Enterprises can validate provider Internet metrics with those of leased lines, and can use tools like SmokePing, PingPlotter and Path Analyzer to verify and monitor provider performance. However, when sourcing dedicated Internet services with performance guarantees, enterprise contracts should require ongoing end-end monitoring and reporting, as well as penalty and exit clauses for nonconformance.
Enterprises should also ensure that they are using the appropriate access services. Several options are available, such as consumer DSL, business DSL, T1 and fiber, and Gartner has found, based on our many client inquiries, that performance issues have been caused by access services that have overly high bandwidth contention ratios.
Enterprises seeking predictable and consistently good performance should chose access services without bandwidth contention, such as business DSL.
Lastly, when sourcing Internet connectivity services, enterprises should be as rigor as sourcing their WAN services. It is recommended to establish an RFP for dedicated Internet services, specifically for the interconnectivity of enterprise offices via the Internet.
Bjarne Munch is a principal research analyst at Gartner. Based in Brisbane, Australia, Munch's research coverage includes enterprise network infrastructure and network services.
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