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Webinar: Connecting the Enterprise


Making Network Transformation Seamless

Last week, Zayo hosted a webinar to help enterprises translate how their companies’ digital transformation must inevitably lead to a network transformation. 

Understanding that enterprises of all sizes are grappling with maintaining their competitive advantage in a data-driven, just-in-time intelligence environment, the webinar focused on the customer’s journey to this end and included potential solutions up and down the networking stack.

The speakers of our webinar were:

  • Alissa Clousing, Vice President, Product Management, Packet Networks
  • Ed Loveless, Director, Product Management, Edge Networks
  • Steve Goodman, Product Manager, WAN Services
  • Noah Hagerty, Product Manager, IP Services

This team took webinar participants through several prospective avenues of digital transformation, all with these themes in common:

When? Frankly, it’s up to you.

The webinar’s most important message: network transformation occurs when you need it to, not before, and never due to pressure from your network provider. A provider singularly focused on SD-WAN will, of course, try to push its benefits to everyone, but sometimes all you need is a powerhouse WAN to ensure your business’s success. Or direct connectivity to your preferred Cloud service provider. Or hybrid connections that link your private and public clouds. Or fully secured private networking using wavelengths. 

The point is that when your network provider understands how your network serves your business, it can ensure its health as your business grows and evolves. Then, when you’re ready, they’ll take you through your network’s transformation. Ed Loveless spoke about this extensively in the webinar. 

Group of young business people discussing with colleagues on video conference on meeting.

Your Network: It’s Your Company’s Lifeblood

Your network should disappear. It should be running so smoothly that your IT team never has to think about it, instead they can concentrate on the new exciting projects that will propel your company forward.

For this to happen, you need to consider the quality of the underlying network your WAN, your Internet, and your applications run over. If you choose your network provider carefully, all else falls into place. 

The right network is built where you need it to be. This is the geographic element of the network: it connects your locations in the metro area with redundancy and protected paths. It spans across countries, oceans, and continents offering physical-layer protective diversity over a single operational platform. It is not cobbled together using the leased infrastructure of multiple providers (but if yours is, we can manage that too… read on!).

The right network feeds your bandwidth addiction. This is the capacity element of the network: it’s fiber-based, offering a wide range of service speed options, from 1G through to 800G, and continuously innovating to push to faster and faster connections. Additionally, especially at the IP peering layer of the network, capacity is added well before it’s exhausted, ensuring a congestion-free transmission experience. And when microseconds count, it’s constructed properly to offer the industry’s lowest-latency long-haul routes.

The right network offers no downtime. This is the protection element of the network: it offers not only diverse routes with no single points of failure but buried fiber that can withstand weather-related outages. 

The right network is new. This is the peace-of-mind element of the network. There’s a lot of ancient infrastructure out there – leading to networks that are frail and susceptible to outage, and when networks go down, so does your business. Look for providers who are constantly investing in upgrading their network infrastructure. 

At Zayo, we like to say that our network is never finished. Indeed, significant investments were dedicated to our network and its operation in the turbulent macroeconomic climate of the past two years alone.

But the magic is what Zayo runs over this fiber foundation – a full portfolio of services that can serve enterprises as they untangle all they need in a network. Alissa Clousing’s explanation in the webinar reveals how Zayo meets those needs: operational efficiency, agility, stellar performance, and lower costs, all to improve enterprise outcomes.

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From Network Operations to Business Outcomes

The edge: Going slow to go fast

Let’s turn that network expense into a business tool. The right network serves your business in ways you may not be used to (yet). For Zayo, our network is the foundation of the service intelligence that can truly help your transformation – so that you can use the network to understand your traffic patterns, application performance, and vendor vulnerabilities, end to end.

Did you know that you can spend LESS overall on your network while improving its performance? It’s not only possible, but the most likely outcome when you choose the right technology. Five years ago, SD-WAN came on the scene touted as the “MPLS killer.” In reality, SD-WAN is the great enabler, simplifying your complex networking environment.

In our webinar, Ed Loveless provided a deep explanation of how Zayo’s Edge services such as SD-WAN, SSE security, and a portfolio of wireless enabling technologies provide huge potential for the performance of your broader network as it has grown in size and complexity. 

Ed also explained the Zayo edge philosophy of understanding customer needs and deploying thousands of locations in mere days: Zayo goes slow to go fast. Listen to learn more.

The IP Core: What it means to be a Tier 1 ISP

It may surprise you to learn that Zayo – that fiber-based network provider you know well – has built and operates a Tier 1 Internet network. Sourcing your Internet from a Tier 1 provider means better performance for your IP traffic due to robust peering relationships and strength in network reach.. 

Noah Hagerty explains what it takes: settlement-free, intelligently distributed peering with other Tier 1 networks, augmenting capacity on our backbone to avoid congestion, and diverse paths for protection (all the way to your enterprise edge) when the inevitable outage occurs. When your IP traffic runs over Zayo’s IP backbone and metro connections, your users feel the difference.

Because the public Internet is, well, public, it’s vulnerable to cyber attacks. Zayo’s network-based DDoS Protection provides truly best-in-class protection – stopping attacks before our Internet customers know they’re under attack. 

The customer WAN: A key piece to your networking puzzle

MPLS is the backbone of Zayo’s IP and WAN offerings (IP VPN at layer 3 and E-LAN at layer 2) – and while MPLS is mature, it’s reliable, faithful, still growing, and still providing the underlying infrastructure of many companies’ networks. 

Steve Goodman explains in our webinar that Zayo is not only committed to this layer of networking technology, but we’ve also invested heavily in MPLS to ensure that this key puzzle piece provides what enterprises need.

Additionally, it’s important for your vendors to address your transition to the Cloud. If you’re connecting to your cloud service providers using the public Internet, you may be sacrificing performance. Zayo can provide a private, dedicated Cloud connection using whatever technology you’d like (waves, fiber, for Ethernet for example), directly from your enterprise location. Remember – we own the first and last mile of the underlying network, and can serve you directly.

It’s all about flexibility – when your vendor owns so many elements of the network, the technology over the network, and the software overlay that manages the end-to-end infrastructure, you suddenly have the best of both worlds:

World 1: the flexibility to choose whatever networking elements best serve your business, and
World 2: the ease of working with a single provider, end-to-end

What’s Your End Goal?

The Zayo team then fielded a number of salient, enterprise “end-goal” questions from viewers of the webinar, including:

  • Does a move to SD-WAN mean a rip-and-replace of my current MPLS network?
  • Does an SD-WAN not need an underlying WAN?
  • How much investment in growth is Zayo placing on lower-latency networks?
  • How do newer technologies like SD-WAN prevent traffic issues (the way the different classes of service prioritize MPLS traffic)?
  • What are Zayo’s plans for private cellular technology?

Your network is maturing from a technical spec (such as CoS markings) to a business-outcome desired end state (such as with application-aware SD-WAN). 

You’re transforming your network at your pace. Zayo has the tools, the experience, and the technology to also transform your network… at your pace.