Reliable Internet access is the lifeblood of Palo Alto companies and their business. Fast and reliable access to The Internet is needed for businesses to function properly; large corporations and small businesses alike.
In the coming months and years, we’ll become increasingly dependent on our access to the web.
The web is ubiquitous. From email to data sharing, archiving to commerce and VOIP to video conferencing, the web is everywhere. What is the best solution for you? Can a cable modem suffice? Do you need Metro Ethernet? You may need Gigabit Internet. What does your Palo Alto company need? Does it require 10 Meg Internet access, a 100 Meg Internet access point, a 50 Meg circuit or a 5 Meg circuit?
Before selecting the appropriate service, your company must assess its needs. Perhaps the net is only used for a few things such as email communication or surfing the web. Will Internet usage mainly involve cloud servers and real time data connection? Are you hosting the data in Palo Alto that remote locations 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 essential to the success of your organization? Prior to making any purchases, you must determine the answers to these questions.
Plainly stated, companies require high-speed access to The net. An analysis of the costs and benefits should be done prior to choosing the broadband that is correct for your business. While many providers like to spout technical terminologies such as:
… the real issue is understanding what capability and technical solutions best meet your needs.
For many, if not all, companies in Palo Alto, access to The web is needed for at least some employees. access to The Internet may be needed to conduct research, use third-party applications or to order supplies.
The number of workers you have may be the factor that drives your decision. If you only have a few workers, you may be fine with a smaller Internet circuit such as a 5 or 10 megabyte. If you have many employees who need to use the web at the same time, you may do better with more.
Do your employees primarily use an intranet system? If so, you may not need much high-speed Internet service. On the other hand, Internet speed becomes dramatically more important when they are required to regularly download things like documents or videos.
Are you performing backups? 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.
Do you use a file sharing service like Google drive or DropBox? As a file is saved, it is pushed to the cloud and then synced back to other people’s computers. You need to have sufficient bandwidth to support this function while also supporting every other service.
Depending on where you are, you may want to look into high-speed business Internet access such as Metro Ethernet and gigabit Internet. These are typically found in “lit buildings” in Palo Alto. Providers have already wired these buildings. It may be shock you to know that installing high-speed Internet access may not be particularly expensive or inconvenient.
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. Depending on availability, it is often possible to obtain high-speed access to The Internet with Metro Ethernet or gigabit Internet in 30 days or less.
Do you have your own company 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? Does your office host the point of sale (POS) system for every single store in a large retail chain? Are you a legal practice hosting the data for three locations?
When data and programs are hosted centrally at one main site, people outside that location must gain access. If the net connection is interrupted, those people cannot get their work done. Are you picking an intranet solution that provides reliability and stability for your multiple, simultaneous connections from various locations?
A cable modem or fairly cheap 10-megabyte circuit may be enough in certain scenarios. For example, these may meet the needs of a single office surfing the web. For the headquarters, high-speed access to The Internet including Metro Ethernet, gigabit Ethernet or other high-speed dedicated circuits is advisable. High-speed alone is not enough. They must also need to be capable of supporting many diverse connections. A cable modem would probably not be enough.
Utilizing a cable modem or other less expensive circuit may seem like a good option but can result in unexpected cost. There may be a lower monthly rate, but bandwidth is usually shared with many tenants. During peak hours, your connection may slow down, even though you subscribe to a cable modem with a thirty-megabyte connection. Often, within a given community, cable companies may only deliver a particular amount of bandwidth. That bandwidth branches off to different buildings and then to various tenants within those buildings. While you may be capped at thirty-megabyte speed, will you ever reach that speed during business hours? Is it a problem if you get a quarter or even half of the speed you expected?
You can sign up for dedicated and guaranteed bandwidth from some providers. In this case, your business receives full allocation of bandwidth. There is no sharing with any outsiders. Notwithstanding the existence of tenants, offices or buildings in the area, you should have the full capability of your circuits at all times.
With Metro Ethernet, for example, you can receive a guaranteed bandwidth in various increments including 5 and 10 Meg circuits, and 50 and 100 Meg circuits. Want to reach gigabit speeds? You can by using 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.
While certain providers offer superior Internet bandwidth products in Palo Alto, the reality is that it is possible for a circuit to go down. In what way can you diminish the risk of an outage?
Redundant circuits may be the answer for you.
There are, in essence, two types of redundancy.
With the first type of redundancy, you receive multiple circuits from the same carrier. In this situation, the redundancy helps protect you from port issues or physical line issues. It is possible for both circuits to go down. If your carrier has a regional problem like a widespread outage, or there is a broken line outside your building, even your redundant circuits may fail. There is some protection that comes with this but there is risk as well.
The second way to set up circuit redundancy is by using two different carriers to bring in 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. In fact, they are totally redundant and separate. Diversity redundancy provides greater assurance, comfort and protection. Should one carrier have some trouble that extends to a greater area and is out of your control, you are backed up with a different carrier.
To maximize the benefit of redundancy, consider looking for redundant circuits from different providers that have different pathway in Palo Alto, California. Essentially, this just means that you do not want both of your circuits to enter the building on the same side. They should come in on different sides. The circuits would be attached to telephone poles (or underground conduits) in different directions leading to different data centers or central offices. In this way you have redundancy in different physical directions. If there is an event that causes a regional circuit problem, you have an alternative that is unaffected.
While access to The Internet is not free, it pales in comparison with the cost of not having reliable Internet access. Think about the following situations:
You are on a cable modem with the carrier providing circuits to 14 other tenants in your building. Any of these tenants may be taking many calls, conducting huge downloads or streaming video during your regular office hours. As available bandwidth shrinks, what will happen to your calls? What happens to the strength and quality of that call? Are the calls going to be dropped? Will you sound muffled?
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. Whether you have 2 locations, 250, or 2000, they all count on your primary Internet connection to retrieve data and information. How will you be affected if your circuit goes down? Would it annoy you or destroy you? Is work even possible at your other sites? Can they take or process any orders at all? Disseminate needed information and data? Make sure you completely understand your needs before you pick a solution. What if you are a software company? Perhaps you are running a hosted solution and it must be used by multiple customers; maybe even hundreds. Maybe you offer a service that allows other systems use an application program interface (API) to communicate with you to collect information and data. What if these other systems have difficulty connecting your servers? Multiple outages may annoy your customers.
Your organization is entirely Internet based. No calls can go out if your circuits fail. Your representatives would also be unable to answer calls. You are essentially out of organization. While many of the most reputable call centers are already aware and using the advantages of redundancy, is it sufficiently meeting their needs? Are your carriers sufficiently reliable? Is the quality of service sufficient for your calls to be clear and reliable?
You have no shortage of options. The needs and budget of your company will both affect your choices. To summarize:
If you are a small company, 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. Is your building lit? If so, find out about gigabit or Metro Ethernet services. They may be reasonably priced options. 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.
If you have a midsized company in Palo Alto, you will need higher-speed Internet access. You have several choices. Consider the following: Gigabit Internet, Metro Ethernet or higher-speed Internet access circuits. Ideally, multiple circuits from multiple providers will provide you with the greatest redundancy. You may be able to achieve this in a manner that will not break the bank. Using one 100-megabyte circuit instead of two 50-megabyte circuits, is one example. To repeat, availability and prices vary. Learn your options by speaking with one of our knowledgeable experts. We can help you determine what is available in your specific location.
Companies with multiple locations are most at risk for failure. They need redundant circuits. Multiple providers or carriers are recommended. You can increase redundancy with switches or routers. Having redundant equipment can also minimize risk. Take a careful look at Ethernet access services, Metro Ethernet providers and gigabit Internet providers. Research other high-speed access to The web circuit providers also and make an informed decision. Finding the best combination of services, providers and equipment can go a long way toward helping your organization run as efficiently as possible.
If you fall into this group, you must have Metro Ethernet, gigabit Internet circuits and point-to-point High-speed Internet circuits. In order to maximize and protect your uptime, you must have redundancy. You should have redundant circuits from multiple carriers in addition to redundant hardware. Spikes or sudden increase in usage can result in Internet slowdowns or disruptions in service. You can decrease the risk of these events by having sufficient bandwidth. The hardware and circuits you choose must both be able to support the following: a great number of concurrent, speedy connections.
Do you understand how great the risk of failing circuits and insufficient bandwidth really is? You must select the single circuit or multiple circuits that can meet your demands and stay within your budget. The pressure involved in selecting the proper mix of hardware and circuits can be overwhelming.
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. After reviewing your current usage and demand levels, we are going to generate a cost effective plan that provides your organization with the resources it needs.
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. It can take less than 48 hours to complete your assessment.