Organizations have traditionally relied upon wired data transport services — MPLS or broadband Internet — for WAN connectivity. However, these services are slow to provision, are not available in all areas, and are subject to downtime if a cable is cut or the infrastructure is damaged. Cellular technology overcomes these challenges and delivers the performance needed to support today’s applications.
When selecting the data transport mechanism for the WAN, organizations must consider performance, capacity, reliability, security, and, of course, cost. Increasingly, organizations also need an agile WAN that can respond to changing business and technology requirements. One such example is MPLS.
However, MPLS architecture is expensive, inflexible, and creates a single point of failure — if the corporate WAN connection is lost, all branches lose connectivity. Also, as more and more network traffic flows to the cloud and third-party data centers, backhauling traffic from branch locations to headquarters is highly inefficient. Due to this, more and more organizations are using broadband Internet links for branch connectivity.
Broadband Internet is much cheaper than MPLS and more flexible in terms of bandwidth options. It allows branch locations and remote users to connect directly to the cloud and to each other rather than going through the corporate data center. However, broadband Internet services aren’t as reliable as MPLS, and direct connections to the Internet are not secure.
Today, many organizations use 4G/LTE as a secondary, backup network. Initially considered a convenient means of communication, cellular has emerged as one of the most reliable connectivity options available. Instead of using it as a backup network, a better idea could be to incorporate 4G/LTE wireless in a hybrid WAN. This incorporation would help organizations prevent a loss of network accessibility with wired WAN outages. Noncore applications can also be offloaded to 4G/LTE to free up bandwidth in the wired network and enhance security through network diversification.
Moving forward, organizations can use 4G/LTE wireless for resilient backup connectivity in hybrid design and add cost-efficient bandwidth. 4G/LTE may also be used as the primary data transport in new branch offices, highly remote sites, temporary locations, and to connect fixed and mobile IoT devices.
About Global Data Systems
GDS is a full-service managed IT company with deep engineering expertise and technology tools to support midsize and large enterprises. We specialize in solutions for oil and gas, marine transportation, industrial construction, government, and healthcare, providing our clients with the most up-to-date and innovative approaches to overcoming industry pains.
We help organizations boost the bottom line and streamline operations through the strategic application of world-class IT solutions. But it is our passion for making IT simple that empowers our clients to reach their potential. With GDS as a partner, you can quit worrying about IT and focus on your business.
Global Data Systems is headquartered in Lafayette, Louisiana, with additional offices and sales and technical personnel in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Lockport, Louisiana, and Houston, Texas.
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