In today’s environment, companies in Chattanooga, Tennessee count on reliable access to The web as the lifeblood of their business. All companies, from Fortune 500 to small businesses, have functions that rely on easy, dependable and quick access to The web.
Our dependence on Internet access will continue to grow in the coming months and years.
The web 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? Is Metro Ethernet necessary? Gigabit Internet may be required. What does your Chattanooga business need? Does it require 10 Meg Internet access, a 100 Meg access to The web point, a 50 Meg circuit or a 5 Meg circuit?
The needs of your particular company must be determined before you can select an appropriate service. Is Internet use limited to website surfing or emailing only? Will real-time data connection with servers in the cloud be the primary use of the internet? There may be remote sites that rely on you and you are hosting the data in Chattanooga.
What happens if you have an outage in your high-speed Internet? Will your company suffer from the lull? Does your company require uptime? Before you buy anything, you must answer these questions.
Speaking broadly, all companies need high-speed access to the net. Choosing the correct broadband for your organization requires a cost benefit analysis. While many service providers throw around terminologies such as:
… the real issue is understanding what capability and technical solutions best meet your needs.
At any company in Chattanooga, Tennessee some employees, if not all employees, need some type of access to the net if they are to properly perform their job duties. Third party applications, organization research or development and e-commerce are just some of the ways the web may be needed.
Perhaps the size of your work force may determine the solution that best fits your needs. An Internet circuit of 5 -10 megabytes might be enough for your organization if you only have a few people working for you. If you have more than that, you may need more.
High-speed Internet may become less important if the majority of your employees primarily use an intranet system with limited graphics and video. If your business functions demand the downloading of documents and images or videos on a regular basis, speed becomes a must more important issue.
Are you performing backups? Synchronizing your backup data after doing remote backups from every desk requires you to support simultaneous connections out to the web.
Google drive and DropBox are two popular sharing services. Are you using one of these or some other service that allows you to share files? The saved files go to the cloud and are then synchronized or “shared” 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 net, including Metro Ethernet and gigabit Internet may be viable options. They are usually contained in “lit buildings” in Chattanooga, Tennessee that have already been wired by a carrier. If you’d like to install high-speed Internet in your office, you should know that it might be more affordable than you realize.
While bringing Metro Ethernet to a new building can be an expensive proposition, bringing that connection to a suite within the building is not. Metro Ethernet or gigabit Internet may provide you with high-speed access to The web in thirty days or less, depending on availability.
Does your business host its own servers running websites, APIs or data feeds for other offices or companies outside of your own four walls? Do your headquarters have a hosted Internet application that must be accessed regularly by 40 or 50 branch offices? 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 places?
When data and programs are hosted centrally at one main site, people outside that location must gain access. If the internet connection is interrupted or fails, those people are unable to accomplish any work. When deciding on the right intranet solution for your company, ask yourself: Is the solution going to adequately support simultaneous and multiple connections from my different sites?
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. Metro Ethernet, gigabit Ethernet or other high-speed dedicated circuits is advisable for the headquarters where high-speed access to The web is important. While high speed is great, you also need support for your multiple diverse connections. A cable modem would not be able to accomplish this.
Bringing in a less-expensive circuit like a cable modem often comes with a price. Even though you pay less money per month you must consider that the bandwidth you receive may be shared and used by multiple parties in the building. 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. Different buildings and tenants housed or working within those buildings all share that set amount of bandwidth. While you may be capped at a 30 Meg speed, you may never be able to reach that speed during organization hours. Is it a problem if you get a quarter or even half of the speed you expected?
Guaranteed bandwidth and dedicated bandwidth are solutions that some providers offer. 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.
Metro Ethernet provides guaranteed bandwidth in increments as follows: 5, 10, 50 and 100 Meg circuits. You can reach gigabit speeds with gigabit Internet providers.
Here, carriers deliver enough high-speed to the building, so that it can be split among various tenants. The carrier has the right amount so that everyone gets the contracted speed that has been promised.
Chattanooga, Tennessee has some carriers that offer exceptional Internet bandwidth products and services. However, circuits can still go down and cause disruption. Ask this question: “what can I do to decrease the likelihood of an outage?
Circuits that are redundant may be a good idea.
There are, in essence, two types of redundancy.
The first is where you get multiple circuits from one carrier. When there are problems with a physical line or a port or other failures, it can be helpful to have redundant circuits. Damage to an external wire or part can cause the failure of all of your circuits. A regional outage experienced by your carrier can have the same result. This is not foolproof, but does offer some protection.
In the second type of redundancy, you bring in circuits from two different carriers. 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. Though they may appear as one, you know that they are each individual circuits and redundant to each other. Diversity redundancy, as this is called, offers you more protection that you might realize. In the event a carrier goes down, you will not have to worry. You will have a perfectly live carrier there to keep things moving.
The carriers you choose for your redundant circuits should have different physical pathways in Chattanooga, Tennessee. This is an important consideration when trying to obtain the most redundancy. In other words, try to obtain circuits entering the building from different sides of the building. The circuits would be established either underground or on telephone poles and would be set up in different directions and lead to different 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 access to The Internet is greater. Consider the following:
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. As they use more bandwidth, there is less for available for your requirements. What happens to your phone calls? What will happen to the strength and quality of that call? Maybe calls will randomly drop? Will you sound muffled?
Your office is the hub of your company, whether you are a retail organization operating a distributed point of sale (POS) system, an accounting firm sharing databases or a law firm engaged in file sharing. Whether you have 2 sites, 250, or 2000, they all rely on your primary Internet connection to retrieve data and information. What happens if your circuit crashes? Is it just irritating? Is it going to cause tremendous problems? Are remote offices able to work at all? Can they process transactions or new orders? Share information? Do you know what your organization needs? Be sure to fully understand your requirements. It will help you choose the correct solution. You might have hundreds and hundreds of loyal customers. Perhaps you are a software company running a hosted solution they all count 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 you have server problems and they are unable to connect to you? Customers do not enjoy repeated outages. How long with they put up with them before looking to take their company elsewhere?
What if your business could not function at all without the internet? Maybe your organization relies 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. You are essentially out of organization. While most reputable call centers are already aware and using redundancy, is it enough? Are you really getting the dependable service you need form your carriers? Are you using carriers that are truly reliable? Do you consistently get quality service that provides clear and reliable calls?
Obviously, there are a variety of choices. Your decision will be based on different factors including your company needs and your budget. In summary:
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 access to The Internet circuit of 5, 10 or 50 meg. 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 Chattanooga should be equipped with higher-speed Internet. Higher-speed circuits like Metro Ethernet, gigabit Internet or others may be your best options. In a perfect world, you will achieve maximum redundancy by utilizing multiple carriers to provide and service different circuits. It is sometimes possible to reach this without adding ridiculous costs. For example, one 100-megabyte circuit may cost more than two smaller 50-megabyte circuits. Again, costs vary. Availability also varies. Call one of our experts to learn what is available in your specific area.
Companies with multiple locations are most at risk for failure. They need redundant circuits. Multiple carriers would be great. You can minimize the risk of downtime at if you also have redundant equipment like routers or switches. 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. Your organization can benefit from finding the right mix of services and carriers.
For companies falling in this category, gigabit Internet circuits, Metro Ethernet Internet circuits and point-to-point high-speed Internet circuits are essential. If you want to ensure your valuable uptime, have redundant circuits from multiple providers as well as redundant hardware. You need enough bandwidth. The bandwidth must be adequate 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.
Do not risk having failing circuits or not enough bandwidth. You must select the single circuit or multiple circuits that can meet your demands and stay within your budget. It is essential to choose the correct mix of hardware and circuits. Figuring out exactly what to put in the mix, can be 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!After reviewing your current usage and demand levels, we are going to generate a cost effective plan that provides your business with the resources it needs.
An appointment for an assessment can be made by calling our office or clicking here to complete the contact form on the side of this page. We can often provide assessments within 48 hours.