These days, companies in Columbia rely on reliable access to The web as the lifeblood of their organization. The business functions of every company, whether it is a small organization or on the Fortune 500, from Fortune 500, depends on fast and reliable Internet access.
In the coming months and years, we are going to become increasingly dependent on our access to the internet.
The use of the internet is pervasive. We use it for email and data sharing, video conferencing and VOIP, archiving and commerce. What is the right solution for your needs? Is a cable modem enough? Do you need Metro Ethernet? You may need Gigabit Internet. Will your Columbia, Missouri organization needs be met with a 50 Meg circuit, a 5 Meg circuit, 10 Meg Internet access or 100 Meg Internet access point?
Your organization must assess its real needs. This must be done before an appropriate service can be chosen. Is Internet use limited to website surfing or emailing only? Will Internet usage mainly involve cloud servers and real time data connection? Are you hosting the data in Columbia, Missouri that remote places rely on?
What if there is an outage and your high-speed Internet is interrupted? How much downtime can your company withstand? Does your company require uptime? You must answer questions like these so you can make a purchase that actually meets your needs
High-speed access to the internet is something all companies need. Deciding on the right broadband internet is not easy. It requires a thorough cost-benefit analysis. Many service providers toss out terms such as:
… the real issue is understanding what capability and technical solutions best meet your needs.
At most businesses including those in Columbia, some or all employees need access to The Internet. The web is required for so many things, whether to order items, look up company information communicate with third parties.
The number of employees you have may determine your best solution. 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 a larger workforce, you may want to consider more. This is especially true if they all need to use the internet simultaneously.
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 company functions demand the downloading of documents and images or videos on a regular basis, speed becomes a must more important issue.
Do you backup information? It is recommended that you do remote backups from every desk. If you are, you will need to support simultaneous connections out to the web to synchronize the backup data to collect.
Do you use a file sharing service like Google drive or DropBox? After a file is saved, it goes to the cloud and then to someone else’s computer. In order to ensure that all of your functions work properly, in addition to file sharing, you must have sufficient bandwidth.
Depending on where you are, you may want to look into high-speed company access to The web such as Metro Ethernet and gigabit Internet. Usually, you can find these in “lit buildings” in Columbia that have been previously wired by a carrier. The ease and affordability of adding high-speed Internet to your office may surprise you.
Introducing Metro Ethernet to a new building can be expensive. Bringing a connection to a suite within the building is not. 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.
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? 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? Do you host data for three or more external places?
When things are hosted at a central point, parties outside the office must somehow gain access. Those people are not able to do their work if the web connection fails or is unreliable. Are you picking an intranet solution that provides reliability and stability for your multiple, simultaneous connections from various sites?
A cost friendly 10 Meg circuit or even a cable modem may satisfy the needs of a organization with a single office that needs to surf the web. High-speed Internet access is advisable for the headquarters. Gigabit Ethernet, Metro Ethernet or some other high-speed dedicated circuit is recommended. Multiple diverse connections require support, in addition to high speed. A cable modem would probably not be enough.
Bringing in a less-expensive circuit like a cable modem often comes with 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 operators differ but many have prescribed limits on the bandwidth amount that they can deliver within a set community. Whatever that amount of bandwidth is, it branches into all buildings in the community and to all tenants in those buildings. Will you achieve 30-meg speed during the working day? Do you care if you only get 6 when you were set up to expect 30?
Guaranteed bandwidth and dedicated bandwidth are solutions that some carriers offer. 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. Gigabit speeds from your office to the internet can be reached if you use a gigabit Internet provider.
In these cases, the providers deliver high-speed to the building in sufficient quantity that they can then split their circuit to various tenants while guaranteeing each tenant is receiving their contracted speeds.
Despite outstanding Internet bandwidth products offered by providers in Columbia, circuits do go down. Ask this question: “what can I do to decrease the likelihood of an outage?
There are, in essence, two types of redundancy.
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 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. While offering some protection, it is not without risk.
Utilizing circuits from two different providers is the second kind of redundancy. 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. In reality, they are completely separate and redundant to each other. While circuit redundancy in general is a good idea, diversity redundancy by using different carriers, offers far better protection. If one carrier has a widespread issue, you have a carrier that will still be alive.
You should look for redundant circuits from providers in Columbia that do not have the same physical geographic pathways, in order to get the most redundancy. Your goal should be to get circuits coming into your building on different sides. You do not want them on the same side. The circuits would be attached underground or to telephone poles, in various directions. The circuits would go to different data centers or central offices. 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 to your company if you do not have reliable Internet access will be far greater than you may realize. Please consider these situations:
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 organization that perform large file downloads or stream many videos? As the amount of accessible bandwidth decreases, what will happen to your needs? What will happen to your phone calls? What happens to the quality of that phone call? Are calls lost or dropped? Will they be full of static?
Your office may be the working center of an entire organization enterprise. The kind of organization 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. All of your locations, whether 2 or 2000, count on your primary Internet connection to access and retrieve data. What if your circuit fails? Is it a mere annoyance or a catastrophic failure? Can your satellite or remote office do any work at all? Take new orders? Service existing ones? Circulate essential files and data? Before choosing a solution, be sure to assess and really understand what your organization requires. Maybe your software company runs a hosted solution. Maybe that hosted solution is used by hundreds of your customers. Maybe you offer a service that allows other systems use an application program interface (API) to communicate with you to collect information and data. What if other systems can’t connect to your office servers? Will your customers remain loyal to you if they have to withstand multiple outages?
What if your company could not function at all without the web? Maybe your organization depends upon it completely. Should your circuits stop working, imagine your people being unable to make any outbound phone calls. Your reps have no way of answering calls, if they even know they are coming in. Basically, you are out of business. While most call centers that are reputable use redundancy, is it enough? Are your current carriers as dependable as you would like? Is the quality of your calls consistently and reliably clear?
Clearly, there are many choices. Your business needs and budgets will drive your decisions. As a high-level summary:
If your organization is small, with one location or office, you are likely not concerned about redundancy. For you, a single 5, 10 or 50 megabyte access to The net circuit may suffice. Metro Ethernet service or gigabit service may also be a reasonably priced option if you are in a lit building. Prices change based on your location and the availability of circuits. Please speak with our engineers about what options best suit your needs.
You will need higher speed access to The Internet if you have a medium sized company in Columbia. 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. Achieving this may not be as costly as you first thought. For example, choosing two 50 meg circuits versus one 100 meg circuit. Availability and costs vary. Your specific location will determine what options you have. Please speak with one of our experts to find out what those are and how we can meet your needs.
What companies have the highest risk for failure; those with multiple places. Redundancy is crucial. It is helpful if they use multiple carriers. In addition, consider redundant equipment. Redundant routers and switches can minimize risk also. Look at all of your options: Ethernet access services, gigabit Internet providers, Metro Ethernet providers and other high-speed circuit providers. Finding the best combination of services, providers and equipment can go a long way toward helping your business run as efficiently as possible.
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. If you want to ensure your valuable uptime, have redundant circuits from multiple providers as well as redundant hardware. 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. The hardware and circuits you choose must both be able to support the following: a great number of concurrent, speedy connections.
Insufficient bandwidth and failing circuits are present tremendous risk to your company. It is imperative that the circuit or circuits you choose meet your needs but also keep you within your allowable budget. Selecting the appropriate mix of circuits and hardware can overwhelm you.
Our engineers can help. We are going to analyze your requirements and needs and create a free action plan for you. We will look at your current usage, demand levels and scope out a design to give you the resources you need while keeping your company up and running at a reasonable cost.
Please call our office for an assessment appointment or click here to complete the contact form on the right side of the page. Assessments are completed in as little as 48 hours.