Internet, it's one of the most important aspects of any hosting, data center or networking solution. All businesses regardless of size or location require highly available, reliable and performance-driven connectivity. Internet is required to handle everything from day-to-day operations to traffic spikes and digital transformation technologies that require increasing amounts of bandwidth.
If you're thinking about purchasing colocation or cloud services, you may have come across the term ‘blended internet’ as an internet option. However, what you may not be familiar with is all of the internet options available - traditional, blended, and dedicated internet access (DIA).
In this article, we will define what blended internet is and provide a comparison of blended versus dedicated internet. We will also look at the benefits of blended internet and when it makes sense to use it.
What is Blended Internet?
Blended internet, also referred to as blended IP, is a type of internet service commonly provided by data centers and various types of hosting providers. Blended internet uses a combination of multiple ‘upstream’ internet service providers (ISPs) and local internet exchanges (IX) to provide an internet service that is highly available, reliable, and fast.
How is Blended Internet Different?
How is blended internet different from traditional services? The primary difference between blended and other internet services is that blended internet uses multiple ISPs or telecom carriers rather than a single provider. For example, For example, you could have access to AT&T, Verizon, Zayo, and Comcast with a blended option versus having access to just AT&T with a traditional business internet connection.
What are the Features of Blended Internet?
While blended internet is not for everyone, it offers numerous features and benefits over traditional and DIA. Top features and benefits of blended internet include intelligent routing, predictive routing, isolated connections, and aggregated carrier services.
Intelligent Routing – Blended internet offers intelligent routing across multiple Tier 1 Internet backbones. This feature provides highly reliable, stable, and consistent connectivity for your website, applications, and IT workloads.
Predictive Routing – With blended internet, you can identify the most efficient path for your internet traffic in real-time. This feature greatly reduces the risks of network outages, bottlenecks, jitter, and latency related issues.
Isolated Connections – Most data centers and hosting providers offer an isolated connection. This feature uses Layer 2 to isolate your core data from the public internet. It also provides a single handoff
Aggregated Carrier Services – The term ‘aggregator’ has been around forever in the telecommunications world and is not a new concept. With aggregators, you have access to the bandwidth you need from multiple providers at a low cost and a single point of contact for support.
What are the Benefits of Blended Internet?
What are the benefits of blended internet service? As you can imagine, blended internet simplifies internet connectivity while maximizing reliability. Here are other benefits commonly associated with blended internet.
Streamlined Management – As mentioned previously, the data center or hosting provider takes care of the management of your blended internet service. This includes managing the connection and consolidating the billing into a combined monthly invoice. You also have access to one provider for any support related issues.
Enhanced Performance – With blended internet, you have access to better performance. Why? Blended internet uses multiple ISPs and telecom carriers to improve redundancy, bandwidth, and latency. You can achieve faster bandwidth in some cases – 10, 50, 100, 300, 500Mbps, 1Gpbs, and 10Gbps speeds.
Quick Provisioning – As with most data center solutions today, blended internet services can be quickly provisioned and turned-up. This is for both physical and virtualized infrastructure such as colocation, dedicated hosting and cloud servers. You can purchase blended internet when signing up for hosting or later down the road.
Increased Flexibility – Most data centers and hosting providers offer different options and configurations for their blended internet service. This includes intelligent and predictive routing options as well as static IPs, IPv4, IPv6 and BGP support.
Superior Redundancy – This is a no brainer. Blended internet offers automatic failover and built-in redundancy for your internet connectivity. Some customers look to purchasing a backup internet circuit for their hosting service. Blended internet uses at least two ISPs or telecom carriers in all instances allowing for built-in redundancy without the extra costs.
Service Level Agreements (SLAs) – Most blended internet services are backed by amazing service level agreements (SLAs) that protect against disruptions and damages caused by internet outages. Some hosting providers and data centers offer a ‘no-downtime’ guarantee. We would recommend reading the fine print on an SLA like this.
What About Dedicated Internet Access (DIA)?
You may see an option for dedicated internet when shopping for hosting or data center solutions. Dedicated internet access, commonly referred to as DIA, is a type of internet service that provides a private connection between you and the ISP. With dedicated internet, the bandwidth you purchase is for your use only and there are no other customers sharing the connection. As a result, the speed that is advertised is the speed you get.
Dedicated internet also provides symmetrical bandwidth. This simply means that you receive the same upload speed as download speed. With traditional, shared internet services you typically receive much slower upload speeds. This is important for certain businesses and users that have large file transfers, remote connectivity demands, access to cloud services and VoIP as well as bandwidth demands for video conferencing.
Blended vs Dedicated Internet? Which is Better?
Blended internet is a better option for small to medium-sized businesses, startups, and certain IT workloads and applications. Why? It is more cost-effective, flexible, and redundant than traditional or dedicated internet services.
However, dedicated internet service also has its place for businesses that require the highest levels of performance and security. Dedicated internet is better suited for mission-critical applications and workloads that are bandwidth-intensive. Most large global corporations utilize DIA for their MPLS and SD-WAN networks, applications, headquarters, branch office, and data center connectivity. Dedicated internet is a worthwhile investment if you can afford it.
Comparing Your Internet Options? Contact Us
You may be aware that Datacenters.com provides access to the largest portfolio of colocation providers, but did you know that we also offer the largest selection of ISPs, telecom carriers, and network service providers? That’s right. We offer access to the best connectivity options in the data center and buildings throughout the globe. Best of all, we can provide you with a single point of contact for receiving multiple quotes for your business internet service.
Contact us to learn more or try out the Datacenters.com IGNITE Internet Project Platform to generate a digital RFP that goes directly to internet providers that match your requirements.