Because of today’s environment, companies in Lancaster count on the net. Reliable access to the net is the lifeblood of their business. All companies, from Fortune 500 to small businesses, have functions that rely on easy, dependable and quick Internet access.
We are going to, in the months and years ahead, become more and more reliant on our Internet access.
The Internet is ubiquitous. From email to data sharing, archiving to commerce and VOIP to video conferencing, the internet is everywhere. How can your needs be met? Will a cable modem be adequate? Maybe you need Metro Ethernet. Gigabit Internet may be required. Will your Lancaster, Pennsylvania organization needs be met with a 50 Meg circuit, a 5 Meg circuit, 10 Meg access to The web or 100 Meg Internet access point?
Before selecting an appropriate service for your organization, you must first determine what needs you are trying to satisfy. Is the web only used for web surfing and email? Will real-time data connection with servers in the cloud be the primary use of the net? You may be hosting the data in Lancaster and remote sites rely on this.
How would an outage to your high-speed Internet affect your organization? Will your company suffer from the lull? How much uptime is essential to your organization? These types of questions must be answered before you make purchase anything.
In the broadest of terms, companies need high-speed access to The web. You need to analyze and balance the costs and benefits to your company before choosing the right broadband. While you are likely to hear some providers toss around terms such as:
… the actual issue is knowing what technology and capability can satisfy your needs.
At most businesses including those in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, some or all employees need access to The Internet. It may be needed for company research, to order office supplies or other reasons.
The number of employees you have may determine your best solution. A five or ten megabyte Internet circuit may be all you need if employ a small workforce. If you have more than that, you may need more.
Your workforce may simply use an intranet system with limited video and graphics. If this is true, your need for high speed Internet be less than you thought. On the other hand, when they are frequently downloading documents, images and videos, that need for speed increases drastically.
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.
Google drive and DropBox are two popular sharing services. Are you using one of these or some other service that allows you to share files? When you save a file it is pushed to the cloud. Then it is synched to the computer or computers of someone else. You need to have sufficient bandwidth to support this function while also supporting every other service.
Are you interested in high-speed company Internet? Depending on where you are located, you may want to look into the viability of gigabit Internet and Metro Ethernet. “Lit buildings” that have already been wired by a carrier, are commonly the site for these. Installing high-speed Internet may not be as difficult and expensive as you think.
While bringing Metro Ethernet to a new building can be an expensive proposition, bringing that connection to a suite within the building is not. In fact, obtaining high-speed access to The net with Metro Ethernet or gigabit Internet can often take 30 days or less depending upon availability.
Does your business 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 a retail business with 10, 000 stores? Do you host the POS system for all of them? Are you a law firm hosting data for multiple office locations?
When data and programs are hosted centrally at one main site, people outside that location must gain access. For those people, no Internet connection means no work gets done. Are you choosing an intranet solution that is sufficiently reliable and stable to support multiple simultaneous connections from varied locations?
For a single office surfing the web, a cable modem or inexpensive 10 Meg circuit may be sufficient. It is advisable that high-speed access to The net be available at the central business office or headquarters, including gigabit Ethernet, Metro Ethernet or some other high-speed dedicated circuits. While fast Internet access is and important, they must also have the capability to handle assorted simultaneous connections. A cable modem would likely be insufficient.
In many scenarios, bringing in an inexpensive circuit, such as a cable modem, comes at a price. Oftentimes, a lower monthly rate comes with the realization that you are sharing bandwidth with many different tenants and offices. You may experience slow downs. For example, although you subscribe to a cable modem with a thirty Meg connection, it can be difficult to maintain the maximum speed during busy times and peak hours. Many cable companies only deliver a set amount of bandwidth within a community. Buildings, offices and tenants within the buildings all must share that amount of bandwidth, whatever it may be. With a 30-megabyte connection, you may not get to that speed during the working day. Do you care if you only get 6 when you were set up to expect 30?
Other carriers do offer dedicated and guaranteed bandwidth. In this scenario, the bandwidth is fully allocated to you and your company or business. No one else uses it. No matter who is in the building or what buildings surround you, you should always run at full speed.
You can receive guaranteed bandwidth with Metro Ethernet. You can receive it in increments of five, 10, 50 or one hundred megabyte circuits. Want to reach gigabit speeds? You can by using a gigabit Internet provider.
The providers in this situation deliver high-speed to a particular building in sufficient quantity to split their circuit among various tenants. Of course, they must ensure that they each get the specific amount of their contracted speed.
Realistically, while some providers in Lancaster offer excellent Internet bandwidth products, it is possible for a circuit to go down. In what way can you diminish the risk of an outage?
Consider redundant circuits.
There are two types of redundancy to consider.
The first type is when one single carrier provides you with multiple circuits. If there is a problem with a line or a port in your router, circuit redundancy can offer some protection. 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.
Circuit redundancy can also be achieved in the following way: Import circuits using two different and distinct carriers. For users and the public, you can make it look like you have one cohesive circuit. You can also make the connections act as a single circuit. You can do this with various advanced routers and IP address allocations. But, you know that they are actually separate and redundant. Diversity redundancy, as this is called, offers you more protection that you might realize. In the event that one carrier goes down, the other will still be alive.
You want maximum redundancy. In order to achieve this, look for redundant circuits from different carriers with different physical geographic pathways in Lancaster. Alternatively stated, try to have your circuits enter the building on different sides from one another. They would be on outside phone poles or underground conduits in different directions and leading to different places. This way, if there is a major catastrophe, such as a fire at a data center or a major accident impacting circuits within a region, you have redundancy in a different physical direction.
Although access to The net comes at a price, the price of unreliable access to The Internet is tremendous. Please think about the following scenarios:
Are you on a cable modem and your carrier is providing circuits to dozens of other office suites in your 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. As the amount of available bandwidth diminishes, what will happen to your phone calls? What about the quality of your calls? Are calls lost or dropped? Will you sound muffled or choppy to your customers?
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. Your primary Internet connection is solely responsible for smoothly granting access and sending data to all of your locations whether you have two or two thousand. What happens in the event of a circuit failure? Will it cause disastrous results of just annoy you a little bit? Is work even possible at your other locations? Can they take or process any orders at all? Dispense and receive data? Make sure you completely understand your needs before you pick a solution. Maybe you are a corporation that designs and sells software and you run a hosted solution that is used by hundreds and hundreds of customers. Maybe you offer a service that allows other systems use an application program interface (API) to speak with you to collect information and data. It is possible they will not be able to connect to your servers. How will repeated outages affect your customers? Will they remain customers?
Your business is completely dependent on the net. What if your representatives can make no outgoing telephone calls because your circuits go down? No calls could be answered either. You are now, essentially, out of business. While most reputable call centers are already aware and using redundancy, is it enough? Are your current providers as dependable as you would like? Is the quality of service sufficient? Are your calls clear and reliable?
Obviously, there are a variety of choices. Your decision will be based on different factors including your business needs and your budget. As a wrap-up:
If you have one location or office and do not feel the need to consider redundancy for your system, a smaller access to The Internet circuit may be all you need. A single fifty, ten or five megabyte circuit might be enough. Is your building lit? If so, find out about gigabit or Metro Ethernet services. They may be reasonably priced options. Prices vary based on your location and availability of circuits; speak with our engineers to find your best option.
You have a midsized company in Lancaster; you will surely need higher-speed Internet. Metro Ethernet, gigabit Internet and other higher-speed Internet circuits are your options. Multiple circuits utilizing multiple providers would, ideally, provide you with maximum redundancy. Achieving this may not be as costly as you first thought. Two smaller circuits may be cheaper than one. For instance, you may use two 50 meg circuits instead of a single 100 meg circuit. As a reminder; availability and costs may vary. Speaking with one of our experts will help you determine the options available in your specific location.
What companies have the highest risk for failure; those with multiple places. Redundant circuits are a necessity. Multiple providers are highly desirable. In addition, consider redundant equipment. Redundant routers and switches can minimize risk also. Before you make a decision here too, do your research. Look closely into Ethernet access services, Metro Ethernet providers, gigabit Internet providers and other high-speed circuit providers. The best mix of carriers and services can maximize the productivity and efficiency of your company.
Companies such as these require the following: Metro Ethernet, gigabit Internet and point-to-point (PPP) high-speed Internet circuits. You will want to have the greatest protection of your uptime. To accomplish this you must have redundancy: redundant circuits from multiple carriers and redundant hardware for your system. You must have the bandwidth to withstand sharp increases in usage. Doing so will help protect you from slowdowns or interruptions. It is crucial that not only your circuits have the ability to support a vast number of multiple and simultaneous connects, but your hardware must have the ability to support them as well.
Do you understand how great the risk of failing circuits and insufficient bandwidth really is? The circuit or circuits you have must stay within the parameters of your budget while still meeting your business needs. The pressure involved in selecting the proper mix of hardware and circuits can be overwhelming.
Our engineers can help. We are going to analyze your requirements and needs and create a free action plan for you. We are going to examine your demand levels and current usage. We’ll then design a plan that keeps your costs reasonable while meeting your demand for a smoothly run business.
An appointment for an assessment can be made by calling our office or clicking here to complete the contact form on the side of this page. Assessments are done in as few as two days or within 48 hours.