Reliable access to The web is the lifeblood of Cambridge companies and their organization. Fast and reliable Internet access is needed for businesses to function properly; large corporations and small companies alike.
In the months and years ahead, people and businesses will become more dependent on access to the net.
The Internet is ubiquitous. From email to data sharing, archiving to commerce and VOIP to video chat, the internet is everywhere. What can best meet your needs? Will a cable modem be sufficient? It could be that you need Metro Ethernet. Is Gigabit Internet right for you? What does your Cambridge, Massachusetts business need? Does it require 10 Meg Internet access, a 100 Meg access to The net point, a 50 Meg circuit or a 5 Meg circuit?
The needs of your particular organization must be determined before you can select an appropriate service. Is the net only used for web surfing and email? Is connecting with cloud servers and sharing real time data the main use of the web? Do remote sites rely on you hosting the data in Cambridge, Massachusetts?
What if you have a disruption in your high-speed Internet? How might the downtime cause problems for your organization? Does your organization require uptime? Prior to making any purchases, you must determine the answers to these questions.
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 various providers will throw around terminology like:
… do not stray from the real issues. Focus on what your company’s needs are and what capabilities and technical solutions will help satisfy them.
Companies in Cambridge 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. There are countless reasons to need access to the net. Perhaps it is to order materials, to conduct organization research or speak with clients.
Perhaps the size of your work force may determine the solution that best fits your needs. 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. You should consider more than that if you have more workers. Also keep in mind whether your workers need to access the internet at the same time.
Do your employees primarily use an intranet system? If so, you may not need much high-speed Internet service. When they are frequently downloading things, whether documents, graphics or videos, however, speed is necessary for efficient job performance.
Are you performing routine backups? 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.
Are you using a service such as DropBox or Google drive to share files? As a file is saved, it is pushed to the cloud and then synced back to other people’s computers. Running all your services properly, including sharing files, requires that you have the right amount of 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 Cambridge that have been previously wired by a carrier. It may be shock you to know that installing high-speed Internet access may not be particularly expensive or inconvenient.
The introduction of Metro Ethernet into a new building can be quite costly. However, bringing that connection into office space within that building is usually less so. In fact, in as little as 30 days, you may be able to obtain high-speed access to the net with either gigabit Internet or Metro Ethernet. It depends upon availability.
Your business may host its own servers. Do they run websites APIs or data feeds for external offices? Are your company headquarters with a hosted application accessed by 50 branch offices? Are you a retail organization with 10, 000 stores? Do you host the POS system for all of them? You may be a law firm hosting data for three or four different offices.
When things are hosted at a central point, parties outside the office must somehow gain access. People can’t work if you have no Internet connection. If you need multiple connections to function at the same time from many different locations, make sure that your intranet solution can reliably support it.
For a single office surfing the web, a cable modem or inexpensive 10 Meg circuit may be sufficient. For the headquarters, high-speed access to The web including Metro Ethernet, gigabit Ethernet or other high-speed 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.
Bringing in a cable modem, which seems to save money, may actually come at a price. While the monthly rate is lower, the bandwidth is generally shared among other 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. Cable operators are only permitted to establish a certain amount of bandwidth within communities. That bandwidth reaches out like branches to every building in the community and the people living and working in those buildings. Will you achieve 30-meg 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 carriers are available who offer dedicated bandwidth and guaranteed bandwidth. In this scenario, the bandwidth is fully allocated to you and your company or company. No one else uses it. You should receive full capacity of your circuits during all hours. This is true even though you may have many buildings, businesses and tenants nearby.
With Metro Ethernet, for example, you can receive a guaranteed bandwidth in various increments including 5 and 10 Meg circuits, and 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.
Circuits can go down in Cambridge, Massachusetts even though certain carriers offer superior Internet bandwidth products. In what way can you diminish the risk of an outage?
Redundant circuits may be the answer for you.
Redundancy basically comes in two forms.
With the first kind, you receive several circuits but they all come from the same carrier. These redundant circuits help protect from certain failures, for example, router port issues or physical line trouble. 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. There is some protection that comes with this but there is risk as well.
The second way to set up circuit redundancy is by using two different providers to bring in your circuits. 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. In reality, they are completely separate and redundant to each other. This redundancy, referred to as diversity redundancy, offers much greater protection. You will still have a live, fully functioning carrier if one fails.
The carriers you choose for your redundant circuits should have different physical pathways in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This is an important consideration when trying to obtain the most redundancy. Essentially, this just means that you do not want both of your circuits to enter the building on the same side. They should come in on different sides. Ideally, the circuits will be going in different directions and toward various central business spaces or data centers. 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.
The cost of dependable Internet access pales in comparison to the cost of unreliable access. Contemplate these situations:
The carrier you use for your cable modem also provides circuits for a dozen or more tenants in the office building. It is possible that during normal company hours, those tenants might be downloading large files or watching continuous videos. They might be getting a lot of phone calls. How will your telephone calls be affected as the amount of available bandwidth decreases? How will the caliber of the call be affected? Will you lose calls? Perhaps you will sound choppy or will be inaudible.
Your office is the center of your business. You may be a law firm that does file sharing or a retailer operating a POS system. Every single one of your offices, stores and locations rely on you and your primary Internet connection to retrieve data. What happens if your circuit goes down? Would you merely be annoyed? Would there be catastrophic consequences? Can your satellite or remote office do any work at all? Can they take or process any orders at all? Share information? Choosing the right solution depends largely on assessing and understanding the specific needs of your company. You might have hundreds and hundreds of loyal customers. Perhaps you are a software company running a hosted solution they all rely on. 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 rates, prices, or to collect information that you serve up? What if these other systems have difficulty connecting your servers? How long will your customers tolerate repeated outages?
What if your business could not function at all without the net? Maybe your organization depends on it completely. No outbound calls can be made should your circuits go down. Calls coming in would be unanswerable. You might not even know people are trying to reach your office. Basically, you are done. While most call centers that are reputable use redundancy, is it enough? Are the providers you currently use as reliable as they should be? Are they as reliable as you need them to be? Clear and reliable calls are essential. Does your carrier service consistently provide this?
You have several different options to pick from. Your organization budget and needs will play a large part in your decision-making. To summarize:
You are probably not thinking about redundancy if you have a small company with a single location. In this case, you can probably get by with a single Internet access circuit of 5, 10 or 50 meg. If you are in a “lit” building, Metro Ethernet or gigabit service may be reasonably priced options. Prices change based on your location and the availability of circuits. Please speak with our engineers about what options best suit your needs.
You have a midsized company in Cambridge; you will surely need higher-speed Internet. Your choices include: Metro Ethernet, gigabit Internet or other high-speed circuits. Multiple circuits utilizing multiple providers would, ideally, provide you with maximum redundancy. You can sometimes achieve this without doubling costs. For example, one 100-megabyte circuit may cost more than two smaller 50-megabyte circuits. Remember, costs vary. So does availability. You need to speak with one of our experts to determine your options in your specific location.
Any company with more than one location suffers the greatest risk of problems. Redundancy is extremely important to them. Multiple providers or providers are recommended. Additionally, you should consider redundant equipment (routers and switches) in your facility to minimize the risk of downtime. Before you make a decision here too, do your research. Look closely into Ethernet access services, Metro Ethernet providers, gigabit Internet providers and other high-speed circuit providers. The right combination of services and carriers can positively impact the efficiency of your company.
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. You must have redundant circuits for multiple providers as well as redundant hardware in your office to ensure your uptime. You need enough bandwidth. The bandwidth must be sufficient to handle spikes in usage with no slowdowns or interruptions. Be sure to have the right circuits and hardware. They both must be able to support multiple, fast, concurrent connections.
The danger and risk of failing circuits is tremendous. So is the risk of having less bandwidth than you need. You must select the single circuit or multiple circuits that can meet your demands and stay within your budget. Selecting the appropriate mix of circuits and hardware can overwhelm you.
Our expert engineers will review your requirements and needs and create a free action plan for you. We are going to examine your current usage and demand levels then create a design that provides you with the resources you need to keep your company running smoothly at a reasonable cost.
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