Illustration for Cloud computing Infrastructure as a Service connected to the world wide web

Have you considered connectivity when choosing an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provider? What many don’t realize is that not all IaaS providers offer the same standard of connectivity, and it can make or break the success of your Cloud service.

In this blog, we explain why connectivity is essential for IaaS and what new developments to know about the future of connectivity.

Why Connectivity is Key to Infrastructure as a Service

With Infrastructure as a Service, a third-party provider delivers use of data center infrastructure to you via the Internet. Thus, poor quality network connectivity means that IaaS simply won’t function and you can expect:

  • Slow or halted operations
  • Increased downtime
  • Frustrated clients that depend on you for success
  • Lost revenue

If you want to find an IaaS provider with connectivity you can depend on, there are three main qualities to consider, all impacting IaaS for better or worse:

1. Speed. No one wants a slow connection, especially when it comes to Cloud hosting. To ensure your business’s productivity and revenue don’t take a hit, be sure that your provider offers lighting fast speed with a large amount of scalable bandwidth available. You may also want a provider that offers the option of dark and lit fiber-optic connections for faster speeds and lower latency.

2. Redundancy. If you want to minimize downtime and lost revenue for your business, redundancy is key. Your provider should be able to automatically and seamlessly route your packets to one of many other local and international carriers if a connection is lost to achieve 24/7/365 uptime.

3. Sourcing. Choose a carrier-neutral provider that handles both network services and IaaS. Not all providers handle both, especially many larger national providers who are unable to control and manage the breadth of service. Single-source providers are beneficial because they can diagnose and fix issues holistically and manage traffic to and from all carriers. Plus, they have direct relationships with the carriers that you’ll need in the long-term to make sure data is captured securely and error-free.

Reliable, high-performing Internet access is non-negotiable because IaaS depends on quality connectivity. Only choose a provider that can ensure your mission-critical business functions stay connected.

Network connection technology in the city with 5g internet networking sign

What to Know About the Future of Connectivity and IaaS

How are technologies changing connectivity? Megaport and 5G are playing a huge role in the future of Infrastructure as a Service.

Megaport as the Next Wave of Connectivity for the Cloud

Want a simple way to achieve fast, easy connectivity? Megaport is the next wave of connectivity for Cloud and may be the solution you’ve been looking for. It’s described as “the easiest way to connect to the services that power your business.”

Megaport can:

  • Speed up your setup and simplify the process of building and deploying connections to the services your business runs on
  • Enable quick and easy network creation instead of typical siloed and complex configuration tasks
  • Connect you to cloud services, managed services, and between data centers almost instantly
  • Move your workloads in real time
  • Reach the cloud from wherever you are and transport your data between global locations easily
  • Scale your bandwidth up and down at any time, matching your connection speed with your workloads

5G as the Enabler of the Future

As described by TechRadar, “5G networks are the next generation of mobile internet connectivity, offering faster speeds and more reliable connections on smartphones and other devices than ever before.”

By 2020, 5G networks are expected to launch across the world, not to replace 4G and 3G networks, but work alongside them—at least at first. 5G is expected to contribute to the development of advanced technologies and encourage the growth of Internet of Things (IoT) with the improved connectivity it offers.

Network of physical devices with network connectivity as global network and IoT (Internet of Things) concept

Want an IaaS Provider with Connectivity You Can Count On?

Excellent connectivity is a non-negotiable for Infrastructure as a Service in cloud computing, making it equally important to choose a provider that can offer the speed, redundancy, and single-source service you can trust for peace of mind. At LightBound, we offer both network and IaaS, plus top-notch service delivery and support for the best in connectivity.

Want to learn more about the connectivity needed for IaaS success? Contact LightBound today! We’d love to answer any questions you have.

CONTACT US


Padlock lock surrounded by different internet-related icons as a concept for internet protection, data protection, and next-generation firewall

Firewalls are essential to network security, even with a Cloud solution like Infrastructure as a Service, but traditional firewalls won’t cut it when it comes to today’s rising security demands. Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) is the key to ensuring security in response to an increase in advanced security threats.

In this blog, we share three reasons why upgrading to NGFW is a modern security necessity and how its features will make a difference in keeping your business secure.

Why NGFW is a Modern Security Necessity

1. Cybercrime is rising, and increased application use has opened up new vulnerabilities.

Research shows that cybercrime is rising while the technology and tactics used by cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated. For instance, The SSL Store reports:

  • Enterprise ransomware attacks increased by 12% in 2018
  • 1 in 50 emails contain some form of malicious content
  • Mobile ransomware jumped 33% last year
  • An estimated 10% of all malicious emails contain malware such as ransomware, spyware, adware, or trojans

Adding to these concerning statistics is that application usage has skyrocketed in recent years, bringing increased vulnerabilities with them. Considering that applications like Trello, Slack, and Skype have become popular for, or even integral to, business productivity, their use isn’t likely to go down. The solution? Application vulnerabilities need to be checked, which is where NGFW comes into play.

While traditional firewalls only block forbidden packets by protocol or port, NGFW takes security even further by inspecting packets all the way down to the application layer. This provides protection for attacks on layers 4-7 of the OSI (Open Systems Interconnection), where the growing number of application attacks are taking place.

To defend and safeguard against the emerging and unknown threats in today’s security landscape, NGFW’s advanced malware capabilities are needed. These capabilities include Packet Filtering Network Address Translation (NAT), URL Blocking, VPN, Quality of Service (QoS), Intrusion Prevention SSL, Deep-Packet Inspection, and more.

Internet technology network and cyber security concept with a shield icon on a globe surrounded by a network

2. Traditional firewalls are complex and time-consuming, crippling response time.

Simplicity and automation are key to reducing your workload and saving money, but if you’re still using traditional firewalls, you’re likely dealing with unnecessary complexity and wasted time. This is especially true if your security provider is constantly adding new devices to your firewall, which means that more overhead is required, and even worse, it could mean your response time to threats will be slowed.

Traditionally having to be used through separate devices, NGFW integrates enterprise firewall capabilities, intrusion prevention system (IPS), and stateful packet inspection into one device. This allows for improved performance and accessibility.

Through automation and integration, NGFW reduces the number of manual tasks necessary, improving remediation speed. Security policies, service orchestration, monitoring, and reporting can all be centrally managed thanks to NGFW, saving your business time and money.

A business man working with devices including a laptop, phone, and iPad with screens displaying a cyber security icon

3. Moving to the Cloud doesn’t protect your existing network infrastructure.

Cloud solutions like Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offer increased security when compared to on-premises solutions, but that doesn’t mean you can neglect firewalls. Even if you move all of your infrastructure to the Cloud, your business still has devices such as employee computers and a network connection that will remain vulnerable without a firewall. What if an unwitting employee accidentally clicked on a malicious link and your network wasn’t protected by a firewall? That’s a costly problem that could have been prevented.

Knowing that firewalls are still necessary for Cloud services, why should you choose NGFW over a traditional firewall? NGFW offers protection that functions in this new age of remote workers and BYOD policies. While traditional firewalls restrict your protection to a single location, NGFW protects your network no matter where your employees are working or what device they are using.

Additionally, NGFW removes the blind spots of traditional firewalls, offering:

  • Application-level control for superior visibility, allowing you to see and control what applications are being used on your network
  • Identity awareness that integrates with application awareness to enable you to apply security policies more granularly using corporate directories

NGFW gives you increased knowledge and nuanced control over how your employees access and use websites and applications.

A person typing at a laptop computer with a cyber security shield icon in front of it

Are You Ready for Next-Generation Firewall?

NGFW provides essential capabilities against rising cybercrime and new application threats while simplifying your workload through integration and automation. Whether you’re already using Infrastructure as a Service or are looking into other Cloud options, don’t let the lack of adequate protection open your doors to unnecessary vulnerabilities.

Keep in mind that if you decide on NGFW, it’s crucial to choose an experienced provider that you can trust to be there for you beyond implementation. With more power, features, and functions, the set-up and ongoing management of NGFW are more important than ever.

There are many NGFW services on the market, but LightBound has the unique expertise necessary to successfully implement and manage NGFW devices across your network. To get started with Next-Generation Firewall or learn more, contact LightBound today and our experts will help answer any questions you might have.

CONTACT US


Concept for new trends showing a hand moving forward a yellow arrow on a wood cube leading the way for a set of cubes with blue arrows following behind on a wooden table

Businesses continue to shift away from costly and time-consuming, on-premises solutions in favor of colocation services. By choosing colocation, a business is able to rent the physical space, power, redundancies, and cooling needed to house their own hardware from a provider, all while continuing ownership and management of their equipment.

While colocation isn’t considered “Cloud”, it’s a solution that still offers huge advantages to the right business in terms of time, money, and physical space savings. Whether you’re currently colocating or looking to make the switch, we’ve gathered four key colocation trends for you to consider when creating your own IT strategy.

1. Network Agility Will Be Pushed to Keep Up

Growth demands on networks are high and this pressure will only continue thanks to “the advent of 5G, increasing cloud maturity, and the explosion in numbers of IoT devices,” explains Hosting Journalist. While network agility is more important than ever, it’s equally as important to choose a colocation hosting provider with a network that can keep up with the pace of demand.

Illustration of running people with speed increasing from pixels as a concept for trends, changes, and digital transformation

2. Colocation Will Be Core to Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid Cloud solutions are on the rise, explains Data Center Knowledge, which isn’t surprising considering that Hybrid Cloud solutions offer increased flexibility and efficiency for businesses by integrating the use of private cloud and public cloud solutions. Colocation services will rise in use alongside Hybrid Cloud as businesses seek a cost-effective solution to house their private cloud solutions.

3. Evaluating Providers Will Go Beyond Cost Calculations

It’s already widely recognized that colocation services offer huge cost savings. Now, Forbes explains that businesses will look beyond that established fact when choosing a provider to evaluate how a provider will help them improve efficiency and capacity. It will become increasingly important to ask, “Which provider will give me an edge as a business?”, and “Which provider will work personally with me to create a custom strategy for success?”

Server control panel hosting software vector illustration for colocation services

4. Advanced Security Will Be Non-Negotiable

With today’s ever-increasing cybersecurity threats, security and compliance are on everyone’s minds. Choosing the right colocation services provider will be essential to ensuring you have top-notch security that can stand up to the threats. Businesses will look for a provider’s ability to offer advanced security features including virtual security, redundancy, compliance with industry standards, and physical security measures such as registration and biometric access.

Interested in colocation services?

Do you want a colocation hosting provider you can trust, that will grow with you as a true partner to your business? LightBound’s colocation services can help make your life simpler and less stressful, offering Choice Network, custom Hybrid Cloud solutions, compliance and security you can count on, and a true interest in the success of your business.

We’ll sit down with you one-on-one to ensure a successful enterprise strategy and you can rest assured knowing we’ll be there for you whenever you call. Contact LightBound today to get your questions answered and learn from our experts what a colocation site can offer your business.

CONTACT US


Years ago, the only traffic on corporate networks were business applications, threats, or email. But technology has come a long way since then, and a multitude of applications like Skype, Dropbox, and Slack have flooded the business world.

Increased application use has been helpful, even essential, for maximizing employee productivity and improving business practices, but these applications can carry viruses, malware, and other threats with them.

Traditional firewalls are unable to see or control all of these applications, meaning increased vulnerability to threats. Thankfully, the next-generation firewall (NGFW) was born, filling a much-needed gap in modern security needs.

 

Why Upgrade to NGFW from Traditional Firewall Security?

NGFW works better and faster than traditional firewalls to control the traffic that can enter and exit a network. While traditional firewalls are behind the times, next-generation firewalls provide increased control, improved security, and other essential features.

In this blog post, we’ll cover five main ways NGFW is superior to traditional firewalls and why, if you haven’t already, your business should upgrade to NGFW.

1. Single Device Functionality

If your current security provider is adding new devices to your firewall, that’s a red flag. It means unnecessary complexity and added cost for you. Plus, it increases the amount of oversight needed to keep your network secure while slowing down response time to threats.

NGFW integrates enterprise firewall capabilities, intrusion prevention system (IPS), and stateful packet inspection into one device. Traditionally, these would have been done on separate devices, but this integration allows for improved performance and accessibility.

  • Intrusion prevention system (IPS): detects and prevents vulnerability exploits by examining traffic flows
  • Stateful packet inspection (SPI): monitors the state of active connections to determine which packets to allow through a firewall

2. Better Security

Traditional firewalls block forbidden packets by protocol or port, while NGFW takes security even further by inspecting packets all the way down to the application layer. NGFW improves security in many ways, including:

  • Protection across the entire attack continuum: a growing number of application attacks are taking place on layers 4-7 of the OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) network stack, which next-generation firewalls are designed to help prevent.
  • Multilayered protection: to get multilayered protection traditionally, businesses would have to buy many different solutions from different vendors. Having an integrated solution means less complexity and smooth functionality so threats can be better spotted and stopped.
  • Advanced malware capabilities defend and safeguard against emerging and unknown threats
  • Faster response time from automated security
  • Limiting traffic to approved applications only, reducing risk

3. Simplified Management

NGFW reduces the number of manual tasks necessary with automated security features and integration, which also improves remediation speed. You can centrally manage security policies, service orchestration, monitoring, and reporting.

 

4. Improved Visibility and Control for Safe Application Enablement

Traditional firewalls have blind spots, but NGFW has superior visibility into all network traffic to detect and prioritize threats. With the multitude of applications out there today, NGFW’s application-level control, which allows you to see and control what applications are being used on your network, is key for today’s businesses.

Rather than having a policy asking employees not to use Facebook, you could not only have the option to block it completely, but you could set a policy nuanced enough to allow employees onto the site while blocking parts of it like Facebook Messenger or Candy Crush.

NGFW’s identity awareness integrates with application awareness to enable you to apply security policies more granularly using corporate directories. Now you can let your marketing team access social media sites while blocking employees that don’t need it, or only allowing partial access.

5. Lower Costs

Integration, security automation, and management simplification reduces complexity and the work necessary to respond to and remediate from security incidents. You save money and that’s a good thing.

LightBound's Choice Network Branded Image

Implementing and Managing NGFW with LightBound

Upgrading your business security solution to the next-generation firewall is a smart move in response to today’s increasing security vulnerabilities. With the increased power, features, and functions that NGFW offers, it’s not easy to implement, so it’s more important than ever to ensure proper set-up and ongoing management.

There are many NGFW services on the market but look for a provider that’s experienced and is there for you before, during, and after implementation. LightBound has the expertise necessary to implement and manage next-generation firewalls across your network, and we’ll be there for you every step of the way. Contact LightBound today to get started, or learn more about our Choice Network.

 

As Metro-Ethernet becomes more prevalent in the market, many organizations are looking at Metro-Ethernet solutions vs. the typical MPLS environment.  Metro-Ethernet can provide many of the benefits an MPLS solution can bring along with the flexibility that many organizations need.  However, Ethernet is not everywhere and MPLS provides scalability and turnkey options not available with Metro-Ethernet. Read more