Today’s environment demands that companies in Duluth, Minnesota have reliable Internet service in order to run their company. All companies, large and small, need fast and reliable access to The net.
In the months and years ahead, people and businesses will become more dependent on internet access.
The Internet has a significant presence in our lives. From email to information sharing, data archiving to e-commerce, and VOIP to video conferencing, the net is certainly ubiquitous. How can your needs be met? Will a cable modem be sufficient? Metro Ethernet? You may need Gigabit Internet. What does your Duluth, Minnesota company need? Does it require 10 Meg access to The web, a 100 Meg access to The Internet point, a 50 Meg circuit or a 5 Meg circuit?
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? Is connecting with cloud servers and sharing real time data the main use of the net? Perhaps you, in Duluth, Minnesota, are hosting the data and remote locations rely upon this.
What happens to your company if your high-speed Internet experiences an outage? How much downtime can your company withstand? Is uptime required? You must answer these questions before you buy.
It is no secret that all companies need high-speed access to the internet. Deciding on the right broadband internet is not easy. It requires a thorough cost-benefit analysis. You will hear service providers use terms like:
… you must not lose sight of the real issue, which is understanding what technical solutions best meet your needs.
At most businesses including those in Duluth, some or all employees need access to The web. Third party applications, company research or development and e-commerce are just a few 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 have a smaller workforce, you may do fine with a smaller Internet circuit. For example, if you only employ a handful of people, a 5 or 10 Meg circuit may meet your needs. If you have a larger workforce, you may want to consider more. This is especially true if they all need to use the net 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 organization functions demand the downloading of documents and images or videos on a regular basis, speed becomes a must more important issue.
Are you regularly performing backups? You may need to support simultaneous connections to the web in order to sync your backup data. If you conduct remote backups from every workstation, which is advisable, this will be important.
Are you using a service such as DropBox or Google drive to share files? When people save a file, it gets pushed to the cloud. The file is then synched with other people’s computers. You must have sufficient bandwidth if you are to successfully support every service including file sharing.
Depending on where you are, you may want to look into high-speed business Internet access such as Metro Ethernet and gigabit Internet. These can usually be found in Duluth, Minnesota in “lit buildings” that have already been wired. If you’d like to install high-speed Internet in your office, you should know that it might be more affordable than you realize.
Absent the need to introduce Metro Ethernet into a new building, it is not particularly costly to connect Metro Ethernet to a suite or office within that building. Did you know that obtaining high-speed Internet access with Metro Ethernet or gigabit Internet can often take 30 days or less? Of course, this depends upon availability.
Your organization may host its own servers. Do they run websites APIs or data feeds for external offices? Is your main business office with a hosted application accessed by 40 or even 50 branch office sites? 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 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. Can your intranet solution support your needs? Can it support multiple simultaneous connections? Is it stable enough to handle this when they are from various locations?
An inexpensive 10 Meg circuit may be enough if you have one office that needs to surf the web. A cable modem may also be adequate in this situation. High-speed dedicated circuits, Metro Ethernet or gigabit Ethernet are advisable for company headquarters. High speed is important but they also must be able to support multiple distinct connections. A cable modem would likely be insufficient.
In many cases, installing an inexpensive cable modem comes at a price. You may have to share bandwidth in order to secure that low monthly rate. 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. Cable companies are known to limit or predetermine the amount of bandwidth available for delivery in any particular community. That bandwidth branches off to different buildings and then to various tenants within those buildings. While you may be capped at thirty-megabyte speed, will you ever reach that speed during company hours? Will there be trouble if your expectation is set at 30 but you only get 8 or 10?
Other carriers do offer dedicated and guaranteed bandwidth. With these options, bandwidth is yours. It is not shared with anyone outside of your business. The full capacity of your circuit should be attainable during all hours regardless of neighboring buildings, people or offices.
Metro Ethernet provides guaranteed bandwidth in increments as follows: 5, 10, 50 and 100 Meg circuits. If you want to reach gigabit speeds from your organization out to the web, you can by using a gigabit Internet provider.
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.
You can’t control everything. Even with the superior Internet bandwidth products that some carriers offer in Duluth, Minnesota, problems arise and circuits can fail. You must ask yourself: “how do I lessen the chance of an outage? ”
The answer is redundant circuits.
There are, in essence, two types of redundancy.
The first type exists when the same carrier gives you multiple circuits. 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. Even multiple circuits can fail, such as in the event of a large-scale carrier outage or when there damage to an external line. You get some protection, but also some risk.
You can also achieve redundancy by utilizing different carriers to bring in and establish 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. Though they may appear as one, you know that they are each individual circuits and redundant to each other. You will get more substantial protection from this diversity redundancy. If one carrier has a problem, the other likely will not.
You should look for redundant circuits from carriers in Duluth that do not have the same physical geographic pathways, in order to get 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. The circuits would attached to the proper outside source whether a subterranean conduit or a telephone pole. They would be set up in different directions and would lead to different data centers or main office spaces. 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 of dependable Internet access pales in comparison to the cost of unreliable access. Contemplate these situations:
If your company utilizes a cable modem, consider whether your carrier is providing circuits for multiple other tenants within the 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. How will less available bandwidth affect your telephone calls? What happens to the quality of that phone call? Are calls lost or dropped? Perhaps you will sound choppy or will be inaudible.
Your office is the hub of your company, whether you are a retail business operating a distributed point of sale (POS) system, an accounting firm sharing databases or a law firm engaged in file sharing. Every single one of your offices, stores and sites rely on you and your primary Internet connection to retrieve data. What happens in the event of a circuit failure? Would it annoy you or destroy you? Is work even possible at your other sites? Can they take or process any orders at all? Disseminate needed information and data? Do you know what your organization needs? Be sure to fully understand your requirements. It will help you choose the correct solution. You have a software company, and are running a hosted solution for dozens, maybe hundreds, of customers. 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 prices, prices, or to collect information that you serve up? What if these other systems have difficulty connecting your servers? Customers do not enjoy repeated outages. How long with they put up with them before looking to take their organization elsewhere?
Maybe your business depends entirely on the net. No calls can go out if your circuits fail. They are also unable to answer calls. Basically, you are out of business. 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 providers? Are you using providers that are truly reliable? Is the quality of service sufficient? Are your calls clear and reliable?
You have several different options to pick from. The needs and budget of your company will both affect your choices. In review:
If you have one location or office and do not feel the need to consider redundancy for your system, a smaller Internet access circuit may be all you need. A single fifty, ten or five megabyte circuit might be enough. 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. Prices vary based on your location and availability of circuits; speak with our engineers to find your best option.
You will need higher speed access to The net if you have a medium sized business in Duluth. Your choices include: Metro Ethernet, gigabit Internet or other high-speed circuits. Ideally, you want to have the greatest redundancy. You can achieve this by using multiple circuits from different carriers. This may be attainable without doubling your costs. For example, you may use 2 fifty meg circuits instead of 1 one hundred meg circuit. Availability and costs vary. Speaking with one of our experts will help you determine the options available in your specific location.
Any company with more than one location suffers the greatest risk of problems. Redundant circuits are essential. Different carriers are desirable. Additionally, you should consider redundant equipment (routers and switches) in your facility to minimize the risk of downtime. Look at all of your options: Ethernet access services, gigabit Internet providers, Metro Ethernet providers and other high-speed circuit providers. Your organization can benefit from finding the right mix of services and carriers.
For businesses that fit this description, it is essential to have gigabit Internet circuits, point-to-point high-speed Internet circuits and Metro Ethernet Internet circuits. You must have redundant circuits for multiple providers as well as redundant hardware in your office to ensure your uptime. The last thing you want is interruptions or slowdowns affecting your company. You must provide enough bandwidth to avoid these pitfalls that sometimes occur during sudden usage spikes. Your circuits and hardware must be able to support a large number of fast and simultaneous 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. Choosing the right mix of circuits and hardware is a daunting task.
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 organization up and running at a reasonable cost.
You can complete the contact form on the right side of this page by clicking here. If you would prefer, please call our office to set up an appointment for an assessment. It can take less than 48 hours to complete your assessment.