Backbone – A network backbone is a circuit that connects PoPs to each other, enabling the PoPs’ respective LANs to communicate with each other and exchange traffic. Bigleaf owns and manages a backbone, our Cloud Access Network, that routes traffic among Bigleaf’s PoPs. The traffic branches to each PoP’s LAN and is routed from there to the end users. The backbone and branches follow the natural structure of a leaf, which is how Bigleaf got its name.
Bandwidth – A common term in business as well as technology, bandwidth refers to the measurable capacity of a connection or circuit. Like the dimensions and uses of a water hose – from 5/8 inch for a standard garden hose to a powerful, 2.5-inch fire hose – bandwidth plays a vital role in governing transmission speed. In networking and internet connectivity. Bandwidth is typically measured in megabits and gigabits per second, abbreviated Mbps and Gbps, respectively. Bigleaf routers can be configured to serve a wide variety of business connectivity needs, from 20 Mbps to 3 Gbps.
BGP – The border gateway protocol (BGP) defines how information is exchanged, to route packets from one network to another.
Broadband – A high-bandwidth internet connection is often called broadband.
Carrier – In networking, ISPs are also called carriers, because they provide the cabling, channels, and services to carry signals and data packets on the public internet.
Circuit – At Bigleaf, a circuit is defined as an internet connection.
Cloud Access Network – Some or all of an organization’s network resources can be hosted on a cloud-based platform. Bigleaf owns and operates a Cloud Access Network that delivers SD-WAN service over a network of gateways and PoPs, via optimal routes. The Cloud Access Network may also be called a backbone network.
Cloud application – Software hosted in the cloud and delivered to the user over the internet is called a cloud application. SaaS is a popular cloud application model.
CSP – A cloud services provider (CSP) hosts cloud computing services that are delivered over the internet, typically for a recurring fee and/or on a pay-per-use basis. Major CSPs include Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services (AWS.)
CPE – Each unit of customer premises equipment (CPE) is a Bigleaf router that connects with overlay tunnels to two different endpoint servers called POPs.
DHCP – Dynamic host configuration protocol (DHCP) assigns an IP address to each device automatically when it connects to the network. When IP addresses are managed by DHCP they may change each time a device is rebooted. Servers and routers typically are configured with a static IP address, to facilitate remote access.
Failover – When a server, router, or network breaks down or goes offline, the switch to a redundant device or service is called a failover. Bigleaf provides network redundancy and failover in a unique way that preserves the device’s original IP address and eliminates service disruptions.
Fiber – Fiber optic cable, also called fiber, is a high-bandwidth, high-speed alternative to traditional copper wire-based cables. Fiber is available from many ISPs, most often in population centers with high demand. That’s because the ISP or telecom company will seek to amortize the cost of this infrastructure over the greatest number of customers within the smallest geographic area.
Gateway – A gateway is a node that connects two networks with different transmission protocols. All traffic must pass through the gateway to move from one network to the other. A router or server can act as a gateway.
Gateway cluster – Gateways are critical nodes in routing traffic among networks, and a failed gateway can wreak havoc, especially in point-of-sale systems and other IoT devices. Gateway clusters provide redundancy and scalability to improve the connection quality and consistency for all networked devices and users.
Gbps – Gigabits per second (Gbps) is a measure of transmission speed over a circuit. Broadband connections are typically expressed in Gbps. See bandwidth.
GEO – Satellites that operate in geosynchronous equatorial orbit (GEO) remain in the same position in the sky, relative to a specific geographic location on Earth. GEO satellites are used for weather forecasting, satellite radio, and television. GEO satellites are positioned about 35,000 kilometers (about 218,000 miles) above the Earth, so it can take 550 milliseconds (0.55 of a second) for data to reach the satellite and return. This small but critical time lag, or latency, makes GEO satellites impractical for real-time applications such as telephony, videoconferencing, location tracking, and some types of data transmission. Those and other time-sensitive transmissions typically are routed to satellites in low-earth orbit (LEO) because the shorter roundtrip reduces latency.
HTTP – Hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) is the standard format for data exchange on the internet. HTTP was designed for communication between web browsers and web servers, and those letters are included in the prefix for most URLs.
IoT – The internet of things (IoT) describes a class of physical devices whose operations and functions rely on internet connectivity. Examples of IoT devices include retail point-of-sale systems, “smart” home appliances, sensors, and security cameras, and AI-enabled manufacturing equipment.
IP – Internet protocol (IP) is a set of rules for communication over the internet. Each networked device is identified by a unique IP address, expressed as a string of numbers. IP addresses can be public or private, static or dynamic. A firewall or router will typically have a permanent, static IP address so that traffic cannot bypass it to deliver data directly to a protected server or endpoint device.
ISP – An internet service provider (ISP) is the carrier that connects users and devices to the public internet. ISPs are often phone of cable TV companies. They may offer connectivity over standard telephone lines, higher-speed digital subscriber lines (DSL,) standard cable, fiber-optic cable, or proprietary T1 lines. High-bandwidth ISP services are referred to as broadband.
IXP – Internet exchange ports (IXPs) are data centers with network switches that route traffic among various ISPs.
Jitter – Degraded quality or capacity of a connection can cause brief, intermittent changes in the amount of latency in the network. In a real-time or streaming application, these inconsistencies are perceived as tiny interruptions in service. In a VoIP call, for example, jitter on the line might give the impression that a speaker is slow to respond, is stuttering, or has hiccups.
Last mile – In networking, the last mile refers to the connection from the ISP’s infrastructure to the end user’s location. Last-mile connectivity can be a challenge in remote or sparsely populated areas where it is not economical for the ISP to install fiber optic cable or other high-bandwidth solutions.
Latency – A delay in data delivery is referred to as latency. If latency is too high, it can cause disruption in service or contribute to a poor user experience, especially in real-time applications and usage models. For example, latency of as little as half a second can create unnatural pauses in a VoIP call or cause images in a videoconference to seem jittery or robotic. Bigleaf’s networking solutions help to reduce latency by prioritizing applications automatically and by routing network traffic seamlessly to the circuit that offers optimal performance for each use.
LEO – Low-earth orbit (LEO) satellites circle the Earth at a distance of 160 to 1,000 kilometers (about 100 to 620 miles.) LEO satellites are much closer to the Earth than GEO satellites; it takes about 240 milliseconds (0.24 of a second) for data to travel back and forth to LEOs, compared to 550 milliseconds (about half a second) for GEOs. For that reason, LEO satellites are preferred for transmitting data in real-time applications and use cases, such as VoIP, videoconferencing, and GPS-assisted navigation, where additional latency could cause disruptions.
MPLS – Multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) is a networking technology that routes traffic based on labels that are assigned to specific paths instead of the IP addresses assigned to nodes or endpoints. MPLS enables high-speed network connections, but the methodology is inflexible, as paths cannot be changed dynamically to avoid a slowdown or outage. Bigleaf solutions can support and augment MPLS-based networks with redundant connectivity and failover capabilities.
Mbps – Megabits per second (Mbps) is a measure of transmission speed over a circuit. See bandwidth.
MSP – Managed service providers (MSPs) support or manage the IT function at small and mid-sized businesses. Many MSPs design, install, and maintain their clients’ entire technology stack, including the LAN, WAN, and all networking capabilities.
Overlay Carrier Network – Bigleaf creates an overlay tunnel network with either an open VPN or wired network from the server to our Cloud Access Network.
Packet – Large data sets are typically divided into small sections, or packets, when sent over the internet or another network. The packets are combined again on the recipient’s computer. If a network connection falters or fails during transmission, packets may be lost, risking the completeness and integrity of the full data set.
Peering – When two networks connect and exchange traffic directly without support from an IXP or other intermediary, that is called peer-to-peer networking or peering.
PoP – A point of presence (PoP) is a node or access point where two or more communication networks share a connection. PoPs are often located near large Internet exchange points (IXPs) where they have peering agreements. A PoP typically includes routers, switches, servers, and other hardware and software to direct network traffic. Every Bigleaf router is assigned both a primary PoP and a secondary PoP for failover. Further, each PoP hosts racks of redundant routers, power sources, and switches as backup.
QoS – Quality of service (QoS) is a networking metric that is based on the usable connectivity of a line, in addition to its capacity or bandwidth. QoS is improved by technologies—like Bigleaf’s intelligent software—that prioritize network traffic and give preference to business-critical, real-time applications when total bandwidth is limited. For example, a VoIP call or videoconference would be prioritized over instantaneous email delivery.
Redundancy – In networking, redundancy refers to the provision of alternative devices, equipment, and pathways that can serve as a backup to keep network traffic moving when the primary system slows down or fails.
SaaS – Many applications are hosted in the cloud and offered to users by subscription, also called software as a service (SaaS.) The SaaS model often replaces more traditional methods of a one-time purchase and distribution of the software application, via download or on disk, for local installation by the user.
SASE – Secure access service edge (SASE) is a cloud-based network architecture framework that inspects data to add a security layer at network nodes and endpoints. Like Bigleaf’s SD-WAN, a SASE architecture distributes network traffic via PoPs. SASE has built-in security, however, while Bigleaf operates outside the organization’s preferred firewall and can be integrated easily with any security solution.
SD-WAN – A software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) is a virtualized service that can connect and extend networks over long distances. Bigleaf’s SD-WAN manages network traffic to and from its PoPs and intelligent routers, to achieve optimal connectivity and performance.
TCP – Transmission control protocol (TCP)—also called TCP-IP—is a networking standard that controls how data is exchanged among devices with individual IP addresses.
Transit providers – Bigleaf’s backbone network is made up of transit providers, also known as carriers, that provide paths among PoPs and to and from the public internet. Bigleaf maintains multiple transit providers for each PoP, to provide needed redundancy.
Tunnel – In networking, a tunnel is a method of encapsulating data so it can remain private even though it is being transported over a public network. Tunneling is often used to transmit data within VPNs. Bigleaf uses tunnels to transport data from one PoP to another and from its PoPs and gateways to each customer’s Bigleaf router.
TE server – Bigleaf maintains multiple tunnel endpoint (TE) servers in a rack in each PoP.
UCaaS – Unified communications as a service (UCaaS) is a cloud-based model that integrates and delivers a variety of communication methods. These may include VoIP, messaging, videoconferencing, and collaboration tools. A successful UCaaS implementation relies on consistent, real-time network connectivity.
URL – A uniform resource locator, or URL, is the domain name assigned to a web resource. Each URL is mapped to a unique IP address.
VoIP – Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) services convert voices into digital signals that are transmitted via the internet.
VPN – A virtual private network (VPN) is a method of secure data transmission. A VPN uses encryption and encapsulation technologies to protect data and mask the identity of connected users and devices within the VPN, even though the data is transmitted on a public network.
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