What is the scarcest IT resource today? Processor power, main memory and disk space all seem to grow unabated. But network bandwidth on the other hand is still comparatively expensive. Consequently, enterprises tend to have less of it, which is turn leaves them more exposed to possible outages. Luckily, other technology means that bandwidth can be made to do more, even if it’s not reasonable to have more of it. Routing voice and data over the same links is a prime example. This simplifies recovery and can also minimize outages. What’s missing in the equation is a simple explanation of terms involved. Here are a few to help you mix and match for the configuration that suits you.
SIP Trunks. A Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and streaming media service using the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). Convert your phone calls into packet streams and send them over the Internet along with your data.
PRI. This one is getting so old, you might have forgotten it. PRI stands for Primary Rate Interface for ISDN connections. Legacy PRI connections are now being replaced by less expensive SIP trunks that often have less downtime too.
Blended BGP (Border Gateway Protocol). Lets you combine several providers into one stream for resilience if one of those providers ceases to work. Combining Blended BGP and SIP Trunks (see above) can boost continuity and cut costs.
4G VPN. 4G is the new and improved version of 3G. Internet connections are stronger and Internet speeds are faster by a factor of 5. Mobile computing device users are the big beneficiaries. To save money and/or increase security, run the 4G connections for employees through a Virtual Private Network (VPN) using MPLS (below).
MPLS. Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) sends data from one network node to the next using concise path labels instead of complex network addresses. Faster and more efficient, it can be used to transport a variety of other communications based on 4G and DSL, but also legacy protocols such as ATM and frame relay.