In today’s world, San Francisco companies need dependable Internet access. It is the lifeblood of their organization. Fast and reliable Internet access is needed for companies to function properly; large corporations and small businesses alike.
Our dependence on access to The net will continue to grow in the coming months and years.
From email to data sharing, video chat to VoIP, and data archiving to Internet commerce, the Internet is ubiquitous. How can your needs be met? Is a cable modem enough? It could be that you need Metro Ethernet. Is Gigabit Internet right for you? A 5 Meg Internet circuit, 10 Meg access to The Internet, a 50 Meg circuit, or a 100 Meg Internet access point: what is right for your company in San Francisco, California?
Before selecting the appropriate service, your business must assess its needs. Is the net primarily used for emailing or web surfing? Will real-time data connection with servers in the cloud be the primary use of the web? Are you hosting the data in San Francisco, California that remote locations rely upon?
What if there is an outage and your high-speed Internet is interrupted? How much downtime can your company withstand? Is uptime essential? These types of questions must be answered before you make purchase anything.
It is no secret that all 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 internet. You will hear service providers use terms like:
… you must not lose sight of the real issue, which is understanding what technical solutions best meet your needs.
Most companies in San Francisco require that some or all of their workers have access to the net. access to The net 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. An Internet circuit of 5 -10 megabytes might be enough for your business if you only have a few people working for you. If your business has nearly 50 people, however, and they all need to use the web at the same time, you may find that more is better.
Perhaps most workers at your company use an intranet system with limited features. High- speed Internet may not be a priority in this case. When employees are often downloading images, videos and documents, however, the need for speed increases significantly.
Does your organization regularly conduct backups? 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 Google drive, DropBox or another file sharing service? As people save files, those files are pushed to the cloud and then synchronized back to other people’s computers. Enough bandwidth is required to support this function along with every other service.
Depending on where you are, you may want to look into high-speed organization Internet access such as Metro Ethernet and gigabit Internet. “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.
Absent the need to introduce Metro Ethernet into a new building, it is not particularly costly to connect Metro Ethernet to a suite or office within that building. Did you know that obtaining high-speed access to The net with Metro Ethernet or gigabit Internet can often take 30 days or less? Of course, this depends upon availability.
Does your company host its own servers? Does your company use the hosted servers to run data feeds, APIs or websites for offices or businesses located elsewhere? Do fifty or so branch offices need access to a hosted application at your company headquarters? Is your company retail? Do you have thousands of stores? Do you host the point of sale system for the entire chain? Are you a legal practice hosting the data for three places?
Access to data and programs by people outside of your main location becomes necessary when you host information centrally. If your Internet connection goes down, those people are unable to work. Make sure that when you choose your intranet solution it is reliable enough to support your need for multiple and simultaneous connections for many different places.
For one office or a small organization with just one or two people surfing the web, a less expensive 10 Meg circuit or a cable modem may meet your needs. Company headquarters should have high-speed Internet access such as gigabit Ethernet, Metro Ethernet or some other high-speed dedicated circuit. 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.
Bringing in a cable modem, which seems to save money, may actually come at a price. Oftentimes, a lower monthly rate comes with the realization that you are sharing bandwidth with many different tenants and offices. If you subscribe to a cable modem with a 30-megabyte connection, you would expect to always be able to reach that high speed. However, it is possible that during peak hours, you won’t. Often, within a given community, cable companies may only deliver a particular amount of bandwidth. Different buildings and tenants housed or working within those buildings all share that set amount of bandwidth. With a 30-megabyte connection, you may not get to that speed during the working day. Will there be trouble if your expectation is set at 30 but you only get 8 or 10?
There are providers who offer dedicated and even guaranteed bandwidth. With these options, bandwidth is yours. It is not shared with anyone outside of your business. The presence of numerous buildings and tenants should have no effect on your speed. You should receive full capacity of your circuits no matter what the time of day.
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 cases, the carriers deliver high-speed to the building in sufficient quantity that they can then split their circuit to various tenants while guaranteeing each tenant is receiving their contracted speeds.
Realistically, while some carriers in San Francisco, California 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?
The answer is redundant circuits.
There are two types of redundancy to consider.
The first is where you get multiple circuits from one carrier. Redundant circuits can help protect against certain problems. They can mitigate the inconveniences when there is a failure of a physical line or a problem with the port into your router. 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. There is some protection that comes with this but there is risk as well.
Circuit redundancy can also be achieved in the following way: Import circuits using two different and distinct providers. 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. While circuit redundancy in general is a good idea, diversity redundancy by using different carriers, offers far better protection. When one carrier has a problem like an outage or some other failure, you have another one that works.
You should look for redundant circuits from providers in San Francisco that do not have the same physical geographic pathways, in order to get the most redundancy. Alternatively stated, try to have your circuits enter the building on different sides from one another. Whether they are attached underground or to a telephone pole, your goal should be to have the circuits in different directions leading to different central sites. Having redundancy in different physical directions can protect you if there is a serious incident at a data center or some accident that causes a regional circuit issue.
The cost of dependable access to The net pales in comparison to the cost of unreliable access. Consider these scenarios:
If your organization utilizes a cable modem, consider whether your carrier is providing circuits for multiple other tenants within the building. Any of these tenants may be taking many calls, conducting huge downloads or streaming video during your regular office hours. As they use more bandwidth, there is less for available for your needs. What will happen to your phone calls? How will the caliber of the call be affected? Maybe calls will randomly drop? Will they be full of static?
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 responsible for granting access to data to all of your sites. This is true whether you have 3 locations or 2000 locations. What happens if your circuit goes down? Will it cause disastrous results of just annoy you a little bit? Can meaningful work be conducted at your remote offices? Can they process transactions or new orders? Share essential data? Before choosing a solution, be sure to assess and really understand what your company requires. Maybe your software company runs a hosted solution. Maybe that hosted solution is used by hundreds of your customers. Maybe you operate a service that allows other systems to communicate with yours via API. This may be to collect miscellaneous data, calculate prices or shipping rates or other information. It is possible they will not be able to connect to your servers. Customers will only take so many repeated outages. How long with they remain with your company?
Your business is entirely Internet based. No outbound calls can be made should your circuits go down. No calls could be answered either. Looks like you are now out of company. For competent call centers that already use and understand the problems that can arise, is redundancy enough? Make sure your providers are as reliable as possible. Is the quality of service sufficient? Are your calls clear and reliable?
You have no shortage of options. Your choices will largely rely on your budget, in addition to the other requirements of your organization. To summarize:
If you have one location or office and do not feel the need to consider redundancy for your system, a smaller Internet access circuit may be all you need. A single fifty, ten or five megabyte circuit might be enough. Find out if you are in a lit building. If so, the price of Metro Ethernet or gigabit service may be affordable. Prices will vary. They are based on your location and circuit availability; speak with our engineers to learn your best options.
If you have a midsized business in San Francisco, you will need higher-speed Internet access. Metro Ethernet, gigabit Internet and other higher-speed Internet circuits are your options. Optimally, multiple providers and multiple circuits will give you the most redundancy. It is sometimes possible to reach this without adding ridiculous costs. Two 50-megabyte circuits may be more cost effective than a single 100 circuit. Do not forget that you will find variations in price and availability. Call one of our experts to learn what is available in your specific area.
Companies with multiple places are most at risk for failure. They need redundant circuits. Multiple providers are highly desirable. You can decrease risk during downtime by having redundant equipment as well. 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. 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 crucial to ensuring uptime. The last thing you want is interruptions or slowdowns affecting your company. You must provide enough bandwidth to avoid these pitfalls that sometimes occur during sudden usage spikes. Having both your hardware and your circuits capable of supporting many different, fast, and simultaneous connections is essential. It cannot be one or the other.
Do not risk having failing circuits or not enough bandwidth. Your demand and budget constraints should both be considered when you decide what circuit or combination of circuits you must have. Choosing the right combination of hardware and circuits can be complicated and confusing.
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 will 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. It can take as little as 48 hours to provide a complete assessment.