In today’s environment, companies in Great Falls rely on reliable access to The web as the lifeblood of their business. Fortune 500 companies to small businesses and everything in between, count on reliable and fast access to The Internet.
We are going to, in the months and years ahead, become more and more reliant on our access to The net.
From email to data sharing, video chat to VoIP, and data archiving to Internet commerce, the web is ubiquitous. What is the best solution for you? Will a cable modem be sufficient? It could be that you need Metro Ethernet. Your needs may be met with Gigabit Internet. A 5 Meg Internet circuit, 10 Meg Internet access, a 50 Meg circuit, or a 100 Meg Internet access point: what is right for your organization in Great Falls, Montana?
You must, before selecting a service, assess the actual needs of your business. Are surfing the web and sending email the only uses of the web? Is it used to network with cloud servers? Are you hosting the data in Great Falls that remote locations rely on?
What if there is an outage and your high-speed Internet is interrupted? Can your organization afford the downtime? Is the absence of uptime detrimental? Prior to making any purchases, you must determine the answers to these questions.
High-speed access to the internet is something all companies need. You need to analyze and balance the costs and benefits to your company before choosing the right broadband. While many providers like to spout technical terminologies such as:
… be sure not to forget what capability and technical solutions meet your business’s specific needs.
Most companies in Great Falls, Montana require that some or all of their workers have access to the net. access to The Internet may be needed to conduct research, use third-party applications or to order supplies.
The number of workers you have may be the factor that drives your decision. An Internet circuit of 5 -10 megabytes might be enough for your company if you only have a few people working for you. If you have 50 employees who are using the web simultaneously, you may need more.
You may not need as much high-speed access to The Internet if your employees work primarily on an intranet system with limited graphics and video. When they are frequently downloading things, whether documents, graphics or videos, however, speed is necessary for efficient job performance.
Are you 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.
Do you use a file sharing service like Google drive or DropBox? The saved files go to the cloud and are then synchronized or “shared” with other people’s computers. The right amount of capacity or bandwidth is necessary to support this function in conjunction with every other service you have.
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 Great Falls in “lit buildings” that have already been wired. Choosing to add high-speed Internet to your office is a tough decision but it can be less expensive and easier than you think.
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.
Does your organization host its own servers running websites, APIs or data feeds for other offices or companies outside of your own four walls? Are your corporate headquarters with a hosted application utilized by 50 branch offices? Are you hosting the point of sale (POS) system for 15, 000 retail chain stores? You may be a law firm hosting data for three or four different offices.
If your company hosts its programs and information at a central location, people outside of that location need to have access in order to conduct business. For those people, no Internet connection means no work gets done. 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. Company headquarters should have high-speed Internet access such as gigabit Ethernet, Metro Ethernet or some other high-speed dedicated circuit. Multiple diverse connections require support, in addition to high speed. A cable modem would not be able to accomplish this.
Bringing in a cable modem, which seems to save money, may actually come at a price. You may save money on your monthly bill but the bandwidth you get must be shared among many people. 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 are only permitted to establish a certain amount of bandwidth within communities. Different buildings and tenants housed or working within those buildings all share that set amount of bandwidth. You might be capped at 30-megabyte speed, but may never be able to actually reach that speed during the important hours of your business day. If you expect 30 but only get 6, will you have problems?
You can find a carrier who can provide dedicated and guaranteed bandwidth. With these, bandwidth belongs to you and your organization only; no sharing. Notwithstanding the existence of tenants, offices or buildings in the area, you should have the full capability of your circuits at all times.
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.
Carriers in these situations deliver enough to cover everyone’s needs. The providers divide their circuit to various tenants while guaranteeing that everyone gets their contracted speed.
While certain carriers offer superior Internet bandwidth products in Great Falls, Montana, the reality is that it is possible for a circuit to go down. 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 two types of redundancy to consider.
A single carrier, providing multiple circuits, to one customer, characterizes one form of redundancy. Redundant circuits can help protect against certain problems. They can mitigate the inconveniences when there is a failure of a physical line or a problem with the port into your router. However, if that carrier has a regional outage or physical line damaged outside of your building, both circuits may go down. This offers some protection and assurance but does not eliminate all threats.
You can also achieve redundancy by utilizing different providers to bring in and establish your circuits. Advanced routers and IP address allocations can be utilized to make it look to your users and the public that you have a single circuit. In fact, they are totally redundant and separate. This is called diversity redundancy and offers more protection that the first. You will still have a live, fully functioning carrier if one fails.
The carriers you choose for your redundant circuits should have different physical pathways in Great Falls, Montana. This is an important consideration when trying to obtain 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 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. 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.
Although access to The Internet comes at a price, the price of unreliable Internet access is tremendous. Consider the following:
The carrier you use for your cable modem also provides circuits for a dozen or more tenants in the office 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 happens to the quality of that phone call? Will you lose calls? 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. Every single one of your offices, stores and places rely on you and your primary Internet connection to retrieve data. What if your circuit fails? Would it annoy you or destroy you? Can your satellite offices perform any work at all? Process or take new orders? Share information? Choosing the right solution depends largely on assessing and understanding the specific needs of your company. You might have hundreds and hundreds of loyal customers. Perhaps you are a software company running a hosted solution they all count on. Maybe you operate a service that allows other systems to talk to yours via API. This may be to collect miscellaneous data, calculate prices or shipping rates or other information. 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 business elsewhere?
Maybe your business depends entirely on the net. Should your circuits go down, your representatives cannot make outbound calls. Your reps have no way of answering calls, if they even know they are coming in. Looks like you are now out of organization. Is redundancy enough? Are the carriers that you are using reliable enough? You should be getting high quality service that ensures your calls are consistently clear and reliable.
Clearly, there are many choices. Your decision will be based on different factors including your company needs and your budget. Essentially:
A single fifty, ten or five megabyte access to The Internet circuit may be adequate to meet the needs of your small organization, particularly if you have only one location and are not worried about redundancy. Find out if you are in a lit building. If so, the price of Metro Ethernet or gigabit service may be affordable. Costs vary with location and the availability of circuits so speak with our engineers. Together, we can find the best option for you and your organization.
Having a medium or mid-sized company in Great Falls requires that you have higher-speed access to the web. Gigabit Internet, Metro Ethernet and other higher speed Internet circuits are options to consider. Multiple circuits utilizing multiple providers would, ideally, provide you with maximum redundancy. Achieving this may cost extra but it won’t double your costs. Two 50-megabyte circuits may be more cost effective than a single 100 circuit. Do not forget that you will find variations in price and availability. Learn your options by speaking with one of our knowledgeable experts. We can help you determine what is available in your specific location.
If your company has several locations or offices, you are at great risk for failure. Redundant circuits are a necessity. Having several providers would afford extra protection. Also, redundant equipment such as switches and routers in your facility can 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. Finding the best combination of services, providers and equipment can go a long way toward helping your organization run as efficiently as possible.
Companies such as these require the following: Metro Ethernet, gigabit Internet and point-to-point (PPP) high-speed Internet circuits. You absolutely need redundant circuits from different providers as well as redundant hardware. This is essential to ensuring uptime. The last thing you want is interruptions or slowdowns affecting your business. You must provide enough bandwidth to avoid these pitfalls that sometimes occur during sudden usage spikes. Be sure to have the right circuits and hardware. They both must be able to support multiple, fast, concurrent connections.
There is great risk of failing circuits or insufficient bandwidth. Your demand and budget constraints should both be considered when you decide what circuit or combination of circuits you must have. Choosing the right combination of hardware and circuits can be complicated and confusing.
We have engineers that will analyze your needs, look at your company requirements and develop an action plan for you… for free!We will examine your current usage and demand levels then create a design that provides you with the resources you need to keep your organization running smoothly 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. We do assessments quickly. It can take as little as 48 hours to complete your analysis.