These days, companies in Boulder depend on reliable Internet access as the lifeblood of their organization. Fortune 500 companies to small businesses and everything in between, depend on reliable and fast access to The Internet.
We will, in the months and years ahead, become more and more reliant on our Internet access.
The net has a significant presence in our lives. From email to information sharing, data archiving to e-commerce, and VOIP to video chat, the internet is certainly ubiquitous. What is the right solution to meet your needs? Is a cable modem enough? Your needs may point to Metro Ethernet as a solution. You may need Gigabit Internet. Does your company in Boulder, Colorado need one of these: 10 Meg Internet access, a 100 Meg Internet access point, a 50 meg circuit or a 5 meg circuit?
Before selecting the appropriate service, your organization must assess its needs. Will web surfing and email be your primary use of the net? Is it used for real-time data connection with cloud servers? Do remote locations count on you hosting the data in Boulder?
What if there is an outage and your high-speed Internet is interrupted? Can your company afford a long pause or lull in productivity? 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.
In the broadest of terms, companies need high-speed Internet access. You need to analyze and balance the costs and benefits to your company before choosing the right broadband. You will hear service providers use terms like:
… the actual issue is knowing what technology and capability can satisfy your needs.
Companies in Boulder need access to the web 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, organization research or development and e-commerce are just some of the ways the internet may be needed.
The number of employees you have may determine your best solution. A smaller Internet circuit may be enough if you only have a handful of workers. Perhaps a 5 or 10 megabyte is all you need. If you have 50 employees who are using the net simultaneously, 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 regularly performing backups? Synchronizing your backup data after doing remote backups from every desk requires you to support simultaneous connections out to the web.
Do you use a file sharing service like Google drive or DropBox? This is how a file sharing service works: You save a file. Then the file is pushed to the cloud, and is then synchronized with other people’s computers. You must have sufficient bandwidth if you are to successfully support every service including file sharing.
Your company location may cause you to think about high-speed company access to The net such as Metro Ethernet and/or gigabit Internet. “Lit buildings” that have already been wired by a carrier, are commonly the site for these. You may be surprised by how easy and affordable it is to add high-speed Internet to your business.
Unless you are bringing Metro Ethernet into a new building, it does not have to be an expensive proposition to connect it to a suite within a building. Metro Ethernet or gigabit Internet may provide you with high-speed access to The Internet in thirty 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? Maybe your business requires that dozens of satellite offices have access to a hosted application at your company main headquarters. Are you a retail organization with 10, 000 stores? Do you host the POS system for all of them? Does your legal practice host all of the data for 3, 4 or 5 offices in different locations?
When data, programs, or information is hosted centrally, those outside your office must gain access. If the web connection is interrupted or fails, those people are unable to accomplish any work. Are you choosing an intranet solution that is sufficiently reliable and stable to support multiple simultaneous connections from varied locations?
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. For the headquarters, high-speed Internet access including Metro Ethernet, gigabit Ethernet or other high-speed dedicated circuits is advisable. While all offer high speeds, they also need to be capable of supporting multiple diverse connections. This could probably not be accomplished with a cable modem.
Bringing in a cable modem, which seems to save money, may actually come at a price. 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. Cable companies are known to limit or predetermine the amount of bandwidth available for delivery in any particular community. Buildings, offices and tenants within the buildings all must share that amount of bandwidth, whatever it may be. 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 getting 7 when you expect 30 a problem?
Some providers offer customers dedicated and guaranteed bandwidth. In this situation, your bandwidth is not shared but is fully allocated to your organization. The presence of numerous buildings and tenants should have no effect on your speed. You should receive full capacity of your circuits no matter what the time of day.
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. If you want to reach gigabit speeds from your company out to the web, 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.
Realistically, while some carriers in Boulder, Colorado offer excellent Internet bandwidth products, it is possible for a circuit to go down. Ask this question: “what can I do to decrease the likelihood of an outage?
The answer is redundant circuits.
Redundancy basically comes in two forms.
With the first type of redundancy, you receive multiple circuits from the same carrier. If there is a problem with a line or a port in your router, circuit redundancy can offer some protection. Even multiple circuits can fail, such as in the event of a large-scale carrier outage or when there damage to an external line. While offering some protection, it is not without risk.
Circuit redundancy can also be achieved in the following way: Import circuits using two different and distinct providers. If you think it is beneficial, you can bind the connections together in a manner that makes your circuits act and look like a single source. But, you know that they are actually separate and redundant. While circuit redundancy in general is a good idea, diversity redundancy by using different providers, offers far better 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 providers with different physical geographic pathways in Boulder. In other words, try to obtain circuits entering the building from different sides of the building. 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 sites. If you can accomplish this, you are protected from a major catastrophe. For example, if a there is a fire or some other accident that negatively affects circuits in a region, you have redundancy in a physically different direction.
Internet access costs money but the cost of NOT having reliable access to The Internet is greater. Think about the following situations:
If your company utilizes a cable modem, consider whether your carrier is providing circuits for multiple other tenants within the building. Any of these tenants may be taking many calls, conducting huge downloads or streaming video during your regular office hours. What will happen to your telephone calls as the amount of usable bandwidth decreases? How will the caliber of the call be affected? Are the calls going to be dropped? Inaudible (choppy) to your customers?
Whether you are a law firm doing file sharing, an accounting practice sharing databases or a retailer operating a distributed point-of-sale system, your office is the hub for your enterprise. Every single one of your offices, stores and sites rely on you and your primary Internet connection to retrieve data. Your circuit goes down, now what will happen? Would it cause mere annoyance or utter disaster? Are remote offices able to work at all? What happens to new orders? Can they be taken or processed? Dispense and receive data? It is important that prior to choosing a solution, you understand the true needs and requirements of your particular company. You might have hundreds and hundreds of loyal customers. Perhaps you are a software company running a hosted solution they all depend on. You may operate a service like this: other systems speak with yours via an API to figure out freight prices, stock prices, to compile weather data or receive any other information that you provide. What happens when there is a problem connecting to your servers? Customers will only take so many repeated outages. How long with they remain with your company?
What if your company could not function at all without the internet? Maybe your business depends on it completely. No outbound calls can be made should your circuits go down. Your representatives would also be unable to answer calls. You are now officially out of business. For competent call centers that already use and understand the problems that can arise, is redundancy enough? Are the carriers you currently use as reliable as they should be? Are they as reliable as you need them to be? Is the quality of service sufficient for your calls to be clear and reliable?
You clearly have several choices. Your business budget and needs will play a large part in your decision-making. To recap:
You are probably not thinking about redundancy if you have a small organization with a single location. In this case, you can probably get by with a single Internet access circuit of 5, 10 or 50 meg. You may find that if your building is “lit”, gigabit service and Metro Ethernet service may be reasonably cost-effective choices for you. The availability of circuits and your location determine prices; speak with one of our engineers to learn what your best options are.
Having a medium or mid-sized company in Boulder, Colorado requires that you have higher-speed access to the net. You may choose between gigabit Internet or Metro Ethernet. You may also look into other higher-speed Internet circuits. Ideally, multiple circuits from multiple providers will provide you with the greatest redundancy. You may be able to achieve this in a manner that will not break the bank. For example, one 100-megabyte circuit may cost more than two smaller 50-megabyte circuits. As a reminder; availability and costs may vary. You need to speak with one of our experts to determine your options in your specific location.
If your organization has several sites or offices, you are at great risk for failure. Redundant circuits are essential. Multiple providers would be great. Also, redundant equipment such as switches and routers in your facility can minimize the risk of downtime. Here also, examine the Ethernet access services, gigabit Internet and Metro Ethernet providers. Take a careful look at other high-speed Internet access circuit providers before choosing the right one. The correct combination of providers and services can keep your organization running smoothly and efficiently.
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 absolutely need redundant circuits from different providers as well as redundant hardware. This is essential to ensuring uptime. Spikes or sudden increase in usage can result in Internet slowdowns or disruptions in service. You can decrease the risk of these events by having sufficient bandwidth. Having both your hardware and your circuits capable of supporting many different, fast, and simultaneous connections is essential. It cannot be one or the other.
Insufficient bandwidth and failing circuits are present tremendous risk to your organization. Your demand and budget constraints should both be considered when you decide what circuit or combination of circuits you must have. 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’ll 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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