Today’s environment demands that companies in Cedar Rapids, Iowa have reliable Internet service in order to run their business. The company functions of every company, whether it is a small business or on the Fortune 500, from Fortune 500, depends on fast and reliable access to The web.
We’ll become increasingly reliant on Internet access as the months and years progress.
From email to data sharing, video conferencing to VoIP, and data archiving to Internet commerce, the net is ubiquitous. What do you need? Will a cable modem be sufficient? Your needs may point to Metro Ethernet as a solution. Gigabit Internet may be required. Your Cedar Rapids company probably needs a 5 Meg Internet circuit, 10 Meg access to The Internet, a 50 Meg circuit, or a 100 Meg access to The net point but which one is best?
Your organization must assess its real needs. This must be done before an appropriate service can be chosen. Why will you need the web? Will you only be web surfing and emailing? Will real-time data connection with servers in the cloud be the primary use of the internet? Do remote locations rely on you hosting the data in Cedar Rapids?
How would an outage to your high-speed Internet affect your business? Can your company afford a long pause or lull in productivity? How much uptime is essential to your organization? Prior to making any purchases, you must determine the answers to these questions.
High-speed Internet access is required by all businesses. Deciding on the right broadband internet is not easy. It requires a thorough cost-benefit analysis. Don’t be distracted by terminology. While you may hear service providers throw out words and phrases like:
… the actual issue is knowing what technology and capability can satisfy your needs.
For many, if not all, companies in Cedar Rapids, access to The Internet is needed for at least some employees. Internet access may be needed to conduct research, use third-party applications or to order supplies.
The number of workers you have may be the factor that drives your decision. If you have a handful of employees, a 5 or 10 Meg Internet circuit may be adequate. If you have 50 employees who are using the net simultaneously, you may need more.
Perhaps most workers at your company use an intranet system with limited features. High- speed Internet may not be a priority in this case. On the other hand, Internet speed becomes dramatically more important when they are required to regularly download things like documents or videos.
Do you routinely backup? If you are doing remote backups from every desk, which is advisable, you will need to be able to support simultaneous connections out to the web to synchronize your backup data.
Are you using a service such as DropBox or Google drive to share files? 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. In order to ensure that all of your functions work properly, in addition to file sharing, you must have sufficient bandwidth.
Depending on your location, high-speed business access to The web, including Metro Ethernet and gigabit Internet may be viable options. They are almost always found in “lit buildings” in Cedar Rapids that are already wired by a carrier. Choosing to add high-speed Internet to your office is a tough decision but it can be less expensive and easier than you think.
While bringing Metro Ethernet to a new building can be an expensive proposition, bringing that connection to a suite within the building is not. Also, securing high-speed Internet access using gigabit Internet or Metro Ethernet often takes less than 30 days, depending on its availability.
Your organization may host its own servers. Do they run websites APIs or data feeds for external offices? Are your corporate headquarters with a hosted application utilized by 50 branch offices? Are you a retail chain hosting the POS system for 12, 000 stores? Are you a law firm hosting data for multiple office places?
When data, programs, or information is hosted centrally, those outside your office must gain access. If your Internet connection goes down, those people are unable to work. Are you choosing an intranet solution that is sufficiently reliable and stable to support multiple simultaneous connections from varied sites?
A cable modem or fairly cheap 10-megabyte circuit may be enough in certain scenarios. For example, these may meet the needs of a single office surfing the web. For the headquarters, high-speed Internet access including Metro Ethernet, gigabit Ethernet or other high-speed dedicated circuits is advisable. All offer quick speed but they must also be able to support diverse and multiple connections. 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. Your low monthly bill may mean that the bandwidth is shared among multiple 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. Often, within a given community, cable companies may only deliver a particular amount of bandwidth. The bandwidth branches off to the multiple buildings, offices and tenants within them. Will you achieve 30-meg speed during the working day? Is it a problem if you get a quarter or even half of the speed you expected?
Some providers offer customers dedicated and guaranteed bandwidth. In this case, your company receives full allocation of bandwidth. There is no sharing with any outsiders. 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.
Five Meg, ten Meg, fifty Meg and 100 Meg circuits of guaranteed bandwidth are available with Metro Ethernet. Gigabit speeds from your office to the internet can be reached if you use a gigabit Internet provider.
In these scenarios, carriers deliver a large quantity of high-speed to a building. The quantity must be enough so that it can split the circuit and deliver to every tenant. Whatever amount has been guaranteed in each tenant’s contract is the amount they receive.
Cedar Rapids has some providers that offer exceptional Internet bandwidth products and services. However, circuits can still go down and cause disruption. How can you lower the chances that you will experience some kind of outage?
The answer is redundant circuits.
There are two types of redundancy to consider.
The first is where you get multiple circuits from one carrier. These redundant circuits help protect from certain failures, for example, router port issues or physical line trouble. However, if that carrier has a regional outage or physical line damaged outside of your building, both circuits may 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. Using advanced routers and IP address allocations, you can bind these connections together so that, to your users and to the public, it appears and behaves as a single circuit. In fact, they are totally redundant and separate. Diversity redundancy offers far greater protection. In the event that one carrier goes down, the other will still be alive.
To maximize the benefit of redundancy, consider looking for redundant circuits from different carriers that have different pathway in Cedar Rapids. This means that you should try to have the circuits come into you building from different sides. 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.
The cost to your company if you do not have reliable Internet access will be far greater than you may realize. Contemplate these scenarios:
If your company utilizes a cable modem, consider whether your carrier is providing circuits for multiple other tenants within the building. What if any or all of those tenants are huge call centers taking in a massive volume of phone calls, are business that perform large file downloads or stream many videos? How will your telephone calls be affected as the amount of available bandwidth decreases? How will the caliber of the call be affected? Will calls be cut-off? Will you sound muffled or choppy to your customers?
Your office may be the working center of an entire business 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 solely responsible for smoothly granting access and sending data to all of your sites whether you have two or two thousand. Your circuit goes down, now what will happen? Is it simply an irritation or a catastrophe? Can meaningful work be conducted at your remote offices? Can they process transactions or new orders? Dispense and receive data? Before choosing a solution, be sure to assess and really understand what your organization requires. Perhaps you have hundreds of clients or customers that use a hosted solution that your software company is running. Maybe you operate a service that allows other systems to talk to yours via API. This may be to collect miscellaneous data, calculate prices or shipping rates or other information. What if you have server problems and they are unable to connect to you? Will your customers remain loyal to you if they have to withstand multiple outages?
Maybe your business depends entirely on the net. Should your circuits stop working, imagine your people being unable to make any outbound phone calls. They are also unable to answer calls. You are essentially out of business. Even for the most reputable call centers that already know of and use redundancy, is it sufficient? Are your providers sufficiently reliable? Is the quality of service sufficient? Are your calls clear and reliable?
You clearly have several choices. Your budget, as well as the needs of your company, will help drive your decisions. In summary:
If you are a small organization, with one location and you do not worry about redundancy, one five meg, ten meg, or fifty meg access to The web circuit may very well be enough to meet your needs. If you are in a “lit” building, Metro Ethernet or gigabit service may be reasonably priced options. Speak with our engineers about what is right for you. Prices vary with location and circuit availability.
Mid sized companies with a single office in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, need higher speed Internet access. Higher-speed circuits like Metro Ethernet, gigabit Internet or others may be your best options. Ideally, multiple circuits from multiple providers will provide you with the greatest redundancy. It is sometimes possible to reach this without adding ridiculous costs. Two smaller circuits may be cheaper than one. For instance, you may use two 50 meg circuits instead of a single 100 meg circuit. As a reminder; availability and costs may vary. Speaking with one of our experts will help you determine the options available in your specific location.
If your business has several places or offices, you are at great risk for failure. They require redundant circuits. Multiple providers or providers are recommended. Redundant routers, switches and other equipment can also be helpful to lessen downtime during a problem. Have you looked at Metro Ethernet providers, gigabit Internet providers and other high-speed access to The Internet circuit providers? You should do so before making a decision. The correct combination of providers and services can keep your company running smoothly and efficiently.
To run efficiently and effectively, corporations and businesses that fall into this category must use point-to-point high-speed Internet circuits, gigabit Internet circuits and Metro Ethernet circuits. You must have redundant circuits for multiple providers as well as redundant hardware in your office to ensure your uptime. Having plenty of bandwidth will help avoid interruptions or decreased speed that sometimes occurs during spikes in usage. Your goal is to have hardware and circuits that are more than capable of providing support to a significant number of fast and simultaneous connections.
The risk of insufficient bandwidth or failing circuits is tremendous. Your demand and budget constraints should both be considered when you decide what circuit or combination of circuits you must have. There is tremendous pressure on you to choose the best combination of circuits and hardware.
Our engineers can help. We’ll analyze your requirements and needs and create a free action plan for you. You want your business to run smoothly. We will look at your current usage levels and demand levels and design a plan that meets your needs at a cost that makes sense for you.
Please complete the contact form by clicking here. You may also call our office to set up an appointment for your assessment. Your assessment may be finished within as little as 48 hours.