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Enterprise-grade? Carrier-grade? What Do the Different Equipment Grades Mean?

Published on 05 July 13
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Wondering what the various equipment grades mean? Understanding the differences can help you choose the right infrastructure to get the best performance and results for your business. Take a look at the explanations below to get a better idea about what will work for your needs:

Consumer-grade

Consumer-grade equipment is used by home users to do basic tasks such as access the internet, store photos, and share resources. Itâs usually purchased from a local electronics store or obtained by an internet service provider (as in the case of a modem). Price and ease-of-use are the most important considerations in consumer-grade equipment, and because of this, features and support are often extremely limited.

  • Support â What support there is is usually handled via a call center. There may be a limited time in which to use the support (the company will give you phone or email support for 3 months, for example, after which youâre on your own), or you may have to pay out of pocket to get answers.
  • Plug-and-play â Consumer-grade equipment is a one-size-fits-all solution. That makes it easy to set upâhome users can usually do it themselvesâbut does not allow for much customization or adaptability.
  • Quality â Low-cost components are used, but in the right conditions, the equipment can last for a long time. When it needs an upgrade or repair, however, it is often just replaced.
  • Scalability â The features that the equipment comes with are usually all there isâscaling options (adding more storage capacity, for example) are extremely basic or non-existent.

Enterprise-grade

Businesses use enterprise-grade equipment in their networks. Compared with consumer-grade equipment, enterprise grade is more flexible, reliable, and customizable. Itâs also usually more complexâyou may need a certified networking or systems administrator to install and monitor its usage.

  • Support â Businesses cannot afford to have application downtime or network outages, so support is usually very fast and very good. When repair or replacement is needed, these issues are handled immediately.
  • Custom-built â Enterprise-grade equipment can be customized for the particular solution or application. If you have unique security requirements or you need your equipment to support a specific networking protocol, those things can be implemented.
  • Quality â Businesses pay for quality and reliability in enterprise-grade equipment. Itâs made with fail-safe features like extra hard disks for data mirroring and more.
  • Scalability â Enterprise-grade equipment should be highly scalable so it can grow as your business does.
Enterprise-grade? Carrier-grade? What Do the Different Equipment Grades Mean? - Image 1

Industrial-grade

Industrial settings such as manufacturing and resource production require a highly-specialized type of equipment. The environments involved in these industries are often extreme in terms of temperature, humidity levels, dust, and more, but they also demand high levels of reliability and performance.

This is where industrial-grade equipment comes in. Itâs designed specifically for these mission-critical applications. Often industrial-grade equipment is made to be operated wirelessly, which makes things safer for employees. This type of equipment must also have careful monitoring by trained network engineers, usually 24 hours a day.

  • Extremely reliable â Since any type of failure would be catastrophic, industrial-grade servers, networking equipment, and the like are made to survive almost anything and provide advanced error correction capabilities.
  • Powerful â This equipment should be able to deliver high-performance, even at peak use times.

Carrier-grade

Carrier-grade equipment is used primarily in the telecommunications industry to provide phone and data support for thousands of people and businesses. Carrier networks are mission criticalâthey need to be carefully designed and tested at every stage to ensure that absolute dependability and performance.

  • Testing â Carrier-grade servers must be able to withstand earthquakes, hurricanes, and other extreme environments. This equipment, then, is put through extensive testing to ensure its quality and reliability.
  • Performance monitoring â This equipment can detect and correct for errors. In this way, problems can be avoided before they happen.
  • Performance â Carrier-grade units need to support most services and devices and provide extremely high network availability.
  • Maintenance â These servers are looked after around-the-clock by teams of trained specialists.

Whatâs the right âgradeâ for you and your business? Share your thoughts and experiences below.









Wondering what the various equipment grades mean? Understanding the differences can help you choose the right infrastructure to get the best performance and results for your business. Take a look at the explanations below to get a better idea about what will work for your needs:

Consumer-grade

Consumer-grade equipment is used by home users to do basic tasks such as access the internet, store photos, and share resources. Itâs usually purchased from a local electronics store or obtained by an internet service provider (as in the case of a modem). Price and ease-of-use are the most important considerations in consumer-grade equipment, and because of this, features and support are often extremely limited.

  • Support â What support there is is usually handled via a call center. There may be a limited time in which to use the support (the company will give you phone or email support for 3 months, for example, after which youâre on your own), or you may have to pay out of pocket to get answers.
  • Plug-and-play â Consumer-grade equipment is a one-size-fits-all solution. That makes it easy to set upâhome users can usually do it themselvesâbut does not allow for much customization or adaptability.
  • Quality â Low-cost components are used, but in the right conditions, the equipment can last for a long time. When it needs an upgrade or repair, however, it is often just replaced.
  • Scalability â The features that the equipment comes with are usually all there isâscaling options (adding more storage capacity, for example) are extremely basic or non-existent.


Enterprise-grade

Businesses use enterprise-grade equipment in their networks. Compared with consumer-grade equipment, enterprise grade is more flexible, reliable, and customizable. Itâs also usually more complexâyou may need a certified networking or systems administrator to install and monitor its usage.

  • Support â Businesses cannot afford to have application downtime or network outages, so support is usually very fast and very good. When repair or replacement is needed, these issues are handled immediately.
  • Custom-built â Enterprise-grade equipment can be customized for the particular solution or application. If you have unique security requirements or you need your equipment to support a specific networking protocol, those things can be implemented.
  • Quality â Businesses pay for quality and reliability in enterprise-grade equipment. Itâs made with fail-safe features like extra hard disks for data mirroring and more.
  • Scalability â Enterprise-grade equipment should be highly scalable so it can grow as your business does.


Enterprise-grade? Carrier-grade? What Do the Different Equipment Grades Mean? - Image 1

Industrial-grade

Industrial settings such as manufacturing and resource production require a highly-specialized type of equipment. The environments involved in these industries are often extreme in terms of temperature, humidity levels, dust, and more, but they also demand high levels of reliability and performance.

This is where industrial-grade equipment comes in. Itâs designed specifically for these mission-critical applications. Often industrial-grade equipment is made to be operated wirelessly, which makes things safer for employees. This type of equipment must also have careful monitoring by trained network engineers, usually 24 hours a day.

  • Extremely reliable â Since any type of failure would be catastrophic, industrial-grade servers, networking equipment, and the like are made to survive almost anything and provide advanced error correction capabilities.
  • Powerful â This equipment should be able to deliver high-performance, even at peak use times.


Carrier-grade

Carrier-grade equipment is used primarily in the telecommunications industry to provide phone and data support for thousands of people and businesses. Carrier networks are mission criticalâthey need to be carefully designed and tested at every stage to ensure that absolute dependability and performance.

  • Testing â Carrier-grade servers must be able to withstand earthquakes, hurricanes, and other extreme environments. This equipment, then, is put through extensive testing to ensure its quality and reliability.
  • Performance monitoring â This equipment can detect and correct for errors. In this way, problems can be avoided before they happen.
  • Performance â Carrier-grade units need to support most services and devices and provide extremely high network availability.
  • Maintenance â These servers are looked after around-the-clock by teams of trained specialists.


Whatâs the right âgradeâ for you and your business? Share your thoughts and experiences below.

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