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Boost Unified Communications Investment with Network Peering

Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - 12:15
UC Network Peering

You can have the best service provider in the world, but if you’re missing one key ingredient – peering – application performance can suffer. Peering facilitates the strong connections that transform the way your business works.

What is Peering?

Peering is when Internet service providers agree to allow each other’s traffic to travel across one another’s network. That might sound archaic in this age of the public Internet, but peering is essential to guarantee network performance and reliability. Along with those peering arrangements come tighter controls and better network management.

For unified communications, peering becomes even more critical because UC has little tolerance for latency and outages. Videoconferencing, audio conferencing, chat and other real-time collaboration tools demand the highest quality as the traffic traverses the Internet. Packet loss, delays or outages can significantly impact your business’ ability to capitalize on the value proposition offered by UC services.

How West Does Peering

At West, we maintain a network presence at some of the world’s largest colocation facilities as part of our Maxxis MPLS peering ecosystem. We engage in public and private peering, understanding the benefits option delivers to our customers. With public peering, we leverage Internet Exchange points (IXs) to connect to other businesses and service providers. Public peering shortens the Internet path taken by critical business traffic, which can deliver a faster, higher quality and more dependable connection to those services. While public peering uses a single port, it sometimes provides less capacity than private peering. However, it does have the advantage of connecting a much larger number of networks.

Private peering operates a bit differently, leveraging direct network-to-network interfaces, which we cross-connect at Maxxis points of presence. We also, in private peering arrangements, apply quality-of-service constraints and measures to traffic to take advantage of each connection at a granular level. West customers can utilize the Maxxis network to connect to service providers at major colocation facilities they’d otherwise have to reach across the open Internet. Private peering is perfectly suited to the volume and sensitivity of data associated with UC applications.

Our peering partners are some of the best in the business, including Akamai, Amazon, BlueJeans Network, Cisco, Clearwire, Dropbox, Google, McAfee, Microsoft, One Ring Networks, Rackspace and Salesforce.com. We also have partnered with cities and smaller service providers to broaden our peering reach. We continue to expand this list to grow the networking options for our customers who want to exchange information worldwide.

We also pay close attention to our peering relationships, revisiting contracts and assessing infrastructure needs at the interconnects to avoid bottlenecks and to keep capacity well above requirements. We keep our arrangements up to date and in line with industry standards.

Do You Need Network Peering?

If you are still wondering why you need peering, consider this: An application is only as good as the network it crosses. Let’s say you are a global retailer who wants your stores, no matter where they are located geographically, to have the highest quality of unified communications performance. You can have the best videoconferencing application in the world, but if the public Internet that application encounters is experiencing slowdowns or outages, your users will be negatively impacted.

With peering, you can ensure UC traffic is prioritized and optimally routed around delays, bottlenecks, and outages. The shorter the path and the higher priority label for the application, the better the performance. By pairing peering with UC, you take a big step toward guaranteeing the maximum return on your collaboration and communications investment.

As an IT executive trusting a service provider with a critical business application, you should expect end-to-end connectivity with 100% packet delivery for real-time applications. Peering enables West to give your business the world-class experience UC demands. Peering improves the efficiency of your traffic, boosts throughput, and can lower your network operational cost.

Peering has a security element to it as well. If you know your traffic exchange points, you can more easily protect data. West can enact comprehensive threat management, proactive monitoring, and single point accountability at its public and private peering points. Peering also provides inherent redundancy, larger bandwidth capacity, better network ranking, and a greater pool of support resources.

If you want your users to enjoy a reliable and consistent UC experience, consider peering services from West.

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