The Advantages of Private WAN Service
Internet connectivity is one of your business’s most important utilities. While many companies choose a broadband internet service in order to save cost, a private WAN service worthwhile for many use cases.
The advantages of a private WAN network include improved flexibility, security, and scalability. They are ideal for companies that deal with sensitive information or have many locations. This guide defines private WAN services, outlines service options, and details the benefits.
For more information on private WAN or other internet connectivity options, contact Brightlio today.
What Is a Private WAN Service?
A private WAN (or private Wide Area Network) is a private internet network dedicated to your business. It connects offices, remote workers, data centers, and public cloud providers via a secure private connection. Private WAN services can be delivered over dedicated physical connections like leased lines or dark fiber. They can also be delivered virtually over shared connections using technologies like VPN and SD-WAN.
A private WAN is differentiated from a public internet connection like broadband, where many users are on the same network.
Types of Private WAN Services
There are a number of private wide area network deployment methodologies. We will review a few of the most popular here.
Dedicated Physical Connection
A private WAN can be created using dedicated lines procured only for your business. Leasing dedicated lines or procuring dark fiber services are the most common approaches. While this is the most expensive approach, it gives you complete control over your bandwidth. With the right DWDM or Ethernet infrastructure, you can push hundreds of Gigs of network traffic per second over dark fiber connections.
EPL and EVPL
Ethernet Private Lines (EPL) and Ethernet Virtual Private Lines (EVPL) use an ethernet network to connect two or more devices. EPL is best for customers with high bandwidth, with speeds available from 10 Mbps to 10 Gbps. In some cases, you can achieve 100 Gbps. However, EPL can be expensive depending on the distance you need the network to cover.
EVPL uses virtual ethernet connections to link multiple devices to the hub location. It’s less expensive than EPL because it uses a business’s existing MPLS network, cutting down on infrastructure costs. EVPL can prioritize data transfer based on applications and performance, ranging from 10 Mbps to 10 Gbps.
IPsec VPN is one of the most secure ways to build a private WAN because it can incorporate a firewall. An IPsec VPN creates an IPsec tunnel enabling a private network. You can choose a VPN with a hub and spoke architecture or a meshed architecture.
Since IPsec VPN can leverage cheaper broadband connectivity, it can lower costs. It also allows you to incorporate remote users easily. However, depending on the service you procure, you may see a degradation in network performance and reduced uptime.
Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) is a private WAN architecture that sends data over a pre-determined path based on labels. This allows data to be routed straight to its destination. It’s a secure connectivity method, and more efficient than IP routing, but it is also more expensive.
MPLS services are procured via a telecommunications carrier. The carrier provides MPLS switch/routers at each location. The carrier also manages the MPLS network for you.
Virtual Private LAN Service (VPLS) connects multiple local area networks together, making them appear as if they were on the same LAN. The sites are bridged over a WAN network like MPLS. With VPLS, all services appear to be on the same local area network, regardless of location. VPLS provides some of the benefits of a broadband connection, with added QoS benefits similar those provided by MPLS.
The main advantage of VPLS is that you control the network. The carrier controls the network with MPLS. VPLS requires you to have network engineering capabilities on staff, and to invest in network infrastructure, however.
Software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) is a replacement technology for MPLS. It uses many connection types, including broadband, wireless, MPLS, POTS, and dedicated fiber. SD-WAN infrastructure uses software to appropriately route traffic based on application, user, and quality of service (QoS) configurations.
Switching to SD-WAN service from MPLS or an older technology can happen quickly and cost-effectively. As SD-WAN features are included with many next-generation firewalls, there is often no additional cost to deploy.
The Advantages of Private WAN Services
Of course, there are many advantages to private WAN services. Now that you know more about the services and how they differ from public internet access, here are the benefits of a private WAN for businesses.
Having a private internet connection is the best way to have reliable internet. Public internet users experience latency and jitter due to network congestion. Since the service is dedicated to you, you do not need to worry about network traffic from other businesses slowing you down.
As private WAN services are often more expensive, they also come with service level agreements (SLAs) that are superior to broadband connections. These also ensure greater uptime.
Private WAN services are entirely scalable based on your needs. The only limitation is your budget. If you can afford dark fiber services, scaling can be effortless and cheap with low-cost network connectivity options like DWDM.
When your internet connection is completely private, you will naturally have more security than a public connection. Many industries with stringent compliance standards, like finance and healthcare, choose private internet connectivity for security reasons.
A private internet connection can have as much (or as little) encryption as you deem necessary. For many businesses, more encryption is required if the information is sensitive. The increased security of a private connection makes it much more attractive and less susceptible to hacking.
Who Should Get a Private WAN Service?
Although there are many benefits to private WAN services, they aren’t necessarily the best option for every company. Private WAN services are more expensive than broadband or consumer internet. The costs may not outweigh the benefits for some customers.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself to see if a private WAN makes sense for you:
Do you have a lot of locations? Are you planning to add more?
If so, you will likely benefit from the scalability, reliability, and visibility of private WAN services. As you are buying at a greater scale, you also have some leverage to negotiate bulk discounts, helping to mitigate the cost difference between private connectivity and business broadband.
How detrimental is network downtime?
A private WAN service will be more reliable than commodity internet. It will also be tied to SLAs that will give you some recourse during an outage.
If network downtime costs your organization substantially, you should look at a private connectivity service. Incorporating a lower-cost 4G or broadband connection as a backup is also a wise investment.
Do you transfer large files between locations or the cloud?
If you are transferring large files between sites, and if the performance of these transfers is essential, you should consider a private WAN service. Additionally, business broadband connections usually have limited upload speeds. If upload speeds are crucial, you should look at a private connection.
Are you running latency sensitive applications?
Applications like unified communications and video conferencing are examples of ubiquitous latency-sensitive applications in modern enterprises. If these applications are essential for your business communications, you will see benefits to a private WAN service compared to broadband.
How critical is network security?
Cybersecurity is of critical importance to all organizations. If a cybersecurity event could cripple your business, you should consider a private WAN. Additionally, you may need a private WAN service to meet specific compliance standards like HIPAA, PCI, and GDPR.
Need a Private WAN Service? Brightlio Can Help!
If you are looking for connectivity solutions, Brightlio can help. We partner with a global provider network that offers private WAN, dark fiber, SD-WAN, business broadband, cloud on-ramps, and other connectivity options. As a telecommunications broker, our services are provided at no cost to you.
In addition to connectivity solutions, we are experts in unified communications, colocation, and cloud services. We would welcome the opportunity to partner with you. Get started with Brightlio today!