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.
Before undertaking any journey, you must know who is coming and what you’re taking. For your business’ internet needs, a good place to start is your business line and your applications’ criticality. Are you connecting your users to typical office applications, or are we talking about time-critical applications where each second makes a difference?
If your business applications are latency-sensitive, looking at Private Connectivity and low-latency alternatives is best. This is typically the case for trading companies, financial institutions, or when real-time applications are at the heart of the business. Know it’s also possible to split your traffic between private and public internet, depending on application and use case.
2. Lead time & availability
Business Broadband and Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) are quite popular among enterprises. But while both are widely available, you cannot assume they always are, especially in remote and suburban locations.
Always make sure the technology you require is available at your sites, and decide how long you are willing to wait for the connection to be ready. Consider that paperwork (i.e. municipality or building permits) and construction work might be required when needing to lay new fiber.
3. How big is your estate?
The range of users and devices within a business significantly shapes the bandwidth and technology requirements when choosing your type of internet access, whether that is Business Broadband, DIA, or Wireless. Modern companies are a blend of hybrid workers (Sally, from sales), office staff (Robert, from HR), and manual operations (Pamela, from Logistics). These hybrid work setups require robust yet flexible connectivity for seamless collaboration and communication across various locations – how else will Pamela inform Sally we are low on stock?
In contrast, an environment dominated by manual labor – think manufacturing – might prioritize reliability and consistent access to operational systems and machinery over high-speed connectivity for a multitude of devices.
Understanding these distinct user and operational needs is fundamental in determining the optimal internet solution for your business’ efficiency and productivity.
4. SLAs & support
The Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and support you choose for your internet service will ensure your uptime and connectivity are as reliable as your morning coffee.
So, when you’re in the process of evaluating internet providers, don’t forget to look into their available SLAs. Broadband Internet Access (BIA) vendors often operate on a best-effort SLA, emphasizing cost-effectiveness but potentially compromising uptime reliability. Often, it also comes without 24×7 support – only offering a consumer-grade customer support experience – and only in the local language. In contrast, DIA and Private Connectivity typically offer more robust service levels with guaranteed uptime and dedicated 24×7 support, though specifics can vary based on country regulations and individual vendor offerings.
Understanding these SLAs and support structures helps align your internet choices with your operations and business continuity needs.
5. Set your security levels
We must, of course, talk about security, the elephant in every (board)room.
SD-WAN and SASE offer security capabilities at the edge, which are sufficient for most applications and businesses. Other businesses, however, might require a much higher security level, especially when dealing with payments, transactions, or personal data, such as information between patients and health providers. For these cases, DIA can offer a more secure connection than shared internet, since the bandwidth is dedicated to one specific business, or private point-to-point connectivity for an even more secure alternative.
Pun intended. But it is true. Even within the same business, the requirements and needed technologies may differ – across different regions with different types of sites and different numbers of users per site. The good news is that you have options to choose from. Mixing and matching internet alternatives is not unusual – nowadays, it is the norm.
Luckily, you don’t need to do it alone. GNX’ solution-oriented and carrier-neutral approach will help you navigate the world of global connectivity. Whether it is DIA, BIA, mobile, or private connectivity, we will work with you to understand your requirements and design the best solution for your business.
GNX, your partner for global connectivity
GNX offers comprehensive, tailor-made solutions and expert guidance to help businesses navigate the complex world of global connectivity.
And that’s not all. With our Lara platform, you’ll gain access to our network of thousands of ISPs to help you shop, source, and compare different options yourself. Just like booking an airline ticket or a hotel room online, Lara shows you all the options available – for technology, speeds, price, and more – with full transparency right at your fingertips.
But wait. It gets better. Once onboard, Lara also gives you a clear view of your entire network setup, with management and support functions and the ability to scale and modify services as your requirements change. It’s like having your own personal network expert! Only this one is powered by data, not coffee.
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