Merit Diverse Connection - Cost-effective Network Redundancy

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Network Flexibility, Zero Downtime

In today's data-intensive work environment, no one can afford network downtime.

When network connectivity is mission critical, a backup Internet connection is essential to avoid costly disruptions.

For ultimate peace of mind, a backup connection must be supplied by a premier network provider—one who understands how to configure to connection and understands the critical, 24x7 needs of the research and education community.

Merit Network, Inc. is the trusted network provider for hundreds of health care, public safety, K-12 schools, local government, social service, higher education, and library organizations in Michigan. Merit has operated a leading-edge research and education network for over four decades. Our Members choose Merit because we provide them with robust network resources and services that are uniquely tailored to meet their needs.

Members also choose Merit Network because of the rich community of organizations like their own across the state. Merit's high-performance network is a platform for collaboration, consolidation and resource sharing, and Merit strives to foster partnerships and synergies within our community.

Merit Diverse Connection

Diverse Connection example

A Merit Diverse Connection provides a monitored, "always on" backup connection via an alternate physical route. Merit's engineering staff configure a redundant router to seamlessly assume routing responsibilities should your primary connection fail. No manual intervention is required. That means no midnight pager alerts. End-users are completely unaware of any outage.

Merit Diverse Connection utilizes Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP) to provide complete redundancy for IP networks, ensuring user traffic immediately recovers from first hop failures in network edge devices or access circuits. HSRP also provides complete transparency of all routing processes.

In HSRP, two or more routers act as a single virtual router by sharing an IP address and a MAC (Layer 2) address. The routers continuously exchange status messages so that if the lead router malfunctions, the backup router will assume primary routing responsibilities, allowing the host to continue forwarding packets.

Merit Diverse Connection Members may also benefit from Bi-directional Forwarding Detection (BFD). BFD utilizes Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) to predetermine the back-up route prior to any failure. BFD is a dynamic solution that offers faster convergence. Mishaps are often addressed before network administrators know there is an outage.

Unparalleled Network Connectivity and Reliability

Merit's regional, mesh network and peering agreements with national networks places Member connections closer to Internet content, providing your organization with a faster route to its destination than you may experience from another provider's network.

Merit's robust backbone boasts two physically diverse 10 Gigabit paths to Network Access Points in Chicago that connect with the commodity Internet and Internet2, a 10 Gigabit connection to Internet2 in Cleveland, over 25 peering agreements with private networks and content providers, as well as connections to other research and education networks in the Midwest. The Merit backbone features over 3,800 miles of fiber-optic network infrastructure that stretches across both the Lower and Upper Peninsulas and crosses the Mackinac Bridge. Merit, the longest-running regional network in America, is also the best connected.

Backed by a World Class Member Support Center

Merit Diverse Connection Members receive network monitoring from the Merit Support Center 24x7, 365 days a year. The Merit Support Center, formerly called the Network Operations Center, has been monitoring high-performance networks since 1987. Our support center analysts are the most experienced in the industry and use techniques that efficiently diagnose and resolve incidents.

Merit Diverse Connection Members are supported by a dedicated support team. Merit Member Relations Managers provide high-touch, knowledgeable assistance, and follow each issue through to completion.

Advanced Networking Expertise

Merit employs a specialized team of network and software engineers who are available to assist Members with customized design and troubleshooting solutions. Our networking experience includes over 45 years of innovation in the data networking field. Merit staff regularly provide consultation on Quality of Service issues, and resolve Member security, redundancy, and multi-homing concerns. Merit Members have direct communication with top management and engineering staff and are encouraged to participate in meetings, product planning, and research activities.

Merit Diverse Connection is a fully-managed service, with Merit installing and maintaining the connection and managing the customer premise equipment.

For more information, please contact a Member Relations Manager at or call 734-527-5700.

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