You love the idea of upgrading your company’s network so it can face demands both today and tomorrow. But you can’t very well go to your CEO and CFO and tell them this means binning their existing investment and starting all over again.
For IT managers with a small budget and a long list of upgrade requirements the good news is that there are some effective ways of improving network performance without starting afresh.
Your best friend here is Ethernet technology. In its early days, Ethernet was little more than a way of connecting a few devices around the office. Now, the same technology can work over a much wider area, bringing simplicity and efficiency wherever it goes, and at a relatively modest price.
Scale and shrink
Using Ethernet technology makes it easy, for example, to extend the physical reach of a network and to scale the system to accommodate company growth. Ethernet also shrinks the amount of equipment you need to make any given network function, which not only reduces capital expenditure, but also ongoing management and maintenance costs.
With Ethernet it’s easy to connect employees to the office, regardless of where those employees might be. Wireless and fixed networks can also:
- Integrate seamlessly, helping support those who require remote access to centralised data, along with all the protective security that it entails.
- Deploy extranets and intranets to give online access to people both inside and outside your organisation.
- Support more efficient communications.
Contact centres can be linked to company databases and applications over the same network, making interactions with customers and suppliers faster and more efficient. Adding more network capacity, creating faster connections, linking back and front office systems and automating manual procedures, all go a long way to making an organisation more proficient without wasting bucket-loads of cash.
Talk can be cheap
With Ethernet and IP (Internet Protocol), telephony systems can be upgraded and futureproofed by installing a more efficient exchange. Based on open standards, these new exchanges support existing legacy systems (so nothing’s wasted) and offer a staged migration to Next Generation Networks and the converged applications that run over them.
If you really want to put yourself in the driving seat, then you might want to consider the new Ethernet VPN (Virtual Private Network) service launched by Virgin Media Business. Marking the next stage in the development of Ethernet technology, the service allows greater efficiency of voice and data connectivity across multiple sites by giving organisations greater control over their network.
At a time when capital and operating budgets are under pressure, the new service combines lower implementation and maintenance charges with effective network control. This enables organisations to scale their network in the future, using their bandwidth more effectively to manage peaks and troughs in traffic. The net result is that IT managers can provide their organisation with guarantees regarding the quality of service the communications infrastructure will deliver.
Ahead in the game
“A VPLS-based Ethernet VPN service, available to businesses anywhere in the UK, will help meet demand among UK businesses for layer 2 any-to-any connectivity,” says Joel Stradling, Senior Analyst for Business Telecom Services with independent consultancy Current Analysis. “Customers seeking to migrate from less scalable legacy technologies can get a flexible multi-protocol solution backed by up to seven Classes of Service and maintain IP routing control, if they so desire. Virgin Media Business’s Ethernet VPN is part of a broad portfolio backed by their own national infrastructure, which is difficult for rivals to match.”
“We recognise that businesses want to have more control over their network and be able to make straightforward changes,” says Andrew McGrath, Commercial Director, VirginMedia Business. “By aligning the communications infrastructure with the needs of the business, Ethernet VPN wholeheartedly addresses this requirement. The increased transparency and management capabilities of the service will equip those who want it with the ability to design and maintain more successful, cost-effective networks.”
Our IPVPN (Internet Protocol Virtual Private Network) is another way of delivering a cost-effective, secure, flexible, scalable and fully managed service. And it’s capable of carrying everything you might want to throw at it: voice, video and data traffic.
IPVPN provides the security of a basic VPN with superior performance for business-critical applications, plus the cost benefits of running all your voice, data and video traffic on a single network.
Our managed IPVPN solution, created in conjunction with Cisco, is based on MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching) technology. This enables the IT manager to prioritise bandwidth for different types of traffic, so that low priority traffic won’t get in the way of mission-critical data. MPLS networks allow this to be done in a scalable manner that can’t be achieved otherwise without the purchase of expensive customer premise equipment.