These four tips make your network reliable


The standards for networks – whether they are internal company networks or networks offered by a telecom operator – are higher than ever. “We have seen expectations rise significantly in recent years,” products & services marketing manager Lieven Vaes of Orange Belgium confirms. “Our range meets these expectations.”

“Companies currently no longer accept any network downtime,” Lieven Vaes explains. This has to do with the fact that companies are running more and more applications on their networks. A network’s reliability depends on several elements. We list some important focus areas here:

1. Go for proven network technologies

When developing your network, it is crucial to go for network technologies and commonly supported standards that have already proven their worth and reliability.

It is best to ask your telecom operator to provide so-called multicast protocols. One example is Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS), which uses so-called quality of service classes that allow you to assign the right priority to every application. This avoids delays in essential applications and any resulting loss of quality.

Another requirement is the integration of private and public networks. In many companies, the IT infrastructure is spread across a private network (LAN) and the public network by means of cloud services, for example. The challenge is to ensure both networks are optimally connected. One solution for this includes an IP VPN gateway that connects external business applications with the company’s IP VPN.

2. Good network design (and built-in security)

Besides choosing the right technologies, network design is also extremely important. “Because the type of traffic is changing, the network’s design must be reviewed. You will always need to analyse your data traffic,” Chief Technology Officer of service provider Dimension Data explains.

Good network design also includes security that is built into the network itself. “You have to take an end-to-end approach. Security is not something you can add on afterwards,” Ettienne Reinecke of Dimension Data continues.

3. Provide sufficient capacity

A reliable network is also a matter of sufficient capacity. “When people start to collaborate in real-time, your network will inevitably be affected,” Ettienne Reinecke adds. “Companies simply need to offer more bandwidth. Their telecom partners must provide this.“

Capacity can be provided by a variety of access possibilities, such as VDSL, Ethernet or fibre optic, but the mobile network also plays an important role in this respect. A 4G backup service can ensure your capacity, for example. It is up to you how you combine all these technologies.

4. Choose the right partners

Network technology is an expertise that is best provided by external specialists with the necessary credentials. It is important that as a customer, you keep full control over your network and telephony projects: you get to choose the building blocks you need and the partner who will provide them.

You are therefore better off not casting your lot in with one party only. That is why we opt for a so-called open ecosystem. Among other things, this means that we choose to work with specialists in networking expertise, but also in related areas, such as security, storage and disaster recovery.

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