Because of today’s environment, companies in Ontario rely on the web. Reliable access to the net is the lifeblood of their organization. All companies count on reliable and quick Internet access. This is true regardless of how large or small the business.
In the coming months and years, we’ll become increasingly reliant on our access to the internet.
From video chat to voice over IP, email to data sharing and data archiving to Internet commerce, the web is everywhere you look. How can your needs be met? Perhaps a cable modem is all you need. Metro Ethernet? Is Gigabit Internet right for you? Your Ontario business probably needs a 5 Meg Internet circuit, 10 Meg access to The Internet, 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. Is Internet use limited to website surfing or emailing only? Is it used to network with cloud servers? Are you hosting the data in Ontario and distant sites or offices rely on you?
How would an outage to your high-speed Internet affect your business? What about the downtime that results? Can your company afford that? Is your success reliant on uptime? Prior to making any purchases, you must determine the answers to these questions.
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. Don’t be distracted by terminology. While you may hear service providers throw out words and phrases like:
… focus on what matters: what does your organization need and what are the best services and solutions out there to meet those needs?
For many, if not all, companies in Ontario, Internet access is needed for at least some employees. Internet access may be needed to conduct research, use third-party applications or to order supplies.
The best solution may rely on how many employees you have. If you have a handful of employees, a 5 or 10 Meg Internet circuit may be sufficient. If you have more than that, you may need more.
If your employees are merely accessing an intranet system with limited graphics and video, your need for high-speed Internet may be reduced. On the other hand, if your company requires that its employees download many documents or images and videos, Internet speed becomes more important.
Do you perform backups at your company? If, as recommended, you conduct remote backups from every single desk, you will need to support simultaneous connections out to the web. This will allow you to sync your backup data.
Are you using a service such as DropBox or Google drive 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. Supporting file sharing, while supporting every other service, requires sufficient bandwidth.
You may consider high-speed company access to The net if you location warrants it. Gigabit Internet and Metro Ethernet may be viable options for you. “Lit buildings” that have already been wired by a carrier, are commonly the site for these. Adding this high-speed Internet to your office may be surprisingly affordable and easy.
The introduction of Metro Ethernet into a new building can be quite costly. However, bringing that connection into office space within that building is usually less so. Also, securing high-speed Internet access using gigabit Internet or Metro Ethernet often takes less than 30 days, depending on its availability.
Ask yourself this: Does we host our own servers to run APIs, websites and data feeds to external offices or organization premises? Are your company headquarters with a hosted application accessed by 50 branch offices? Are you hosting the point of sale (POS) system for 15, 000 retail chain stores? Are you a law firm hosting data for multiple office sites?
When data and programs are hosted centrally at one main site, people outside that location must gain access. If the web connection is interrupted, those people cannot get their work done. Is the intranet solution you are choosing sufficiently reliable? Is it stable enough to support simultaneous connections from different locations?
A cost friendly 10 Meg circuit or even a cable modem may satisfy the needs of a company with a single office that needs to surf the web. High-speed Internet access is advisable for the headquarters. Gigabit Ethernet, Metro Ethernet or some other high-speed dedicated circuit is recommended. While high speed is great, you also need support for your multiple diverse connections. Do you think a cable modem is sufficient? It is probably not.
In many cases, installing an inexpensive 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. Only a certain amount of bandwidth may be available in a community. Many cable companies have limits on the amount they can deliver. That amount of bandwidth must be shared with different buildings and with the tenants housed within. During crucial working hours, you may not get to the 30-meg speed you have been capped at. Is getting 7 when you expect 30 a problem?
Other providers do offer dedicated and guaranteed bandwidth. In this case, your organization receives full allocation of bandwidth. There is no sharing with any outsiders. Regardless of other tenants in your building or neighboring buildings, you should receive the full capacity of your circuit.
You can receive guaranteed bandwidth with Metro Ethernet. You can receive it in increments of five, 10, 50 or one hundred megabyte circuits. With gigabit Internet providers, you can reach gigabit speeds in your office out to the internet.
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.
Ontario has some carriers that offer exceptional Internet bandwidth products and services. However, circuits can still go down and cause disruption. The question then becomes, “how do I minimize my chance of an outage? ”
Try using redundant circuits.
We are primarily talking about two kinds of redundancy.
The first type exists when the same carrier gives you multiple circuits. This provides some protection when there are certain failures. Multiple circuits can help for example, when there is a physical line issue or a problem with a router port. Even multiple circuits can fail, such as in the event of a large-scale carrier outage or when there damage to an external line. While there is some protection, there is also some risk.
The other type of redundancy requires you to utilize circuits from different carriers. 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 reality, they are completely separate and redundant to each other. This is called diversity redundancy and offers more protection that the first. When one carrier has a problem like an outage or some other failure, you have another one that works.
When considering redundant circuits and providers, try to be sure that the providers you look at in Ontario have different physical geographic routes or pathways. Doing so will maximize redundancy. In other words, try to obtain circuits entering the building from different sides of the building. 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 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.
Even though access to The net 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 these scenarios:
If your organization utilizes a cable modem, consider whether your carrier is providing circuits for multiple other tenants within the 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 available bandwidth shrinks, what will happen to your calls? How will the caliber of the call be affected? Are calls dropped? Inaudible (choppy) to your customers?
Your office may be the working center of an entire company enterprise. The kind of business does not necessarily matter. You may be a law firm doing file sharing, an accounting practice sharing databases or a retailer operating a distributed point-of-sale system. Whether you have 2 sites, 250, or 2000, they all rely on your primary Internet connection to retrieve data and information. Your circuit goes down, now what will happen? Is it just irritating? Is it going to cause tremendous problems? Can your satellite or remote office do any work at all? Can they process transactions or new orders? Disseminate needed information and data? Make sure you completely understand your needs before you pick a solution. You have a software company, and are running a hosted solution for dozens, maybe hundreds, of customers. Perhaps you operate a service where other systems communicate with 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 other systems can’t connect to your office servers? How will repeated outages affect your customers? Will they remain customers?
Your company is 100% dependent on the web to properly function. Should your circuits stop working, imagine your people being unable to make any outbound phone calls. No calls could be answered either. Looks like you are now out of business. 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? You should be getting high quality service that ensures your calls are consistently clear and reliable.
It should be clear by now that you have many different options to select from. Your business needs and your budget will have to come into consideration when deciding on your solutions. In summary:
You are probably not thinking about redundancy if you have a small organization with a single location. In this case, you can probably get by with a single access to The net circuit of 5, 10 or 50 meg. For an office in a lit building, you may find that gigabit service or Metro Ethernet are affordable options for you. The availability of circuits and your location determine prices; speak with one of our engineers to learn what your best options are.
You will need higher speed Internet access if you have a medium sized organization in Ontario. You have several choices. Consider the following: Gigabit Internet, Metro Ethernet or higher-speed access to The web circuits. In a perfect world, you will achieve maximum redundancy by utilizing multiple carriers to provide and service different circuits. This may be attainable without doubling your costs. Two 50-megabyte circuits may be more cost effective than a single 100 circuit. Again, costs and availability vary. 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.
The greatest risk of failure belongs to companies that have multiple places of company or offices. Redundancy is crucial. Varied providers are optimal. In addition, consider redundant equipment. Redundant routers and switches can minimize risk also. Have you looked at Metro Ethernet providers, gigabit Internet providers and other high-speed Internet access circuit providers? You should do so before making a decision. The right mix of carriers and services will help keep your organization 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 must have redundant circuits for multiple providers as well as redundant hardware in your office to ensure your uptime. You need enough bandwidth. The bandwidth must be sufficient to handle spikes in usage with no slowdowns or interruptions. The hardware and circuits you choose must both be able to support the following: a great number of concurrent, speedy connections.
Insufficient bandwidth and failing circuits are present tremendous risk to your business. Your demand and budget constraints should both be considered when you decide what circuit or combination of circuits you must have. There is tremendous pressure on you to choose the best combination of circuits and hardware.
We have experts to help. Our engineers will do an analysis of your needs and requirements, and develop a free action plan for you based on their findings. We are going to examine your current usage and demand levels then create a design that provides you with the resources you need to keep your business running smoothly at a reasonable cost.
You can complete the contact form on the right side of this page by clicking here. If you would prefer, please call our office to set up an appointment for an assessment. Assessments are completed in as little as 48 hours.