How to Procure Wide-area Network (WAN) services

Updated: August 29, 2012

How to Procure Wide-area Network (WAN) services

What do you do when the Internet constrains your Revenue Stream?


The Internet is one of mankind's most significant undertakings. It's global, robust, easy to use and drives significant economics across all geographies. However our industry knows what is really going on under the hood and the challenges associated with keeping pace with today's demands for real-time transactions, content and applications.

Rather than the systematic grid the rest of the world assumes the Internet to be, we know that the Internet is an organic, ever-changing collection of interconnecting networks. The interconnections that make the Internet the Internet depend as much upon relationships as technologies, thus yielding a ‘Wild West' character to the industry.


Users are impatient, and every website and application is judged by the performance yardstick of Google or Amazon. To some companies whose revenue streams are dependent solely upon Internet connectivity or the Web, performance issues can quickly translate into revenue, profit and cash-flow issues.

PacketExchange fulfills a critical need by providing a global private network that bypasses the public Internet backbone to cost-effectively deliver the consistency, security, reliability and performance that the public Internet can not.


The Internet is NOT broken, it functions as designed!

By design, the Internet takes a "best efforts" approach to quality. A packet may traverse up to twenty transit networks on the way to its final destination. These connections are instrumental in creating global end-to-end connectivity, but the round trip time (or latency) depends upon the number of hops packets take to get there and the congestion on each hop.

To make matters more complex, different packets take different routes, leading to a wide variation in latency. This variability (or jitter) creates havoc with Voice, Video and other multi-media or real-time applications.

Furthermore, any lost packets must be retransmitted, multiplying latency and jitter. These are neither design flaws nor management issues,, but natural consequences of the architecture which has allowed the Internet to become the robust global resource it is today.


On the other hand, certain applications and business models require a better network to thrive and scale. The absence of an end-to-end service guarantee or availability of specific paths with defined performance qualities means that the Internet can not be all things to all people.


Companies relying upon Web revenues, driving critical traffic to remote locations, or delivering real-time applications, such as software as a service, interactive media, gaming, voice and/or video require more than the Internet can reliably offer.


User studies prove that slow network performance costs companies significant revenues through abandoned transactions, loss of advertising revenue and damage to brand equity (which can cross-over from Web to bricks-and-mortar operations).

What is more, the highest spending consumers seem to be the most impatient. In this demanding environment, relying on anything less than 100% guaranteed delivery and Service Level Agreement (SLA), is tantamount to playing Russian roulette with your company's bottom line.


Traditional Solutions Are Expensive vs. the PacketExchange Alternative

The traditional approach that large organizations use to assure revenues is to build a private network that bypasses the public Internet. Private Network Interconnect (PNI) is used to plug this private network back into the Internet for end-to-end connectivity. This capital-intensive approach, also requires a high degree of in-house expertise to operate and manage the private network on a 24/7 basis. While a private network provides dedicated bandwidth and security, its reliability depends upon the organization's network management skills and ongoing investment in diverse routes.

PacketExchange has built a Global Private Network which it offers to and manages for hundreds of customers. By virtue of its highly redundant mesh of 10 Gig wavelengths and Quality of Service (QoS) management, a global virtual LAN with low latency, near-zero packet loss and near-zero jitter is now economically feasible for every organization, large or small.


Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Cable MSOs, Mobile Operators and other broadband access providers often resort to physical peering to improve performance. This involves the time, resources and expense of creating direct interconnection with other networks in an Internet Peering Exchange (typically a building with one or more routers dedicated to the exchange of traffic between peers).

PacketExchange has built a revolutionary, location independent extension to this concept called eXpress™ wide-area peering. With eXpress, PacketExchange brings the benefits of peering to a large and growing global community by extending private peering to over 120 members' networks in and near its 44 points of presence around the world.

eXpress effectively brings companies in Los Angeles, San Jose, San Francisco, New York, London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, etc. together into the same virtual "building" or exchange via PacketExchange's Global Private layer-2 MPLS network. Unlike traditional peering, which would require facilities in every peering exchange, with eXpress, a single Ethernet port can bring you a direct connection to the world.


Increasingly, content and media providers use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to improve performance over the public Internet. CDNs distribute content across servers that are geographically close to the end users in order to improve response time. While perfect for the most popular titles, CDNs are less effective with the "long tail", such as the bulk of user-generated content, simply because there are so many different files and it is not possible to predict which will be the most popular.


Likewise, real-time interactive media such as gaming and virtual worlds require that both upload and download be efficient. These same requirements also exist for real-time transactional applications such as corporate supply chain, customer relations management, VoIP, video-conferencing, and many others.


PacketExchange has created the industry's first global, managed, infrastructure-based Application Delivery Network (ADN). Today, PacketExchange's ADN delivers some of the most demanding applications including high-definition TV, video and voice for some of world's largest providers. PacketExchange's network is optimized for real-time interactions and dynamic content providing the performance of a private LAN, across a global footprint, designed with Internet economics in mind.


Plugging into the PacketExchange Global Private Network

Essentially PacketExchange is a utility. You simply plug into PacketExchange's network with a single Ethernet port and get access to a dedicated network solution which combines PacketExchange's unique Application Delivery or Content Delivery network services, private wide-area peering, and your own global private Ethernet network, as well as multi-homed access to multiple Tier 1 IP transit backbones.

The result is immediate network expansion, while significantly reducing the cost and complexity associated with more traditional methods. PacketExchange is the only provider that delivers this combination, while enhancing performance by delivering:

  • Consistent network performance
  • Improved peering capability
  • Resilient network transport
  • Simplified data center management
  • Virtual network equipment deployment
  • Low administrative overhead
  • Synchronized service levels
  • Single administrator for support
  • Low capital expenditures


Avenue to Revenue

By replacing the unpredictability of the public Internet with private VLAN and/or direct peered connections around the world, you can deliver higher performance that translates into more predictable revenue.


PacketExchange is an increasingly attractive alternative, delivering immediately improved customer experiences which can increase user time on site, enhance customer satisfaction, maximize online transactions, and boost advertising metrics.

By bringing the user community up close across the world, you have additional tools with which to expand your reach, while capturing more revenue opportunities.

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