Why Dark Fiber is the Future of Business Internet Connectivity

123Net is heavily investing in dark fiber to keep up with its escalating demand. The high-speed Internet access it provides is critical for keeping pace with competitors. As the arms race for bandwidth continues, dark fiber will remain the gold standard for business Internet moving forward.

What is Dark Fiber?

Dark fiber refers to unused optical fiber cabling that has already been installed. It was given the name “dark fiber” because optical fiber that is in use transmits data in the form of light pulses. When fiber is in use it is referred to as “lit fiber”. When installing fiber, businesses often include more capacity than needed, leaving dark fiber infrastructure in place for future growth. With this option becoming much more affordable and available through expansions, demand has been on the rise.  It is now more popular than ever for businesses to make the move over to the “dark side”. Here’s why:

Unlimited Bandwidth

Dark fiber gives businesses virtually unlimited bandwidth. According to Butter’s Law of Photonics, the amount of data that can travel through fiber optic cables doubles every nine months. This is due to the technology on either end of the fiber line, rather than the cable itself. Dark fiber’s unlimited capacity not only makes it the fastest Internet service available on the market now, it will get even faster as technology improves. Having the infrastructure in place increases office efficiency while giving customers the benefit of limitless, high-speed connectivity.

Scalability

With unlimited bandwidth, businesses do not have to pay or wait for Internet service providers to upgrade their network.  Dark fiber can be used as an investment upfront, with the flexibility to scale up paying dividends as a business continues to grow.

Latency

Being able to use their own equipment gives businesses complete control over their network’s latency. This can be a major differentiator for businesses that rely on 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 network with other customers. Many traditional ISPs have customers competing to use the same allotted pool of bandwidth.

Security

Data is transmitted across a private, physical medium used solely by the business that owns the network. This prevents outside entities from tracking sensitive data and information.

Cost

Installing dark fiber can be pricey at first, however, connectivity will essentially become a fixed cost moving forward. Businesses are no longer at the mercy of Internet service providers’ rising rates. Over time, businesses benefit from being able to scale up while avoiding hefty fees to add new equipment.

Bringing unlimited Internet connectivity to your business may be a simple phone call away. To learn more, go to 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. That is why 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 is not the case. The physical distance from a data center to an application can significantly affect network latency. For this reason, there has been a huge push by financial companies to move their servers closer to the New York Stock Exchange. 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 will need to travel to the data center regularly 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 by going to https://www.123.net/data-center/ or taking a tour at a 123Net data center today.

How to Choose the Best Internet Service Provider for Your Business

123Net is an Internet service provider (ISP) built on delivering reliable connections at high speeds. The organization provides enterprise data center, network and voice solutions for local Michigan businesses.

Every business is unique, and the same rule applies for ISPs. Whether a business is looking to upgrade its current internet service or establish a new connection, choosing a well-suited internet service provider is always important. Based on a business’s specific needs, here are a few factors that should always be considered:

Bandwidth

Bandwidth can play a major role in the speed of an internet connection. It is the minimum capacity between the user and application server, usually measured in megabits per second, or Mbps. Determining the amount of bandwidth required to run business-critical applications is crucial. It helps businesses find Internet service providers with the ability to meet current requirements and capacity to scale up for projected growth.

Support

The best internet service providers share one common trait: outstanding customer service. Customers will need to work closely with support to ensure that their business’s specific needs are met. Effective support teams are friendly, informative and timely.

It is also important to consider how accessible support will be during unexpected situations, such as outages and other problems. Investigating which forms of contact are accepted (phone calls, emails, trouble tickets, etc.) and if 24/7 support is included can help set businesses up for success.

Failover

Staying constantly connected to the Internet is more important than ever for businesses, especially when only a few seconds of downtime can now lead to thousands of dollars lost. For businesses where Internet outages are devastating, it’s best to find an ISP with redundant failover options available. Failover helps businesses stay connected primary Internet connections are lost. For example, fixed wireless is commonly used as a failover option for high-speed fiber Internet. If there is a problem with a fiber connection, fixed wireless will seamlessly take over.

Bundling

If a business has multiple needs to fulfill, bundling services together can help save money and ease operations. ISPs often incentivize bundling with money-saving discounts to attract customers. Consolidating services can also simplify billing and support.

123Net has the capacity to deploy redundant terabit-speed connections and deliver over 1MW of power, making it an attractive option for businesses of any size. The organization is also home to the Detroit Internet Exchange, one of the world’s 40 largest peering hubs.

123Net is a premier business ISP, backed by world-class 24/7 support. 123Net can also bundle high-speed fiber, voice, fixed wireless, and data center solutions, making it a simple, efficient option for your telecommunications needs. Visit https://www.123.net/ for more details.

What is SD-WAN and Why You Should Use it

Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) is a service that simplifies networking between offices and branches. Using 123Net’s SD-WAN solution helps businesses monitor their network and effectively manage traffic. Traffic is routed over more economical services, such as broadband, while applications, such as voice and video, are routed over MPLS as needed. Simply put, SD-WAN helps businesses use their resources more efficiently. Here are a few of the biggest reasons why it is creating such a buzz in the telecommunications industry.

Agility

SD-WAN is rapidly deployed, eliminating lengthy setup times. From the time the product is activated, businesses can add more WAN connections when needed. As the demand for bandwidth rises it easily scales up to add more firepower. Businesses can also deliver WAN services to remote sites without sending IT personnel.

Pathway Control

Traffic is directed depending on each specific application. Controls are put together at a centralized location and sent out to all other SD-WAN devices. Intelligent pathway control features use application profiles, IP addresses, Quality of Service markings, and even time of day to shape these decisions.

Lower Costs

Businesses can become more reliant on broadband by using fewer private links. Whenever private links are required for quality purposes, the service will automatically switch over from broadband. With this feature, businesses can invest more in cheaper broadband solutions while spending less on private links.

Security

Traffic is encrypted as it transfers between locations while segmenting the network, protecting networks from damage during breaches. It also monitors the amount and type of traffic businesses are seeing, helping IT professionals quickly identify attacks.

Managed Firewall

123Net offers a managed firewall service as part of its solution. The firewall’s best-in-class malware protection, content filtering, and device alerts give 123Net customers the toolset needed to effectively manage network security. 123Net’s managed firewall SD-WAN also supports intrusion protection, a technology that automatically finds and blocks known problems as they arise without user intervention.

Improve your workplace efficiency and save money immediately while benefiting from the industry-leading network security of 123Net’s Managed Firewall SD-WAN. See how Managed Firewall SD-WAN can benefit your business by going to https://www.123.net/sd-wan/ or contacting 123Net today.

How IP Failover Protects Networks

Maintaining a high network uptime is critical to the success of today’s businesses. That is why backup solutions, such as IP Failover, are being implemented to avoid downtime. The solution is immediate, cost-effective and it protects connectivity during Internet disruptions. It is a tremendous value for businesses looking to maintain connectivity, stay productive, continue generating revenue and preserve their reputation during otherwise crippling outages.

How It Works

IP Failover equipment is backed by an intelligent system designed to detect ISP disruptions. If there is a problem with the Internet, 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 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. There are many factors that make it an appealing option as a secondary connection:

  • 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.
  • Billing: Receiving a primary and secondary connection from the same provider simplifies billing and bookkeeping so customers can focus on business-critical tasks.
  • Cost Effective: Low monthly rates 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.

Read more about how you can protect your connectivity with 123Net’s IP Failover here:

https://www.123.net/ip-failover/

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?

It is a physical cable that connects two different networks within a data center. Cross connects can be used to create a more diverse, robust system of networks. Here are the top three reasons why cross connects are great:

Lower 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.

Convenience

With a cross connect you will be able to connect to any carrier resides inside the specific 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.

Adds Flexibility

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.

Go to https://www.123.net/data-center/