Because of today’s environment, companies in Normal rely on the internet. Reliable access to the internet is the lifeblood of their company. All companies, big and small, need fast and reliable access to The net.
We’ll become increasingly reliant on access to The web as the months and years progress.
From email messaging to information sharing, e-commerce to archiving data, and voice over IP to video conferencing, the net is omnipresent. What is the best solution for you? Maybe a cable modem is a sufficient solution. It could be that you need Metro Ethernet. Your needs may be met with Gigabit Internet. Does your Normal, Illinois organization need a 5 Meg Internet circuit, 10 Meg Internet access, a 50 Meg circuit, or a 100 Meg Internet access point?
Before selecting the appropriate service, your organization must assess its needs. Is the net only used for web surfing and email? Is the web used for real-time data connection with servers in the cloud? Are you hosting the data in Normal that remote places rely on?
What if there is an outage and your high-speed Internet is interrupted? How might the downtime cause problems for your organization? Is uptime required? You must answer questions like these so you can make a purchase that actually meets your needs
Speaking broadly, all companies need high-speed access to the web. An analysis of the costs and benefits should be done prior to choosing the broadband internet that is correct for your organization. Don’t be distracted by terminology. While you may hear providers throw out words and phrases like:
… the actual issue is knowing what technology and capability can satisfy your needs.
Workers for most companies in Normal have some need to access the net during the course of their job. Third party applications, business research or development and e-commerce are just some of the ways the internet may be needed.
The best solution may rely on how many employees you have. A 5 or 10 megabyte Internet circuit may be perfect if you only have a few employees. You should consider more than that if you have more workers. Also keep in mind whether your workers need to access the web at the same time.
Do your employees primarily use an intranet system? If so, you may not need much high-speed Internet service. However, employees who must often download documents, images and videos, need that speed.
Are you regularly performing backups? Simultaneous connections to the web, which you need in order to sync your backup data, require support. If you conduct remote backups from every workstation, which you definitely should, this will be important.
Do you use a file-sharing service? Perhaps you use Google drive, DropBox or a different service? When you save a file it is pushed to the cloud. Then it is synched to the computer or computers of someone else. 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 company Internet access, including Metro Ethernet and gigabit Internet may be viable options. “Lit buildings” that have already been wired by a carrier, are commonly the site for these. It may be shock you to know that installing high-speed Internet access may not be particularly expensive or inconvenient.
While bringing Metro Ethernet to a new building can be an expensive proposition, bringing that connection to a suite within the building is not. Metro Ethernet or gigabit Internet may provide you with high-speed Internet access in thirty days or less, depending on availability.
Do you have your own organization servers that run APIs, websites or feeds for offsite offices or companies? Do your headquarters have a hosted Internet application that must be accessed regularly by 40 or 50 branch offices? Are you a retail chain hosting the POS system for 12, 000 stores? Are you a law firm hosting data for multiple office places?
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 places?
A cost friendly 10 Meg circuit or even a cable modem may satisfy the needs of a organization with a single office that needs to surf the web. High-speed dedicated circuits, Metro Ethernet or gigabit Ethernet are advisable for company headquarters. While fast access to The net is and important, they must also have the capability to handle assorted simultaneous connections. Do you think a cable modem is sufficient? It is probably not.
In some situations, there is a high price to pay for bringing in an inexpensive circuit or cable modem. 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 operators can only deliver a certain amount of bandwidth in a community. Whatever that amount of bandwidth is, it branches into all buildings in the community and to all tenants in those buildings. While you may be capped at thirty-megabyte speed, will you ever reach that speed during organization hours? Is it a problem if you get a quarter or even half of the speed you expected?
Some providers are available who offer dedicated bandwidth and guaranteed bandwidth. 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.
Five Meg, ten Meg, fifty Meg and 100 Meg circuits of guaranteed bandwidth are available with Metro Ethernet. Gigabit speeds from your office to the web can be reached if you use a gigabit Internet provider.
In these situations, each tenant receives their contracted high-speed. The carrier delivers enough so they can split their circuit and provide enough to each tenant.
Normal, Illinois has some providers that offer exceptional Internet bandwidth products and services. However, circuits can still go down and cause disruption. In what way can you diminish the risk of an outage?
Consider redundant circuits.
Essentially, there are two different ways to look at redundancy.
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. 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. While there is some security in this, you are still vulnerable under some circumstances.
You can also achieve redundancy by utilizing different providers to bring in and establish your circuits. If you think it is beneficial, you can bind the connections together in a manner that makes your circuits act and look like a single source. Truthfully, they are entirely separate. They are redundant and exist in case one of them fails. 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.
The providers you choose for your redundant circuits should have different physical pathways in Normal. This is an important consideration when trying to obtain the most redundancy. Basically this means that you want your circuits to enter your building on different sides or paths. The circuits would be established either underground or on telephone poles and would be set up in different directions and lead to different 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.
Although access to The net 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. During organization hours, any of those tenants could be streaming video, performing massive file downloads, processing large volumes of phone calls and more. What will happen to your telephone calls as the amount of usable bandwidth decreases? What about phone call quality? Are the calls going to be dropped? Will you sound muffled or choppy to your customers?
Your office is the hub of your company, whether you are a retail company operating a distributed point of sale (POS) system, an accounting firm sharing databases or a law firm engaged in file sharing. All of your offices, whether you have 3 or 3, 000, rely on your primary Internet connection to successfully access data. What will happen if your circuit crashes? Is it simply an irritation or a catastrophe? Is work even possible at your other locations? Process new orders? Circulate essential files and data? Make sure you completely understand your needs before you pick a solution. Maybe your software company runs a hosted solution. Maybe that hosted solution is used by hundreds of your customers. Perhaps you operate a service where other systems talk to yours via an API to calculate freight rates, commodity prices, collect current weather data or receive any other information that you serve up. What if you have server problems and they are unable to connect to you? How will repeated outages affect your customers? Will they remain customers?
What if your company could not function at all without the internet? Maybe your organization relies on it completely. Should your circuits stop working, imagine your people being unable to make any outbound phone calls. In addition, they will be unable to answer incoming calls. You are essentially out of company. 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. Can you truly rely on your providers? Are they as dependable as they claim? Is the quality of your calls consistently and reliably clear?
You clearly have several 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 just one location and not concerned about redundancy, a single five meg, 10 meg or 50 meg access to The net circuit may be sufficient. You may find that if your building is “lit”, gigabit service and Metro Ethernet service may be reasonably cost-effective choices for you. The availability of circuits and your location determine prices; speak with one of our engineers to learn what your best options are.
Mid-sized businesses in Normal should be equipped with higher-speed Internet. Your options are Metro Ethernet, gigabit Internet and higher speed circuits. Using different circuits and different carriers will, if you choose, provide you with redundancy. You can sometimes achieve this without doubling costs. For example, one 100-megabyte circuit may cost more than two smaller 50-megabyte circuits. Do not forget that you will find variations in price and availability. You need to speak with one of our experts to determine your options in your specific location.
Companies with different locations, whether 5 or 50, are at the highest risk. Redundant circuits are a necessity. Varied providers are optimal. You can increase redundancy with switches or routers. Having redundant equipment can also minimize risk. As always, take a careful look and choose the right Ethernet access services, Metro Ethernet providers, gigabit Internet providers and other high-speed Internet access 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.
Gigabit Internet circuits, point-to-point high-speed Internet circuits are essential and Metro Ethernet Internet circuits must be utilized by companies in any of these categories. You absolutely need redundant circuits from different providers as well as redundant hardware. This is vital to ensuring uptime. You need to provide sufficient bandwidth to handle usage spikes without slowdowns or interruptions. Both your hardware and circuits must be capable of supporting a vast number of simultaneous and fast connections.
Do you understand how great the risk of failing circuits and insufficient bandwidth really is? You need to have the right circuit or circuits to meet your demands while staying within your budget. The pressure involved in selecting the proper mix of hardware and circuits can be overwhelming.
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 company up and running at a reasonable cost.
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 completed in as little as 48 hours.