Monday, December 31, 2012

Why Ethernet Is Your Most Cost Effective Option For Business

Why Ethernet Is Your Most Cost Effective Option For Business
By Jon Arnold

There is a lot of misinformation out there about what Ethernet is, and since the term has become popular, even many of the cable companies are saying they now provide "Ethernet". While that may be true from a technical perspective, Ethernet from a cable company is still the over-subscribed and over-saturated network that you get with typical cable. As the saying goes, you can put lipstick on a pig but....

Ethernet solutions from real carriers who provide dedicated connections are not for residential use or home businesses, simply because the price for 3-4 users can rarely be justified. But if your business is at a point where you are looking at using, or perhaps are already using a T1 line or maybe even a bonded T1 line, and almost without a doubt if you are using a DS3 or OC-x circuit, Ethernet is by far a much more cost effective connectivity solution.

The bad news is that Ethernet is not available everywhere. While a T1 circuit, bonded T1 circuit, and even for the most part, a DS3 circuit can be installed just about anywhere you can get a phone line installed from your local phone company, Ethernet is not nearly as widely available. But that said, it is becoming more and more available every day across the nation, and indeed across the world. Ethernet solutions are available in just about every major city today, and if your business is located in or near a city with a population of 100k or more, chances are pretty high that Ethernet options are available to you today.

How much more cost effective is it? Much of that depends on what kind of Ethernet you want to get. At the lower end, there is EOC or Ethernet Over Copper, sometimes also known as EODS1 or Ethernet Over DS1. Those types of circuits, as the name implies, are delivered over copper lines and can start as low as 3 MB. But that 3 MB Ethernet circuit is probably going to cost as much as HALF as much as the SAME bandwidth of a two bonded T1 circuit. If you really need a fiber connection, your lowest end option is going to start at 10 MB Ethernet, but again, that 10 MB Ethernet circuit on what is known as Fast Ethernet is going to cost about half as much (or even less) as equivalent bandwidth on a bonded T1 or fractional DS3. Above 100 MB Ethernet, now you get into Gigabit Ethernet.

Let's talk for a moment about copper versus fiber, since this seems to be a point of confusion and more general misinformation. For a given level of bandwidth, say 10 MB, two circuits both delivering 10 MB of bandwidth, one on copper and the other on fiber, will finish in a dead heat. Fiber is not faster, contrary to what many believe. But fiber is able to be upgraded to higher levels of bandwidth, whereas copper starts to peter out at higher levels of bandwidth, but at about the 10-15 MB level, even as much as 20 MB in some major cities, there is NO speed difference between copper and fiber.

If you are looking for your best value for Business Ethernet services from a reliable and rock-solid carrier who will provide dedicated Internet services to your business with leading Service Level Agreements, check out what might be available in your area from amongst the 35+ carriers we represent, where we guarantee that the price we offer from those carriers is the lowest that they will offer, even if you go to the carrier directly.

Don't throw money down the drain if you don't need to. In these economic time, businesses need and want to maximize the money they spend for communications costs, and utilizing Business Ethernet for your connectivity needs is a great place to start. For a free quote or more information, please visit our web site at Business Ethernet

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Benefits Of An MPLS Network Solution

Benefits of an MPLS Network Solution
By Jon Arnold

Introduction to MPLS

Are you considering a new type of network infrastructure to help you reach higher service quality? MPLS could be the answer. MPLS networking is a new way of gaining many benefits of a traditional point-to-point network while avoiding issues that arise when you older less stable and inefficient network infrastructures. It is also much easier to configure than a point-to-point network, ensuring that you retain the flexibility you expect from frame relay" or another time-tested configuration, as well as introducing new options you didn't have available before.

Background of the MPLS Standard

MPLS stands for Multi Protocol Label Switching. It implies a type of network that is independent of content restrictions and can carry any type of data that you need on the most efficient path; this remains true whether you transmit voice, video, data or anything else. Like a frame relay network, MPLS networks are focused on efficiency and speed. However, MPLS supersedes frame relay in a number of ways thanks to the intelligent routing and more efficient transmission standard used.

Benefits of the MPLS Standard

By its nature, MPLS networks can save you a great deal of money over older approaches. MPLS standards eschew paths through public networks for paths that predominantly use private network resources. This helps you control issues like latency and data fidelity, ensuring less data dropped during transmission. MPLS is more efficient and tends to have more uptime than the traditional networks because it makes use of modern network core technology instead of the smaller cells favored in frame relay networks. Even so, it offers great control over data's path from source to destination.

Upgrading to MPLS

Effective use and implementation of your MPLS network solution will require access to a private network with careful management and optimization policies. MPLS is typically conceived of as a "cloud" service that offers multiple paths, all with near-optimal performance, for any given transmission across a wide area. MPLS is often configured as a large network with a dedicated circuit access point at each node, so mid-sized and smaller businesses will often purchase MPLS service from a major provider. After that, configuration is the main issue.

One of the major beauties of the MPLS architecture is that the same size circuit is not required at each node, as it would be with frame relay or point to point networks. For example, node A could have 50 MB MPLS Ethernet (headquarters) while nodes B through G (branch offices) might just have an MPLS T1 or bonded T1 which would be reflective of the level of traffic anticipated at each node, and sized accordingly, thereby saving you money.

Conclusion

MPLS is a major innovation compared to Frame Relay and it can save you enormous amounts on your network costs. To gain the benefits of an MPLS infrastructure, it is a good idea to seek out a trusted provider of MPLS network services who can answer your questions about adopting this great new paradigm for your business.

If you are still using old point to point networks or frame relay networks, you are more than likely spending much more than you need to in order to accomplish the same thing that an MPLS network can do for you, and then some. Find out who can deliver an efficient and cost effective MPLS network solution today and slash your telecom costs.

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Choosing The Right MPLS Network Service Provider

Choosing The Right MPLS Network Service Provider
By Jon Arnold

MPLS is an acronym which stands for Multi Protocol Label Switching. That is a fancy name for this but an MPLS circuit is one that combines the best features of the older style traditional point to point circuits and the even older frame relay circuits into a single circuit, and then add more functionality on top of all that.

What an MPLS circuit does at its base level is allow you to connect multiple offices in different locations in the same way that you would with a point to point network. But you are not limited to the PTP hub and spoke configuration, which is both inefficient as well as expensive. With MPLS technology, you are not paying a per-mile charge between locations as you would with PTP or frame relay, making MPLS much less expensive to accomplish the same thing. For example, an MPLS network between a node in New York and a node in Cleveland would be within pennies of the same price as having one MPLS node in New York and another MPLS node in Seattle. In other words, the distance between the nodes is immaterial.

MPLS circuits are also secure and private since the data does not travel over the public Internet. It is your own private and secure network.

What factors should be considered when choosing an MPLS network service provider? Let's look at some of those factors here:

1. Customer Service

This is of paramount importance with any service provider. Make sure you find a service provider who has outstanding customer service and offers it 24x7. Also make sure their tech support is top-notch and that they are always available to answer any question that might arise at any time. This is particularly important during the setup and configuration phase.

2. Service Level Agreement (SLA)

Be sure to choose a carrier which will provide a SLA (Service Level Agreement) that is acceptable to you. This agreement will answer such questions as what is the acceptable level of downtime that you can expect with the circuits. This document spells it out all so everybody is on the same page.

3. Management of the MPLS Network

It is crucial to make sure that you understand who does the management of your MPLS network and to what degree. Most reliable carriers today sell MPLS circuits which include a carrier-provided and carrier-managed router, which means they have responsibility for managing it, but make sure you understand what you can and cannot do in terms of management of it.

4. Does This Carrier Service All Your Locations

MPLS is not a standard such as having specifications defined and ratified by an organization like the IEEE. Rather, MPLS is a methodology or an approach to solving a telecommunications problem. What this means to you is that every carrier has implemented MPLS slightly differently, and your best chances for success are using the same carrier at all nodes of your MPLS network.

Notice that we did not mention price as a factor. Yes, price is always a factor but in today's world, you need to be concerned much more with "best value" than "lowest price". Particularly in telecom, you get what you pay for, and if you find a great price on MPLS from unknown carrier XYZ, there is a good chance that you are putting your network at risk for non-performance.

Choosing a MPLS service provider is not a simple task. You should use a telecom broker who can honestly and frankly tell you which carriers should be considered and which should not, based on the locations you need to interconnect. Depending on your locations, even a "brand name" may not be your best option.

Allow us to be your telecom broker and help you with your selection of an MPLS service provider. We represent more than 35 first tier carriers, and based on the volume of business we provide for them every month, they allow us to guarantee that the quotes we provide you are the lowest that the carrier will offer. We also known which carriers are good and which may be a question mark for the sites that you want to connect, and are more than happy to share that inside knowledge with you. When shopping for your best value in an MPLS Network and need to find the best MPLS Service Provider who can meet your needs, please make sure you talk with us to get your MPLS quotes.

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Nearly 50% Pay $100 Or More for Monthly Wireless

A new study by Harris Interactive (via Telecompetitor) finds that nearly half of wireless consumers pay $100 or more for wireless service each month, while around 13% pay $200 or more. 21% say they pay more for wireless each month than groceries, 33% pay more for wireless than their utilities, 57% pay more for wireless than cable TV, and 71% pay more for wireless than their home Internet service. The Harris survey (which was commissioned by CouponCabin, offers three primary ways users can reduce their monthly wireless bills:

Do a usage audit: In just a few clicks or a quick call, you can figure out your average monthly voice and data usage. If you're paying for a much higher plan than you use on average, consider cutting back.

Cut your insurance: If you opt-in for a mobile phone insurance plan, you may be paying high monthly fees along with hefty deductible. Do the math and eliminate your plan if you aren't coming out ahead in the long run.

Change your habits: If you have free nights and weekends for your voice service, do what you can to only talk during those periods. If you have a limited texting plan, send more emails. Adjust your usage and stay within your limits.

Depending on your household usage (especially data) you may or may not find yourself able to save a little extra money by switching to an AT&T or Verizon shared data plan. In addition to flat device connection fees, those plans wind up charging users more for data than unlimited plans (with $15 per gigabyte overages), but they offer users unlimited voice and SMS options. Heavier data users may find better value sticking with an unlimited data option from T-Mobile or Sprint.

Read more about it here....

Cost Of Monthly Wireless Service

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Telecommunication News For December 2012...High Bandwidth, 100G, Dark Fiber, Data Centers And More

Here's the current news for December from the telecommunications industry....covering high bandwidth, 100g, dark fiber, data centers, and more.

* Zayo - reached its 10,000 on-net building milestone, enabling it to offer high bandwidth services to a large mix of enterprise and wholesale service provider customers.

* CenturyLink - became the latest service provider to announce that it has upgraded its domestic and international networks with 100G capabilities.

* tw telecom - and Level 3 have entered into a long-term peering agreement that allows the two Internet service providers to exchange data on their networks.

* Integra - launched a new dark fiber service, adding another piece to its growing wholesale service puzzle.

* Time Warner Cable - Opened a $82 Million National Data Center in Charlotte. The National Data Center is a 178,000 square foot facility that includes 1,600 racks of technical equipment and four 12,000 square foot data halls.

* Alpheus - announced that it has opened a second data center in Dallas to expand its data center and network footprint for enterprises located in Dallas-Fort Worth and throughout Texas.

To take advantage of any of the services discussed above simply request more information and a free quote HERE.....

Network Solutions

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Monday, December 17, 2012

60% Of Rural Users Get 3 Mbps Or Less

More than half (55%) of rural broadband users saw maximum peak downstream speeds of less than 3 Mbps in the second quarter of 2012, according to a new study by hardware vendor Calix (via Telecompetitor). The hardware vendor, who would obviously like carriers to buy more hardware to shore up these speeds, said 60% of rural subscribers received speeds of 3 Mbps or less. 25% received peak downstream speeds between 4 and 10 Mbps, and 8% received speeds above 10 Mbps, says Calix. These speeds won't improve any time soon, with incumbents like Verizon and AT&T hanging up on residential DSL, and smaller telcos (Frontier, CenturyLink) having little to no competitive incentive to upgrade their lines.

Read more about it here....

Rural Broadband Users Still Screwed

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Apple's Really Awful iOS 6 Maps Ruin iPhone 5 Party

Though a parade of gushing, uncritical reviews have proclaimed the iPhone 5 a device created by gods that was perfectly hewn from the metal of the ancients, back on planet earth all is not well within the church of Apple. While some have noticed that the device is easily scratched, the biggest issue is that Apple's mapping software may currently be the worst in the business. With iOS6 Apple decided to ditch Google maps entirely, instead relying on TomTom for help on their own mapping software.

As this Tumblr created for the spectacular fail attests, the result has bordered on high comedy, with the software insisting gas stations exist on top of skyscrapers, in addition to distorting or otherwise misplacing numerous locations, towns and cities entirely. TomTom tells The New York Times they "stand by the quality of our maps," with Apple issuing a statement promising things will get better:

Read more about this here ...

Apple Promises Heavily Criticized Maps Will Get Better

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Monday, December 10, 2012

Verizon...Cable Deal Delayed Spectrum Apocalypse a Few Years

In order to get their landmark deal with the cable industry approved, Verizon recently trotted out the reliable old capacity crisis bogeyman, despite previously stating on the record they had plenty of spectrum for LTE deployment. Verizon claimed that if the deal wasn't approved they would run out of spectrum by 2015 (aka three years), but failed to back up this claim with, well, any actual numbers whatsoever.

Now that their $3.8 billion spectrum and marketing deal with cable has been approved, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo this week stated that the company probably has about 4-5 years before we need to start worrying about the spectrum end of days again (a net gain of just a few short years). Again, no math was provided Read more about this here....

Verizon's Spectrum Doomsday

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Thursday, December 06, 2012

AT&T Highlights Plan To Hang Up On POTS, DSL

AT&T has laid bare their plan with the FCC to hang up on the carrier's landline networks so they can focus on more profitable wireless services. In a recent filing with the FCC (pdf), AT&T outlines their plans to "clear away the regulatory underbrush" governing the company's older landline and DSL networks. Companies like Verizon and AT&T are hanging up on DSL and landline customers, happily letting them leave for cable so that the incumbents can focus their resources on wireless services.

To truly be free of these resource-drains (aka million of customers they don't want) and "regulatory underbrush" (important, hard-earned consumer protections preventing consumers from being screwed) the telcos still need to kill off remaining regulation requiring that they give a damn about these customers. As Bruce Kushnick explores, AT&T's making a power play to free their older lines from any and all rules, especially in states where AT&T has had a harder time buying political support.

Read more about it here ...

Telco Prepares to Gut All Rules Governing Wireline Network

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Monday, December 03, 2012

Concerns About Outsourcing Your Infrastructure To A Cloud Environment

Would you say it's one of the following or something else?

• Control of my data and applications

• Transparency of set up through live running costs

• Security and compliance

• Unproven technology

• Data location and governance
 
Most infrastructure outsourcing disasters I've seen have come from hiring a firm that knows infrastructure/hardware but doesn't understand how it affects business applications. Even if hardware is the only aspect being outsourced and you still intend to fully administer all network software yourself, I'd made sure the hosting firm has plenty of experience with different business applications. It saves a lot of frustration and down time.
 
Everybody that is planning to outsource there hard- or software to a remote location (could be a cloud) should pay great attention to the contract that they are about to sign.

What is included in the contract and what happens if the internet connection goes 'poof', any backup?

Also, Where is your data stored. Make absolutely sure that the information is stored under the same laws as where your company is based. This is currently a very 'hot topic'.
 
Return on investment & maximizing use of my current assets.

Outsourcing your infrastructure does not leverage your existing investment & assets that an organization has today. Private Cloud offerings do.

If I had to choose outsourcing then I would be concerned with Control/Security and Service Level Agreements with the provider.
 
In general, the following are the main areas of concern you need to address before moving to a cloud service environment ....
 
1. Will my data be kept secure and confidential?

Ask the vendor about what steps have been taken to ensure data privacy and security. Ensure that security and privacy is maintained at all levels such as, network security, personnel security, site security or data security. You can visit the premises of your vendor to check their system of access control. You can ask for external drives to be disabled from systems. Make sure that your data is kept completely secure by asking your vendor if they follow a system of securing data through email, file and folder encryption.

2. Do you follow quality standards?

Visit your vendor’s premises and check if quality standards and processes are followed. Find out about the measures taken to ensure utmost quality in the delivered services/products. Check with previous customer references to see if the vendor has delivered quality services/products in the past. You can be assured of quality by checking if the vendor has ISO 9000 and CMM certifications.

3. Will there be transparency in the financial matters related to my organization?

Ask your service provider for previous customer references. Call up these references and ask them if the vendor has shown fairness and transparency in the financial dealings with them. Conducting a background check on the vendor can also help. Explain to your vendor that you expect complete transparency in invoices and contracts. Tell your vendor that you will cancel the outsourcing contract if you find their financial dealings are unfair.

4. Do you follow statutory regulations and laws?

Ensure that your service provider religiously follows all compliances, laws and regulations, as by being a customer you can be held responsible for any violations of the law. Personally check all the required documents and ask your vendor to show you proof that all laws are being followed. Explain to your vendor that you will outsource only if all regulations are stringently followed.

5. How reliable are you?

Details about the service provider’s number of years in the outsourcing business, experience across business verticals, financial status and increase in number of employees can give you a good idea about the vendor’s dependability. You can also check the vendor’s trustworthiness by asking them for previous customer references.

6. Are your work ethics and culture similar to my organization?

It is important that your service provider follows a similar standard of work ethics and culture, so that there can be seamless interaction between your companies. You can visit your service provider’s premises to understand their working culture better or even hold initial trainings to help your vendor understand and follow your way of working.

7. What will be the consequences of your employee attrition on my company?

Make sure that your service provider has adequate buffer capacity and has cross-trained employees to handle employee attrition. Ensure that your vendor’s employee attrition, if any, would have no consequences on your organization.

8. Can you deliver the project within the deadline?

You must ask this question before even starting the project. Ask the service provider if he can commit to your deadline. Get information about the number of resources who will be working on your project and the total numbers of hours that will be put into your project. While meeting deadlines are important, the quality of work is even more crucial, so ensure that the vendor does not compromise on the level of quality. You can ask for daily timesheets and weekly meetings with your vendor, so that you can keep a track of the progress of your project.

For free help navigating your choices for cloud services and comparing the multiple providers available to you simply ask at the link below...easy as 1, 2, 3.

Cloud Computing Solutions Support

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