About GCN

How comprehensive is GCN's support?

In addition to helping customers source and build the best technical solutions possible, we provide support throughout the entire life-cycle process of those solutions. This includes assisting with project management, post-sales support, customer service, trouble ticket escalations, and renewal watch.

What is a Connectivity Integrator (CI)?

Connectivity Integrators (CIs) help customers design, obtain, and implement integrated cloud, data center, networking, and telecom solutions. CIs are also provider-neutral and frequently combine diverse products from multiple providers to achieve best-in-class, highly economical solutions.

Who is GCN's CEO?

Chris Palermo is the Founder and CEO of GCN.

How many technology partners does GCN work with?

When GCN was founded in 1997, it started with three carriers. Over the years, we added new carriers and vendors as necessary to meet specific customer demands. Today, GCN has over 200 technology partners in our portfolio.

What charities does GCN support?

GCN supports a wide range of charities. These include the George Snow Scholarship Fund, The 100 Black Men of South Florida Thanksgiving Food Drive, the Dolphin’s Cycling Challenge, and Catherine’s Hope for a Cure.

How many times has GCN appeared in the Inc. 5000 list?

GCN has appeared on the Inc. 500 list three times: in 2011, 2012, and 2015.

What challenges can a CI like GCN help a company to overcome?

  • Lack of expertise with telecommunications products, options and competitive price points
  • Compressed timeframes which limit ability to research and competitively quote services
  • Complex technical requirements which require multiple product sets to integrate
  • Desire to engage a strategic, unbiased partner in the telecommunications space
  • Lack of admin resources to negotiate multiple contracts and form/manage new vendor relationships, etc.

How does the CI sourcing model differ from more traditional sourcing models?

When sourcing technology vendors in-house, businesses can choose to contract with a single provider or with multiple providers. Contracting with a single provider generally results in easier contracting and implementation efforts, but that is offset by higher costs. And contracting with multiple providers can save money, but that is offset by highly complex contracting and implementation efforts and potentially poor post-install support.

CIs can offset all of these drawbacks. We provide integrated, managed support throughout the full life cycle of our customers’ technology solutions, thus easing everything from contracts to implementation to post-install support. As a result, our customers save time and money and take advantage of our buying power and vendor and technical expertise.

Which telecommunications companies do CIs represent?

All major telecommunications companies work with CIs. CIs do not compete with these companies, but rather work in partnership to them, much in the way that Systems Integrators (SIs) work with hardware Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), VARs, software companies and network and security providers to craft traditional on-premises technology solutions.

What is the USF (Universal Service Fund)?

The FCC manages a system of programs and policies in order to implement the principle of Universal Service. According to this principle, all people living in the United States should have access to communications services, including phone and high-speed Internet services. The Universal Service Fund refers to the subsidies and fees (paid for by telecommunications providers) that allow the FCC to promote Universal Service.

Data Center

What is PUE?

PUE, or Power Usage Effectiveness, is a measure of data center efficiency determined by dividing total facility power by total IT equipment power.

What is dark fiber?

Dark fiber is unused network infrastructure, which can be useful to businesses that anticipate high levels of growth and change in their high bandwidth data connections.

Is it colocation, collocation, or co-location?

Following the industry standard, we use “colocation” at GCN.

Networking

What is the difference between DIA and Broadband Internet?

Broadband Internet service is most commonly delivered via cable modem or DSL. Both services are delivered via a network that largely supports residential home use. DIA (or Dedicated Internet Access), however, is a business-focused Internet solution that is delivered via a fiber network, allowing customers to use a specific amount of bandwidth designated solely for their use.

What is IPv6?

IPv6 is the latest Internet Protocol version (a replacement of IPv4) that provides a much larger address pool than IPv4

What is the difference between an Ethernet and E-Line private line?

An Ethernet Private Line (EPL) has been the standard among carriers for years. It is typically built with a standard Ring topology. You will have a primary and a secondary route. The secondary route will be used as a failover only and does not count toward the bandwidth of a circuit. In other words, if you purchase a 1Gig EPL, then each Route will be Gig capable, but you can only use one at a time. It’s not 2Gig total bandwidth.

An E-Line is what many will refer to as a “virtual” circuit. It is built with Cloud-based routing. With the advent of SDN and NFV, this is quickly becoming the standard with many carriers when it comes to new Ethernet-based Private Line products. As SDN and NFV technology gets better and as more and more carriers move to the new platform, the service is becoming more reliable, better performing, and predictable; at the same time, it saves carriers’ capacity in the network core.

What is the difference between round-trip-time (RTT) and one-way latency?

RTT is the time it takes for a signal to travel from the origin to its destination and then back again. One-way latency refers to only one leg of that trip (i.e. from one end point to a destination end point, but not back again). Typically, when vendors mention latency requirements, they are referring to RTT, and not one-way latency, but it’s always good practice to double check.

Does it make sense to name your preferred fiber path on your contract or service agreement?

Yes—this will help to ensure that your carrier doesn’t route your circuit through an overly long fiber route. It will also ensure that the circuit cannot be “groomed” or moved during standard carrier network maintenance events. Adding Custom or Dedicated routes could have an impact on the overall cost of the service.

Can VPNs increase latency?

Kind of. Fragmentation/reassembly and encryption/decryption can increase latency. Fragmentation comes in when a file must be broken up into more packets in order to traverse the network. This is because the VPN adds some overhead to your data packets. Exactly how much depends on the VPN protocol used. Network latency is not exactly affected by this, but it will take a little longer to send the traffic from point A to point B due to this additional data being added. Encryption/decryption doesn’t exactly add to network latency either, but it does take your equipment time to add or remove the security encryption. For most users, this is not a huge consideration, unless you are transporting massive amounts of data or running an application that is extremely sensitive to latency.

What is the difference between latency and ping?

The two concepts are related, and sometimes (though not always) interchangeable. Latency refers to the amount of time it takes for a signal to travel from one destination (such as a data center) to another. Ping refers to the amount of time it takes for a device (such as a PC or smartphone) to communicate with a website’s server.

How can you estimate the latency of a wavelength between metro areas?

You can start by examining your carrier’s fiber map. KMZ file types have proven to be the most accurate thus far.

  • First, measure the fiber path between the two metro areas, and then add 5%-10% to account for any slowdowns at various turns or junctures in that path.
  • Double that result to get the round-trip distance.
  • Finally, divide that amount by 124 miles/millisecond.
  • You can also add an additional 2 milliseconds to account for the various switches, routers, and telecommunications equipment across a typical WAN circuit.
  • This final number will give you a high level estimate of the latency for the wavelength between the two end points.

What does "SDN" stand for?

What does "NFV" stand for?

NFV stands for “Network Function Virtualization.”

How can you estimate the latency of a wavelength between metro areas?

You can start by examining your carrier’s fiber map. KMZ file types have proven to be the most accurate thus far.

  • First, measure the fiber path between the two metro areas, and then add 5%-10% to account for any slowdowns at various turns or junctures in that path.
  • Double that result to get the round-trip distance.
  • Finally, divide that amount by 124 miles/millisecond.
  • You can also add an additional 2 milliseconds to account for the various switches, routers, and telecommunications equipment across a typical WAN circuit.
  • This final number will give you a high level estimate of the latency for the wavelength between the two end points.

What is a Service Level Agreement (SLA)?

Simply put, a Service Level Agreement (or SLA) is a contract that outlines the level of service and performance standards that a customer can expect from a service provider.

How exactly do SLAs define network service uptime and downtime?

Typically, SLAs define the length of uptime that a service provider guarantees to a customer. These lengths of time are generally expressed as percentages: most frequently, 98.5%, 99%, 99.5%, 99.9%, 99.95%, 99.99%, and 99.999%.

What happens if my network downtime levels exceed the levels defined in my SLA?

With the exception of emergency or provider-scheduled maintenance, any downtime exceeding these levels can guarantee you SLA credits from your service provider. These credits often incorporate reduced service fees.

Cloud

What is DaaS?

DaaS, or Desktop as a Service, is the outsourcing of a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) to a third party service provider.

What is DRaaS?

DRaaS, or Disaster Recovery as a Service, is a cloud-based data protection service that allows businesses to use applications and tools that are delivered from a geographically diverse, hardened and secure data center with built-in redundancy.

What is IaaS?

Iaas, or Infrastructure as a Service, is, roughly speaking, the physical part of the cloud, such as the applications, software, hardware, and storage that third parties host for their customers

What is PaaS?

PaaS, or Platform as a Service, is a  cloud computing service that offers end users a platform or operating system with which they can develop, run, and manage applications.

What is SaaS?

SaaS, or Software as a Service, is a software delivery model in which software and associated data are centrally hosted in the cloud.

Voice

How much bandwidth do I need for a SIP Trunk?

For standard g711 codec, you should plan approximately 87kbps-90kbps per active, concurrent call.

What is Voice PRI?

Voice PRI is a 24 channel voice T1 with a channel dedicated to data.