Why Your Data Center Should Be Carrier Neutral

Inside a data center, 123Net believes your choice of carrier should not be limited to the data center owner. We make it as easy as possible for new carriers to build into our data centers. Opening the doors to more carriers greatly benefits businesses looking for more robust, diverse networks.

What Does Carrier Neutral Mean?

Having more options is a good thing. A carrier neutral data center, often referred to as a carrier hotel, is a facility that offers its customers the ability to purchase connectivity from any carrier in the building. Since these facilities are independent of providers, customers are open to many more carrier options. There are several factors that make carrier neutral facilities more desirable than their carrier-affiliated counterparts:

Diversity

Keeping your network running 24/7 is critical. Having carrier diversity, meaning multiple carriers connected to your business’s network, provides a backup option if a single carrier experiences an outage. Carrier hotels have a major advantage in that they support carrier diversity, whereas single provider data centers are less able to.

Cost-Effective

Using a carrier neutral facility can naturally lower the price of services through competition. When there are fewer options to choose from, customers are more likely to settle for higher prices. Moving to a new data center can be a costly and time-consuming process, so selecting a carrier neutral data center allows competition to keep costs low, without having to move to change providers.

Internet Exchange Connectivity

Carrier neutral data centers can also host internet exchanges. Internet exchanges allow enterprise, service provider, and carrier networks to peer with one another, lowering latency, network hops, and costs.

123Net has four, Tier 3, carrier neutral data center facilities and hosts the Detroit Internet Exchange (DET-IX), a not-for-profit regional exchange point in Michigan. To learn more about 123Net’s data centers, or to schedule a data center tour, visit https://www.123.net/data-center/

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/

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/

Why Data Center Location Matters

Data center location should always be a top priority for customers. Choosing a data center in an optimal location not only provides immediate advantages, it also prevents major headaches down the road. 123Net carefully handpicked an ideal environment for each of its four Michigan data centers.

Network Speed

While people may think that bandwidth is the only factor determining speed, that’s not the case. The physical distance from a data center to an application can significantly affect network latency. For this reason, many companies, such as healthcare companies, are seeking data centers local to their office space. These companies are gaining a clear edge over the competition due to the speed advantage lower network latency provides. While it could be less expensive to collocate further away, it is often not worth sacrificing speed.

Natural Disasters

Businesses that collocate in areas prone to natural disasters are playing with fire. Events such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornadoes can cause critical power outages, leading to crippling downtime. If the best data center option happens to be in a disaster-prone area, consider selecting a backup data center at a safer location, preferably on a different power grid.

Accessibility

Data center space should be in an area that is comfortable to reach. Personnel may need to travel to the data center to make upgrades and service equipment. If a data center is out of driving distance, consider the logistics of transporting personnel and equipment through the air.

Connections

Businesses can take advantage of data center connectivity by creating multiple channels that will keep data moving freely despite outages. This makes data centers in well-connected areas safer and more reliable. It also gives businesses more room for growth, as they can easily make plenty of connections within the data center itself.

123Net’s three Southfield data center facilities have a superior location. They have access to more than 20 carriers, are in low-risk southeastern Michigan and close to thousands of Metro Detroit businesses. 123Net also has secure, easily accessible data center space in Grand Rapids that makes for premier primary or backup colocation space. Learn more about the strategic advantages you can gain from data center location or to schedule a tour of our data centers, visit: https://www.123.net/data-center/

How Ethernet Private Line Benefits Businesses

Businesses are growing, and the demand for bandwidth is expanding exponentially. As new offices and branches are added, high-capacity infrastructure is needed to communicate between sites. Secure, point-to-point Ethernet Private Line (EPL) solutions are being implemented to meet this demand. This way businesses can seamlessly transport large files, utilize high-capacity applications and access services hosted on company servers.

Ethernet Private Line

EPL is a cost-effective solution that connects the customer edge with an affordable interface, replacing traditional private line services. It is an ideal replacement for businesses with traditional TDM point-to-point services for a variety of reasons.

Dedicated  

EPL delivers bandwidth that is 100 percent dedicated to your business. Shared access technologies, like cable, PON and DSL, combined with a Virtual Private Network (VPN), use a pool of bandwidth to access the public internet and can only provide their “best effort” to deliver your network access.

Dedicated connections bypass the public Internet, guaranteeing consistent data speeds and low latency. This provides a high Quality of Service (QoS) for business-critical applications such as video conferencing and voice over IP (VoIP). With EPL’s dedicated connectivity, enterprises will always get the most out of their bandwidth.

High Bandwidth

Ethernet Private Line solutions offer more flexibility than TDM technologies. With fiber as a transport option, businesses are currently offered speeds up to 100 Gbps. 123Net’s fixed wireless network also offers rapidly deployed Ethernet connectivity up to 10 Gbps.

Secure

Secure, point-to-point connections protect traffic from outside threats. The privacy of EPL makes it much easier to comply with strict security requirements, such as HIPAA. This makes it an attractive option for businesses in security-conscious industries such as health care, government and education.

123Net’s Ethernet solutions give businesses secure, high-bandwidth, site-to-site connectivity between multiple locations. To learn more visit: https://www.123.net/ethernet-services/