These days, companies in Shoreline rely on reliable Internet access as the lifeblood of their business. Fortune 500 companies to small businesses and everything in between, depend on reliable and fast access to The Internet.
In the months and years ahead, people and businesses will become more reliant on internet access.
From video conferencing to voice over IP, email to data sharing and data archiving to Internet commerce, the net is everywhere you look. What is the best solution for you? Is a cable modem enough? Maybe you need Metro Ethernet. Is Gigabit Internet right for you? Does your business in Shoreline, Washington need one of these: 10 Meg Internet access, a 100 Meg access to The net point, a 50 meg circuit or a 5 meg circuit?
The needs of your particular organization must be determined before you can select an appropriate service. Are surfing the web and sending email the only uses of the internet? Will real-time data connection with servers in the cloud be the primary use of the internet? Are you hosting data in Shoreline? Do remote sites rely on you?
What happens to your company if your high-speed Internet experiences an outage? How much downtime can your company withstand? Is the absence of uptime detrimental? You must answer questions like these so you can make a purchase that actually meets your needs
It is no secret that all companies need high-speed access to the net. Choosing the correct broadband for your organization requires a cost benefit analysis. Many service providers toss out terms such as:
… be sure not to forget what capability and technical solutions meet your business’s specific needs.
For many, if not all, companies in Shoreline, Washington, access to The Internet is needed for at least some employees. It may be needed for business research, to order office supplies or other reasons.
The best solution may depend upon how many employees you have. A smaller Internet circuit may be enough if you only have a handful of workers. Perhaps a 5 or 10 megabyte is all you need. If you have many employees who need to use the net at the same time, you may do better with more.
High-speed Internet may become less important if the majority of your employees primarily use an intranet system with limited graphics and video. 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 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.
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. In order to ensure that all of your functions work properly, in addition to file sharing, you must have sufficient bandwidth.
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. Choosing to add high-speed Internet to your office is a tough decision but it can be less expensive and easier than 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 web with Metro Ethernet or gigabit Internet can often take 30 days or less? Of course, this depends upon availability.
Do you have your own organization servers that run APIs, websites or feeds for offsite offices or companies? Is your main company office with a hosted application accessed by 40 or even 50 branch office sites? Are you hosting the point of sale (POS) system for 15, 000 retail chain stores? Does your legal practice host all of the data for 3, 4 or 5 offices in different locations?
When things are hosted at a central point, parties outside the office must somehow gain access. If your Internet connection goes down, those people are unable to work. When deciding on the right intranet solution for your company, ask yourself: Is the solution going to adequately support simultaneous and multiple connections from my different 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 Internet access including Metro Ethernet, gigabit Ethernet or other high-speed dedicated circuits is advisable. While fast Internet access is and important, they must also have the capability to handle assorted simultaneous connections. A cable modem would likely not provide the necessary support.
Bringing in a less-expensive circuit like a cable modem often comes with a price. Your low monthly bill may mean that the bandwidth is shared among multiple tenants. 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. Buildings, offices and tenants within the buildings all must share that amount of bandwidth, whatever it may be. 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?
Some providers are available who offer dedicated bandwidth and guaranteed bandwidth. With these, bandwidth belongs to you and your company only; no sharing. The full capacity of your circuit should be attainable during all hours regardless of neighboring buildings, people or offices.
For example, with Metro Ethernet, you can receive a guaranteed bandwidth in increments of five Meg circuits, 10 Meg circuits, 50 Meg circuits and 100 Meg circuits. If you want to reach gigabit speeds from your organization out to the internet, you can by using a gigabit Internet provider.
In these scenarios, providers deliver a large quantity of high-speed to a building. The quantity must be enough so that it can split the circuit and deliver to every tenant. Whatever amount has been guaranteed in each tenant’s contract is the amount they receive.
Circuits can go down in Shoreline even though certain carriers offer superior Internet bandwidth products. In what way can you diminish the risk of an outage?
The answer is redundant circuits.
We are primarily talking about two kinds of redundancy.
The first is where you get multiple circuits from one carrier. 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 security in this, you are still vulnerable under some circumstances.
Bringing in circuits using two distinct carriers is the second form of circuit redundancy. 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. But, you know that they are actually separate and redundant. While circuit redundancy in general is a good idea, diversity redundancy by using different providers, offers far better protection. If one carrier has a problem, the other likely will not.
The providers you choose for your redundant circuits should have different physical pathways in Shoreline. 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 attached underground or to telephone poles, in various directions. The circuits would go 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.
Although Internet access comes at a price, the price of unreliable Internet access is tremendous. Contemplate these scenarios:
Is your company on a cable modem? How many other tenants is your carrier servicing in your building? Are 14 other offices getting circuits? During organization hours, any of those tenants could be streaming video, performing massive file downloads, processing large volumes of phone calls and more. As the amount of available bandwidth diminishes, what will happen to your phone calls? What about phone call quality? Are calls lost or dropped? Will the calls be choppy?
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. Every single one of your offices, stores and sites rely on you and your primary Internet connection to retrieve data. If your circuit goes done, what happens next? Is it just irritating? Is it going to cause tremendous problems? Can your satellite offices perform any work at all? What will happen to new orders? Can they be taken or processed? Circulate essential files and data? Do you know what your company needs? Be sure to fully understand your requirements. It will help you choose the correct solution. Perhaps you are a software company, running a hosted solution used by 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 prices, prices, or to collect information that you serve up? What if these other systems have difficulty connecting your servers? Customers will only take so many repeated outages. How long with they remain with your company?
Your company is completely dependent on the web. Your employees or representatives will not be able to make outgoing phone calls if your circuits go down. Your reps have no way of answering calls, if they even know they are coming in. Your company is basically done with. Even for the most reputable call centers that already know of and use redundancy, is it sufficient? Make sure your providers are as reliable as possible. Are you getting quality service so that your calls are clear and consistent?
Obviously, there are a variety of choices. Your decision will be based on different factors including your organization needs and your budget. To recap:
If you are a small organization, with one location and you do not worry about redundancy, one five meg, ten meg, or fifty meg access to The web circuit may very well be enough to meet your needs. For an office in a lit building, you may find that gigabit service or Metro Ethernet are affordable options for you. Speak with our engineers about what is right for you. Prices vary with location and circuit availability.
You have a mid-sized Shoreline company; higher speed access to The net required. Your choices include: Metro Ethernet, gigabit Internet or other high-speed circuits. In a perfect scenario, multiple circuits from different providers will give you the most redundancy. This may be attainable without doubling your 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. Call one of our experts to learn what is available in your specific area.
If your business has several locations or offices, you are at great risk for failure. Redundancy is crucial. Different carriers are desirable. Redundant routers, switches and other equipment can also be helpful to lessen downtime during a problem. Take a careful look at Ethernet access services, Metro Ethernet providers and gigabit Internet providers. Research other high-speed access to The Internet circuit providers also and make an informed decision. The right mix of carriers and services will help keep your company up and running 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. If you want to ensure your valuable uptime, have redundant circuits from multiple providers as well as redundant hardware. Having plenty of bandwidth will help avoid interruptions or decreased speed that sometimes occurs during spikes in usage. Your circuits and hardware must be able to support a large number of fast and simultaneous connections.
Your business faces great risk of less than adequate bandwidth and failing circuits. It is imperative that the circuit or circuits you choose meet your needs but also keep you within your allowable budget. It is important to choose the correct mix of hardware and circuits. Figuring out exactly what to put in the mix, can be a daunting task.
Our engineers will take the pressure off and develop a free action plan for you by analyzing your needs. We are going to 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.
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. We do assessments quickly. It can take as little as 48 hours to complete your analysis.