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Why Your Business Should Implement SIP Trunking

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services are becoming the go-to way to manage business voice. One of the most popular options is Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunking, which is more cost-effective and flexible than most legacy voice services.

What is SIP Trunking?

A SIP trunk provides voice and data traffic between users’ phone systems and the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) over a single IP network. It is a way to deliver high-capacity, secure, premium quality voice for businesses.

Scalability

SIP trunks have an interface that is better suited for growing businesses. Traditional phone systems often carry a 23-channel capacity, meaning that additional callers can only be added in increments of 23. Businesses with SIP trunks can add as many paths as needed, ensuring that they only pay for the interface they need.

Security

Businesses in industries such as government, healthcare, and education require ultra-secure connections for voice communication. Session border controllers (SBC) make SIP trunking systems secure for any business that requires secure voice. The SBC is a point of security between users and third-party callers providing the following features:

  • Topology Hiding & Privacy – The IP network topology of the business is hidden to prevent attacks. This protects user information and creates a layer of privacy between networks. Media is also monitored to prevent intercepts and fraud.
  • Access Control – Only known networks, devices, and applications are permitted to access the enterprise’s voice system.
  • Encryption – SIP enables the encryption of media.
  • Denial of Service (DoS) – Protection from malicious attacks and non-malicious overloads.
  • Virus & Worm Protection – SIP is protected from malicious attachments and messages containing viruses, worms, and trojans.
  • Logging, Monitoring, and Reporting – Attacks and overloads are reported and monitored.

Call Quality

One of the best ways to measure the quality of a voice call is a Mean Opinion Score (MOS). The scale gives a numerical score for call quality ranking from one (bad) to five (excellent). When VoIP technologies first came to the market in the 1990’s, phone voice quality took a step back, however current SIP trunking systems are now equivalent, if not better, in call quality.

The call quality of SIP trunking solutions typically ranges between four and five on this scale, meaning call issues are nearly imperceptible. Maintaining a high MOS is critical for all businesses. Weak voice quality leads to mental fatigue, reduced productivity, and a poor overall experience.

Flexibility

SIP trunks give businesses the flexibility to route voice traffic over redundant data circuits. If a primary connection is disrupted, voice traffic can be seamlessly routed over redundant fiberfixed wireless, or Ethernet over copper using IP Failover. Having these redundant measures in place drastically reduces the chances of a business missing an opportunity due to voice services.

To learn more about upgrading your business’s voice services with 123Net’s SIP trunking, visit https://www.123.net/sip/

What Does a Data Center Cross Connect Mean for You?

123Net’s data centers facilitate your need to be better connected. Cross connects allow you to reduce access costs to get to the carrier of your choosing. You can save money and improve the connectivity of your network.

What are Cross Connects?

Cross connects are physical cables that connect two different networks within a data center. Cross connects can be used to create a more diverse, robust system of networks. The top three reasons to use a cross connect are:

Lowering Latency

A direct connection means no provider will stand between your network and the carrier network to which you are connecting. Cross connects avoid the pubic internet because they are through private point-to-point connections within a data center.

Offering Convenience

With a cross connect, you will be able to connect to any carrier residing within your chosen data center. This eliminates the need to find other network points to connect to carriers that often times require network builds that take time and add costs.

Providing Options

Adding multiple internet connections to your network can help you take advantage of different carriers. With cross connects, you can select internet providers based on price, reliability, or connectivity.

Cross connects enable you to establish direct connectivity with other carriers. Services such as dark fiber, wavelength, MPLS, or other point-to-point services are available with a single cross connect. Network cross connects to other carriers can save money, improve reliability, and add versatility to your network.

123Net has four Tier 3, carrier neutral data centers with access to over 20 carriers. Learn how you can take advantage of this diverse variety of networks by scheduling a data center tour with 123Net today at https://www.123.net/data-center/

How IP Failover Protects Networks

Backup solutions, such as IP Failover, avoid network downtime, keeping your business connected and productive. It’s immediate and cost-effective, so your business continues generating revenue and preserves its reputation, regardless of unforeseen circumstances.

How It Works

IP Failover equipment is backed by an intelligent system designed to detect Internet service disruptions. If a problem with the Internet is detected, traffic is automatically transitioned to a predetermined backup connection. Customers are seamlessly routed back to the primary when Internet is restored.

Since 123Net handles public IP addressing, real-time applications are not interrupted during circuit outages. VoIP calls will remain intact. IP Failover is even compatible with MPLS network configurations. Customers can also opt to use a secondary connection from another carrier and 123Net will build virtual circuits over it.

Last-Mile Protection

When primary and secondary connections are transported through the same medium (i.e. physical cables), it leaves enterprises in a vulnerable position. 123Net’s flexible solution is compatible with multiple Fiber, Fixed Wireless, Ethernet over Copper, and 4G LTE connections. This diversity protects network connectivity during damages to physical cables caused by construction, car crashes, weather, and other uncontrollable events. IP Failover can also be used to maintain connectivity during circuit maintenance.

IP Failover With 4G LTE

4G LTE is a wireless backup solution that integrates perfectly with IP Failover equipment. 4G LTE offers:

  • High Availability: Utilizing nationwide wireless providers, 123Net’s 4G LTE delivers high-speed Internet access to remote sites that may not be able to access traditional backup services.
  • Rapid Deployment: 123Net’s 4G LTE is typically up and running within only 7 to 14 days.
  • Simplified Billing: Receiving a primary and secondary connection from the same provider simplifies billing and bookkeeping, so you can focus on business-critical tasks.
  • Cost-Effective Rates: Low monthly plans without repair costs.
  • Reliability: 4G LTE provides a redundant connection that is not prone to physical disruptions.

123Net’s IP Failover solution combines high-speed Internet connectivity with immediate, flawless network protection. With IP Failover in place businesses have the peace of mind that their network is protected from the unexpected.

Learn more about how you can protect your connectivity with 123Net’s IP Failover.

How Smart Hands Services Simplify Colocation Management

Smart Hands services ensure that technicians will always be available to address issues with your colocation equipment. Skilled technicians are on site 24/7/365, prepared to follow your detailed instructions to complete required tasks, and are a convenient and efficient alternative to hiring third-party vendors.

Quick and Efficient

Access to equipment is immediate as skilled technicians are able to manage your equipment for you right away. Smart Hands eliminates the travel for staff members or vendors who would otherwise need to visit your data center, saving time and allowing them to shift their focus to other mission-critical tasks. You’re given peace of mind knowing that access to your colocation equipment is always a quick phone call, email, or ticket request away.

 

Why Choose 123Net’s Smart Hands? 

123Net’s Smart Hands service is available in all four of our Tier 3 data centers. Our Service Level Agreement (SLA) states that we will respond to your ticket in 15 minutes or less. Smart Hands services are separated into four categories:

  • Asset Management: Audits of spaces & engineering, basic organization/cleaning, confirming power consumption, etc.
  • Logistics Management: Storage, labeling, packing, shipping, moving equipment, etc.
  • On-Site Support: Available 24/7, inspections, testing, resets, customer assisted access, etc.
  • Rack and Stack: New installs, augmentations, equipment removal, cabling, etc.

Our Support Team is always available to help your business reduce the frequency and duration of network downtime.

To learn more about 123Net’s data centers with Smart Hands support, visit: https://www.123.net/data-center/

7 Essential Considerations for Choosing Your Business Internet Service Provider

When it comes to choosing an Internet service provider (ISP), there are a lot of options out there. So how do you know you’re making the right choice? In this blog, we’ll take a look at the 7 most essential considerations for choosing your business ISP.

1. Need for Speed:

Bandwidth needs come down to what your business does. If your business runs small programs and emailing, you probably won’t need much. If your employees send large files and graphics, you’ll probably need a bit more. If you have a lot of employees online at once, or if you do a lot of streaming, video conferencing, or cloud computing, you’ll likely need more still. It can be tricky to know exactly what your business needs, but our Account Executives are happy to help. For more information about meeting your business’s speed needs, contact us.

2. Support Availability:

You know your business best, so find an Internet service provider that’s available when you need them, whether that’s around-the-clock, or during “normal” business hours. It’s also important to consider how you’re able to get ahold of them. Do they use an automated system, take phone calls, or accept support tickets? Make sure your ISP communicates in a way that works for you and your business.

3. Fine Print:

What Service Level Agreements (SLAs) do they offer? If you need 99.9% uptime, will they promise it? ISP’s that don’t guarantee uptime can leave you stranded for days while your business loses money and even customers. Choosing an ISP with a high SLA leaves your business in better standing should anything happen. It’s also important to consider what contract lengths they offer and the pricing discounts that may come along with longer contracts.

4. Bundling:

It’s far easier to work with one vendor than three or four. Many ISPs also offer other services, such as Voice or Data Center. When you bundle multiple services with your Internet service provider, you’re often able to get discounts. Billing and support are also easier, as you only work with one company.

5. Location:

It’s important to consider what types of connections an ISP offers in your area, such as Ethernet over Copper (EoC), Fixed Wireless, or Fiber. Each of these offer potentially different speeds and deployments. Knowing that customer support is based locally is also a consideration. When support teams service their local areas, they’re working with the business that are in their own backyard. Personal relationships with their customers lead to a more engaged level of care. A local support team also knows the area better and is more likely to be in-the-know about events that may impact service, such as inclement weather.

6. Timing:

Various connection types may also impact install time. High bandwidth Fiber may take longer to deploy, but it can reach much higher speeds than other options. Fixed Wireless, on the other hand, can be deployed in as little as a couple days. Choose an ISP that can meet your time table. If you need Fiber, but need Internet access quickly, you may want to look into providers that offer both Fiber and Fixed Wireless. While you wait for the Fiber to be built out, utilize the Fixed Wireless connection short-term. You may even consider keeping your Fixed Wireless as a back-up for Fiber going forward.

7. Security:

Keeping your business’s network secure protects your information, along with your customers’ information. Your ISP should be as devoted to your security as you are, if not even more.

How Does 123Net Compare?

We’re committed to providing the best possible service to our customers. With our Dedicated Internet, we have options that provide symmetrical speeds up to 100 Gbps, making sure you have the bandwidth you need to cover any business application. Our Ethernet Private Line keeps your traffic on your connections, and off the public Internet, so it stays safe and secure. All of our services come with a 99.99% SLA. Our Support Team is available 24/7/365 to handle your questions and concerns, and work in the same offices as the rest of our teams, so we’re always connected to what’s going on with your circuits. Our Fixed Wireless can be deployed in as little as couple days. It’s a great interim solution while waiting for Fiber and offers a reliable secondary connection for added redundancy. To learn more about our services, visit: https://www.123.net/business-solutions/

Dark Fiber is the Future of Business Internet Connectivity

Dark Fiber networks are growing, and with good reason. They offer providers the ability to prepare for future network needs while offering customers more control over their networks. But what exactly is Dark Fiber and why should your business consider it?

What is Dark Fiber?

Fiber transmits data in the form of light pulses, converting it from electrical signals to light and back using optics on either end of the fiber. When fiber is in use, it’s called “lit fiber,” as light is traveling through it. When it isn’t in use, it’s, as you probably guessed, “dark fiber.” By installing extra infrastructure from the get-go, providers are able to offer spare dark fiber strands directly to future customers.

What is DWDM?

DWDM, or Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing, simply means to take data from different sources and send them over the same fiber at the same time, but at varying light frequencies. In other words, up to 80+ different channels of data can be multiplexed, or combined, into one light stream and sent via a single fiber strand. At the end of the transmission, each wavelength is demultiplexed, meaning returned to its original source format, separate from the other data sources it was travelling with.

But What Does All of This Mean for Your Business?

By using DWDM and other protocols within the pre-built out infrastructure, ISPs are able to provide virtually unlimited bandwidth and rapid scalability through their networks. According to Butter’s Law of Photonics, the amount of data that can travel through fiber optic cables doubles every nine months, due to the technology on either end of the fiber line. As technology improves, and with the use of protocols such as DWDM, bandwidth and capacity will continue to skyrocket.

Since customers are able to use their own equipment, businesses have complete control over their network’s latency, a major differentiator when businesses rely on constant, rapid communication. Dark fiber can create shorter paths, making latency more predictable and consistent. Dark Fiber connections are also dedicated, meaning that they do not share their physical connection with other customers. This benefits the customer by providing them bandwidth devoted strictly to their needs, rather than using an allotted pool of bandwidth. Likewise, they receive a private, secure medium to transfer data.

Although the upfront cost for fiber seems pricey at first, in the long-run it evens out. Connectivity essentially becomes a fixed cost, as businesses aren’t at the mercy of an Internet service provider’s rising rates. Over time, businesses benefit from being able to scale up while avoiding hefty fees to add additional capacity.

123Net Dark Fiber

123Net’s designs include single entrance, dual entrance, ring, hub and spoke, or point-to-point options. Our team handles everything in-house from design and permitting, to construction, to turn-up and support, so your network is always in local, Michigan-based hands. To learn more, visit https://www.123.net/dark-fiber/