Reliable Internet access is the lifeblood of Alexandria, Virginia companies and their company. The business functions of every company, whether it is a small organization or on the Fortune 500, from Fortune 500, depends upon fast and reliable access to The Internet.
In the months and years ahead, people and businesses will become more reliant on access to the internet.
The use of the net is pervasive. We use it for email and data sharing, video chat and VOIP, archiving and commerce. What is the right solution to meet your requirements? Is a cable modem enough? Metro Ethernet? You may need Gigabit Internet. What does your Alexandria organization need? Does it require 10 Meg access to The net, a 100 Meg access to The net point, a 50 Meg circuit or a 5 Meg circuit?
Before selecting the appropriate service, your business must assess its needs. Is the web only used for web surfing and email? Will real-time data connection with servers in the cloud be the primary use of the net? Are you hosting the data in Alexandria, Virginia that remote places depend upon?
What will happen to your organization if your high-speed Internet experiences an outage? How will the downtime affect your organization? Is uptime essential? Ask yourself these questions before making any purchases. The answers will help you determine what is right for you.
In the broadest of terms, companies need high-speed access to The net. Before you choose your broadband, look at the costs and benefits. Performing this analysis is an important step in picking the right one for your organization. Don’t be distracted by terminology. While you may hear providers throw out words and phrases like:
… be sure not to forget what capability and technical solutions meet your business’s specific needs.
At any company in Alexandria some employees, if not all employees, need some type of access to the web if they are to properly perform their job duties. Whether it is to communicate with shippers, do research or place orders, Internet access is required.
The number of workers you have may be the factor that drives your decision. A five or ten megabyte Internet circuit may be all you need if employ a small workforce. If you have 50 employees who are using the web simultaneously, you may need more.
High-speed Internet may become less important if the majority of your employees primarily use an intranet system with limited graphics and video. On the other hand, when they are frequently downloading documents, images and videos, that need for speed increases drastically.
Does your company regularly conduct backups? When you do remote backups from every workstation, which you should, you must support multiple and simultaneous connections to the web in order to sync your backup data.
Does your business use a file sharing service? DropBox? Google drive? After a file is saved, it goes to the cloud and then to someone else’s computer. You need to have sufficient bandwidth to support this function while also supporting every other service.
Depending on your location, high-speed organization access to The net, including Metro Ethernet and gigabit Internet may be viable options. They are usually contained in “lit buildings” in Alexandria that have already been wired by a carrier. Choosing to add high-speed Internet to your office is a tough decision but it can be less expensive and easier than you think.
While bringing Metro Ethernet to a new building can be an expensive proposition, bringing that connection to a suite within the building is not. You can actually get high-speed access with gigabit Internet or even Metro Ethernet quickly. It often takes only 30 days or less, depending on availability.
Does your company host its own servers? Does your company use the hosted servers to run data feeds, APIs or websites for offices or businesses located elsewhere? Are your company headquarters with a hosted application accessed by 50 branch offices? Is your organization retail? Do you have thousands of stores? Do you host the point of sale system for the entire chain? Do you run a law office that hosts the data for satellite offices in different cities or states?
If you host programs, data or information centrally, people outside of the central location need to have access. If the net connection is interrupted, those people cannot get their work done. When deciding on the right intranet solution for your organization, ask yourself: Is the solution going to adequately support simultaneous and multiple connections from my different locations?
For a single office surfing the web, a cable modem or inexpensive 10 Meg circuit may be adequate. Company headquarters should have high-speed Internet access such as gigabit Ethernet, Metro Ethernet or some other high-speed dedicated circuit. While high speed is great, you also need support for your multiple diverse connections. Do you think a cable modem is sufficient? It is probably not.
In some situations, there is a high price to pay for bringing in an inexpensive circuit or cable modem. Your low monthly bill may mean that the bandwidth is shared among multiple tenants. You may experience slow downs. For example, although you subscribe to a cable modem with a thirty Meg connection, it can be difficult to maintain the maximum speed during busy times and peak hours. Only a certain amount of bandwidth may be available in a community. Many cable companies have limits on the amount they can deliver. Different buildings and tenants housed or working within those buildings all share that set amount of bandwidth. With a 30-megabyte connection, you may not get to that speed during the working day. What will the consequences be if you expect 30 but only get half that? What if you get even less?
Some providers offer customers dedicated and guaranteed bandwidth. In this scenario, the bandwidth is fully allocated to you and your company or company. No one else uses it. No matter who is in the building or what buildings surround you, you should always run at full speed.
For example, Metro Ethernet guarantees bandwidth in 5 met circuits, 10 Meg circuits, 50 and 100 Meg circuits. Want to reach gigabit speeds? You can by using a gigabit Internet provider.
In these scenarios, carriers deliver a large quantity of high-speed to a building. The quantity must be enough so that it can split the circuit and deliver to every tenant. Whatever amount has been guaranteed in each tenant’s contract is the amount they receive.
Despite outstanding Internet bandwidth products offered by carriers in Alexandria, circuits do go down. In what way can you diminish the risk of an outage?
Circuits that are redundant may be a good idea.
Redundancy in this situation comes in two forms.
With the first kind, you receive several circuits but they all come from the same carrier. In this situation, the redundancy helps protect you from port issues or physical line issues. It is possible for both circuits to go down. If your carrier has a regional problem like a widespread outage, or there is a broken line outside your building, even your redundant circuits may fail. This is not foolproof, but does offer some protection.
You can also achieve redundancy by utilizing different providers to bring in and establish your circuits. You may want your circuits to appear and act as if they are one and come from the same source. If so you can use IP address allocations and advanced routers to do so. But, you know that they are actually separate and redundant. This redundancy, referred to as diversity redundancy, offers much greater protection. If one carrier has a problem, the other likely will not.
For maximum redundancy, you should look for redundant circuits from different providers with different physical geographic pathways in Alexandria, Virginia. This means that you should try to have the circuits come into you building from different sides. The circuits would be established either underground or on telephone poles and would be set up in different directions and lead to different offices. What if there is some kind of catastrophic incident such as a fire or accident that impacts circuits within a region? Now, you have redundancy in an alternative physical direction.
Even though Internet access comes with a cost, you will save money if you make sure it is dependable. Unreliable access will end up costing you more in the long run. Consider the following:
Your office uses a cable modem and, in addition to you, the carrier provides 10-15 additional tenants with circuits. During your working day, those tenants could be conducting massive downloads of information, processing a large amount of calls or streaming endless video. As the amount of available bandwidth diminishes, what will happen to your phone calls? What about phone call quality? Will you lose calls? Will they be full of static?
Regardless of whether you are part of a legal practice and your firm does file sharing, or an accounting practice sharing databases, your office is the central point or hub of your organization. All of your offices, whether you have 3 or 3, 000, rely on your primary Internet connection to successfully access data. What if your circuit fails? Is it simply an irritation or a catastrophe? Can your satellite offices perform any work at all? Process or take new orders? Circulate essential files and data? It is important that prior to choosing a solution, you understand the true needs and requirements of your particular business. What if you are a software company? Perhaps you are running a hosted solution and it must be used by multiple customers; maybe even hundreds. Maybe you offer a service that allows other systems use an application program interface (API) to communicate with you to collect information and data. It is possible they will not be able to connect to your servers. Customers do not enjoy repeated outages. How long with they put up with them before looking to take their business elsewhere?
Your business is 100% reliant on the net to properly function. If your circuits go down, you cannot make calls. Your reps have no way of answering calls, if they even know they are coming in. Basically, you are out of business. For competent call centers that already use and understand the problems that can arise, is redundancy enough? Are you really getting the dependable service you need form your providers? Are you using carriers that are truly reliable? Is the quality of service sufficient for your calls to be clear and reliable?
You clearly have several choices. Your company needs and budgets will drive your decisions. As a high-level summary:
If your company is small, with one location or office, you are likely not concerned about redundancy. For you, a single 5, 10 or 50 megabyte access to The web circuit may suffice. Find out if you are in a lit building. If so, the price of Metro Ethernet or gigabit service may be affordable. Speak with our engineers about what is right for you. Prices vary with location and circuit availability.
You have a mid-sized Alexandria company; higher speed access to The web required. Your choices include: Metro Ethernet, gigabit Internet or other high-speed circuits. In a perfect world, you will achieve maximum redundancy by utilizing multiple carriers to provide and service different circuits. Achieving this may not be as costly as you first thought. Two smaller circuits may be cheaper than one. For instance, you may use two 50 meg circuits instead of a single 100 meg circuit. To repeat, availability and prices vary. You need to speak with one of our experts to determine your options in your specific location.
Companies with multiple sites are most at risk for failure. Redundant circuits are essential. It is helpful if they use multiple carriers. You can decrease risk during downtime by having redundant equipment as well. Here too, take a careful look and choose the right Ethernet access services, Metro Ethernet providers, gigabit Internet providers and other high-speed Internet access circuit providers. Finding the best combination of services, providers and equipment can go a long way toward helping your company run as efficiently as possible.
Gigabit Internet circuits, point-to-point high-speed Internet circuits are essential and Metro Ethernet Internet circuits must be utilized by companies in any of these categories. In order to maximize and protect your uptime, you must have redundancy. You should have redundant circuits from multiple providers in addition to redundant hardware. You do not want any slowdowns or interruptions that often occur during spikes in usage. Avoid this by having sufficient bandwidth. The hardware and circuits you choose must both be able to support the following: a great number of concurrent, speedy connections.
The danger and risk of failing circuits is tremendous. So is the risk of having less bandwidth than you need. The circuit or circuits you have must stay within the parameters of your budget while still meeting your business needs. Choosing the right mix of circuits and hardware is a daunting task.
We have engineers that will analyze your needs, look at your business requirements and develop an action plan for you… for free!We will look at your current usage, demand levels and scope out a design to give you the resources you need while keeping your organization up and running at a reasonable cost.
You can complete the contact form on the right side of this page by clicking here. If you would prefer, please call our office to set up an appointment for an assessment. Assessments are completed in as little as 48 hours.