These days, when it comes to private networking, there are a lot of options to consider and the best solution has evolved along with the technology. Are you utilizing older software in your production environments? Do you have stringent compliancy concerns that obligate you to maintain control over how your data is handled? How complex is your network? How many locations do you have? The answers to these questions will give a good indication of the best practice for your business.
Traditional telecom offerings like frame relay (Layer 2) and best-effort VPN tunnels (Layer 3) deserve to be a part of the conversation, but as mission-critical applications and services like VoIP and ERP are migrated off-site, a more scalable and reliable solution is needed. Frame relay used to be a common solution. However today, it is not really a cost effective alternative to point-to-point private line services. Frame relay services are plagued with constant provisioning delays and no guarantees of data reliability.
Network connections that use protocols like IPSec and point-to-point tunneling protocol (PPTP) are less costly than frame relay, and allow for creation of multipoint data networks. But they have their own host of problems. When using these VPNs across several networked locations, you will need a lot of IT support with the specialized skillset and time resource availability for provisioning and administration. Even with the right resources, you are still subject to the risks of a best-effort service with no Service Level Agreement to ensure delivery of critical transmissions.
A much better solution is Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS). MPLS networks are used to deliver private networking capabilities that are efficiently routed over a core network managed by the service provider. Many service providers now offer multi-layer solutions based on MPLS networks. These solutions leverage premium IP-VPNs and Virtual Leased Line connections to meet the needs of even the most complex corporate networks. So what do you need?
If your offices use legacy applications that require MAC adjacency for proper functioning, then a Layer 2 MPLS solution is going to be the best answer. A point-to-point Virtual Leased Line (P2P VLL), such as that offered by Skyriver, is transparent to applications and can be deployed and configured in-house on your existing hardware. You maintain full functionality of applications and services utilizing any protocol, troubleshooting is simple, and the service is plug-and-play with an Ethernet handoff.
For those customers that do not require backwards-compatibility, but will benefit from the flexibility of a highly scalable solution, a Layer 3 option may be optimal. A L3VPN suppresses broadcast traffic, provides the shortest end-to-end optimized path over the ISP network, and allows the customer to control routing and access. All of these benefits are procured with less management overhead by utilizing a provider that leverages MPLS on a network that is efficient and reliable.
The reality is that most enterprises today do not fit nicely into a single defined space. They have a mix of routing and networking IT preferences, they leverage myriad resources from a diverse set of core and remote locations, and utilize a variety of protocols. In today’s complex networking environment, you need an ISP that can quickly deliver an agile networking service with rock-solid reliability, as well as a point-to-point networking solution when specific application functionality is needed.
For a scalable, adaptable platform that provides superior solutions with maximum dependability, consider Skyriver Private Network. The service provisions quickly and offers commercial-grade performance backed by an industry-leading SLA and a 30-day Customer Assurance Guarantee.
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