In today’s environment, companies in Chicago, Illinois rely on reliable Internet access as the lifeblood of their organization. Fast and reliable Internet access is needed for companies to function properly; large corporations and small companies alike.
Our dependence on Internet access will continue to grow in the coming months and years.
From video chat to voice over IP, email to data sharing and data archiving to Internet commerce, the net is everywhere you look. What is the best fix for your requirements? Is a cable modem enough? Metro Ethernet may be the thing you need. You may need Gigabit Internet. Does your Chicago business need a 5 Meg Internet circuit, 10 Meg access to The net, a 50 Meg circuit, or a 100 Meg access to The web point?
Prior to selecting a service, your organization must figure out its needs. Will web surfing and email be your primary use of the web? Is real time data connection with cloud servers essential to your company? Perhaps you, in Chicago, are hosting the data and remote sites rely upon this.
What if there is an outage and your high-speed Internet is interrupted? What about the downtime that results? Can your business afford that? Is uptime essential to the success of your organization? Before making a purchase, these are several of the questions that you need to answer.
Speaking broadly, all companies need high-speed access to the internet. When picking the correct broadband, balancing the costs and benefits to your organization is imperative. While you are likely to hear some service providers toss around terms such as:
… the real issue is understanding what capability and technical solutions best meet your needs.
Workers for most companies in Chicago, Illinois have some need to access the web during the course of their job. Third party applications, business 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.
If your employees are merely accessing an intranet system with limited graphics and video, your need for high-speed Internet may be reduced. When employees are often downloading images, videos and documents, however, the need for speed increases significantly.
Are you performing routine backups? 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.
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? When you save a file it is pushed to the cloud. Then it is synched to the computer or computers of someone else. Enough bandwidth is required to support this function along with every other service.
Depending on where you are, you may want to look into high-speed business Internet access such as Metro Ethernet and gigabit Internet. These are typically found in “lit buildings” in Chicago. Carriers have already wired these buildings. You may be surprised by how easy and affordable it is to add high-speed Internet to your company.
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. Did you know that obtaining high-speed access to The Internet with Metro Ethernet or gigabit Internet can often take 30 days or less? Of course, this depends upon availability.
Does your company host its own servers? Does your company use the hosted servers to run data feeds, APIs or websites for offices or businesses located elsewhere? Do your headquarters have a hosted Internet application that must be accessed regularly by 40 or 50 branch offices? Are you a retail company with 10, 000 stores? Do you host the POS system for all of them? Are you an attorney with offices multiple cities or states? Do you have one office hosting data for several sites?
If you host programs, data or information centrally, people outside of the central location need to have access. Those people are not able to do their work if the net connection fails or is unreliable. If you need multiple connections to function at the same time from many different places, make sure that your intranet solution can reliably support it.
The needs of an office with one employee web surfing may not need more than a cable modem or an inexpensive 5-10 megabyte circuit. 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. A cable modem would likely be insufficient.
In many cases, installing an inexpensive cable modem comes at 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. 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. Many cable operators can only deliver a certain amount of bandwidth in a community. That bandwidth branches off to different buildings and then to various tenants within those buildings. With a 30-megabyte connection, you may not get to that speed during the working day. Is it a problem if you get a quarter or even half of the speed you expected?
There are providers who offer dedicated and even guaranteed bandwidth. In this situation, you do not have to share bandwidth. The bandwidth is all yours and is fully allocated to the needs of your business. 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.
For example, Metro Ethernet guarantees bandwidth in 5 met circuits, 10 Meg circuits, 50 and 100 Meg circuits. Gigabit speeds from your office to the internet can be reached if you use a gigabit Internet provider.
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.
While certain providers offer superior Internet bandwidth products in Chicago, the reality is that it is possible for a circuit to go down. What can you do to minimize the chance that you will experience an outage of some kind?
Consider redundant circuits.
Essentially, there are two different ways to look at redundancy.
The first is where you get multiple circuits from one carrier. This provides some protection when there are certain failures. Multiple circuits can help for example, when there is a physical line issue or a problem with a router port. 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 is not foolproof, but does offer some protection.
Circuit redundancy can also be achieved in the following way: Import circuits using two different and distinct carriers. 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. But, you know that they are actually separate and redundant. Diversity redundancy offers far greater 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 Chicago, Illinois. In other words, try to obtain circuits entering the building from different sides of the building. The circuits would be attached to telephone poles (or underground conduits) in different directions leading to different data centers or central offices. What if there is some kind of catastrophic incident such as a fire or accident that impacts circuits within a region? Now, you have redundancy in an alternative physical direction.
Even though Internet access comes with a cost, you will save money if you make sure it is dependable. Unreliable access will end up costing you more in the long run. Consider these scenarios:
Are you on a cable modem and your carrier is providing circuits to dozens of other office suites in your building? Between 9 and 5, any of those other offices could be downloading huge files, streaming video or taking large volume of phone calls and more. What will happen to your telephone calls as the amount of usable bandwidth decreases? What will happen to the strength and quality of that call? Will calls be arbitrarily dropped? Will they be full of static?
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. All of your offices, whether you have 3 or 3, 000, rely on your primary Internet connection to successfully access data. How will you be affected if your circuit goes down? Will it cause disastrous results of just annoy you a little bit? Is work even possible at your other sites? Process new orders? Circulate necessary data? Make sure you completely understand your needs before you pick a solution. Perhaps you have hundreds of clients or customers that use a hosted solution that your software company is running. Is an API utilized in your company so that your customers can access and speak with your system? 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?
Does your organization completely rely on the web? Should your circuits go down, your representatives cannot make outbound calls. Your representatives would also be unable to answer calls. You are essentially out of business. Is redundancy enough? Are the carriers that you are using reliable enough? Is the quality of service sufficient for your calls to be clear and reliable?
Obviously, there are a variety of choices. Your company needs and budgets will drive your decisions. To summarize:
Sometimes redundancy is not crucial to you. For example, If you are a small company, 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. Find out if you are in a lit building. If so, the price of Metro Ethernet or gigabit service may be affordable. Because prices can vary based on the location of your organization and the availability of circuits, speak with our engineers to learn your options.
Mid-sized businesses in Chicago should be equipped with higher-speed Internet. 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. It is sometimes possible to reach this without adding ridiculous costs. Two 50-megabyte circuits may be more cost effective than a single 100 circuit. To repeat, availability and prices vary. In order to find out the options available for you, in your location, you need to speak with one of our seasoned experts.
Companies with multiple locations are most at risk for failure. They need redundant circuits. Multiple providers are highly desirable. Also, redundant equipment such as switches and routers in your facility can 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 providers can positively impact the efficiency of your company.
If you fall into this group, you must have Metro Ethernet, gigabit Internet circuits and point-to-point High-speed Internet circuits. You absolutely need redundant circuits from different providers as well as redundant hardware. This is vital to ensuring uptime. You do not want any slowdowns or interruptions that often occur during spikes in usage. Avoid this by having sufficient bandwidth. 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.
Your business faces great risk of less than adequate bandwidth and failing circuits. Your ideal single circuit or multiple circuits should stay within your budget while still meeting your demands. 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. Our experts will examine your current usage and demand. We are going to then generate a design that gives you the resources you need while keeping your company up and running at a reasonable cost.
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