4 Criteria for Selecting a Global Network Provider
A global network is a company’s central nervous system that influences the overall health and performance of a business and its critical systems. The network plays a key role in many of the IT transformation trends taking place today such as the consolidation of data centers, application virtualization, the adoption of hybrid networks and the implementation of cloud services.
A global wide-area network should guarantee your company a consistently high-quality user experience anywhere in the world. The success of your business — and your business applications — depends on it.
This requires a WAN supplier that excels at network design and service delivery. Here are 4 areas of technical leadership you’ll want your WAN supplier to possess.
1. Consistent Service Delivery
Many carriers and telecommunications companies have grown through acquisitions and they own some parts of the fiber transmission networks, switching assets and legacy systems of the companies they’ve acquired. This often results in some services being available only in specific geographic areas. Before you sign a contract, make sure you understand the impact their architecture will have on your global WAN.
2. Application User Experience
When it comes to a global network, the Application User Experience (AUX) rules. This has little to do with bandwidth and far more with jitter. Your service level agreement (SLA) should contain a global jitter value of less than 1 millisecond. And your provider should be able to provide you with an AUX guarantee.
3. Software Defined Network
A WAN service provider should use Software Defined Networking (SDN) principles to deploy the services you need, when and where you need service. SDN lets the network administrator make changes immediately for user experience, bandwidth, quality of service (QoS) and Virtual Private Network (VPN) requirements. As your IT environment evolves, support for orchestration APIs will become a critical requirement.
4. Cloud Connectivity
Cloud-based IT applications and services are becoming increasingly important so cloud connectivity should be part of your strategy and connectivity. A WAN provider should offer cloud connectivity to major cloud vendors, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and IBM SoftLayer. Network administrators should be able to manage these connections as extensions of the WAN with consistent performance and quality of service (QoS) enforcement.
Technical leadership and innovation are key traits for a WAN supplier. So make sure your provider is up to the task.