Fast, reliable connectivity is a must for keeping businesses connected – and that goes double for multi-location enterprises. Without the right business internet, geographically-dispersed locations can’t communicate with other branches or deliver the consistent experience today’s customers demand.
If you have an ill-fitting business connectivity solution in place, you’re likely familiar with challenges such as:
- Limitations on bandwidth availability, resulting in slow performance when using critical applications like video conferencing.
- Paying high costs for unused bandwidth – which you’re afraid to reduce because of your company’s unpredictable data usage.
- Difficulty scaling your business since installing hardware for specialized internet infrastructures can be time-consuming and expensive.
- Security concerns due to a lack of cyber security solutions designed to protect your cloud-based assets and remote workforce.
While choosing between broadband or fiber can be difficult for multi-location business leaders, connectivity challenges go far beyond this debate. In this blog, we’ll discuss the most popular types of business internet available for multi-location enterprises to help you find the right fit for your organization.
Around 77% of businesses use a fully managed or co-managed SD-WAN solution,1 and that number is expected to grow as more companies adopt remote and hybrid work environments. SD-WAN, short for software-defined wide area networking, has risen in popularity because of benefits such as lower costs, simplified management, and increased flexibility.
SD-WAN acts as an overlay for an organization’s existing network solution, allowing sending internet traffic over the best transport method (i.e., broadband, 4G, etc.) based on bandwidth availability. Thanks to this built-in agility, multi-location enterprises can easily optimize network performance to reduce costs and ensure their employees are always connected.
Multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) has been the tried-and-true standard for business connectivity since its inception in the 1990s. But as more businesses embrace flexible working models and cloud-based applications, analysts expect MPLS usage to steadily decline at a four-year CAGR of 5%.2
Connecting multiple business locations using MPLS requires building a dedicated infrastructure, which is typically a costly, labor-intensive process. However, once an MPLS network is set up, it can provide more granular control over data packets since MPLS routes never deviate from their specified paths.
Hybrid WAN allows businesses to link branch locations using multiple network services, which offers more flexibility than traditional MPLS models. Typically, MPLS serves as one connection, with broadband or VPN as the second service. Hybrid WAN solves many of the problems seen in legacy WAN architecture, such as the extra hops and latency that sometimes occur when network traffic reaches a bottleneck.
Many business leaders combine their hybrid WAN solutions with SD-WAN. SD-WAN adds a layer of intelligence to the network, enabling businesses to reap the benefits of SD-WAN, while the hybrid WAN is still free to use expensive MPLS connections for mission-critical business applications as needed.
Find Your Best-Fit Business Connectivity Solution With TailWind
As with all business technology, finding the best internet solution for your multi-location business depends on your unique needs. A trusted IT consultant can help you determine which option will work best for your organization – now and in the future.
TailWind can help you find the right business connectivity solution as your trusty multi-location enterprise IT and telecom sidekick.
Download our free guide, Managed IT: Your Trusty Multi-Location Enterprise IT and Telecom Sidekick, to learn about how we help multi-location businesses increase productivity, security, scalability, and much more with customized IT and telecom services.
If you’re ready to save time and money when choosing your next multi-location business connectivity solution, contact TailWind today.