WHY YOU NEED 4G/LTE WIRELESS FAILOVER FOR BROADBAND

It’s impossible for a broadband internet connection to deliver 100 percent uptime. Lost connectivity can be caused by a wide range of issues, including bad weather, construction, an auto accident that knocks out a telephone pole, or a glitch with your Internet service provider. But users across your organization don’t want to hear that when they can’t quickly access the applications and data they need. And don’t even think about using that excuse with your customers when dropped calls or poor quality video conferencing quality make clear communications impossible.

Organizations that depend upon broadband to support point-of-sale applications, cloud-based services and other critical business solutions must have reliable, 24×7 connectivity. Otherwise, retail locations, warehouses, remote branches and users won’t be able to communicate with the corporate data center or each other. They end up losing productivity, revenue, and the confidence and loyalty of their customers.

Organizations need to be prepared for downtime across their WAN when they inevitably lose their broadband Internet connection or other wired service. In fact, even the most reliable multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) service isn’t immune to outages and such dedicated connections are typically cost-prohibitive for remote locations.

Organizations will often implement two separate broadband connections to protect against a possible service provider outage. However, this doesn’t always provide true redundancy. Many buildings have a single point of entry for communication cables, so the actual conduit itself is a single point of failure. It’s often necessary to use different technologies for primary and backup connectivity in order to ensure maximum availability.

A business continuity network that combines different connectivity options – wired Ethernet and 4G/LTE wireless – will ensure that your organization has 100 percent network availability as well as the bandwidth and performance that are critical to business operations.

The InSpeed software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) solution enables you to create a business continuity network that combines cost-efficient Broadband Internet with highly reliable wireless connectivity. Because data can use multiple independent pathways and alternate routes to reach its destination, this environment eliminates the possibility of a single point of failure and provides users with greater reliability, flexibility and versatility. The InSpeed SD-WAN ensures security by encrypting data from end to end.

But a business continuity network isn’t enough — you also need automated failover capabilities. The InSpeed Quality Service (IQS) solution continually monitors the WAN and automatically fails over to 4G/LTE wireless when broadband Internet connectivity is lost, allowing for seamless business continuity. The switchover is so fast that voice calls won’t get dropped, enabling you to maintain the highest levels of productivity and deliver the best possible customer experience. When the wired connection is restored and stabilized, InSpeed will detect it and automatically fail back to the broadband Internet service.

In addition to preventing a disruption to business operations, 4G/LTE wireless is faster to deploy, easier to manage and more reliable than wired failover solutions, and can be less expensive. 4G/LTE wireless may also provide the most reliable service in remote areas that have limited or slow Internet connectivity, or no connectivity at all.

Every wired Internet connection must have redundancy – a reliable backup plan – in order to avoid the potentially disastrous consequences of an outage. Let InSpeed show you how 4G/LTE wireless failover can protect your organization by delivering reliable and secure Internet connectivity.

The Easiest, Most Cost-Efficient Way to Set Up a Full Mesh VPN

The Easiest, Most Cost-Efficient Way to Set Up a Full Mesh VPN

As organizations connect branch locations directly to the Internet — rather than backhauling Internet traffic to headquarters over multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) services — they need to ensure the security of those remote site connections. InSpeed Quality Service (IQS) establishes a virtual private network (VPN) to protect company data as it travels over the Internet.

IT pros talk about using VPN tunnels to transmit data securely from one point to another. The word “tunnel” is used as a metaphor for a private pathway through an unsecured network such as the Internet. The tunnel is created using encryption to encapsulate the data packets. Because the data is encrypted, only the designated recipient can read it.

Organizations set up VPNs to connect two or more sites to one another, or to allow remote users to securely access company resources. There are three primary VPN topologies:

  • Point to point: This is the simplest form of VPN, in which one site connects to another. The VPN is set up and configured at each endpoint.
  • Hub and spoke: Each remote site is a “spoke” that connect to the headquarters “hub” via a separate VPN tunnel. The remote sites communicate with one another by going through headquarters.
  • Full Mesh: All sites are connected to one another. This is the most complex VPN topology, but also the most flexible and reliable.

Organizations have traditionally used the hub-and-spoke topology because it’s relatively easy to implement and requires only one VPN connection between each remote site and the hub. However, the hub-and-spoke model has a “single point of failure” — if headquarters loses connectivity, the entire VPN fails. It also creates latency because all traffic is traveling through a single chokepoint. Remote locations are unable to access multiple data centers, or collaborate with one another.

The full mesh topology eliminates the single point of failure, reduces latency and is capable of handling larger amounts of network traffic. However, a full mesh VPN traditionally has been expensive to set up due to the hardware required for each remote site. If not designed properly, the WAN will not route traffic in the most efficient manner. Full mesh VPNs are also highly dynamic and complex to maintain using legacy tools.

SD-WAN simplifies all of this by automatically establishing and configuring each VPN connection. A mesh of virtual links is created dynamically and layered on top of the physical WAN infrastructure. With IQS, a site can be set up with a single click and managed through a centralized, cloud-based console.

InSpeed’s SD-WAN solution is cost-efficient as well. Everything is handled by a small, onsite appliance that self-configures and automatically connects to the InSpeed cloud. It’s plug-and-play simple and so inexpensive that it can be used by employees who work from home. IT teams don’t have to worry about support headaches associated with legacy VPN technologies.

Many organizations are finding that the traditional hub-and-spoke VPN topology no longer meets their operational requirements. InSpeed makes it easy to set up and administer a full mesh, site-to-site VPN, ensuring robust security over any Internet connection.

Kentucky Company Reduces Telecom Costs by 72 Percent and Gains Higher-Quality Service

increased quality, speed, efficiency and reduced costs image

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Reducing Telecom Costs without Sacrificing Quality of Service

It’s human nature to think that an expensive product is better than a lower-cost product. There’s a degree of logic to that—why would the market support a higher cost if there wasn’t some value behind it?

When it comes to multiprotocol label switching (MPLS), however, the price of the service has little to do with the cost of delivery or the functionality that’s provided. Quite simply, it comes down to what the market will bear.

Historically, there have been limited options when it comes to wide-area network (WAN) connectivity. The telcos pretty much owned the road, and developed MPLS to more efficiently handle growing volumes of Internet traffic. Because MPLS is offered by just a handful of providers, the price is relatively high.

The broadband Internet market, by contrast, is highly competitive, which drives down prices. Broadband Internet typically costs $.75 to $2.00 per megabit per month. MPLS, in contrast, ranges from $75 to $200 per megabit per month depending on location. Granted, broadband Internet is a “best-effort” service, while MPLS creates a private WAN with guaranteed bandwidth. It takes better equipment and more engineers to deliver MPLS, but that doesn’t explain such a huge discrepancy.

Fact is, many IT professionals believe that broadband Internet is inadequate for enterprise WAN connectivity. They’re concerned that the cost of downtime and of troubleshooting problems across dozens or even hundreds of locations would offset any savings from a cheaper service.

However, MPLS is starting to show its age. Organizations that rely heavily on cloud-based applications and services find that MPLS creates bottlenecks. Furthermore, MPLS doesn’t provide the advanced traffic shaping needed to ensure high-quality IP communications.

Twenty Times the Bandwidth, 72 Percent Lowered Costs

A Kentucky-based technology company was using MPLS to connect its two corporate offices in Louisville and Lexington. The company was frustrated with the high cost of MPLS, and began looking for alternatives. Software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) seemed like a good solution, but it had to provide Quality of Service (QoS) for voice and video conferencing.

After reviewing SD-WAN products from a number of vendors, the company selected InSpeed Quality Service (IQS). IQS is the only SD-WAN solution that’s purpose built to ensure performance for interactive applications. It gives interactive traffic priority over ordinary Internet traffic, and manages bandwidth utilization from end to end to reduce congestion for all applications.

After implementing IQS with a broadband Internet connection, the company found that voice call quality immediately improved. The company’s 65 employees could communicate with each other and with customers without the jitter, echoes and other issues they experienced with MPLS.

But what about reducing telecom costs? The company had been paying $1,920 for two 5Mbps MPLS circuits, plus another $180 for an MPLS-to-Internet connection in its Louisville location. That’s $2,100 per month for relatively little bandwidth. Now, the company has a 100Mbps Internet connection plus IQS in each location, for a total cost of just $600 per month. With InSpeed, the company enjoys 20 times the bandwidth for 72 percent lower cost per month, with improved call quality.

InSpeed’s SD-WAN solution proves that more expensive isn’t necessarily better. Let us show you how IQS can save you a bundle while ensuring high-quality business communications and cloud access. Check out the case study referenced here, or reach out to our team to get started to find out how much money IQS can save for your company.

 

InSpeed Helps IT Solution Provider Deliver Top-Notch Customer Service

How one company streamlined their home office communications

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The IT skills gap is a big and growing problem that defies easy solutions. The evolution of the IT field is accelerating with new technologies emerging faster than ever before. 63 percent of companies today have remote workers and hiring managers predict that 38 percent of their full-time, permanent employees will work remotely in the next ten years. Organizations seeking to take advantage of those technologies are struggling to find workers who can support them. The result, according to a recent CompTIA report, is reduced productivity, lower sales and profitability, delays in bringing new products and services to market, and losing ground to competitors.

This has created both opportunities and challenges for IT solution providers. Organizations need help, and are more willing than ever to outsource IT support. However, solution providers face the same staffing challenges as other organizations, particularly when it comes to specialized IT skills.

Technology is helping to resolve some of the issues it has created. Near-ubiquitous Internet access means that IT support specialists can access systems remotely, from virtually anywhere. This enables solution providers to cast a wider net when it comes to hiring. They can focus on finding employees with the right skills, regardless of geography.

Professional-Quality Voice in the Home Office: IPC Case Study

[blockquote style=”background-color: #0077b3;” cite=”Mark Guyer
Senior Support Services Engineer
IPC Technologies” type=”left”]“After InSpeed was installed people told me that it sounded like I was in the next room instead of several states away.”[/blockquote]

IPC Technologies has leveraged this model to support its nationwide customer base. A Mitel Platinum-Certified Partner with expertise in phone systems, networks and more, IPC maintains a deep bench of experienced engineers and technicians. Most work from one of IPC’s Network Operations Centers, but some are located in remote offices or even work from home.

One particular support services engineer was living in the greater Kansas City area, far from any IPC branch. He set up an office in his apartment, using the phone and the Internet to support IPC’s customers. His Voice over IP (VoIP) phone tied directly into IPC’s headquarters in Richmond, Va. Customers had no way of knowing he was working remotely.

However, the consumer-grade Internet connection in the engineer’s apartment building was not up to the job. Every afternoon, as Internet traffic increased, the quality of his VoIP calls degraded significantly. Choppiness and robot voice made conversations difficult to understand—and created a poor customer experience for a company that specializes in phone systems.

IPC was familiar with InSpeed Quality Service (IQS) and its ability to optimize voice calls. The company decided to see if IQS could solve the engineer’s VoIP problems. IQS was designed to ensure high-quality business communications over any connection, every time. But could it optimize voice calls over a highly variable, poor-quality Internet service?

IPC shipped a preconfigured InSpeed appliance to the engineer, who set it up in a matter of minutes. All he had to do was plug in two cables and press the “on” button—the appliance automatically connected to the InSpeed cloud and began prioritizing voice, video conferencing and other interactive traffic. The engineer’s VoIP problems disappeared instantly, and other Internet applications performed better as well.

The InSpeed appliance and service are easy to use and manage, so the engineer can focus his efforts on supporting IPC’s customers.

Organizations facing shortages of skilled IT personnel need the ability to hire workers regardless of location. The InSpeed SD-WAN solution can ensure that these employees have high-quality voice calls so they can deliver top-notch support to their customers.

To find out if InSpeed is the right solution for your office space, contact one of our sales specialists.

 

Why SD-WAN Should Be Part of Your Business Continuity Plan

With IQS, it is possible to maintain business continuity in a hurricane. 4g failover to the rescue

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Network Downtime Affects Your Bottom Line

If time is money, downtime is money wasted. The 2017 Veeam Availability Report, a global survey of IT decision-makers conducted by ESG, found that downtime costs enterprises an average of $21.8 million each year. There has been a 36 percent year-over-year increase in downtime incidents. Not surprisingly, 86 percent of survey respondents expect downtime costs to continue to go up in the future. That’s why business continuity is so important.

Whether downtime is caused by hardware failure, a weather-related event or a cyberattack, the bottom line suffers when employees can’t access the IT resources they need. Customers and business partners lose confidence in your organization, your reputation suffers, and resources have to be diverted to make up lost ground.

Losing WAN Connectivity Grinds Business to a Halt

The loss of WAN connectivity can be as bad as a server crash — if not worse. Most organizations rely on the WAN to connect multiple locations and remote workers. The WAN also supports IP phone systems and collaboration tools, and provides access to cloud-based applications. Without the WAN, business grinds to a halt.

The right software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) solution can help maximize WAN availability. SD-WAN makes it possible to implement a hybrid WAN with intelligent path selection and automatic failover. Organizations can increase WAN resilience by supplementing multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) and broadband Internet with 4G/LTE or satellite connectivity.

An Ohio-based retailer with more than 70 showrooms in 24 states can attest to the value of SD-WAN for business continuity. With many of its stores clustered along the East Coast, including several locations in Florida, the company was concerned that a hurricane or other disaster could interrupt WAN services. Based upon a recommendation from its IT solution provider, TTx, the retailer began testing InSpeed’s SD-WAN solution in a single location.

Our SD-WAN Means Business Continuity…Even in a Natural Disaster

The retailer was using MPLS to support the IP phones in each location, and wanted to add 4G broadband for redundancy. InSpeed made it possible to flip back and forth between MPLS and 4G with no dropped calls or disruption of service. During the test, the retailer also found that Quality of Service (QoS) and performance were vastly improved when using 4G broadband with InSpeed instead of MPLS.

Shortly thereafter, Hurricane Irma began approaching Florida. The retailer sent an IT director to install InSpeed with 4G broadband at each Florida store before Irma made landfall. When WAN service was disrupted, InSpeed automatically switched over to 4G without any problems.

The retailer then decided to install InSpeed in its primary call center. InSpeed was meant to serve as a backup, but the company again found that InSpeed plus broadband provided better QoS and performance than MPLS. InSpeed’s real-time visibility and reporting capabilities showed that the MPLS connection had significant packet loss and latency even though it was only handling voice traffic. InSpeed was able to improve voice call quality and ensure performance for other traffic as well.

This led the retailer to eliminate all of its MPLS circuits and use InSpeed and broadband in every location. InSpeed provided the desired redundancy while reducing WAN costs by more than half.

Bottom line: Downtime is expensive. MPLS is expensive. InSpeed can help improve business continuity, reduce WAN costs and ensure performance for business communications and cloud-based applications. Contact one of our specialists to learn more.