In order to understand what the difference between IP Transit and Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) is, it is important to define what the internet actually is first. By definition, the internet is an autonomous group of networks, a system that connects all ISPs to successfully transmit data from end-to-end. Although the communication transferred from network to network is constant, it can be carried in diverse ways. One of these ways is IP Transit.
IP Transit. IP Transit allows the sharing of internet traffic through the network that approves to take that traffic. Several of these network connections are not direct, and traffic is sent through different interconnections to reach the end user. While with IP Transit users have to share networks, with Dedicated Internet Access they can have their own dedicated network and are able to connect at higher speeds. Using the motorway analogy, the connection can be seen as the motorway – with IP Transit users have to share the same lane as everyone else – while with Dedicated Internet Access they will have their own lane. When sharing the same lane, users will encounter traffic and will have to proceed at lower speeds. On the other hand, if users have their own private lane, they will be able to travel at a higher speed. This is what a Dedicated Internet Access connection enables users to achieve.
While with DIA the network is end-to-end, with IP Transit there is another element to take into consideration, which is colocation. Housing servers can be expensive for many small companies, and one way in which these can compete with larger organisations is to hire a space in a colocation facility. Colocation is the practice of renting out a physical space in a colocation centre to store networking equipment. Instead of keeping servers in-house, organisations can benefit from renting out spaces in data centres, where the providers will also supply the power, bandwidth, IP address and what the company requires to effectively utilise their server. Some of the advantages include the fact that there is an increased element of security, as the colocation buildings are extremely safe, and there is also more resilience, thanks to information and power back-ups.
Furthermore, the business advantages of choosing IP Transit include firstly the fact that it is an easy service to implement, as all users do is pay for the service and then the internet provider looks after their traffic needs. Secondly, IP Transit comes with guaranteed service level agreements (SLA), meaning that if the ISP fails to provide the support stated in the initial agreement, then the organisation is entitled to compensation. Another advantage for businesses that choose to adopt IP Transit is that the contracts have a specific term; this means that the organisation can decide whether to keep or end the relationship once the contract is up.
IP Transit is structured in a way that makes the connectivity redundant, as there are multiple access points to reach the end user. In this way, IP Transit providers are less exposed to the risks of one single channel, as the other redundant lines allow for an immediate failover in case of a connection failure. Lastly, standard business internet cannot scale the way IP Transit can, as the router has a limited maximum speed, while with IP Transit the connection can be flexible and scalable.
Dedicated Internet Access. A connection between the internet and the user is called Dedicated Internet Access. The term means that the stipulated amount of bandwidth that is sold to the user is the same amount that has to strictly be delivered. Since DIA is an end-to-end network connection, traffic can be considerably reduced, and it can be useful for companies requiring continuous internet connections, statistic IP addresses and Domain Name Services.
The main difference between IP Transit and Dedicated Internet Access lies in the fact that DIA provides optimum performance, reliability and cost-effectiveness. Data applications including email, internet and web-based applications are supported by the Dedicated Internet Access service, facilitating organisations with higher quality internet connectivity.
Like IP Transit, Dedicated Internet Access has several advantages too. Firstly, it comes with guaranteed bandwidth, which represents an element of reliability for organisations, as they are guaranteed to receive the bandwidth they purchased all the time. Secondly, the download and upload speeds are synchronised, which is important for organisations that have several remote users and VoIP, as they would need to have fast upload speeds. Another advantage is better throughput. As a matter of fact, the bandwidth an organisation gets is not the actual throughput, but the bandwidth at which the circuits enters the ISP’s network. When the traffic used by the organisation enters the network, it only moves at the speed that the network allows. With Dedicated Internet Access organisations can rely on a high-capacity, under-subscribed backbone network.
Dedicated Internet Access also comes with typical SLAs that will cover uptime, latency and other benefits. If the ISP fails to meet the terms stated in the SLA, then the organisation can be entitled to a refund as per the terms of the contract. Lastly, DIA comes with high security, as the network is solely used by the organisation, with no other user having access to that fibre. The connection runs directly from the organisation’s premises to the data centre, resulting in no impediments, differing from IP Transit where there is a colocation centre in between.
Internet access via a DIA is made available to businesses at a high-speed, ranging from 10Mbps to 10Gbps, which is the ideal solution for large organisations that transmit big data such as videos, and for multiple users that need to access the internet at the same time. On the other hand, IP Transit does not give consumers the same advantages, as the connection is shared by multiple users at the same time. IP Transit can, however, be more cost-effective compared to Dedicated Internet Access, as the latter is an independent service. Even though Dedicated Internet Access is more expensive, it does have its own advantages, as it represents a more reliable and secure connection.
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