In today’s world, Blaine companies need dependable access to The Internet. It is the lifeblood of their business. All companies, big and small, need fast and reliable Internet access.
In the months and years ahead, people and businesses will become more reliant on access to the internet.
The net is ubiquitous. From email to data sharing, archiving to commerce and VOIP to video conferencing, the web is everywhere. What can best meet your needs? Is a cable modem enough? It could be that you need Metro Ethernet. Your needs may be met with Gigabit Internet. What is best for your business in Blaine, Minnesota? Will your organization needs be met with a 50 Meg circuit, a 5 Meg circuit, 10 Meg Internet access or 100 Meg Internet access point?
The needs of your particular business must be determined before you can select an appropriate service. Will web surfing and email be your primary use of the internet? Is connecting with cloud servers and sharing real time data the main use of the internet? Are you hosting data in Blaine, Minnesota? Do remote sites depend upon you?
What happens to your organization if your high-speed Internet experiences an outage? Can your business afford the downtime? How much uptime is essential to your company? You must answer these questions before you buy.
It is no secret that all companies need high-speed access to the net. You need to analyze and balance the costs and benefits to your company before choosing the right broadband. While many providers throw around terminologies such as:
… the actual issue is knowing what technology and capability can satisfy your needs.
At any company in Blaine some employees, if not all employees, need some type of access to the internet if they are to properly perform their job duties. Third party applications, organization research or development and e-commerce are just several of the ways the net may be needed.
The number of employees you have may determine your best solution. If you have a handful of employees, a 5 or 10 Meg Internet circuit may be sufficient. If you have more than that, you may need more.
If your employees are merely accessing an intranet system with limited graphics and video, your need for high-speed Internet may be reduced. On the other hand, when they are frequently downloading documents, images and videos, that need for speed increases drastically.
Does your organization regularly conduct backups? If, as recommended, you conduct remote backups from every single desk, you will need to support simultaneous connections out to the web. This will allow you to sync your backup data.
Do you use a file-sharing service? Perhaps you use Google drive, DropBox or a different service? After a file is saved, it goes to the cloud and then to someone else’s computer. Running all your services properly, including sharing files, requires that you have the right amount of bandwidth.
Depending on your location, high-speed organization Internet access, including Metro Ethernet and gigabit Internet may be viable options. They are usually contained in “lit buildings” in Blaine, Minnesota that have already been wired by a carrier. Installing high-speed Internet may not be as difficult and expensive as you think.
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. Also, securing high-speed Internet access using gigabit Internet or Metro Ethernet often takes less than 30 days, depending on its availability.
Do you have your own company servers that run APIs, websites or feeds for offsite offices or companies? Maybe your organization requires that dozens of satellite offices have access to a hosted application at your company main headquarters. Perhaps you are in retail and host the point of sale (POS) system for thousands of stores? Does your legal practice host all of the data for 3, 4 or 5 offices in different sites?
When data and programs are hosted centrally at one main site, people outside that location must gain access. Those people are not able to do their work if the internet connection fails or is unreliable. Can your intranet solution support your needs? Can it support multiple simultaneous connections? Is it stable enough to handle this when they are from various places?
For one office or a small business with just one or two people surfing the web, a less expensive 10 Meg circuit or a cable modem may meet your needs. High-speed access to The Internet is advisable for the headquarters. Gigabit Ethernet, Metro Ethernet or some other high-speed dedicated circuit is recommended. All offer quick speed but they must also be able to support diverse and multiple connections. 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. Oftentimes, a lower monthly rate comes with the realization that you are sharing bandwidth with many different tenants and offices. While you may subscribe to a cable modem with a 30 Meg connection, you may be unable to reach those speeds during 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. That bandwidth reaches out like branches to every building in the community and the people living and working in those buildings. You might be capped at 30-megabyte speed, but may never be able to actually reach that speed during the important hours of your organization day. Do you care if you only get 6 when you were set up to expect 30?
You can sign up for dedicated and guaranteed bandwidth from some providers. With these, bandwidth belongs to you and your company only; no sharing. Notwithstanding the existence of tenants, offices or buildings in the area, you should have the full capability of your circuits at all times.
Metro Ethernet provides guaranteed bandwidth in increments as follows: 5, 10, 50 and 100 Meg circuits. Want to reach gigabit speeds? You can by using a gigabit Internet provider.
In these situations, each tenant receives their contracted high-speed. The carrier delivers enough so they can split their circuit and provide enough to each tenant.
The truth is that circuits can go down in Blaine, Minnesota even though some carriers offer superior Internet bandwidth products. How can you decrease the chance of an outage?
Redundant circuits may be the answer for you.
Redundancy in this situation comes in two forms.
The first type exists when the same carrier gives you multiple circuits. Redundant circuits can help protect against certain problems. They can mitigate the inconveniences when there is a failure of a physical line or a problem with the port into your router. Even multiple circuits can fail, such as in the event of a large-scale carrier outage or when there damage to an external line. You get some protection, but also some risk.
Utilizing circuits from two different providers is the second kind of redundancy. 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. In fact, they are totally redundant and separate. Diversity redundancy offers far greater protection. If one carrier has a widespread issue, you have a carrier that will still be alive.
You want maximum redundancy. In order to achieve this, look for redundant circuits from different carriers with different physical geographic pathways in Blaine. This means that you should try to have the circuits come into you building from different sides. The circuits would be attached to telephone poles (or underground conduits) in different directions leading to different data centers or central offices. Having redundancy in different physical directions can protect you if there is a serious incident at a data center or some accident that causes a regional circuit issue.
Internet access costs money but the cost of NOT having reliable Internet access is greater. Contemplate these scenarios:
The carrier you use for your cable modem also provides circuits for a dozen or more tenants in the office building. Between 9 and 5, any of those other offices could be downloading huge files, streaming video or taking large volume of phone calls and more. As they use more bandwidth, there is less for available for your needs. What happens to your phone calls? How will it affect the quality of that telephone call? Are calls dropped? Will your voice be inaudible? Will you have difficulty hearing the other end?
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 business. 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 sites. Your circuit goes down, now what will happen? Is it just irritating? Is it going to cause tremendous problems? How much work, if any, can be done by your remote sites? Process new orders? Disseminate needed information and data? Do you know what your organization needs? Be sure to fully understand your requirements. It will help you choose the correct solution. 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 speak 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 these other systems have difficulty connecting your servers? Customers will only take so many repeated outages. How long with they remain with your company?
Is the internet integral to the proper function of your company? Do you depend on it entirely? No calls can go out if your circuits fail. They are also unable to answer calls. You are now officially out of business. Even for the most reputable call centers that already know of and use redundancy, is it sufficient? Are you really getting the dependable service you need form your carriers? Are you using carriers that are truly reliable? Is the quality of service sufficient for your calls to be clear and reliable?
Obviously, there are a variety of choices. Your company needs and budgets will drive your decisions. As a high-level summary:
If you are a small company, with one location and you do not worry about redundancy, one five meg, ten meg, or fifty meg access to The Internet circuit may very well be enough to meet your needs. You may find that if your building is “lit”, gigabit service and Metro Ethernet service may be reasonably cost-effective choices for you. Costs vary with location and the availability of circuits so speak with our engineers. Together, we can find the best option for you and your business.
You have a mid-sized Blaine, Minnesota company; higher speed Internet access required. Your options are Metro Ethernet, gigabit Internet and higher speed circuits. Optimally, multiple providers and multiple circuits will give you the most redundancy. You may be able to achieve this in a manner that will not break the bank. For example, you may use 2 fifty meg circuits instead of 1 one hundred meg circuit. Do not forget that you will find variations in price and availability. Call one of our experts to learn what is available in your specific area.
Companies with different sites, whether 5 or 50, are at the highest risk. They need redundant circuits. Having several providers would afford extra protection. Additionally, you should consider redundant equipment (routers and switches) in your facility to minimize the risk of downtime. Here too, 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 organization can benefit from finding the right mix of services and providers.
If you fall into this group, you must have Metro Ethernet, gigabit Internet circuits and point-to-point High-speed Internet circuits. Having redundant hardware as well as redundant circuits from different providers will ensure your needed uptime. The last thing you want is interruptions or slowdowns affecting your organization. You must provide enough bandwidth to avoid these pitfalls that sometimes occur during sudden usage spikes. Both your hardware and circuits must be capable of supporting a vast number of simultaneous and fast connections.
Do not risk having failing circuits or not enough bandwidth. The circuit or circuits you have must stay within the parameters of your budget while still meeting your organization needs. The pressure involved in selecting the proper mix of hardware and circuits can be overwhelming.
Our engineers will take the pressure off and develop a free action plan for you by analyzing your needs. We are going to examine your demand levels and current usage. We will then design a plan that keeps your costs reasonable while meeting your demand for a smoothly run business.
Please click here to complete the contact form on the right side of this page or call our office to schedule an appointment for an assessment. Assessments are completed in as little as 48 hours.