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Diversity in connectivity – what is it, why it matters, and how to achieve it?

This is why many businesses secure themselves with a secondary or backup link for their business connectivity, so operations can continue when the first line fails. But that’s not always enough, as it may be the case that your secondary line is identical to the primary in terms of path, provider, or technology. Two lines sharing the same infrastructure will equally fail in case of physical damage –this is where diversity comes in.

What is diversity?

Both a secondary and a diverse connection aim to enhance reliability and uptime. The difference is that diversity offers more than just the backup, but a completely different pathway, technology, or method from the primary connection.

Imagine a company has its primary internet connection provided through a fiber-optic cable that enters their building from street A. Under normal circumstances, this connection is fast and reliable. However, to protect some business-critical applications from suffering downtime, the company sets up a diverse connection with an LTE wireless link entering the building from street B. This will ensure that if any issue affects the physical cables, the wireless connection will remain active, providing internet access to the company. This setup reduces the risk of complete service interruption, as the two connections are unlikely to fail simultaneously due to their differing natures and entry points.  

Types of diversity

Choosing a different technology (e.g., wired as primary and wireless as a secondary line) is only one type of diversity. As you may have guessed, there are more. Here, we explain the most common ones:

  • Service Provider (ISP) diversity.- Diversity is achieved using different ISPs, but may use the same last-mile provider and local physical infrastructure. Although the access path to the site could be the same, the local ISP provider, IP addresses, and internet gateways are diverse.
  • Technology diversity.- Two services are delivered using a different path based on different access technologies (like the example above). Diversity is achieved across last-mile technology, local providers, IP addresses, and internet gateway.
  • Last-mile diversity.- Two services are delivered using different last-mile providers. The physical path or conduit onto the site might be (but isn’t always) the same. This setup can be contracted using the same local ISP with the same upstream internet gateway to allow for seamless failover between the two paths
  • Full diversity.- Two services for a site are delivered using diverse last-mile providers and ISP providers with separate IP addresses and internet gateways. The physical path or conduit onto the site and the local metro can be the same, but full path diversity (different entrance points into the site) can also be achieved to offer the highest level of diversity.

Sounds easy, I’ll take care of it

While, in theory, it may sound as easy as just hiring two different providers or selecting two different access technologies, achieving a truly diverse connection isn’t always as straightforward. A few common challenges:

  • Handling multiple ISPs to achieve ISP diversity requires additional time for sourcing, onboarding, and managing your ISPs. This complexity grows with the size of your company, the number of sites, or the geographical scope.
  • Different technologies may imply, in addition to dealing with different providers, having to consider different SLAs or compromising on less bandwidth for the secondary line. Further, integrating different technologies into a seamless network can be technically challenging, resulting in longer lead times or higher costs.
  • In some regions, local regulations may prevent the construction of new infrastructure or the use of certain technologies, limiting your options.
  • The lack of market insight adds to the complexity, demanding extra procurement time when evaluating local ISPs to ensure they can provide the levels of diversity you need. Different ISPs may share the same infrastructure or converge at a point susceptible to a common failure. Not knowing this can impact your choice.
  • Site SLAs add the capability to have a single availability SLA on a per-site level instead of on a per-service level, guaranteeing your business’s availability. However, this is difficult to achieve when contracting from two different providers.

But wait. When there are challenges, we see opportunity. Luckily, we know a way or two to help you achieve diversity for your global sites – without the headache.

Diversity with just a few clicks

Imagine designing and selecting your global network by ticking a few boxes, including your diversity requirements. Well, now you can.

At GNX, we simplify the process of sourcing and managing global connectivity—and everything in between. With our carrier-neutral and automated platform, GNX+, you’ll gain access to our database of 1,500+ ISPs worldwide, with updated information on pricing, SLAs, lead time, and more, to make better, more informed decisions.

Looking for full path diversity at your most critical sites? Simply select your preferences, and we’ll take care of the rest. Not sure where to start? No worries. Behind our platform, there’s a team of global internet experts that have your back: from solution design all the way to service rollout, management, and support (and all under one contract, invoice, and point of contact).

Reach out, and we’ll take it from there.

Carriers, MSPs, or ISPs – the connectivity vendor landscape

They come in all shapes and sizes

In the dynamic world of global enterprise connectivity, the process of sourcing the right solution, from the right vendor, can be a daunting task. In the past, large enterprises with a global presence would probably have leaned towards equally large carriers, but new players in the market and a pressing economy have mixed up things a bit. Today, there’s a broader variety of options. Ranging from global, regional, and local carriers to Managed Service Providers (MSPs), ISPs, and aggregators – each has its own strengths and limitations depending on the customer and use case.

Whether you aim to increase agility, reduce costs, or manage complexity, understanding the vendor landscape is crucial for navigating your connectivity options effectively. So, let’s begin:

Global Carriers

Global carriers, like AT&T or BT, have built a name for themselves in the networking and technology space – for a reason. In contrast with other vendors, they tend to own significant chunks of the telco infrastructure and offer a broad portfolio of connectivity solutions. Because of their size and reputation, carriers may seem the obvious choice in your global WAN strategy. But is it?

Here’s a tip: take into account the cultural fit.  Often, large global companies will not fully focus on medium-sized organizations. Or large ones with smaller projects. Further, carriers will want to sell mostly connections that can be delivered on their network (on-net access), resulting in sub-optimal connectivity in areas where the carrier is not strong. Other things to consider when dealing with a global carrier are a high cost and a low-touch support team.

Look out for: cultural fit, on-net and off-net coverage vs your site locations.

Managed services providers (MSPs)

It’s very likely that you are either implementing or renewing your SD-WAN or SASE solution with a Managed Service Provider (MSP).

MSPs also come in all shapes and sizes. You might be dealing with global players, owning the SD-WAN technology, or local resellers of partner solutions. When it comes to the underlay, some of these vendors will offer connectivity as part of their solution, and they will likely be neutral as they do not own any network infrastructure. However, (underlay) connectivity is not their strength, especially on a global scale where they have no presence or local knowledge.

Look out for: geographical coverage that matches your underlay needs, avoid vendor/technology lock-in for both the overlay and the underlay.

Local ISPs

Working with local connectivity vendors like ISPs can offer enterprises a more agile experience. They are experts in their region/country and can help you navigate permissions, regulations, and local bureaucracy, which comes in handy when you have no direct presence or limited knowledge of the region.

The downside is that you will need to go through the same process of getting to know their offering, assessing their quality, and onboarding them into your financial systems. Depending on your geographic spread, this could mean setting up relationships with dozens (if not more) of local ISPs, each with a different number to call for support and separate billing entities to deal with. Also, consider the cultural differences (and languages) that you’ll need to work with.

Look out for: Make sure you have enough resources dedicated to sourcing, evaluating, and managing different ISPs. It may be very time-consuming when several countries are involved. Depending on your diversity requirements, you may want to use two ISPs per site, but this doesn’t always mean full diversity (as sometimes they could be sharing the same infrastructure).

ISP aggregators

Connectivity aggregators provide you with a neutral model where they can provide a multitude of solutions for connectivity challenges. Depending on the geographic locations of your sites, the choice can be limited as some aggregators have a focus area where they are strong. If your scope is global, consider a true global aggregator for optimal results.

Another advantage of using ISP aggregators is the flexibility they offer when selecting the right connectivity vendor. Further, they will help you simplify global connectivity by managing the deployment of your services, standardizing the support process (one support contact), and centralized invoicing (one invoice). That’s a point to note: check whether your aggregator really takes care of your full service or is just functioning as a marketplace. In the latter case, they will help you find the right local ISPs for your sites, but you will still have to deal with all aspects surrounding provisioning and support and will not have centralized invoicing.

Look out for: a transparent and neutral model that puts your requirements first. Also, make sure the provider has global knowledge to cater to all your sites’ needs and will support you throughout the full lifecycle of your connectivity.

GNX – an Aggregator with a Plus

Correct. We are an aggregator of internet and private connectivity, helping enterprises and MSPs source, deploy, and manage their global connectivity in 190+ countries, all under one single contract, invoice, and support contact.

But there’s more. All GNX customers have access to the expertise we’ve built over the years, the local knowledge, and market insights they need to continue their connectivity journey and make more informed decisions. Our GNX+ platform offers information on pricing, availability, lead-time, SLAs, and more, from competing local vendors. Our goal? To enable your teams to reduce procurement time and operational costs. Not only that, with GNX+, customers can manage the lifecycle of their networks, track performance, and access detailed service information, invoices, and running contracts. Pretty neat, right?

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

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! 

The real point of Point-to-Point: where it fits in the real world

Point-to-point, often abbreviated PtP, can be delivered by several technological underlays, but the result is the same: right-sized, right-priced connectivity, with your global needs in mind. 

In this article, we’ll explore what PtP does, some typical use cases, and how GNX’s technology- and carrier-neutral approach can make PtP a unified part of your overall network strategy while avoiding the complexity for your technical team. Ready? time to get to the point!

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.

SD-WAN & SASE: Mind the underlay

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 data center, 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 your SASE and SD-WAN solution builds its services on is, then, crucial for a good user experience.

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?

Today’s users can work from anywhere, which means that IT teams have 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 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 traffic being tunneled all the way to a corporate site for further distribution. While simultaneously keeping track of user threat 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 fast and reliable connectivity while adhering to the company’s security standards and policies. 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 users to connect to a location geographically close to them without losing any functionality in connecting to resources they need.

Benefits

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

Mind the underlay

For SASE to be successful, it’s absolutely key to have the best available connectivity in place that takes into account all the needed traffic patterns. 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. With SD-WAN, internet-based networks became the preferred underlay option; still, the quality and reliability of that Internet connection can heavily impact the effectiveness of the SD-WAN.

The underlay: a 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 higher-performance connectivity between these locations.

Having the best SASE solution deployed without proper connectivity to the location of the SASE PoP, will only cause the user experience to degrade rather than improve. When migrating to Internet connections, especially when using broadband, it’s important to consider the technology, speeds, business and application requirements, diversity options, and availability of SLAs, among other criteria. Depending on your line of business, you may also need to explore whether to choose between private or public internet networks. Sourcing through these options, especially in a global network with thousands of ISPs to choose from, can be much of a headache, though. This is where GNX can help.

Learn more about our underlay solutions for SD-WAN & SASE

Why GNX?

Our team of global internet experts is ready to help you design, source, and deploy your network for your SASE to thrive. As a carrier-neutral provider, we will design your network using all available options and carefully consider your requirements using our experience and network of over 3500 carriers worldwide. Reach out to learn more.