Because of today’s environment, companies in St. Louis, Missouri count on the web. Reliable access to the internet is the lifeblood of their business. Fortune 500 companies to small businesses and everything in between, count on reliable and fast access to The net.
access to The net will become increasingly crucial to us in the coming months and years. Our dependence on access to The Internet will only grow as time goes on.
From email to data sharing, video chat to VoIP, and data archiving to Internet commerce, the net is ubiquitous. What do you need? Will a cable modem be adequate? Your needs may point to Metro Ethernet as a solution. Gigabit Internet? Will your St. Louis company needs be met with a 50 Meg circuit, a 5 Meg circuit, 10 Meg access to The Internet or 100 Meg access to The net point?
Before selecting the appropriate service, your organization must assess its needs. Perhaps the net is only used for a few things such as email communication or surfing the web. Is it used to network with cloud servers? Are you hosting the data in St. Louis, Missouri that remote sites depend upon?
What if your high-speed Internet is disrupted by an outage? What will happen to your organization? Can your company afford a long pause or lull in productivity? Does your company require uptime? Before you buy anything, you must answer these questions.
It is no secret that all companies need high-speed access to the internet. An analysis of the costs and benefits should be done prior to choosing the broadband that is correct for your organization. While many service providers throw around terminologies such as:
… the real issue is understanding what capability and technical solutions best meet your needs.
Companies in St. Louis need access to the web for their employees. Some companies may need it only for a few people and others may need it for the entire workforce. Whether it is for organization research, to order supplies or to use third-party applications, the internet is required.
The number of workers you employ, may be the most important factor in your decision making process. 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 internet at the same time, you may do better with more.
Your workforce may simply use an intranet system with limited video and graphics. If this is true, your need for high speed Internet be less than you thought. When they are frequently downloading things, whether documents, graphics or videos, however, speed is necessary for efficient job performance.
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.
Does your company require employees to share files using a service like Google drive or DropBox? 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.
Your organization location may cause you to think about high-speed business access to The Internet such as Metro Ethernet and/or gigabit Internet. They are commonly found in “lit buildings” in St. Louis, Missouri that have already been wired by a carrier. Adding this high-speed Internet to your office may be surprisingly affordable and easy.
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. Metro Ethernet or gigabit Internet may provide you with high-speed access to The web in thirty days or less, depending on availability.
Do you have your own business 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 sites?
When things are hosted at a central point, parties outside the office must somehow gain access. People can’t work if you have no Internet connection. 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 business with just one or two people surfing the web, a less expensive 10 Meg circuit or a cable modem may meet your needs. Metro Ethernet, gigabit Ethernet or other high-speed dedicated circuits is advisable for the headquarters where high-speed Internet access is important. All offer quick speed but they must also be able to support diverse and multiple connections. Do you think a cable modem is sufficient? It is probably not.
In many scenarios, bringing in an inexpensive circuit, such as a cable modem, comes at a price. 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. Cable companies are known to limit or predetermine the amount of bandwidth available for delivery in any particular community. That amount of bandwidth must be shared with different buildings and with the tenants housed within. While you may be capped at thirty-megabyte speed, will you ever reach that speed during company hours? Do you care if you only get 6 when you were set up to expect 30?
Some providers offer customers dedicated and guaranteed bandwidth. In this case, your organization receives full allocation of bandwidth. There is no sharing with any outsiders. 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.
As an example, look at Metro Ethernet. They provide guaranteed bandwidth in various increments. You can receive guaranteed bandwidth in increments of 100, 50, 10 and 5 megabytes. You can reach gigabit speeds with gigabit Internet providers.
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.
Despite outstanding Internet bandwidth products offered by carriers in St. Louis, circuits do go down. What can you do to minimize the chance that you will experience an outage of some kind?
Consider redundant circuits.
Essentially, there are two different ways to look at 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. If your carrier experiences a regional outage or you have a line broken outside of your building, you may lose the use of all of your circuits. There is some protection that comes with this but there is risk as well.
Utilizing circuits from two different providers is the second kind of redundancy. By using IP address allocations and certain routers, you can bind your connections. By doing this, it appears and behaves as a single circuit. In reality, they are completely separate and redundant to each other. Diversity redundancy provides greater assurance, comfort and protection. You will still have a live, fully functioning carrier if one fails.
For maximum redundancy, you should look for redundant circuits from different providers with different physical geographic pathways in St. Louis. Basically this means that you want your circuits to enter your building on different sides or paths. The circuits would be attached to telephone poles (or underground conduits) in different directions leading to different data centers or central offices. What if there is some kind of catastrophic incident such as a fire or accident that impacts circuits within a region? Now, you have redundancy in an alternative physical direction.
Although Internet access comes at a price, the price of unreliable access to The net is tremendous. Contemplate these situations:
You are on a cable modem with the carrier providing circuits to 14 other tenants in your building. It is possible that during normal business hours, those tenants might be downloading large files or watching continuous videos. They might be getting a lot of phone calls. As available bandwidth shrinks, what will happen to your calls? What happens to the quality of that phone call? Will calls be arbitrarily dropped? Will your voice be inaudible? Will you have difficulty hearing the other end?
Regardless of whether you are part of a legal practice and your firm does file sharing, or an accounting practice sharing databases, your office is the central point or hub of your organization. All of your offices, whether you have 3 or 3, 000, rely on your primary Internet connection to successfully access data. How will you be affected if your circuit goes down? Is it simply an irritation or a catastrophe? Are remote offices able to work at all? Process or take new orders? Circulate necessary data? Picking the right a solution can be difficult. Before doing so, be sure you fully understand your requirements. You might have hundreds and hundreds of loyal customers. Perhaps you are a software company running a hosted solution they all count on. You may operate a service like this: other systems talk to yours via an API to figure out freight prices, stock prices, to compile weather data or receive any other information that you provide. What will happen when there is a problem connecting to your servers? Will your customers remain loyal to you if they have to withstand multiple outages?
What if your company could not function at all without the net? Maybe your company depends on it completely. If your circuits go down, you cannot make calls. Calls coming in would be unanswerable. You might not even know people are trying to reach your office. You are now officially out of business. Is redundancy enough? Are you really getting the dependable service you need form your providers? Are you using providers that are truly reliable? Are you getting quality service so that your calls are clear and consistent?
It should be clear by now that you have many different options to select from. Your business needs and budgets will drive your decisions. To recap:
If you are a small business, with just one location and not concerned about redundancy, a single five meg, 10 meg or 50 meg Internet access circuit may be sufficient. Metro Ethernet service or gigabit service may also be a reasonably priced option if you are in a lit building. 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 company.
If you have a midsized company in St. Louis, you will need higher-speed Internet access. Gigabit Internet, Metro Ethernet and other higher speed Internet circuits are options to consider. Using different circuits and different providers will, if you choose, provide you with redundancy. Achieving this may cost extra but it won’t double your costs. Using one 100-megabyte circuit instead of two 50-megabyte circuits, is one example. 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.
What companies have the highest risk for failure; those with multiple places. They require redundant circuits. Multiple providers would be great. Additionally, you should consider redundant equipment (routers and switches) in your facility to minimize the risk of downtime. Here too, take a careful look and choose the right Ethernet access services, Metro Ethernet providers, gigabit Internet providers and other high-speed access to The Internet circuit providers. Your company can benefit from finding the right mix of services and providers.
Companies such as these require the following: Metro Ethernet, gigabit Internet and point-to-point (PPP) high-speed Internet circuits. You absolutely need redundant circuits from different providers as well as redundant hardware. This is important to ensuring uptime. 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. 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. It is imperative that the circuit or circuits you choose meet your needs but also keep you within your allowable budget. It is vital to choose the correct mix of hardware and circuits. Figuring out exactly what to put in the mix, can be a daunting task.
We have engineers that will analyze your needs, look at your company requirements and develop an action plan for you… for free!Our experts will examine your current usage and demand. We will then generate a design that gives you the resources you need while keeping your organization up and running at a reasonable cost.
Please click here to complete the contact form on the right side of this page or call our office to schedule an appointment for an assessment. We do assessments quickly. It can take as little as 48 hours to complete your analysis.