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/

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/

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.

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/

SD-WAN: Network Management Made Easier and Cheaper

As the use of cloud services and Software as a Service (SaaS) grows, more companies are looking to SD-WAN for network management. But what exactly is SD-WAN and how can it benefit your business? Let’s take a look.

SD-WAN, the “Patient Portal” for Networks

Most of us probably have a Patient Portal of some sort through our medical provider, such as NextMD or My Health Record. These portals allow us to login, view, and interact with almost every aspect of our health. We can schedule appointments, request prescription refills, read test results, etc. This provides a single place for us to manage our healthcare needs. Likewise, SD-WAN provides a similar single place to manage our network, where we can use a centralized location to put together controls, then send it out to the other SD-WAN devices in the network that need it.

What Controls Are Offered?

Intelligent pathway control features use application profiles, IP addresses, Quality of Service markings, and even time of day to shape traffic decisions.

Lowering Costs

By reducing the number of private links necessary and relying on bandwidth instead, you’re able to save money by focusing your spending on cheaper broadband solutions. Whenever private links are required for quality purposes, the service will automatically switch over from broadband.

Secure and Agile

SD-WAN is rapidly deployed, so your business is up-and-running without lengthy setup times. It’s also easily scalable, with the ability to add connections as needed. Even remote sites are easy to add. When traffic is transferred between locations, it’s encrypted, so breaches that may occur do less damage to your network. SD-WAN also monitors the amount and type of traffic your business sees, helping your IT team quickly identify attacks.

Improving your workplace and saving money is a win-win. See how 123Net’s SD-WAN solution can benefit your business by going to https://www.123.net/sd-wan

Advantages of Switching to Hosted IP PBX

Businesses depend on their ability to effectively communicate with customers. Implementing a Hosted IP PBX voice solution will immediately limit any concerns from a technological perspective, providing the scalability needed to become a long-term voice solution.

What Is Hosted IP PBX?

Hosted IP PBX replaces a customer’s premise-based PBX with the service provider’s off-site equipment. The provider becomes responsible for owning and operating all the physical equipment, taking the burden off the customer. It also improves the reliability of voice and comes with 24x7x365 support.

Reliability

123Net’s service is owned and operated within their Tier 3, 2(N+1) data centers, eliminating power downtime concerns. Their network is also backed by a reliable 100 Gbps+ backbone that allows maximum redundancy and on-demand bandwidth availability.

In case of emergency, customers always have the option to forward phone numbers or change routing easily through an online web portal. If Internet access is unavailable, users can also call the network operations center (NOC) at any time to enable emergency call forward.

123Net’s Hosted IP PBX servers are virtual machines that run on host servers within the 123Net colocation spaces. The virtual servers are routinely replicated between multiple spaces throughout the day. If the primary PBX becomes unresponsive for any reason, 123Net can enable a backup at any time.

Flexibility

Hosted IP PBX services are great for customers with specific needs. Customers can provide access to a user control panel (UCP), allowing individuals to control the way they receive calls. One of these options is a softphone, which can be installed on a cellular device or desktop.

Find me / follow me is another useful feature that customers can use to shape the way they receive calls. Find me allows users to receive calls at multiple locations, while follow me allows users to be reached at several different phone numbers. Numbers are assigned to be called concurrently or sequentially, according to a user’s scheduled activities and locations. If necessary, calls can then be sent to a voicemail of their choosing. For example, a user could set their phone to ring four times at their desk, then reach their cell phone, and then leave a voicemail in their cellular mailbox if needed.

Scalability

Companies with Hosted IP PBX systems are well equipped to support future growth because lines can be easily added or subtracted without future investments. Businesses can promptly add as many lines as their network traffic permits. This gives businesses the adaptability to manage rapid growth.

123Net’s Hosted IP PBX is backed by a 99.99% network uptime Service Level Agreement. Learn more about how this solution can benefit your business here: https://www.123.net/hosted-ip-pbx/