In today’s environment, companies in Atlanta, Georgia count on reliable access to The net as the lifeblood of their business. All companies, large and small, need fast and reliable access to The net.
In the months and years ahead, people and businesses will become more dependent on access to the internet.
The use of the internet is pervasive. We use it for email and data sharing, video chat and VOIP, archiving and commerce. What do you need? Perhaps a cable modem is all you need. Metro Ethernet may be what you need. Gigabit Internet may be required. What is best for your organization in Atlanta, Georgia? Will your company needs be met with a 50 Meg circuit, a 5 Meg circuit, 10 Meg access to The Internet or 100 Meg Internet access point?
Your company must assess its real needs. This must be done before an appropriate service can be chosen. Are surfing the web and sending email the only uses of the net? Is it used for real-time data connection with cloud servers? There may be remote places that rely on you and you are hosting the data in Atlanta.
What if you have a disruption in your high-speed Internet? How might the downtime cause problems for your organization? Is your success reliant on uptime? Ask yourself these questions before making any purchases. The answers will help you determine what is right for you.
It is no secret that all companies need high-speed access to the net. Deciding on the right broadband internet is not easy. It requires a thorough cost-benefit analysis. While many service providers throw around terminologies such as:
… focus on what matters: what does your company need and what are the best services and solutions out there to meet those needs?
For most companies in Atlanta, Georgia, some or all of the employees need access to the net. Internet access may be needed to conduct research, use third-party applications or to order supplies.
The solution you choose may be based on the number of employees you have or expect to have. An Internet circuit of 5 -10 megabytes might be enough for your business if you only have a few people working for you. You may need more if you have more workers and those workers all need to be on the net during the same hours.
You may not need as much high-speed Internet access if your employees work primarily on an intranet system with limited graphics and video. If your organization functions demand the downloading of documents and images or videos on a regular basis, speed becomes a must more important issue.
Do you routinely backup? Simultaneous connections to the web, which you need in order to sync your backup data, require support. If you conduct remote backups from every workstation, which you definitely should, this will be important.
Do you use a file-sharing service? Perhaps you use Google drive, DropBox or a different service? When people save a file, it gets pushed to the cloud. The file is then synched with other people’s computers. Supporting file sharing, while supporting every other service, requires sufficient bandwidth.
Depending on your location, high-speed business Internet access, including Metro Ethernet and gigabit Internet may be viable options. Usually, you can find these in “lit buildings” in Atlanta, Georgia that have been previously wired by a carrier. If you’d like to install high-speed Internet in your office, you should know that it might be more affordable than you realize.
While it may be the case that bringing Metro Ethernet into a new building can cause a big dent in your wallet, bringing the connection to a suite or offices within that building does not have to. 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 organization host its own servers running websites, APIs or data feeds for other offices or companies outside of your own four walls? Is your main company office with a hosted application accessed by 40 or even 50 branch office sites? Are you a retail chain hosting the POS system for 12, 000 stores? Are you a legal practice hosting the data for three places?
When data and programs are hosted centrally at one main site, people outside that location must gain access. If the internet connection is interrupted or fails, those people are unable to accomplish any work. Make sure that when you choose your intranet solution it is reliable enough to support your need for multiple and simultaneous connections for many different places.
For one office or a small organization with just one or two people surfing the web, a less expensive 10 Meg circuit or a cable modem may meet your needs. Metro Ethernet, gigabit Ethernet or other high-speed dedicated circuits is advisable for the headquarters where high-speed access to The web is important. Multiple diverse connections require support, in addition to high speed. A cable modem would likely be insufficient.
In some situations, there is a high price to pay for bringing in an inexpensive circuit or cable modem. Even though you pay less money per month you must consider that the bandwidth you receive may be shared and used by multiple parties in the building. While you may subscribe to a cable modem with a 30 Meg connection, you may be unable to reach those speeds during peak hours. Cable companies are known to limit or predetermine the amount of bandwidth available for delivery in any particular community. That bandwidth branches off to different buildings and then to various tenants within those buildings. While you may be capped at thirty-megabyte speed, will you ever reach that speed during business hours? Is this a problem for you if you expect 30 and get 6?
Some carriers are available who offer dedicated bandwidth and guaranteed bandwidth. With these, bandwidth belongs to you and your company only; no sharing. Regardless of neighbors, or other tenants, you should have the full capacity of your circuit at all times.
For example, with Metro Ethernet, you can receive a guaranteed bandwidth in increments of five Meg circuits, 10 Meg circuits, 50 Meg circuits and 100 Meg circuits. Gigabit speeds from your office to the web can be reached if you use a gigabit Internet provider.
In these cases, the carriers deliver high-speed to the building in sufficient quantity that they can then split their circuit to various tenants while guaranteeing each tenant is receiving their contracted speeds.
Circuits can go down in Atlanta, Georgia even though certain providers offer superior Internet bandwidth products. In what way can you diminish the risk of an outage?
The answer is redundant circuits.
There are, in essence, two types of redundancy.
A single carrier, providing multiple circuits, to one customer, characterizes one form of redundancy. In this situation, the redundancy helps protect you from port issues or physical line issues. However, if that carrier has a greater outage to your entire region or there is a line damaged outside of your office building, you may have both or all circuits go down. This is not foolproof, but does offer some protection.
Utilizing circuits from two different providers is the second kind of redundancy. These connections can be bound together so they act and appear to the public as a single circuit. Using particular routers and IP address allocations, no one would be able to tell that you have multiple carriers or circuits. But, you know that they are actually separate and redundant. Diversity redundancy provides greater assurance, comfort and protection. If one carrier has a problem, the other likely will not.
When considering redundant circuits and providers, try to be sure that the carriers you look at in Atlanta have different physical geographic routes or pathways. Doing so will maximize redundancy. Basically this means that you want your circuits to enter your building on different sides or paths. The circuits would be attached underground or to telephone poles, in various directions. The circuits would go to different data centers or central offices. This way, if there is a major catastrophe, such as a fire at a data center or a major accident impacting circuits within a region, you have redundancy in a different physical direction.
Although access to The net comes at a price, the price of unreliable Internet access is tremendous. Please think about the following scenarios:
Are you on a cable modem and your carrier is providing circuits to dozens of other office suites in your building? Any of these tenants may be taking many calls, conducting huge downloads or streaming video during your regular office hours. How will your telephone calls be affected as the amount of available bandwidth decreases? What happens to the quality of that phone call? Will calls be arbitrarily dropped? Perhaps you will sound choppy or will be inaudible.
Your office is the hub of your company, whether you are a retail organization operating a distributed point of sale (POS) system, an accounting firm sharing databases or a law firm engaged in file sharing. Your primary Internet connection is responsible for granting access to data to all of your sites. This is true whether you have 3 places or 2000 locations. What happens if your circuit goes down? Would it annoy you or destroy you? How much work, if any, can be done by your remote sites? What will happen to new orders? Can they be taken or processed? Share essential data? It is important that prior to choosing a solution, you understand the true needs and requirements of your particular organization. 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. Do you operate a service where other systems communicate with yours by using an application program interface (API)? For example do other systems gain access to yours in order to calculate prices, prices, or to collect information that you serve up? What if you have server problems and they are unable to connect to you? Multiple outages may annoy your customers.
What if your company could not function at all without the internet? Maybe your organization relies on it completely. Should your circuits go down, your representatives cannot make outbound calls. Calls coming in would be unanswerable. You might not even know people are trying to reach your office. You are now officially out of company. Even for the most reputable call centers that already know of and use redundancy, is it sufficient? Make sure your carriers are as reliable as possible. Are you getting quality service so that your calls are clear and consistent?
Obviously, there are a variety of choices. Your company needs and budgets will drive your decisions. As a high-level summary:
A single fifty, ten or five megabyte access to The Internet circuit may be adequate to meet the needs of your small business, particularly if you have only one location and are not worried about redundancy. Metro Ethernet service or gigabit service may also be a reasonably priced option if you are in a lit building. Prices change based on your location and the availability of circuits. Please speak with our engineers about what options best suit your needs.
Mid-sized businesses in Atlanta, Georgia should be equipped with higher-speed Internet. Higher-speed circuits like Metro Ethernet, gigabit Internet or others may be your best options. In a perfect scenario, multiple circuits from different providers will give you the most redundancy. It is sometimes possible to reach this without adding ridiculous costs. For example, you may use 2 fifty meg circuits instead of 1 one hundred meg circuit. To repeat, availability and prices vary. Call one of our experts to learn what is available in your specific area.
Businesses with many locations face the greatest risk for failure. Redundant circuits are essential. Multiple providers or providers are recommended. Additionally, you should consider redundant equipment (routers and switches) in your facility to minimize the risk of downtime. As always, take a careful look and choose the right Ethernet access services, Metro Ethernet providers, gigabit Internet providers and other high-speed access to The net circuit providers. Your business can benefit from finding the right mix of services and providers.
For businesses that fit this description, it is essential to have gigabit Internet circuits, point-to-point high-speed Internet circuits and Metro Ethernet Internet circuits. You must have redundant circuits for multiple providers as well as redundant hardware in your office to ensure your uptime. The last thing you want is interruptions or slowdowns affecting your company. You must provide enough bandwidth to avoid these pitfalls that sometimes occur during sudden usage spikes. The hardware and circuits you choose must both be able to support the following: a great number of concurrent, speedy connections.
The risk of insufficient bandwidth or failing circuits is tremendous. The right circuits must meet your demand while keeping you within your budget. Choosing the right combination of hardware and circuits can be complicated and confusing.
Our engineers will take the pressure off and develop a free action plan for you by analyzing your needs. We will formulate a design or plan based partly on your current usage and demand levels. We are going to create something cost effective that gives you the resources your business needs, while keeping it running smoothly.
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