This Industry Viewpoint was authored by Epsilon's Prasanna Caliaperoumal
Worldwide spending on digital transformation is set to reach $2.3 trillion in 2023 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.1%, according to IDC. Over the next five years, digital transformation will become the majority of ICT investment and the number of devices connected to IP networks will be more than three times the global population by 2022, according to Cisco. This sea of change needs to be reflected in networking today.
For managed service providers (MSP), existing models will no longer suffice as digital transformation accelerates and new demands arise. The action they take today to build flexibility, adaptability, and simplicity into their network will pay off with the freedom to grow and adopt new applications and services of the future. Multi-service ports can provide a simpler approach to how services are adopted and managed.
Multiple Service Options with a Single Port
An ethernet multi-service port is a gateway to connecting applications and data across the globe. Instead of allocating a single service to a port, users can use a multi-service port to connect to data centres, public clouds, internet exchanges (IXs) and other network resources, as well as deploy software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) in branch locations. It makes it easy to enjoy multiple services with a single port, helping MSPs to become more adaptable to their customers’ digital journeys.
From a single port, a “virtual connect” – a private, dedicated point-to-point ethernet VLAN connection – is established between two endpoints. This ensures that regardless of where applications and data are hosted, the organisation can rapidly consume connectivity services of their choice.
A multi-service port brings order to an increasingly complex networking environment and delivers immediate access to an array of connectivity solutions.
A Simpler Way to Solve Network Challenges
Unlike the traditional A to B networking model, a multi-service port allows MSPs to change and adapt services to support their customers’ needs. It is an approach that enables them to support the end users with direct connection to the cloud, peering, data centre interconnect, and other last mile requirements.
A multi-service port removes complexity by enabling MSPs to tap on the connectivity services they need, using a single easy-to-manage port. It removes the need for managing multiple service provider relationships, tracking and comparing pricing across services, or allocating resource to creating their own ecosystem of connectivity.
This gives them the freedom to create new solutions for their customers globally, with a simpler approach. MSPs can change the service or move the port to different locations according to demand, helping to better meet the needs of their customers.
Multi-Service Port Differentiators for MSPs
While multi-service ports are offered by a number of service providers, underlying infrastructure and business models can vary, and they are not all equal. MSPs need to consider the key differentiators that separate one multi-service port from another.
The service provider should support with port set-up and last mile connectivity, offering a comprehensive end-to-end service with proven expertise. The provider’s ecosystem should also offer access to hundreds of data centres as well as world leading IXs and cloud service providers (CSPs). Without an established global ecosystem, MSPs will not be able to have a rich network footprint that brings more opportunities.
The provider should have an MEF-certified, carrier-grade network with scalable bandwidth to ensure growing demand can be met. It should also offer flexibility in terms of allowing the movement of ports across different locations on the network, enabling organisations to benefit from more opportunities as they arise.
Bringing Flexibility and Adaptability to Managed Services
Multi-service ports match the needs of an ICT market that is changing rapidly. Selecting the right service provider ensures that MSPs are ready to quickly pivot to meet new demand and support emerging applications and services. They have to be able to leverage on flexible and adaptable networking models to connect more customers in various ways and locations.
Multi-service ports offer a simple yet powerful way to ensure networking is ready to serve the demands of the future and optimise networking to serve the entire value chain.
Prasanna Caliaperoumal is Deputy Director, Product at Epsilon
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