In today’s environment, companies in Iowa City count on reliable Internet access as the lifeblood of their business. Fortune 500 companies to small companies and everything in between, depend on reliable and fast Internet access.
We are going to become increasingly reliant on Internet access as the months and years progress.
From email to data sharing, video chat to VoIP, and data archiving to Internet commerce, the web is ubiquitous. What can best meet your needs? Maybe a cable modem is a sufficient solution. Metro Ethernet? Gigabit Internet? Your Iowa City, Iowa organization probably needs a 5 Meg Internet circuit, 10 Meg access to The web, 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. Will web surfing and email be your primary use of the internet? Is connecting with cloud servers and sharing real time data the main use of the web? Are you hosting the data in Iowa City and distant locations or offices rely on you?
Have you thought about what will happen to your business if your high-speed Internet is interrupted by an outage? How will the downtime affect your business? Does your organization require uptime? Ask yourself these questions before making any purchases. The answers will help you determine what is right for you.
High-speed access to The Internet is required by all businesses. Deciding on the right broadband internet is not easy. It requires a thorough cost-benefit analysis. While various providers will throw around terminology like:
… you must not lose sight of the real issue, which is understanding what technical solutions best meet your needs.
Companies in Iowa City, Iowa need access to the internet 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 web. Perhaps it is to order materials, to conduct business research or speak with clients.
The best solution may rely on how many employees you have. An Internet circuit of 5 -10 megabytes might be enough for your business if you only have a few people working for you. You may need more if you have more workers and those workers all need to be on the internet during the same hours.
If your employees are merely accessing an intranet system with limited graphics and video, your need for high-speed Internet may be reduced. However, employees who must often download documents, images and videos, need that speed.
Do you perform backups at your company? When you do remote backups from every workstation, which you should, you must support multiple and simultaneous connections to the web in order to sync your backup data.
Does your company use a file sharing service? DropBox? Google drive? When you save a file it is pushed to the cloud. Then it is synched to the computer or computers of someone else. Running all your services properly, including sharing files, requires that you have the right amount of bandwidth.
Business high-speed Internet access may interest you. Depending on your location, you may have options such as gigabit Internet or Metro Ethernet. These can usually be found in Iowa City, Iowa in “lit buildings” that have already been wired. It may be shock you to know that installing high-speed access to The net may not be particularly expensive or inconvenient.
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. 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? Are your company headquarters with a hosted application connected to fifty or more satellite offices? Does your office host the point of sale (POS) system for every single store in a large retail chain? You may be a law firm hosting data for three or four different offices.
When data and programs are hosted centrally at one main site, people outside that location must gain access. If your Internet connection goes down, those people are unable to work. Make sure that when you choose your intranet solution it is reliable enough to support your need for multiple and simultaneous connections for many different places.
For one office or a small business with just one or two people surfing the web, a less expensive 10 Meg circuit or a cable modem may meet your needs. For headquarters, Metro Ethernet, gigabit Ethernet or other high-speed Internet dedicated circuits is advisable. While high speed is great, you also need support for your multiple diverse connections. The support you need could not be provided by a cable modem.
In some situations, there is a high price to pay for bringing in an inexpensive circuit or cable modem. Your low monthly bill may mean that the bandwidth is shared among multiple tenants. 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. Often, within a given community, cable companies may only deliver a particular amount of bandwidth. That amount of bandwidth must be shared with different buildings and with the tenants housed within. While you may be capped at a 30 Meg speed, you may never be able to reach that speed during company 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 providers. With these, bandwidth belongs to you and your organization only; no sharing. Regardless of other tenants in your building or neighboring buildings, you should receive the full capacity of your circuit.
Metro Ethernet provides guaranteed bandwidth in increments as follows: 5, 10, 50 and 100 Meg circuits. With gigabit Internet providers, you can reach gigabit speeds in your office out to the net.
In these scenarios, carriers deliver a large quantity of high-speed to a building. The quantity must be enough so that it can split the circuit and deliver to every tenant. Whatever amount has been guaranteed in each tenant’s contract is the amount they receive.
While certain providers offer superior Internet bandwidth products in Iowa City, the reality is that it is possible for a circuit to go down. The question then becomes, “how do I minimize my chance of an outage? ”
Circuits that are redundant may be a good idea.
Essentially, there are two different ways to look at redundancy.
With the first type of redundancy, you receive multiple circuits 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. Damage to an external wire or part can cause the failure of all of your circuits. A regional outage experienced by your carrier can have the same result. You get some protection, but also some risk.
Utilizing circuits from two different providers is the second kind of redundancy. By using IP address allocations and certain routers, you can bind your connections. By doing this, it appears and behaves as a single circuit. You know the truth: that they are individual circuits and are there to back each other up in case one goes down. Diversity redundancy, as this is called, offers you more protection that you might realize. In the event a carrier goes down, you will not have to worry. You will have a perfectly live carrier there to keep things moving.
The providers you choose for your redundant circuits should have different physical pathways in Iowa City. This is an important consideration when trying to obtain the most redundancy. Alternatively stated, try to have your circuits enter the building on different sides from one another. 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.
Even though access to The web 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 the following:
The carrier you use for your cable modem also provides circuits for a dozen or more tenants in the office 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? How will less available bandwidth affect your telephone calls? How will the quality of that phone call be affected? Will calls be cut-off? Will the calls be choppy?
You may be an accounting firm that shares databases, a retail chain company utilizing a point of sale system or a law practice sharing files. Regardless of the specifics, your office is the hub for your enterprise. All of your places, whether 2 or 2000, depend on your primary Internet connection to access and retrieve data. What happens in the event of a circuit failure? Is it a mere annoyance or a catastrophic failure? Is work even possible at your other places? Take new orders? Service existing ones? Disseminate needed information and data? Be sure you understand your requirements fully before choosing a solution. Maybe your software company runs a hosted solution. Maybe that hosted solution is used by hundreds of your customers. Maybe you operate a service that allows other systems to communicate with yours via API. This may be to collect miscellaneous data, calculate prices or shipping rates or other information. You may find that they are unable to reach or connect with your business servers. How will repeated outages affect your customers? Will they remain customers?
Your business is entirely Internet based. Should your circuits go down, your representatives cannot make outbound calls. In addition, they will be unable to answer incoming calls. Basically, you are done. Is redundancy enough? Many of the finest call centers with the best reputations already understand and use redundancy. They should consider if they have sufficient protection. Are the carriers that you are using reliable enough? Are you getting quality service so that your calls are clear and consistent?
Clearly, there are many choices. Your budget, as well as the needs of your company, will help drive your decisions. In review:
If you are a small business, with one location and you do not worry about redundancy, one five meg, ten meg, or fifty meg Internet access circuit may very well be enough to meet your needs. If you are in a “lit” building, Metro Ethernet or gigabit service may be reasonably priced options. Prices will vary. They are based on your location and circuit availability; speak with our engineers to learn your best options.
If you have a midsized company in Iowa City, Iowa, you will need higher-speed access to The net. You may choose between gigabit Internet or Metro Ethernet. You may also look into other higher-speed Internet circuits. Multiple circuits utilizing multiple providers would, ideally, provide you with maximum redundancy. You may be able to achieve this in a manner that will not break the bank. Two smaller circuits may be cheaper than one. For instance, you may use two 50 meg circuits instead of a single 100 meg circuit. Remember, costs vary. So does availability. 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.
Any company with more than one location suffers the greatest risk of problems. They require redundant circuits. Multiple carriers would be great. Additionally, you should consider redundant equipment (routers and switches) in your facility to minimize the risk of downtime. As always, take a careful look and choose the right Ethernet access services, Metro Ethernet providers, gigabit Internet providers and other high-speed access to The Internet circuit providers. The right mix of carriers and services will help keep your business up and running as efficiently as possible.
For companies falling in this category, gigabit Internet circuits, Metro Ethernet Internet circuits and point-to-point high-speed Internet circuits are essential. You absolutely need redundant circuits from different providers as well as redundant hardware. This is important to ensuring uptime. You need enough bandwidth. The bandwidth must be sufficient to handle spikes in usage with no slowdowns or interruptions. 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.
The danger and risk of failing circuits is tremendous. So is the risk of having less bandwidth than you need. Your ideal single circuit or multiple circuits should stay within your budget while still meeting your demands. Choosing the right mix of circuits and hardware is a daunting task.
Our engineers will analyze your needs and requirements and develop a free action plan for you. We’ll examine your demand levels and current usage. We will then design a plan that keeps your costs reasonable while meeting your demand for a smoothly run business.
If you would like to arrange for an assessment, please click here to complete the contact information form to the right. You can call our office as well. Your assessment may be finished within as little as 48 hours.