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GNX Glossary: the A-to-Z of Business Connectivity

If you’ve ever confused 5G with 5 GHz, you’ve landed on the right page (and you’re certainly not alone).

That’s why we at GNX have put together this summary of the most common terms, acronyms, and network lingo with to-the-point explanations (sometimes with a bit of humor) to help you navigate the connectivity space like a pro. 

Partnering with GNX: Getting the most out of your SD-WAN services with GNX’s global underlay

Network managers are rapidly exiting rigid legacy networks for more flexible internet connectivity options. The full benefit of next-generation networks is unlocked with the selection of the best fit-for-purpose internet circuits. This is why multiple Managed Service Providers and Systems Integrators partner with GNX to optimize their customers’ underlays at a global scale, ensuring a seamless transition to SD-WAN and SASE.

Underthinking the underlay

The goal is clear: a flexible and secure network that is easy to manage, change, and scale to adapt to changing business requirements. To that, an SD-WAN & SASE overlay solution is the right answer and where MSPs shine. 

The challenge (often underestimated) arrives when it’s time to look at and select the right underlay – especially if it’s on a global scale. Internet services can differ across countries and regions. Country-specific regulations, quality of the infrastructure, or even having to deal with local languages require local knowledge to source, deploy, and manage the right underlay solution.  

Coming to GNX, SD-WAN partner vendors search for a player who can provide that expertise with centralized sourcing of local and telco-independent, high-quality internet services, eliminating the complexity of having to source these themselves. Further, this enables them to augment their SD-WAN/SASE portfolio and offer clients a complete end-to-end network solution. 

GNX solution for MSPs and System Integrators

GNX streamlines the entire process of sourcing, deploying, and managing internet and private connectivity services for our partners. We remove the complex barriers that result from dealing with multiple carriers in multiple languages, with multiple invoices and contracts.

But there’s more. By working with GNX, you’ll gain direct access to GNX’s carrier-neutral connectivity platform–your new one-stop-shop and the most efficient way to source, order, deploy, and manage your customers’ underlay services.

Features include:

  • Search, find, compare, and quote  prices from competing local and global vendors
  • Order services directly for all your customers’ sites
  • Lifecycle Management: MACD, renewals, service review, end-of-life management
  • 24×7 support, monitoring, and incident management
  • Invoice Management  (with one local or multiple currencies, depending on your needs).
  • API integrations with your own platforms

With our leading technology and an optimized underlay from GNX, we’re able to offer our enterprise clients one of the best SASE solutions on the market.

CEO European Managed Service Provider

Benefits of partnering with GNX

For MSPs and System Integrators

  • Expand your portfolio to deliver an end-to-end network solution
  • Access to our carrier-neutral platform with direct pricing from competing local ISPs, responding faster to customer request
  • Accelerate revenue realization with rapid circuit installation
  • Access to our 24/7 NOC for real-time monitoring and support.
  • Quicker fault resolution with our pro-active support
  • A trusted partner of underlay experts 

For your end-customer

  • A seamless experience along their SD-WAN transformation journey
  • Fast-response times for new site requests
  • Access to competitive pricing
  • Coordinated deployments for a more efficient experience
  • 24/7 support 
  • SLA-backed internet services for their sites worldwide

White Paper: The key to seamless Internet access in China

Our white paper “The key to seamless Internet Access in China” offers actionable strategies and practical solutions for navigating China’s Internet ecosystem with confidence, whether you are connecting branches, public, or private clouds. With invaluable insights from our GNX experts, we hope this paper helps you unlock new opportunities and gain a competitive advantage in one of the world’s most dynamic markets.

Key Takeaways

  • The barriers and local Chinese regulations disrupting the flow of information
  • Understanding how the internet works as a way of exploring available solutions
  • Strategies to overcome connectivity challenges with China
  • How can GNX help by looking at your specific use case

Hybrid WAN: why a mix of connectivity isn’t a mixed-up idea

Purchasing pros will all agree: checking contract paperwork is about as much fun as a root canal. But it’s got to be done, because just one subpar service in your connectivity jigsaw can weaken your whole business. Dealing with these issues means the sum total of your connected infrastructure is a mix: a telco circuit for what’s mission-critical, business internet for your day-to-day branches, Ethernet or Wavelength for point-to-point. In other words, you’re doing hybrid WAN.

And for many companies today, that means MPLS and ISPs front and center. But getting the most from each option takes some detail. Your MPLS at Corporate may carry a gigabit bandwidth guarantee, but remote workers have to access those apps too, and local ISPs carry a range of QoS variations.  

What makes it complex is that all these services come from different suppliers, each offering different contracts and conditions. Focused on different customers, with different strategies for serving them. A consumer-focused ISP wants cheap, cheap, cheap; a small business looks for something more solid, and at enterprise scale, the needs are legal redress: someone to make you whole when things go wrong. Obviously there’s no such thing as a “standard contract” when those services are supplied by such a diversity of players. And not only do contracts differ in what they guarantee and what services they offer; the needs of your locations are a mixed bag, too, with a distribution center’s bandwidth profile very different to a backend data center’s.

You saw in a previous article how it’s a good idea to match your connectivity options to your special situation – it’s never one-size-fits-all. But you also want the best business outcome from it: productive and efficient. So where’s the sweet spot – the best mix of balancing contractual complexities with best-of-breed products and services? In this article, we explore why older but robust technologies like MPLS still have a role alongside smaller ISPs and newer private connectivity options in most larger businesses. Let’s start by looking at the many good things a hybrid approach can deliver.

Getting a handle on hybrid

First, let’s recognize that (paperwork aside!) complexity in enterprise connectivity isn’t necessarily negative: it lets you match each location’s needs to its provision; enjoy a choice of solutions for each problem; customize your connectivity mix in a way that gives you top value. And there’s more:

1. Reliable service: the hybrid opportunity for redundancy

Reliability is the top concern for enterprise IT managers. They want five-nines uptime and (usually) a backup choice when that last decimal point gets breached – as happens to all networks at some point.

That means alternative connectivity, instantaneous failover so business isn’t interrupted, and additional capacity to resolve bottlenecks at busy times. Oftentimes, they want that option to be from a different supplier, so problems from one source don’t affect the redundancy option. A hybrid strategy allows this. MPLS, of course, has long been top-tier when it comes to bandwidth you can count on, but Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) can provide a more modern option with great capacity and guarantees.

2.    An efficient cost structure: paying only for what you need

Connectivity is a business cost like any other, and IT managers are cost-conscious: they are willing to pay for what matches their needs, but no more.

A hybrid approach lets you mix and match services to the level each use case demands.

Perhaps you need a high-capacity dedicated line between data centers, but road warriors checking into your SD-WAN can tolerate the odd bit of latency from their hotel rooms – and the second option costs a lot less. A hybrid WAN is how you optimize the cost case for each. If you haven’t looked at your MPLS portfolio for a while, it’s worth reviewing where older circuits could be switched to DIA or a private Ethernet, offering similar bandwidth with more flexibility.

3. Improved business performance: applying cost/benefit thinking

Bandwidth costs money – and there are regions of the world where the amounts are startling, especially in parts of the world (like the Middle East, Africa, and Asia) where connectivity is often a regulated service. A hybrid WAN approach lets you take advantage of this, by directing traffic to the option that offers the best cost case.

Note this isn’t the same as providing different connectivity types to different user groups. Rather, it’s about making choices about how chunks of data are carried between their destinations. That mission-critical financial data that’s acted on in real-time by your trading team? Yes, that always needs routing down your fast point-to-point line. But backoffice staff at the same location swapping Excels by email? Cut the costs by using a more economic option, like your everyday broadband ISP.

4.    Scaling up: how hybrid grows with fewer pains

Here’s the thing about “monolithic” IT solutions from a single supplier: they often suffer growing pains, proving pricey when you need to add in a new building or reconfigure your cloud services. (MPLS, for example, can be somewhat inflexible when your needs change – and even more so if those changes are dramatic, like shuttering a major facility.)

Treating local ISPs and other players as connectivity options soothes those growing pains. In many markets, the national telco’s MPLS was once the only game in town; a hybrid approach lets you get your bandwidth from whoever’s in the market – that national telco, a local ISP, even a satellite operator. With hybrid, it’s all about the connectivity – not who sells it to you.

5.    Keeping it secure: deciding what matters most

Security is another plus on the consideration list. Yes, all business data needs to be safe from the black hats – but, let’s be honest, some data is more important than others.

For email and cloud apps, normal SD-WAN security may be all your users need. But intellectual property, engineering designs, the Crown Jewels of your business? You may want to restrict them to a point-to-point dedicated line, keep them in a digital vault, even air-gap them from the broader network. By thinking hybrid, you can match risk to provision, meaning what you spend on security is in proportion to actual risk.

Addressing the elephant: Dealing with the complexity

Of course, the benefits above don’t solve the elephant in the server room: that contract complexity.

Mixing and matching a hundred connectivity providers may provide the perfect cost/benefit case for your organization. It may also reduce your finance and legal teams to a bunch of anguished moaners cradling their heads in their hands.

So here’s a thought.

What if there was a single provider whose sole business was all about managing that mess of contracts for you – letting you survey each service for suitability, comparison-shop alternatives as easily as you peruse car insurance or air travel, and then take up the options you want – under a single contract that collects together all the services under it, giving you all the benefits of hybrid without the administrative complexity? What if we told you those purchasing comparisons, placing and order, and then managing that single contract and invoice could be all done online?

That’s what we do at GNX. And it goes one step further: instead of making manual choices about service providers one-by-one, we can even recommend a set that matches your needs. With our technology-agnostic and carrier-neutral approach, we can design the right mix of internet and private connectivity that best fits your business. Which makes hybrid a no-reason-not-to choice.

Wrapping up: When your business is diverse, your connectivity should be hybrid

With this single-contract approach, the “customizability” that gives hybrid its cost/benefit potential remains in play. And losing much of the complexity of contracting with different providers. It’s the missing link in enterprise connectivity – and over 200 customers worldwide say we’re good at providing it.

If that sounds like it’d solve problems for you too, let’s talk! 

Enterprise benefits of Dedicated Internet Access (DIA)

DIA, or Dedicated Internet Access, is a valuable asset in your connectivity strategy as it gives you an exclusively reserved lane on the information superhighway. This ensures your data moves quickly and securely, free from the congestion often experienced on shared internet access, which translates into a consistent, reliable performance—a critical factor for enterprises reliant on continuous online operations. 

Want to know if DIA is right for you and how it allows for a more streamlined network? Read on as we dive into the benefits that DIA offers global enterprises on their quest towards next-generation connectivity.

The reliability of DIA

Imagine uninterrupted, high-performance internet—no hiccups, no downtime. Reliability is the fuel that keeps your business engine running at top speed. And DIA offers just this.

Built on dedicated infrastructure and backed by comprehensive, built-in Service Level Agreements (SLAs), DIA providers can guarantee uptime, define performance levels, and establish response time benchmarks. It’s the commitment to excellence that sets DIA apart from consumer-grade shared internet services such as broadband, DSL and FTTx, providing enterprises with the assurance of a dependable and responsive connectivity partner.

Scale up whenever you need

Need more bandwidth without compromising on performance? Consider it done. 

DIA is an uncontended solution that adapts seamlessly to increasing bandwidth demands, seasonal peaks, and changes in data usage. This scalability makes DIA an investment for the future, ensuring that your connectivity infrastructure evolves in tandem with your business.

Optimizing efficiency

DIA is the key to optimizing efficiency. It doesn’t just provide swift and reliable access to cloud-based tools; it transforms your operations with seamless online collaboration. 

The power lies not just in connectivity but in the effortless flow of data and ruthless quality monitoring, empowering businesses to go beyond geographical limits and move towards a future where collaboration knows no bounds, this is especially critical for international operations or hybrid workforces relying on Zoom or Teams calls.

Guaranteed high speeds

The speed of data transfer is key for business productivity. DIA stands out as the leader in speed, offering much faster throughput than other access technologies—a characteristic accentuated by symmetrical non-overbooked bandwidth.

Unlike shared connections—where advertised download speeds typically outpace uploads —DIA ensures both directions move at the same speed. Which is critical for hosted business applications, like video conferencing, SAAS and cloud-native applications or other interactive applications. Moreover, DIA distinguishes itself from shared alternatives by providing guaranteed speeds (which are also backed by SLAs)—eliminating the uncertainty associated with fluctuating rates. 

All this means that what you pay for is precisely what you get. A commitment to stable, high-speed networks that propel your business into the fast lane of digital efficiency.

Protecting your digital assets

In an era where the digital landscape is both vast and vulnerable, safeguarding your business’s most valuable asset—data—is key. 

Being a dedicated connection, DIA ensures a more reliable data transmission when compared to broadband access, limiting the exposure to external agents or potential threats. Further, DIA is always provided with service guarantees, proactive service resolution, and unrestricted ways to run and operate VPN options, for extra enterprise security — and peace of mind.

Lead-time and support guarantees

Surprises are nice – unless it’s your internet provider telling you they can’t deliver your connectivity two days before opening day. 

Luckily, you don’t need to worry about this when buying Dedicated Internet Access for your business. Unlike consumer broadband or shared connections, DIA comes with lead-time guarantees, ensuring networks will be in place and up and running according to plan. Not only that, support and response-time guarantees are also part of your contract. All this means that what you pay for is precisely what you get – reliability, high speeds, security, and the right level of service.

Is DIA right for your business?

If DIA is as good as it sounds, and it is, what’s left to think about? As a premium service, Dedicated Internet Access does require a bigger IT investment than regular broadband — an investment that pays itself if connectivity is critical to your business.

Scalability is surely appealing for fast-growing businesses seeking heightened productivity and streamlined workflows. For enterprises heavily reliant on cloud, SAAS and other interactive applications, especially if these are bandwidth-intensive applications, DIA offers a gateway to enhanced efficiency and collaboration. Moreover, if security and always-on connectivity are non-negotiable in your business landscape, DIA stands out as a strategic choice. 

Other typical cases that demand Dedicated Internet Access include: 

  • For enabling collaboration between hybrid workforce, DIA offers the performance that video conferencing tools and high-bandwidth applications demand
  • To support your customer service strategy, delivering fast connectivity with limited downtime for exceptional user experience
  • For transferring sensitive data, such as personal customer information, legal data, or health-related data
  • For time-critical applications, especially when dealing with real-time data transfers: financial transactions, e-commerce, streaming

GNX, a long-term connectivity partner

Reliability, stellar customer service, and scalability – the trinity of an agile, future-proof network and foundation for digital success. 

Whether you are looking for DIA across all your sites, or a combination of different access technologies, at GNX, we can provide you with expert advice and managed connectivity solutions to help you navigate the complex world of global connectivity, from service design through the entire lifecycle.

And that’s not all. With our platform, you’ll gain direct access to our network of thousands of ISPs to help you source, compare, and deploy different options yourself. Just like booking an airline ticket or a hotel room online, we’ll shows you all the options available – for technology, speeds, price, and more – with full transparency right at your fingertips. It’s like having your own personal network expert! Only this one is powered by data, not coffee.

Our fanatical team of connectivity experts is available 24/7 to make sure you get your solution exactly right. Get in touch to learn more.

GNX. Straightforward Connectivity.

Business Broadband, DIA, or mobile?

Five considerations for choosing your access technology

The race for a more agile WAN infrastructure is on. Business applications continue their move to the cloud, and more companies are turning to SD-WAN to manage their connectivity and optimize cloud and SAAS partner access. And while some global enterprises with strict SLA requirements opt for a hybrid WAN approach – combining their traditional MPLS with internet transport for greater flexibility when connecting their branches to the cloud –, a good bunch is choosing to fully rely on an internet-based WAN. 

But even within the internet world, there are choices to be made.

Of course, we all wish for a magic bullet that combines 100% uptime, maximum speeds, and the lowest cost; but that’s not how things work. However, knowing what you need will prevent you from spending more money, time, and resources than necessary. So, where to start? In this blog, we’ve collected five key considerations to help you in the right direction.

A guide to understanding your connectivity needs

Efficient and reliable connectivity is the backbone of all modern operations, impacting everything from communication to data transfer and application performance. So, to thrive in this digital age, you must know your (global) connectivity needs, just as captains need to understand their navigation charts before setting sail. 

In this guide, we’ll take you through some of the key steps to get it right.

Assessing current operations

The first step in understanding your connectivity needs is a thorough evaluation of your current network operations. This includes evaluating your existing contracts, rates, service providers, and their performance up to now. By gaining a clear picture of your existing setup, you can identify strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement. Know where resources are spending most of their time, and opportunities to gain efficiencies.

It’s important to take into account that visibility into your network’s operations is an often overlooked but critical aspect of connectivity management. Without it, optimizing your connectivity can feel like navigating a dark maze blindfolded. So, it’s important to include this in your assessment.

Consider your business objectives

When done right, connectivity can be an enabler for meeting your business goals – so taking them into account when defining your connectivity needs is key. 

Whether it’s expanding to new markets, supporting remote workforces, or launching new applications, knowing what you aim to achieve is fundamental to determining your (global) connectivity requirements. Think of your business objectives as the compass that will point your network strategy in the right direction.

Identifying the user requirements

With clear objectives in mind, it’s time to look at your people. One size does not fit all, especially across medium and large organizations, with branches spread across countries, and the different devices required to fulfill different roles. 

That’s why you will want to conduct interviews and surveys among your employees to gather insights into the applications and services they rely on. Their expectations regarding network speed, reliability, and security will function as a roadmap toward your connectivity requirements.

Considering your security and compliance needs

Of course, you want your data to be safe by securing your network. Just as you wouldn’t leave your home unlocked, the door to your network should be safely shut. But there’s a lot of information out there, so it can be challenging to figure out where to begin. 

That’s why you’ll first want to assess if your industry has specific security requirements and compliance regulations to adhere to. This will ensure that your network follows local regulations and is equipped to handle encryption, firewall protection, and data privacy in accordance with these standards. If your industry has no specific requirements or regulations, find the industry that’s most like yours and use that as a starting point.

Network visibility, control, and fine-tuning

Navigating the DIY route for network aggregation—sourcing, managing, and setting up connections—can be a real challenge. Even after getting everything set up, keeping track of what’s happening across your network, its performance, ISP contracts, and separate invoices will soon become a puzzle.

This is why, especially in a global setup, having a clear view and full control over your network is super important. So, it’s key to invest enough time and resources into taking this control. That will make it way easier to find, compare, set up, manage, and support your network connections (and get some peace of mind).

Future-proofing your connectivity

Future-proofing your (global) connectivity is like designing a building with adaptable architecture. Just like modular construction ensures buildings can grow and evolve without tearing down walls, modern networks must be able to evolve and scale without facing technological hurdles. 

For instance, consider a network setup that can easily accommodate a sudden peak in users or integrate cutting-edge technologies without causing disruptions. This foresight involves thinking about scalability, ensuring your network can expand smoothly as your business grows, and flexibility to adapt to emerging technologies.

Seeking expert guidance

Companies with large IT teams may already have the resources and people required to go through some of these steps. However, in some cases, it can still be beneficial to get the expertise of a third party or to free resources to focus on more strategic issues. This will help reduce lead time, training and certification costs, and risk.

Want to take full control and make sure your connectivity is next-generation ready and a perfect fit for your company? GNX offers comprehensive, tailor-made solutions and expert guidance to help businesses navigate the complexities of global connectivity. 

And that’s not all. Together with our super smart platform, Lara, we provide you with easy access to global networks. With Lara, you get a one-stop shop that lets you compare different connectivity options from thousands of providers. Much like browsing different travel deals when planning a trip, Lara shows you all the options available – for technology, speeds, price, and more – helping you pick the best one that suits your needs.

But it isn’t just about finding connections. It’s about simplifying the entire process. Lara gives you a clear view of your entire network setup, with management and support functions right at your fingertips. It’s like having your own personal network expert, making the complex world of connectivity like it should be: straightforward and simple.

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

Building and running a secure and robust global network comes with its own challenges, especially when you need internet access in exotic places, like an oil rig off the coast of Colombia, a production plant in the heart of Africa, or somewhere in Mainland China. Not only that. These challenges need to be put in perspective, making sure you get what your business needs: 

Future-ready

  • Your network is a key enabler for the growth and transformation of your business. This is why it’s crucial to build a flexible and dynamic network that follows the evolving requirements of the business and enables the adoption of new technologies, as well as the roll-out of new initiatives, scalability, and the pursuit of new opportunities.

Technology-ready

  • Companies adopt new technologies constantly to achieve operational efficiencies, reduce costs, or drive agility. Is your global network ready to support your new global SD-WAN and SASE overlay? Is your access optimized for your cloud applications? 

With that in mind, in the process of sourcing and managing your global internet access, you will come across the reality of doing it yourself.