In today’s environment, companies in Edmonds, Washington depend on reliable Internet access as the lifeblood of their company. The business functions of all companies, from Fortune 500 to small businesses, count on fast and reliable access to The net.
Our reliance on access to the net will become greater in the near and distant future.
From video chat to voice over IP, email to data sharing and data archiving to Internet commerce, the net is everywhere you look. What can best meet your needs? Will a cable modem be sufficient? Do you need Metro Ethernet? Would Gigabit Internet suffice? Your Edmonds, Washington business probably needs a 5 Meg Internet circuit, 10 Meg access to The Internet, a 50 Meg circuit, or a 100 Meg Internet access point but which one is best?
Before selecting an appropriate service for your company, you must first determine what needs you are trying to satisfy. Is the web only used for web surfing and email? Is it used for real-time data connection with cloud servers? Are you hosting the data in Edmonds, Washington that remote places depend upon?
What happens if you have an outage in your high-speed Internet? How much downtime can your business withstand? Is uptime essential to the success of your company? You must answer questions like these so you can make a purchase that actually meets your needs
High-speed access to The web is required by all businesses. Deciding on the right broadband is not easy. It requires a thorough cost-benefit analysis. 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.
Companies in Edmonds need access to the net for their employees. Some companies may need it only for a few people and others may need it for the entire workforce. There are countless reasons to need access to the internet. Perhaps it is to order materials, to conduct business research or communicate with clients.
The solution you choose may be based on the number of employees you have or expect to have. 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 more than that, you may need more.
Your need for high-speed Internet may be lessened if your workers are just accessing an intranet systemOn the other hand, if your company requires that its employees download many documents or images and videos, Internet speed becomes more important.
Do you perform backups at your company? 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.
Does your company require employees to share files using a service like Google drive or DropBox? As people save files, those files are pushed to the cloud and then synchronized back to other people’s computers. You need to have sufficient bandwidth to support this function while also supporting every other service.
Depending on your location, high-speed organization Internet access, including Metro Ethernet and gigabit Internet may be viable options. They are usually contained in “lit buildings” in Edmonds, Washington that have already been wired by a carrier. It may be shock you to know that installing high-speed Internet access may not be particularly expensive or inconvenient.
Unless you are bringing Metro Ethernet into a new building, it does not have to be an expensive proposition to connect it to a suite within a building. Metro Ethernet or gigabit Internet may provide you with high-speed Internet access in thirty days or less, depending on 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? Is your main business office with a hosted application accessed by 40 or even 50 branch office sites? Are you a retail company hosting the POS system for thousands of chain stores? You may be a law firm hosting data for three or four different offices.
Access to data and programs by people outside of your main location becomes necessary when you host information centrally. Those people are not able to do their work if the web connection fails or is unreliable. If you need multiple connections to function at the same time from many different locations, make sure that your intranet solution can reliably support it.
For one office or a small company 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 Internet access is important. Multiple diverse connections require support, in addition to high speed. The support you need could not be provided by a cable modem.
In many scenarios, bringing in an inexpensive circuit, such as a cable modem, comes at a price. You may save money on your monthly bill but the bandwidth you get must be shared among many people. It is possible that you have a cable modem with a 30 Meg connection but cannot reach proper speeds during peak hours. Many cable companies only deliver a set amount of bandwidth within a community. That bandwidth reaches out like branches to every building in the community and the people living and working in those buildings. The 30-meg speed you are capped out sounds good but it is possible that you will never reach that speed during organization hours. What will the consequences be if you expect 30 but only get half that? What if you get even less?
You can sign up for dedicated and guaranteed bandwidth from some carriers. 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.
As an example, look at Metro Ethernet. They provide guaranteed bandwidth in various increments. You can receive guaranteed bandwidth in increments of 100, 50, 10 and 5 megabytes. Gigabit speeds from your office to the internet can be reached if you use a gigabit Internet provider.
Carriers in these situations deliver enough to cover everyone’s needs. The carriers divide their circuit to various tenants while guaranteeing that everyone gets their contracted speed.
Despite outstanding Internet bandwidth products offered by carriers in Edmonds, circuits do go down. How can you decrease the chance of an outage?
The answer is redundant circuits.
There are, in reality, two kinds of redundancy.
With the first kind, you receive several circuits but they all come from the same carrier. When there are problems with a physical line or a port or other failures, it can be helpful to have redundant circuits. 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. There is some protection that comes with this but there is risk as well.
Utilizing circuits from two different providers is the second kind of redundancy. 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. While circuit redundancy in general is a good idea, diversity redundancy by using different providers, offers far better protection. You will still have a live, fully functioning carrier if one fails.
You should look for redundant circuits from providers in Edmonds, Washington 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 a major accident occurs or there is a fire that impedes the function of circuits in a particular region, you have redundancy in a different direction.
While Internet access is not free, it pales in comparison with the cost of not having reliable access to The Internet. Please think about the following scenarios:
You are on a cable modem with the carrier providing circuits to 14 other tenants in your building. During your working day, those tenants could be conducting massive downloads of information, processing a large amount of calls or streaming endless video. How will your telephone calls be affected as the amount of available bandwidth decreases? What about phone call quality? Will you lose calls? Inaudible (choppy) to your customers?
Your office is the center of your business. You may be a law firm that does file sharing or a retailer operating a POS system. Your primary Internet connection is solely responsible for smoothly granting access and sending data to all of your places whether you have two or two thousand. What happens if your circuit goes down? Would you merely be annoyed? Would there be catastrophic consequences? Can your satellite offices perform any work at all? Process or take new orders? Share essential information with anyone? Choosing the right solution depends largely on assessing and understanding the specific needs of your organization. You might have hundreds and hundreds of loyal customers. Perhaps you are a software company running a hosted solution they all rely on. Do you operate a service where other systems communicate 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? You may find that they are unable to reach or connect with your organization servers. Customers do not enjoy repeated outages. How long with they put up with them before looking to take their organization elsewhere?
Is the net integral to the proper function of your company? Do you depend on it entirely? Should your circuits go down, your representatives cannot make outbound calls. There would be no way to answer incoming calls of people trying to reach your representatives. Looks like you are now out of business. While most reputable call centers are already aware and using redundancy, is it enough? Make sure your carriers are as reliable as possible. Do you consistently get quality service that provides clear and reliable calls?
You have several different options to pick from. Your organization budget and needs will play a large part in your decision-making. In review:
Sometimes redundancy is not essential to you. For example, If you are a small business, 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. For an office in a lit building, you may find that gigabit service or Metro Ethernet are affordable options for you. Because prices can vary based on the location of your company and the availability of circuits, speak with our engineers to learn your options.
You will need higher speed Internet access if you have a medium sized company in Edmonds. Your choices include: Metro Ethernet, gigabit Internet or other high-speed 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. Learn your options by speaking with one of our knowledgeable experts. We can help you determine what is available in your specific location.
What companies have the highest risk for failure; those with multiple places. Redundant circuits must be an essential part of their systems. Different providers are desirable. Also, redundant equipment such as switches and routers in your facility can minimize the risk of downtime. Here too, take a careful look and choose the right Ethernet access services, Metro Ethernet providers, gigabit Internet providers and other high-speed access to The web circuit providers. The right mix of providers and services will help keep your business up and running as efficiently as possible.
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. Redundant hardware and redundant circuits will, for these businesses, ensure the greatest uptime. Be sure the circuits are from different providers. You must have the bandwidth to withstand sharp increases in usage. Doing so will help protect you from slowdowns or interruptions. Having both your hardware and your circuits capable of supporting many different, fast, and simultaneous connections is essential. It cannot be one or the other.
Do not risk having failing circuits or not enough bandwidth. You need to have the right circuit or circuits to meet your demands while staying within your budget. You have to select the optimal combination of hardware and circuits, which is a daunting task.
Our engineers can analyze your 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 business up and running at a reasonable cost.
Please click here to complete the contact form on the right side of this page or call our office to schedule an appointment for an assessment. We can often provide assessments within 48 hours.