In today’s environment, companies in Bloomington, Minnesota count on reliable access to The Internet as the lifeblood of their organization. All companies, from Fortune 500 to small businesses, have functions that rely on easy, dependable and quick Internet access.
Internet access will become increasingly essential to us in the coming months and years. Our dependence on access to The Internet will only grow as time goes on.
Our uses of the net reach far and wide. From data sharing, video calls, and shopping to VOIP and email, the net has a broad presence. What do you need? A cable modem may be satisfactory. Metro Ethernet? Gigabit Internet may be required. Does your business in Bloomington, Minnesota need one of these: 10 Meg Internet access, a 100 Meg Internet access point, a 50 meg circuit or a 5 meg circuit?
Before choosing an adequate or appropriate service, you must decide what your organization really needs. Will web surfing and email be your primary use of the web? Is connecting with cloud servers and sharing real time data the main use of the internet? Perhaps you, in Bloomington, are hosting the data and remote places depend upon this.
Have you thought about what happens to your business if your high-speed Internet is interrupted by an outage? What about the downtime that results? Can your organization afford that? Is uptime essential to the success of your company? You must answer these questions before you buy.
In the broadest of terms, companies need high-speed Internet access. Deciding on the right broadband is not easy. It requires a thorough cost-benefit analysis. While various providers will throw around terminology like:
… the actual issue is knowing what technology and capability can satisfy your needs.
Companies in Bloomington need access to the internet for their employees. Some companies may need it only for a few people and others may need it for the entire workforce. Third party applications, company research or development and e-commerce are just several of the ways the net may be needed.
Perhaps the size of your work force may determine the solution that best fits your needs. If you only have a few workers, you may be fine with a smaller Internet circuit such as a 5 or 10 megabyte. If you have more than that, you may need more.
You may not need as much high-speed access to The net if your employees work primarily on an intranet system with limited graphics and video. On the other hand, Internet speed becomes dramatically more important when they are required to regularly download things like documents or videos.
Are you performing routine 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? When people save a file, it gets pushed to the cloud. The file is then synched with other people’s computers. You must have sufficient bandwidth if you are to successfully support every service including file sharing.
Depending on your location, high-speed company Internet access, including Metro Ethernet and gigabit Internet may be viable options. These are typically found in “lit buildings” in Bloomington. Providers have already wired these buildings. It may be shock you to know that installing high-speed access to The net may not be particularly expensive or inconvenient.
If you have to bring Metro Ethernet into a new building, it can be expensive but bringing that connection to an office or suite within the building is usually 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.
Ask yourself this: Does we host our own servers to run APIs, websites and data feeds to external offices or organization premises? Are your corporate headquarters with a hosted application utilized by 50 branch offices? Perhaps you are in retail and host the point of sale (POS) system for thousands of stores? Do you run a law office that hosts the data for satellite offices in different cities or states?
When things are hosted at a central point, parties outside the office must somehow gain access. If the web connection is interrupted, those people cannot get their work done. 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 sites?
If you have one office using the web, you may get by with a cable modem or a low- cost 10-megabyte circuit. For headquarters, Metro Ethernet, gigabit Ethernet or other high-speed Internet dedicated circuits is advisable. Multiple diverse connections require support, in addition to high speed. The support you need could not be provided by a cable modem.
In some situations, there is a high price to pay for bringing in an inexpensive circuit or cable modem. There may be a lower monthly rate, but bandwidth is usually shared with many tenants. If you subscribe to a cable modem with a 30-megabyte connection, you would expect to always be able to reach that high speed. However, it is possible that during peak hours, you won’t. Cable operators differ but many have prescribed limits on the bandwidth amount that they can deliver within a set community. Whatever that amount of bandwidth is, it branches into all buildings in the community and to all tenants 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 company day. Is this a problem for you if you expect 30 and get 6?
Guaranteed bandwidth and dedicated bandwidth are solutions that some providers offer. In this situation, your bandwidth is not shared but is fully allocated to your company. The full capacity of your circuit should be attainable during all hours regardless of neighboring buildings, people or offices.
Metro Ethernet provides guaranteed bandwidth in increments as follows: 5, 10, 50 and 100 Meg circuits. In your office out to the net you can reach gigabit speeds with gigabit providers
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.
Realistically, while some carriers in Bloomington, Minnesota offer excellent Internet bandwidth products, it is possible for a circuit to go down. In what way can you diminish the risk of an outage?
Consider redundant circuits.
Redundancy basically comes in two forms.
A single carrier, providing multiple circuits, to one customer, characterizes one form of redundancy. When there are problems with a physical line or a port or other failures, it can be helpful to have redundant circuits. If your carrier experiences a regional outage or you have a line broken outside of your building, you may lose the use of all of your circuits. This offers some protection and assurance but does not eliminate all threats.
The second way to set up circuit redundancy is by using two different providers to bring in your circuits. By using IP address allocations and certain routers, you can bind your connections. By doing this, it appears and behaves as a single circuit. Though they may appear as one, you know that they are each individual circuits and redundant to each other. This is called diversity redundancy and offers more protection that the first. If one carrier has a problem, the other likely will not.
The providers you choose for your redundant circuits should have different physical pathways in Bloomington. This is an important consideration when trying to obtain the most redundancy. Alternatively stated, try to have your circuits enter the building on different sides from one another. Whether they are attached underground or to a telephone pole, your goal should be to have the circuits in different directions leading to different central places. 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.
Although access to The net comes at a price, the price of unreliable Internet access is tremendous. Consider the following:
If your business utilizes a cable modem, consider whether your carrier is providing circuits for multiple other tenants within the building. During company hours, any of those tenants could be streaming video, performing massive file downloads, processing large volumes of phone calls and more. What will happen to your telephone calls as the amount of usable bandwidth decreases? What about phone call quality? Will calls be arbitrarily dropped? Will you sound muffled?
Your office may be the working center of an entire company enterprise. The kind of company does not necessarily matter. You may be a law firm doing file sharing, an accounting practice sharing databases or a retailer operating a distributed point-of-sale system. Your primary Internet connection is responsible for granting access to data to all of your places. This is true whether you have 3 locations or 2000 places. How will you be affected if your circuit goes down? Is it a mere annoyance or a catastrophic failure? Can your satellite or remote office do any work at all? Can they take or process any orders at all? Dispense and receive data? Be sure you understand your requirements fully before choosing a solution. Maybe your software company runs a hosted solution. Maybe that hosted solution is used by hundreds of your customers. You operate a service that utilizes API in order to grant access to other systems. They may use this to collect whatever data you are offering such as commodity prices, weather data or freight calculations. 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?
Your business is completely reliant on the web. What if your representatives can make no outgoing telephone calls because your circuits go down? Calls coming in would be unanswerable. You might not even know people are trying to reach your office. You are essentially out of company. While most reputable call centers are already aware and using redundancy, is it enough? Can you truly rely on your providers? Are they as dependable as they claim? Do you consistently get quality service that provides clear and reliable calls?
You clearly have many options. Your choices will largely rely on your budget, in addition to the other requirements of your organization. In review:
Sometimes redundancy is not essential to you. For example, If you are a small organization, with just one office location, a single Internet access circuit may be adequate. You may get by with one 50, 10 or even 5 megabyte circuit. Gigabit service and Metro Ethernet options seem expensive. If you are in a lit building, however, they can be less than you think. Look into it. Speak with our engineers about what is right for you. Prices vary with location and circuit availability.
Mid-sized businesses in Bloomington should be equipped with higher-speed Internet. Your options are Metro Ethernet, gigabit Internet and higher speed circuits. Ideally, multiple circuits from multiple providers will provide you with the greatest redundancy. Achieving this may cost extra but it won’t double your costs. For example, one 100-megabyte circuit may cost more than two smaller 50-megabyte circuits. As a reminder; availability and costs may vary. In order to find out the options available for you, in your location, you need to speak with one of our seasoned experts.
Any company with more than one location suffers the greatest risk of problems. Redundant circuits are a necessity. Multiple providers or carriers are recommended. 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 access to The Internet circuit providers. The right combination of services and carriers can positively impact the efficiency of your business.
Companies such as these require the following: Metro Ethernet, gigabit Internet and point-to-point (PPP) high-speed Internet circuits. 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. The last thing you want is interruptions or slowdowns affecting your business. 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.
Your business faces great risk of less than adequate bandwidth and failing circuits. Your demand and budget constraints should both be considered when you decide what circuit or combination of circuits you must have. You have to select the optimal combination of hardware and circuits, which is a daunting task.
Our expert engineers will review your requirements and needs and create a free action plan for you. We will look at your current usage, demand levels and scope out a design to give you the resources you need while keeping your company 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. It can take less than 48 hours to complete your assessment.