In today’s environment, companies in Minnetonka depend on reliable access to The net as the lifeblood of their business. The organization functions of all companies, from Fortune 500 to small companies, rely on fast and reliable Internet access.
We will, in the months and years ahead, become more and more reliant on our access to The Internet.
The use of the web is pervasive. We use it for email and data sharing, video conferencing and VOIP, archiving and commerce. What is the best solution for you? Will a cable modem be adequate? Maybe you need Metro Ethernet. Your needs may be met with Gigabit Internet. What does your Minnetonka, Minnesota company need? Does it require 10 Meg access to The net, a 100 Meg Internet access point, a 50 Meg circuit or a 5 Meg circuit?
Prior to selecting a service, your company must figure out its needs. Perhaps the web is only used for a few things such as email communication or surfing the web. Will real-time data connection with servers in the cloud be the primary use of the net? Are you hosting the data in Minnetonka, Minnesota and distant sites or offices rely on you?
Have you thought about what happens to your business if your high-speed Internet is interrupted by an outage? What about the downtime that results? Can your company afford that? Is your success reliant on uptime? You must answer these questions before you buy.
In the broadest of terms, companies need high-speed Internet access. Choosing the correct broadband internet for your company requires a cost benefit analysis. Many providers toss out terms such as:
… you must not lose sight of the real issue, which is understanding what technical solutions best meet your needs.
For most companies in Minnetonka, Minnesota, some or all of the employees need access to the internet. Third party applications, company research or development and e-commerce are just some of the ways the internet may be needed.
Perhaps the size of your work force may determine the solution that best fits your needs. An Internet circuit of 5 -10 megabytes might be enough for your organization if you only have a few people working for you. If you have many employees who need to use the web at the same time, you may do better with 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. If your company functions demand the downloading of documents and images or videos on a regular basis, speed becomes a must more important issue.
Do you backup information? 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? After a file is saved, it goes to the cloud and then to someone else’s computer. The right amount of capacity or bandwidth is necessary to support this function in conjunction with every other service you have.
Depending on your location, high-speed organization Internet access, including Metro Ethernet and gigabit Internet may be viable options. These can usually be found in Minnetonka, Minnesota in “lit buildings” that have already been wired. You may be surprised by how easy and affordable it is to add high-speed Internet to your company.
While bringing Metro Ethernet to a new building can be an expensive proposition, bringing that connection to a suite within the building is not. You can actually get high-speed access with gigabit Internet or even Metro Ethernet quickly. It often takes only 30 days or less, depending on availability.
Does your organization host its own servers to run information feeds, websites or application program interfaces (APIs) with companies or offices located outside of your four walls? Are your organization headquarters with a hosted application connected to fifty or more satellite offices? Is your company retail? Do you have thousands of stores? Do you host the point of sale system for the entire chain? Are you an attorney with offices multiple cities or states? Do you have one office hosting data for several places?
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 company. 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 sites?
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. It is advisable that high-speed Internet access be available at the central company office or headquarters, including gigabit Ethernet, Metro Ethernet or some other high-speed dedicated circuits. Multiple diverse connections require support, in addition to high speed. This could probably not be accomplished with a cable modem.
There is a price that comes along with choosing a cable modem or other lower cost circuit. You may save money on your monthly bill but the bandwidth you get must be shared among many people. During peak hours, your connection may slow down, even though you subscribe to a cable modem with a thirty-megabyte connection. Cable operators differ but many have prescribed limits on the bandwidth amount that they can deliver within a set community. Different buildings and tenants housed or working within those buildings all share that set amount of bandwidth. Will you achieve 30-meg speed during the working day? If you expect 30 but only get 6, will you have problems?
Guaranteed bandwidth and dedicated bandwidth are solutions that some providers offer. In this situation, you do not have to share bandwidth. The bandwidth is all yours and is fully allocated to the needs of your organization. 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. 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.
Minnetonka has some providers that offer exceptional Internet bandwidth products and services. However, circuits can still go down and cause disruption. You must ask yourself: “how do I lessen the chance of an outage? ”
Consider redundant circuits.
We are primarily talking about two kinds of redundancy.
The first is where you get multiple circuits from one carrier. These redundant circuits help protect from certain failures, for example, router port issues or physical line trouble. 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. This offers some protection and assurance but does not eliminate all threats.
The second way to set up circuit redundancy is by using two different providers to bring in your circuits. You may want your circuits to appear and act as if they are one and come from the same source. If so you can use IP address allocations and advanced routers to do so. But, you know that they are actually separate and redundant. Diversity redundancy provides greater assurance, comfort and protection. You will still have a live, fully functioning carrier if one fails.
You should look for redundant circuits from carriers in Minnetonka, Minnesota that do not have the same physical geographic pathways, in order to get the most redundancy. In other words, try to obtain circuits entering the building from different sides of the building. 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. 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 Internet comes at a price, the price of unreliable Internet access is tremendous. Please consider these situations:
The carrier you use for your cable modem also provides circuits for a dozen or more tenants in the office building. During the course of a regular work day, any or all of these other businesses might be performing massive file downloads. Tenants might be taking a large volume of calls or be regularly streaming video. As they use more bandwidth, there is less for available for your needs. What happens to your phone calls? What about the quality of your calls? Will calls be arbitrarily dropped? Will you sound muffled?
Your office is the hub of your enterprise: You might be a law practice that shares files, a retail operation that utilizes POS systems or a large accounting firm that needs to share databases. 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 in the event of a circuit failure? Is it simply an irritation or a catastrophe? Is work even possible at your other places? What will happen to new orders? Can they be taken or processed? Share information? Before choosing a solution, be sure to assess and really understand what your company requires. 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 talk to 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. If you have repeated outages, how long will they remain a customer?
Is the internet integral to the proper function of your organization? Do you count on it entirely? What if your representatives can make no outgoing telephone calls because your circuits go down? There would be no way to answer incoming calls of people trying to reach your representatives. Basically, you are done. While most call centers that are reputable use redundancy, is it enough? Are the carriers that you are using reliable enough? Clear and reliable calls are essential. Does your carrier service consistently provide this?
You have no shortage of options. Your budget, as well as the needs of your company, will help drive your decisions. In summary:
You are probably not thinking about redundancy if you have a small company with a single location. In this case, you can probably get by with a single access to The Internet circuit of 5, 10 or 50 meg. 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. 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.
You have a midsized company in Minnetonka; you will surely need higher-speed Internet. Gigabit Internet, Metro Ethernet and other higher speed Internet circuits are options to consider. Using different circuits and different carriers will, if you choose, provide you with redundancy. Achieving this may cost extra but it won’t double your costs. For example, you may use 2 fifty meg circuits instead of 1 one hundred meg circuit. Availability and costs vary. In order to find out the options available for you, in your location, you need to speak with one of our seasoned experts.
Any company with more than one location suffers the greatest risk of problems. Redundant circuits must be an essential part of their systems. It is helpful if they use multiple providers. Additionally, you should consider redundant equipment (routers and switches) in your facility to minimize the risk of downtime. Take a careful look at Ethernet access services, Metro Ethernet providers and gigabit Internet providers. Research other high-speed Internet access circuit providers also and make an informed decision. The best mix of carriers and services can maximize the productivity and efficiency of your company.
If you fall into this group, you must have Metro Ethernet, gigabit Internet circuits and point-to-point High-speed Internet circuits. If you want to ensure your valuable uptime, have redundant circuits from multiple carriers as well as redundant hardware. You need to provide sufficient bandwidth to handle usage spikes without 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 company needs. 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. 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.
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. Assessments are completed in as little as 48 hours.