In today’s environment, companies in Waterloo rely on reliable access to The web as the lifeblood of their company. All companies, large and small, need fast and reliable Internet access.
Our dependence on Internet access will continue to grow in the coming months and years.
The use of the internet is pervasive. We use it for email and data sharing, video conferencing and VOIP, archiving and commerce. What is the right solution for your needs? Will a cable modem be sufficient? Metro Ethernet? Would Gigabit Internet suffice? What is best for your company in Waterloo, Iowa? Will your business needs be met with a 50 Meg circuit, a 5 Meg circuit, 10 Meg access to The Internet or 100 Meg Internet access point?
The needs of your particular company must be determined before you can select an appropriate service. 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 net? Perhaps you, in Waterloo, are hosting the data and remote locations rely upon this.
What if there is an outage and your high-speed Internet is interrupted? Can your company afford a long pause or lull in productivity? Is uptime required? Ask yourself these questions before making any purchases. The answers will help you determine what is right for you.
It is no secret that all companies need high-speed access to the internet. When picking the correct broadband, balancing the costs and benefits to your company is imperative. Don’t be distracted by terminology. While you may hear providers throw out words and phrases like:
… the real issue is understanding what capability and technical solutions best meet your needs.
At most businesses including those in Waterloo, some or all employees need access to The net. It may be needed for company research, to order office supplies or other reasons.
The best solution may rely on how many employees you have. If you have a smaller workforce, you may do fine with a smaller Internet circuit. For example, if you only employ a handful of people, a 5 or 10 Meg circuit may meet your needs. 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, Internet speed becomes dramatically more important when they are required to regularly download things like documents or videos.
Do you routinely backup? 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.
Organization high-speed access to The web may interest you. Depending on your location, you may have options such as gigabit Internet or Metro Ethernet. They are usually contained in “lit buildings” in Waterloo, Iowa that have already been wired by a carrier. It may be shock you to know that installing high-speed access to The web may not be particularly expensive or inconvenient.
If you have to bring Metro Ethernet into a new building, it can be expensive but bringing that connection to an office or suite within the building is usually not. In fact, in as little as 30 days, you may be able to obtain high-speed access to the web with either gigabit Internet or Metro Ethernet. It depends upon availability.
Your business may host its own servers. Do they run websites APIs or data feeds for external offices? Do fifty or so branch offices need access to a hosted application at your company headquarters? Are you a retail business with 10, 000 stores? Do you host the POS system for all of them? Are you a law firm? Do you host data for three or more external sites?
Granting access to outsiders is necessary when you host data and programs at a central location. For those people, no Internet connection means no work gets done. Are you picking an intranet solution that provides reliability and stability for your multiple, simultaneous connections from various sites?
The needs of an office with one employee web surfing may not need more than a cable modem or an inexpensive 5-10 megabyte circuit. For the headquarters, high-speed access to The Internet including Metro Ethernet, gigabit Ethernet or other high-speed dedicated circuits is advisable. High speed is important but they also must be able to support multiple distinct connections. This could probably not be accomplished with a cable modem.
In some situations, there is a high price to pay for bringing in an inexpensive circuit or cable modem. Oftentimes, a lower monthly rate comes with the realization that you are sharing bandwidth with many different tenants and offices. It is possible that you have a cable modem with a 30 Meg connection but cannot reach proper speeds during peak hours. Many cable operators can only deliver a certain amount of bandwidth in a community. That amount of bandwidth must be shared with different buildings and with the tenants housed within. While you may be capped at a 30 Meg speed, you may never be able to reach that speed during business hours. Do you care if you only get 6 when you were set up to expect 30?
Other carriers do offer dedicated and guaranteed bandwidth. In this scenario, the bandwidth is fully allocated to you and your company or business. No one else uses it. Notwithstanding the existence of tenants, offices or buildings in the area, you should have the full capability of your circuits at all times.
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. You can reach gigabit speeds with gigabit Internet providers.
In these scenarios, carriers 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 Waterloo, Iowa even though certain providers offer superior Internet bandwidth products. What can you do to minimize the chance that you will experience an outage of some kind?
The answer is redundant circuits.
There are, in reality, two kinds of redundancy.
A single carrier, providing multiple circuits, to one customer, characterizes one form of redundancy. In this situation, the redundancy helps protect you from port issues or physical line issues. If that carrier has a wide reaching outage or there is a line broken or damaged outside of your building, both circuits may go down. This offers some protection and assurance but does not eliminate all threats.
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. In fact, they are totally redundant and separate. Diversity redundancy offers far greater 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 Waterloo. In other words, try to obtain circuits entering the building from different sides of the building. Ideally, the circuits will be going in different directions and toward various central company spaces or data centers. 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.
Although Internet access comes at a price, the price of unreliable Internet access is tremendous. Consider 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? Any of these tenants may be taking many calls, conducting huge downloads or streaming video during your regular office hours. How will your telephone calls be affected as the amount of available bandwidth decreases? How will it affect the quality of that telephone call? Will you lose calls? Will the calls be choppy?
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. What will happen in the event of a circuit failure? Would it annoy you or destroy you? Can your satellite offices perform any work at all? What about new orders? Circulate necessary data? Choosing the right solution depends largely on assessing and understanding the specific needs of your business. Maybe you are a corporation that designs and sells software and you run a hosted solution that is used by hundreds and hundreds of customers. 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? How will repeated outages affect your customers? Will they remain customers?
Does your organization completely rely on the internet? Should your circuits go down, your representatives cannot make outbound calls. No calls could be answered either. Looks like you are now out of organization. For competent call centers that already use and understand the problems that can arise, is redundancy enough? Make sure your carriers are as reliable as possible. Is the quality of service sufficient? Are your calls clear and reliable?
Obviously, there are a variety of choices. Your decision will be based on different factors including your business needs and your budget. To recap:
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 Internet circuit of 5, 10 or 50 meg. Gigabit service and Metro Ethernet options seem expensive. If you are in a lit building, however, they can be less than you think. Look into it. Prices vary based on your location and availability of circuits; speak with our engineers to find your best option.
If you have a midsized business in Waterloo, you will need higher-speed access to The web. You may choose between gigabit Internet or Metro Ethernet. You may also look into other higher-speed Internet circuits. Ideally, you want to have the greatest redundancy. You can achieve this by using multiple circuits from different carriers. Achieving this may not be as costly as you first thought. For example, choosing two 50 meg circuits versus one 100 meg circuit. 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 different places, whether 5 or 50, are at the highest risk. Redundancy is crucial. Multiple providers would be great. Also, redundant equipment such as switches and routers in your facility can 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 net circuit providers. Finding the best combination of services, providers and equipment can go a long way toward helping your company 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. If you want to ensure your valuable uptime, have redundant circuits from multiple carriers as well as 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. Your goal is to have hardware and circuits that are more than capable of providing support to a significant number of fast and simultaneous connections.
Do not risk having failing circuits or not enough bandwidth. You need to have the right circuit or circuits to meet your demands while staying within your budget. Selecting the appropriate mix of circuits and hardware can overwhelm you.
Our engineers can help. We’ll analyze your requirements and needs and create a free action plan for you. Our experts will examine your current usage and demand. We’ll then generate a design that gives you the resources you need while keeping your company 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 can often provide assessments within 48 hours.