely key to have the best available connectivity in place that takes into account all the traffic patterns that are needed. If any of the directions traffic needs to flow to is not handled well, users will have a negative experience. The right underlay is the only way to provide SASE and SD-WAN while securing the absolute best user experience possible. Traditionally offices were connected through private (MPLS based) networks. SD-WAN technology enabled the use of the Internet as an underlay connection. Quality and reliability of an Internet connection is heavily impacted by how this is delivered. 

Underlay is the critical success factor 

As SASE enables you to distribute your users across the globe connecting from their endpoints or from offices around the world, there is a need for great connectivity between these locations. SD-WAN technology enables companies to use regular Internet connections for their WAN traffic by tunneling traffic securely over any broadband connection. However the importance of reliable connectivity is crucial, especially when using SASE. 

Having the best SASE solution deployed, but without proper connectivity to the location of the SASE PoP, the user experience will only degrade rather than improve. Private connectivity is still around for a reason and that is primarily based on reliability of the connections. When migrating to Internet connections, especially when using broadband, the user experience can be heavily impacted as the links are shared and typically have no SLA on them. 

So if you consider SASE, take your underlay into account!

GNX is here to assist. Our team of underlay experts is ready to help design your network to your needs. We will design your network using all available options and carefully manage your requirements using our experience and expertise of products of over 3500 carriers globally.

Contact us today: [email protected] / +31302273500

GNX strengthens its team with Berto van Egdom as a Director of Operations

Amsterdam, January 12th 2021 – Connectivity veteran Berto van Egdom joins GNX as a Director of Operations to further enhance its business processes and service delivery. Van Egdom has proven experience in this role, e.g. as project director at Custom Connect.

Van Egdom: “I am impressed by GNX Leadership’s vision and their ability to execute. Right from the start the team has delivered through LARA a groundbreaking connectivity platform and the Netherlands based NOC for creating and operating the best network infrastructure layer for global and complex SD-WAN and SASE initiatives. It’s an honour to have the opportunity to contribute to GNX’s accelerating growth.” GNX’ next-generation approach to connectivity brings together over 3,000 network providers around the world on the LARA platform. LARA makes it easier to find and compare connections, makes costs transparent and is a virtual extension of the customers’ network team, which greatly increases their efficiency.

Berto van Egdom

“We are very excited that Berto has joined GNX. He is of great value for the team and for the further expansion of GNX as he takes responsibility for GNX’s operations. Berto’s skills and experience will help to accelerate the ongoing development of LARA, our global connectivity platform, and our support and provisioning our customers rely on,” said Rutger Bevaart, CEO and co-founder of GNX. Bevaart and Van Egdom already worked closely together for many years at Custom Connect. “The hiring of Berto enables GNX to continue its global expansion and further reduce inefficiencies. Eventually this will deliver massive benefits for our customers and their end-users of connectivity. in terms of costs, flexibility and reliability.”

 

Rutger Bevaart 

 

About GNX

GNX is a carrier neutral, next-generation global connectivity service company that is cutting out the carriers, vendors and pushy salespeople who are more interested in selling their solutions than managing yours.

Supporting businesses that need a more agile, flexible and global approach to connectivity, GNX provides a unique, carrier-neutral approach that enables clients to source solutions that best fit their requirements. With clear and transparent pricing for underlay connectivity services like ethernet, dark-fiber, DIA internet access or 4G / 5G, GNX customers can build better global WANs.

Press 

Rutger Bevaart (CEO GNX) – +31 65 363-3989 – [email protected]

GNX BV 

Raadhuisstraat 20

1016 DE Amsterdam

+31 30 227 3500

[email protected]

https://gnx.net

GNX Secures Funding From New Investors to Execute Ambitious 2021 Growth Strategy

Amsterdam, The Netherlands, November 11th, 2020  — The carrier neutral, next-generation global connectivity company GNX is excited to announce support and funding from tech-investors Sjoerd Rietberg, the former co-CEO of Flow Traders, and Jan Willem Meijer, the co-founder of Custom Connect, which was acquired by GTT Communications in 2017.

The investors will support GNX as it continues to grow its carrier-neutral connectivity business and extend its client reach across the globe. The funding will also further accelerate the development of LARA, GNX’s proprietary software platform which enables clients to source the best connectivity and consolidate their network services into one workflow, one invoice and one contract with GNX.

“We started GNX because of this huge demand in the market for a carrier-neutral partner for global connectivity,” co-founder Rutger Bevaart explained. “Two years later, with clients all over the world and growing, we’re still proving that to be true. Our next-generation approach to connectivity brings together over 3,000 local carriers across the globe, simplifying the sourcing of connectivity, eliminating unnecessary costs and improving operations by being a virtual extension of our customers’ network team.”

“We’re delivering services that make connectivity more agile and flexible while providing customers with a truly global approach to sourcing connectivity,” co-founder Rick Mur added. “We’re thrilled to have Sjoerd and Jan Willem on board to help us continue to grow this company and extend our next-gen services even further.”

Sjoerd Rietberg says he and Jan Willem strongly believe that the connectivity market needs to mature in the coming years, and that GNX is the company to help usher in this new era. “GNX delivers a transparent service in a market that has long been characterized by ambiguity. From the start, Jan Willem and I felt GNX’s approach was the future. It also felt like a natural cooperation, especially because it’s in the founder’s DNA to deliver high-quality, and long-term support at a competitive price.”

About GNX

GNX is a carrier neutral, next-generation global connectivity service company that is cutting out the carriers, vendors and pushy salespeople who are more interested in selling their solutions than managing yours.

Supporting businesses that need a more agile, flexible and global approach to connectivity, GNX provides a unique, carrier-neutral approach that enables clients to source solutions that best fit their requirements. With clear and transparent pricing for underlay connectivity services like ethernet, dark-fiber, DIA internet access or 4G/5G, GNX customers can build better global WANs.

 

Learn more about us at https://gnx.net

 

Contact

GNX B.V.

Raadhuisstraat 20

1016 DE Amsterdam

+31 30 227 3500

[email protected]
https://gnx.net

Is Your Global Hybrid Network Being Restricted?

Today, most networks are hybrid networks. And for many companies, these hybrid networks are global networks. So, it’s no surprise that in recent years SD-WAN technology has become an important and popular choice for companies who need to better control of these global, hybrid networks. In fact, SD-WAN has allowed companies to be more agile than ever before, running better and more efficient networks for their employees and customers.

Yet, something is still restricting networking.

While SD-WAN companies are giving you more control than ever, that freedom comes at a price. When you opt for SD-WAN, you typically have two choices. The first option: going back to the telcos to build your underlay. Yes, the guys you just tried to get away from. Not only does this force you into expensive contracts, but constraining networks that aren’t conducive to hybridity or global connectivity. 

The second option isn’t much better: forcing you to manage the underlying connectivity totally on your own — true end-to-end responsibility. While at first the control may be appealing, management and billing can become a nightmare, and IT teams quickly realize just how alone they really are. 

GNX — Your Next-Gen Connectivity Supplier

At GNX, we have always operated under the notion that your SD-WAN is only as good as your underlay. That is exactly why we built GNX — to allow companies to source the global, hybrid connectivity they need to run their most optimal networks. Based on your SLA, availability, price and more, you can choose dedicated private connectivity, ethernet, MPLS, xDSL, fiber, DIA, wireless or 4G/5G all over the globe.

Now, you no longer have to choose between the inflexible telcos and the daunting task of total end-to-end responsibility. At GNX, you are free to build the best network for your business and manage it with total ease. With everything bundled into one contract and one invoice, global hybrid networking has never been easier.

  1. Transparent pricing
  2. Expert support and advice
  3. One contract, one invoice

Reaching New Heights
We used to only source connectivity for our clients who chose our leading SD-WAN solutions. But after much success, we’re now offering our global, carrier neutral and hybrid networking to any company who is tired of being restricted and wants to build a hybrid, carrier neutral, global network. 

Partner With GNX Three Ways
Our Next-Gen Service Model

  1. For Global, Hybrid Connectivity
    Tired of the telcos? Need more flexibility and control? Want more, and better, options? Partner with GNX to build your global, hybrid network. Just tell our team of experts what you need and we will source the best solutions based on your SLA, price, availability and more — also providing key advice along the way.

    Once everything is provisioned, we’ll put it all into one contract with one invoice to keep everything simple. That means no longer juggling multiple DIA contracts and bills every month — streamlining your workflow.
  2. To Make Your Current SD-WAN Solution Better
    Maybe you already have an SD-WAN solution in place that is working great, but you realize your underlay just isn’t where you need it to be. By partnering with GNX, you can finally build a hybrid, global network that can support your employees and customers to the fullest capacity.

    GNX has also proven to be a great partner for companies who already have an SD-WAN solution in place but need to launch a new site in a challenging country, like China, where their SD-WAN just wouldn’t reach. At GNX, our team can source and provision the private circuit you need into China so that you can run your network the way you need to.
  3. To Launch an Effective SD-WAN Solution
    If you and your team have been talking about an SD-WAN solution but haven’t been able to make the move because of the problems listed above, then you’ve come to the right place. With GNX, you can build the exact network you need. Then, our team of experts will pair you with one of our SD-WAN partners to ensure you have the most control possible. 

GNX has also been a great option for companies who weren’t big enough to source the connectivity they needed from the telcos, leaving them with the daunting task of juggling multiple contracts and an SD-WAN solution. By partnering with GNX, we will build your business the most optimal network, partner you with the right SD-WAN and then bundle it all together in one contract and invoice. Simple as that.

Ready to take on the world?
Get in touch today to build your best network with GNX. 

 

GNX Introduction Video

GNX is all about Next Generation Global Connectivity. Take a look at our introduction video where our founders discuss what GNX is all about!