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Why the Future of Cloud Services is Hybrid

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You’ve probably heard the terms “Cloud” and “datacenter” solutions thrown around by providers to describe just about any datacenter or hosting service. This kind of generic phrasing may be more marketable for providers, but it’s important to know the nuances of each service option and how they work differently to serve your business.

This blog explains why two service options, IaaS and colocation, are often marketed interchangeably, what their differences actually are, and how they’re evolving together to create a hybrid future for Cloud.

What are Cloud Services, IaaS, and Colocation?

Cloud Services refers to any cloud-based resources a provider deploys and manages for you via the Internet on an on-demand, pay-as-you-go basis.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a cloud computing service where a third-party provider purchases, installs, and manages datacenter infrastructure for you, allowing your business pay-as-you-go use of storage, networking, and computing resources via the Internet.

Colocation, also known as colo, allows your business to rent from a provider the physical space, power, redundancies, and cooling needed to house your own hardware. You own and manage your equipment.

IaaS is a cloud service while colocation is not. Colocation simply provides the space for you to house your own datacenter infrastructure such as routers, firewalls, servers, and storage. The differences between colocation and IaaS make it tempting to compare and generalize which service is better than the other, but the two are not interchangeable because the value proposition and capital cost (as well as manpower resources) are entirely different.

Determining whether IaaS or colocation is the best solution for your business all depends on your business’s unique needs. So why are providers referring to these separate services as though they’re interchangeable?

 

IaaS and Colocation: From Interchangeable to Integrated

When big names in the industry began using phrases like “datacenter solutions” to describe IaaS and colocation, it became a trend and the two services started to sound interchangeable. The generic phrasing helped providers improve the marketability of their non-Cloud services by associating them with the growing Cloud market.

While IaaS and colocation are not exactly interchangeable, we are beginning to see a future where these two services are combined in more than just name. By utilizing both colocation and IaaS together, businesses and providers are able to achieve more customized and beneficial solutions than either service could alone.

 

The Future of Cloud

The integration of both IaaS and colocation is certainly one definition of a “hybrid” solution and is what’s growing and shaping the future of Cloud. Essentially, it’s “some of yours and some of ours” from a provider’s viewpoint.

A hybrid solution is a cloud service that allows for greater flexibility and efficiency by integrating the use of private cloud and public cloud solutions. Colocating your virtualized environment in a datacenter is commonly referred to as private cloud, but your virtualized environment could also be located in your own datacenter. IaaS Cloud providers like LightBound offer private cloud resources that can also be meshed with your public clouds.

As we continue to move into the future, most larger companies will likely leverage hybrid solutions depending on their need for scale and time to market. Less on-premise solutions will be maintained in favor of moving to the Cloud, and the hybridization of colocation and IaaS will be a large player in what makes this transition possible.

Want more insight into IaaS, colocation, and hybrid solutions? Sign up today for a FREE, one-hour, zero-obligation tech assessment with LightBound. Our experts will meet with you in person to evaluate your business’s unique needs, answer questions, and help you discover the best fit for your business.

Insourcing vs. Outsourcing Cloud and Data Center Services: Which is Right For You?

 

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What is SIP Trunking and Why Do I Need It?

You’re not alone if you’ve considered switching to SIP trunking—it’s a popular upgrade option to a company’s phone system, and for good reason. But with a whole alphabet soup of terminology surrounding it, from PBX to DID to PSDN, it’s no wonder so many ask the question, “what is SIP trunking and why do I need it?”

In this blog post, we’ll run through SIP trunking 101, break down the terminology surrounding it, and lay out five major benefits to explain why SIP trunking is such a popular telephony solution.  

What is SIP Trunking?  

SIP trunking uses an internet connection, rather than a traditional phone line, to operate company phone systems. In other words, it allows direct connection to the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network, or traditional phone lines) through IP/Broadband.  

 

A SIP trunk is installed virtually over an internet connection, creating a single entry point. Hardware and wiring aren’t necessary because the need to physically connect to a phone company is eliminated.  

SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) is a standard protocol in a UC (Unified Communications) solution and is used to enable signaling functions for VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) and telephony in general. SIP and VoIP are not the same thing, but they both contribute to the same goal of connecting calls via the internet.  

SIP trunking’s “trunk” refers to circuit-switching telecommunications lines, but unlike traditional lines, it’s virtually connected using a dedicated line.   

SIP trunking is often a replacement for ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Networks), a telephony option designed to handle voice and data on a single link. Businesses switch away from ISDN for various reasons, including its lack of features and capabilities.  

Benefits of SIP Trunking

Knowing what SIP trunking is helps describe why it’s beneficial. Its features can reward businesses both financially and functionally, including in the following five ways.  

 

1. Significant Cost Savings

When it comes to SIP trunking, it’s well known that its cost savings are substantial. Here are some of the ways that SIP trunking cuts costs:

  • Reduced phone lines to one entry point means reduced charges and less IT maintenance cost
  • Phone numbers, or DID (Direct Inward Dialing Number), cost less because it doesn’t have the infrastructure costs of hardware and maintenance
  • You only pay for the lines needed or the minutes used, depending on your provider
  • Less maintenance, complexity, and administration—you no longer need to maintain IP infrastructure, and may even be able to eliminate your entire PBX (Private Branch Exchange, which switches lines on local calls)
  • Long distance service is typically significantly cheaper 

2. Eliminated Redundancy for a Unified Communications Solution

SIP trunking reduces the number of connections you need and is a great way to simplify into a single, IP-based network. If your company is spread across multiple locations, you’ll no longer need to connect each location’s PBX to ISDN.

3. Quick and Easy Scalability

SIP trunking is virtual, making it fast and easy to service or change the number of channels you need as your company grows, downsizes, or changes.

4. Flexibility

Because of SIP trunking’s scalability, it’s flexible to accommodate seasonality—where demands are greater or lesser at certain points of the year—by being able to rapidly change your telephony infrastructure to match. You can also easily change or keep outbound numbers no matter your location or if your company moves.

 

5. Improved Phone Service Reliability

SIP trunking improves phone service reliability because it’s redundant—it can improve your company’s uptime during a failure or emergency by quickly rerouting service or forwarding the PBX to mobile phones. This can be done instantaneously, as opposed to up to 24 hours with other services, and without the expensive costs of call forwarding.  

Some are concerned about the security risk of SIP trunking, but when properly implemented, it is perfectly safe, if not even safer than before. This is especially true with the use of firewalls managed by your SIP provider.

Upgrade to SIP Trunking with LightBound

SIP trunking’s inherent benefits, including increased flexibility and cost savings, make it an easy choice for companies to make the switch from old technologies.

Is your company looking to buy or upgrade to a new phone system in the next 6 months? Talk to an expert to find out whether SIP trunking is right for your business.

LightBound is a SIP provider with a portfolio for all of your Unified Communications needs. We host and manage everything so you finally get a single, simplified source for local and long-distance service.

If you would like to learn more about transitioning to SIP trunking, contact us today!