The Global Backbone Network: The Express Lane to Productivity

Your users rely on the internet for day-to-day activities. Most important among them is accessing corporate databases and applications, whether they’re hosted in your datacenter or in a public cloud. 

Connecting to these resources is fundamental to doing business, so those connections need to be secure, reliable, and fast. If data packets have to travel through too many connection points and compete with other packets along the way, network latency will cause user frustration and reduced productivity. 

That’s why we developed the Perimeter 81 Global Backbone Network, which underpins our ZTNA and Secure Web Gateway solutions. It eliminates the hassles and hazards of using the open internet. More on that later – first, let’s start with the challenges of a typical internet connection.

A Long and Winding Road – With No Guarantees

The connection journey starts with your local ISP, which provides your onramp to the internet. Typically, your ISP delivers high speeds – hundreds of Mbps in most cases – and if your actual speeds dip below what was promised, you can hold them accountable. 

However, the vast majority of traffic is handed off from one ISP to another along the way to its destination. After it leaves your ISP there are no assurances about speed, or whether there will be jitter or even packet loss. So, while the onramp is free and clear, it often leads to a congested highway. 

Let’s consider a US-based organization that outsources development to eastern Europe and India. Those contractors need access to the company’s development environment in Chicago, which is hosted in a public cloud service.

Traffic between the contractors’ machines and the cloud service makes many hops from ISP to ISP, and latency increases with each handoff. This is detrimental to the developers’ productivity and, of course, their user experience.

An Expensive Alternative: CSP Direct Connections

Instead of relying on the open internet, you could opt for a direct connection service, such as AWS Direct Connect or Azure ExpressRoute. However, these services are expensive, compatible with their respective cloud provider, and you would need to use an ISP that supports these direct connections. 

Even so, the vast majority of organizations use multiple public clouds, and would need to purchase direct connection services from each of them – certainly a cost-prohibitive proposition.

The ideal alternative would deliver the capabilities of a direct connection in an affordable, cloud agnostic service. That’s exactly what the Perimeter 81 Global Backbone Network provides!

Perimeter 81 GBN: High Speed, Low Latency

The GBN is an accelerated global private backbone that connects any user to any data center or application at fast speeds with high reliability. It eliminates the performance challenges that come with using the open internet because it runs on a globally distributed set of more than 50 tier-1 PoPs that we control.

Instead of your packets competing with other internet traffic, the GBN provides reserved bandwidth for Perimeter 81 customers and doesn’t require hopping across multiple ISPs.

Because the GBN is cloud-agnostic, you can enjoy the same capabilities that a CSP’s direct connection provides, without the expensive contract. When working with cloud providers, you simply establish a dedicated tunnel between their environment and the closest Perimeter 81 PoP. We have strategically built our PoPs in the same regions as cloud providers’ datacenters and in business hubs around the world. 

Let’s return to our example of a US-based company working with developers in other parts of the world. The developers would use their high-speed local ISP service to connect to a Perimeter 81 gateway in their region, where their traffic would seamlessly move onto the Perimeter 81 express lane. Traffic would zip smoothly back and forth between the developer site and the CSP in Chicago. No worrying about latency due to countless hops or competing with volumes of other data packets.

A Smoother Ride

A few other differences set the GBN apart: 

  • Our team controls and maintains the GBN instead of outsourcing it to a third party provider. 
  • The GBN is included with our Private Access (ZTNA) and Internet Access (Secure Web Gateway) products – no separate license and no bandwidth restrictions.
  • Each of our PoPs has at least two tier-1 links to ensure high resilience and optimal performance.

The result for our clients is an optimized user experience and higher productivity. With a growing list of more than 3,000 global customers, it’s clear that our GBN is delivering the reliable performance modern organizations need to operate at business speed. 

Ready to learn more about how the GBN powers the Perimeter 81 platform? Book a demo today!