Friday, March 06, 2015

Upgrading to Fiber FAQ

By: John Shepler

The bandwidth solution you’ve had for years is running out of capacity. It’s worked well for you, but now you have no real choice but to upgrade to something faster, more reliable, lower latency, more consistent or all of the above. How about fiber? You’ve always had twisted pair copper or cable. Does fiber make more sense for the future and… can you afford it? Let’s look at some key questions and answers for making this decision.

Red Laser Starburst Stickers. Get some for yourself now!What Can Fiber Do That Copper Can’t?
The real beauty of fiber isn’t necessarily what it will do for you today. It’s the virtually unlimited upgradability down the road that is unique to fiber. Every copper technology runs out of capacity at some level. Technology advancements have expanded copper’s capability and extended its life. However, technology advancements have also expanded fiber capacity beyond what most of us can fathom needing.

I Have a T1 Line Now and Love It. Can’t I just Add Another T1?
You bet you can. The process is called bonding. It makes 2 T1 lines act like a single line with twice the bandwidth. You can bond T1 lines up to 10 or 12 Mbps, which is about the entry level for fiber. One limitation is that you have to get all your lines from the same provider to bond them. A more serious limitation is cost. You may find that 10 Mbps fiber is a lot less expensive than 10 Mbps bonded T1.

What About Ethernet over Copper?
EoC is a competing technology to T1 and uses the same twisted pair copper. You can get higher bandwidths at lower cost than T1, but the technology is distance sensitivity. For 10 to 50 Mbps, you need to be geographically close to the office supplying your service. For higher bandwidths, say 100 Mbps and up, it’s rare to find EoC available. At 1Gbps, it’s pretty much fiber all the way.

Don’t Cable Companies Offer Fiber Bandwidth over Cable?
Yes and no. Yes, you can get hundreds of Mbps, perhaps even Gbps, bandwidth over the same coaxial cable that brings in hundreds of TV channels. This is relatively inexpensive service, but it is a “shared” bandwidth that varies with the number of users online. It’s strictly Internet access, not private line, and has no performance guarantees. For demanding business operations, the Cable companies offer competitive fiber optic service using their core transmission networks. This grade of service is similar to what you get from telecom companies.

OK, But Isn’t Fiber Hard to Get?
Not any more. The first fiber technology, called SONET, is a telephone company product and has been both expensive and limited in availability. A newer technology called Ethernet over Fiber is offered by a wide array of competitive carriers, including many traditional suppliers. Nobody is building out copper plant anymore. It’s yesterday’s news. All of the new network construction is fiber and there is a race among carriers to capture the business market

Where is Fiber Available?
Ethernet over Fiber and SONET are both readily available in major metropolitan areas. Fiber is also often available in suburban areas and smaller cities. There is a big push right now to replace T1 lines with fiber to increase the bandwidth of cell towers from 3G to 4G and, eventually, 5G. That is extending metro fiber networks out into the countryside where they haven’t been before. Eventually, fiber will be everywhere.

What About Now? Where Can I Get Fiber?
Your best bet is to be located in an already “lit” building. That means the building has fiber optic service installed and operating. Once the terminal equipment is in place, adding another customer in the same location is trivially easy for the carriers. If you can’t be in a lit building, you’ll need to be near enough that construction costs are minimal. It’s those long distance runs that need new fiber installed that get expensive.

Note: A popular option for companies that find fiber construction costs too much to consider is to locate their high bandwidth equipment, such as servers, in a colocation data center where multiple fiber options are readily available.

So, Where Are These Lit Buildings?
Lit buildings and nearby fiber optic services can be easily located using the Telarus GeoQuote search engine. This is a tool specifically developed to quickly locate existing fiber services. You can find out in seconds what’s available in your area with no commitment.

Great, I’ve Found Fiber Service. Will It Cost a Fortune?
You may be shocked to find how affordable fiber optic service is today. This isn’t consumer grade FTTH (Fiber to the Home). It’s a business grade service that is installed at commercial locations. Bandwidth generally starts at 10 Mbps, which is the same speed as traditional Ethernet. If you’ve had your T1 line for many years and haven’t negotiated a lower priced contract, you may find that you can get 10 Mbps fiber for about the same price. Yes, you’ll pay more for Ethernet over Fiber than today’s T1 lines or low cost business cable broadband, but you can also expect higher performance.

How Much Bandwidth Makes Sense?
Many smaller businesses can get by with 10 Mbps Ethernet over Fiber. High tech or medium size operations will want 100 Mbps Fast Ethernet. Nowadays, Gigabit Ethernet is well within reason for companies that need highly responsive cloud applications or make extensive use of video. Municipalities and school districts often find that Gigabit Ethernet or GigE is exactly what they need at a reasonable price point.

How Easy Are Upgrades
Legacy T-Carrier (T1, T3) and SONET (OCx) services can take a long time to provision because each bandwidth level has a unique interface. Ethernet over Fiber is designed to be easily scalable. You install a port with the maximum speed you expect to need (usually 100 Mbps or 1 Gbps). Then you pick the bandwidth you want to start out with. Often a quick call to your provider is all it takes to increase or decrease bandwidth within hours or days. Some services even let you make the changes yourself through a Web browser.

What’s the Maximum Bandwidth Available?
It’s not likely you’ll ever run out. Gigabit Ethernet service is common. So is 10 Gbps now. In some locations you can get 100 Gbps business bandwidth. That level will become more widely available in the future, as more bandwidth intensive requirements demand it. If you are a really high bandwidth user or have special protocol or security requirements, you might consider wavelength service. Each fiber can carry dozens of wavelengths. Each wavelength transports up to 10 Gbps.

Are you interested in finding out what fiber optic service options are available for your business location and how much they cost? Get fast quotes with no obligation and complementary expert consulting to help choose the best option for your needs.

Click to check pricing and features or get support from a Telarus product specialist.

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Build Your Own World Wide Web

By: John Shepler

You love the World Wide Web… kind of. It’s a thing of beauty when you want to get information anywhere, anytime. It’s gets a lot less pretty when you are trying to share large files between offices, have high quality teleconferences, or interact with your applications as fast as you can. It gets down right ugly when your ISP crashes or gets so congested by people streaming high def video that you can barely get anything done. And then there are the security problems. You either have been hacked, are being hacked or will be hacked soon. Is this really the best one can hope for?

WWW of light network mouse pad. Get one for yourself or as a gift now.The Connectivity Conundrum
What would be ideal is to have the Internet all to yourself. Think of it. Only you, your valued customers and suppliers, and all of your business locations could use the network. Think of the performance! All that bandwidth and no competition. The network really would achieve that ideal of being transparent.

Of course, there is this little matter of not being able to access anything outside of your domain if you are the sole owner and user of the web. That’s not going to work. How will you do your banking, get to Wikipedia or buy and sell anything online?

No, you still need the Internet for connectivity to all the content out there and connections with other people. It would just be nice if you could split the Web in two. One side would be general public access. The other would be internal private communications only.

My Private Internet
Want the network all to yourself? Build your own! That may sound a bit nuts, but it’s how performance demanding companies have been doing it for decades. They sure don’t call it the Internet. That term refers to the Public Internet designed by the government and later made available to everyone. Instead, these “private Internets” are constructed using dedicated private lines.

A private line is just that. You order a point to point line service that connects directly from one location to another via a telecom service provider’s office. The only traffic on that line is what you put on it. The rest of the time it sits idle.

For point to point connections, a dedicated private line can’t be beat. You order all the bandwidth you need. There is minimal latency, jitter and packet loss because these are high performance copper and fiber telecom lines. You’ll recognize them as T1, DS3, OC3 to OC48, Ethernet over Copper and Ethernet over Fiber. In some locations private microwave or even laser line of sight wireless service is available.

Adding More Sites
What if you have more than two locations to connect? Simple. You order more private lines. You could have every location connect to every other location, but the cost of this goes up exponentially as you add sites. A more practical solution is to have each remote location connect to a central headquarters data center. That is where the switching and routing takes place to ensure that all locations can communicate.

Voila! You've just built your own private Internet, also called an Intranet. You now have the high performance, high security… and high cost of going it alone. It may well be worth it. With a Wide Area Network (WAN) under your control, you’ll be able to bypass the public switched telephone network for long distance calls between facilities and create your own private cloud that will be as response as if it was right down the hall.

Hackers getting into your servers? How are they going to do that when there is no outside connection? If your data is really, really sensitive, you can encrypt the transmissions between facilities to completely frustrate anyone who might “tap” the line.

Reducing Costs Without Losing Performance
Owning and managing a fleet of dedicated private lines and the infrastructure needed to route the packets gives you the ultimate in control, but it costs a pretty penny. Is there a way to get the same result cheaper without giving up the superior performance of this arrangement?

There is and it is a public/private hybrid called the Multi-Protocol Label Switching Network or MPLS Network. An MPLS network is a private “Internet” that someone has built with fiber optic connections to many cities and countries. The largest ones can connect hundreds or thousands of business sites worldwide. That’s just like the Public Internet, except that this one is privately run and serves only a limited number of paying customers. There is no access to the general public.

MPLS uses a proprietary protocol to route the data through the network. This makes it hard to hack because the usual IP snooping tools won’t work, especially if you encrypt your "last mile" connections. Any intruders looking to gain access to the core of the network will find that quite challenging compared to the Public Internet. For these reasons, MPLS Networks are called “virtually private” by the nature of their design.

No, this isn’t your own private network. There are many companies using the MPLS network at any given time. Unlike the Internet, the MPLS network is run with sufficient resources to offer each client as much bandwidth as they need with low latency, jitter and packet loss. You also have the option to create classes of service for your own data streams so that VoIP phone calls aren’t disrupted by large file transfers that aren’t so time critical.

You’ll Need Internet For a Complete Solution
MPLS networks sure sound like the closest approximation you can have to the Public Internet without all the limitations. Even with complete high performance connectivity among all your business locations, you are still missing a way to communicate with the general public and use all the resources of the World Wide Web. The answer? Take both.

You can set up two networks within your organization. MPLS for internal communications. Public Internet for going outside. You can manage the merger of this arrangement yourself, or turn it over to the MPLS operator. You still have private connectivity between locations, but you also have the Internet available as a separate data stream in its own class.

Have It Both Ways
That’s right. When you build your own World Wide Web you can have the best of both worlds. You have multiple classes of service that prioritize packets based on their criticality. Real time audio and video streams get the highest priority with critical business applications a close second. Your Internet access is lower on the list, with background activities like data backups to the cloud on the bottom rung.

All of this will be invisible to your employees. They’ll simply experience a high performance network that works extremely well for every application. They might even wonder what their peers at other companies are complaining about.

Would you like to investigate an improvement to your current Internet performance or a cost reduction to a privately run suite of dedicated private lines? Get expert recommendations and competitive cost quotes now. This may be more affordable than you think and well worth making the move.

Click to check pricing and features or get support from a Telarus product specialist.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Why Choose Dedicated Internet Access

By: John Shepler

The Internet has evolved from a curiosity to a utility. You would no sooner give up your Internet connection than you would turn off your electricity or heating. Yet, the Internet remains a frustration. The business advantages in using it are immense. If only that link was more stable and reliable. Well, it can be. Let’s see how.

Internet Access Desk Organizer. Get one for your desk now.Internet vs Internet
The Internet isn’t the same for everyone. Is that shocking, considering all the recent debate over net neutrality? We keep hearing that every Internet connection is just like every other one. So, how can it be that some users get better performance than others?

The highest performance of the Internet, which really is neutral, occurs on the network backbones. This is the extensive web of fiber optic cables that span the globe. These links feature high bandwidth with low latency.

Your connection up and down to the Internet backbone is another matter. One company’s traffic may not get prioritized over another’s, but there’s no law that says everybody has to get as much as they need whenever they need it. There are Internet connections and then there are Internet connections. They are definitely not all the same.

Cost vs Performance In The Last Mile
“The Last Mile” is the name of your connection to your Internet Service Provider. Note that you are connecting to a provider and not the Internet directly. Only the highest level of network operators, called Tier 1 networks, actually have direct connections with the Internet backbone. They also have arrangements called “peering” that mean they share traffic with each other on a no cost basis. Everybody else pays to get to the Internet.

What you are paying for is the cost of the actual fiber, copper wireline or wireless link from the ISP to your location plus another fee for access to the Internet. There is a huge variation in both price and performance in those last mile connections. As you might suspect, the least expensive options have compromises that might affect your operations.

What Affects Connection Performance?
There are various factors that come into play in the last mile. First is the nature of the link itself. It can be traditional twisted pair copper used for DSL or T1 lines, coaxial copper used by Cable companies, fiber optic strands, two-way satellite, point to point microwave, or 3G or 4G cellular.

Bandwidth is limited on copper infrastructure because the lines can only handle so much speed over distance. Cable has more available on coax. Any wireless technology is bandwidth limited, although the point to point microwave links can rival fiber if you have a direct line of sight between the provider and your building. Satellite and cellular are quite limited and generally have a monthly usage limit that you don’t see on wireline and fiber.

Satellite has a special issue regarding latency. The “bird” is parked in geosynchronous orbit and radio waves can only get up there and back down so fast. That results in hundreds of milliseconds of delay or latency that you can’t do anything to improve.

Another major effect comes from the way the line is used. It can either be for exclusive use, called dedicated, or it can be multiplexed among many users, called shared.

The Most Important Key to Better Internet Performance
You might think that dedicated vs shared is almost a moot point because the backbone of the Internet is inherently shared. That’s true and the reason why the highest performance option is to get off the Internet completely and use a dedicated point to point link between two locations. A direct connection to your cloud provider is an example. Another is a dedicated line between your own data centers.

What about connecting to other companies or the general public? That’s where the Internet is a must. In practice, you can make this work quite well with a judicious tradeoff of cost vs performance.

As long as you have enough bandwidth, you’ll see the most benefit by choosing dedicated over shared connections. The lower priced services are that way because they are shared. What the ISP does is buy a dedicated Internet connection and then use a multiplexer to allow dozens or hundreds of customers to access that connection at will. The cost of the ISP's dedicated connection is spread out among many users to offer a lower price.

Consumers aren’t going to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars a month on their own dedicated connections no matter what the performance improvement. Businesses have a choice. If you mostly use the Internet for email, browsing websites, and maybe backing up your PC to a cloud service, and low cost is critical to your budget, then something like business cable broadband can be your best compromise. This is especially true if what you are doing isn’t all that time critical.

Should You Go Dedicated?
Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) is generally the best tradeoff for most businesses between the high cost of a private line and the performance limitations of the Internet. You treat it like any other business expense. There is a value to be gained as well as a price to be paid. DIA minimizes the limitations of the last mile connection. DIA is even better if you can connect with a Tier 1 or Tier 2 Internet Service Provider. T1 lines work well in rural areas, Ethernet over Copper gives you more bandwidth in-town, and fiber is best of all.

Which type of Private Line or Internet Access is best for your business? Compare prices and performance from a number of service providers and get expert consultation now.

Click to check pricing and features or get support from a Telarus product specialist.

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Monday, February 09, 2015

The Cloud Needs Low Latency

By: John Shepler

It makes so much economic sense. Instead of getting a bank loan and making a major capital investment in your own server farm and data center, you simply contract with a cloud service provider and pay only for what you use when you use it. No more having to predict how business will be next year or even next quarter. You can roll with the punches with on-demand cloud services.

Cloud Computing Data Mouse Pad. Get one for yourself now.It Seems So Easy
The solution is deceptively simple. Clean out your current data center or don’t build one in the first place. Rent what you need from one of a myriad of cloud service providers. All you need is a simple link from your facilities to theirs and nobody on the network will know the difference. After all, how can they tell whether the servers are down the hall or across the country? Few users do anything but run the applications anyway.

The Hesitating Network
There’s an old saying that goes something like this: “On the network, the printer on the other side of the country is as close as the one in the next office.”

That’s an ideal. In reality it can either seem just that close or really a thousand miles away. The server three states over works the same as the one in the basement used to. Somehow, though, it’s developed a hesitation. You have to wait for the system to respond now. Worse, yet, that hesitation seems to vary. You really don’t know how the system is going to perform from one day to the next.

The Infinite Cloud That Isn’t
One used to be able to blame system performance lags on lack of resources. When everyone is running big jobs at the same time things slow down a bit. If you were clever, you tried to get your work done at odd hours before the thundering herd got to work or when they went to lunch. Let somebody else deal with the congestion. It’s the equivalent of drive-time traffic and no more fun.

That was one thing the cloud was supposed to fix. A major benefit of cloud data centers is that they have massive resources. Any given tenant can expand or contract the number of servers and the amount of storage they are using in real time. You aren’t supposed to run out of capacity ever. Yet, it seems like the cloud has less capability than you had before. How can that be possible?

The WAN Gotcha
One big thing that is often forgotten is that the printer in the next office and the one across the country have to be connected by something. That something is your WAN network connection. When all of your network resources were sitting on the LAN, the point was moot. There was plenty of capacity and the links were short enough that network performance just wasn’t an issue. You might say that the network became “transparent.”

Now, your network includes both the sporty LAN and metro and wide area connections that can be anything but sporty. In fact, they can be downright sluggish. That’s because there’s a difference between your local networks and the ones that run by telecom carriers. Local networks can be fairly easily engineered to have enough performance to appear transparent. That’s both harder and more expensive to do over long distances.

What’s Holding Back the WAN?
There are a few technical characteristics that spell the difference between transparent and not so transparent connections. These include bandwidth, latency, jitter and packet loss. You want to maximize the first and minimize the other three.

It’s tempting to jump to the conclusion that sluggish network performance is a result of too little capacity. When you start to use most of the available bandwidth most of the time, you can have periods of congestion where there are just too many packets to send down the line at the same time. Easy solution? Increase bandwidth. A double, triple or 10x bandwidth increase should solve the problem immediately… or will it?

One issue that no bandwidth increase can fix is latency. This is a time delay for packets to traverse the network. We think of electrical transmission being instantaneous from source to destination. At the local level, that’s a really good assumption. Once you leave the premises, though, even the speed of light may not be fast enough.

Minimizing Latency
Clearly, one way to minimize the time delay of transmission is to minimize the distance involved. Even at light speed, you can only go 186 miles in a millisecond. That’s 10 mSec for 1,860 miles. In fact, even that isn’t really possible. In real world glass fiber, you may be looking at more like 15 to 20 milliseconds one way or at least 40 milliseconds round trip. If you happen to be using a geosynchronous satellite link for part of the trip, that expands to a quarter to half a second.

Most applications aren’t going to be impacted by a 40+ millisecond delay, although half a second is definitely going to be noticeable and perhaps difficult to live with. This argues for using a terrestrial fiber link to the cloud (which is actually on the ground) and using the shortest path possible. A point to point dedicated private line is most likely the highest performance you can achieve. You may be able to get equivalent or nearly equivalent performance through a privately run MPLS network at a lower cost.

How About The Internet
Oh, yes, the Internet. It sounds like the ideal resource. It goes everywhere and connects everyone. The cost is amortized over so many users that the Internet is going to be your low cost solution. Security is certainly an issue, but encryption can create tunnels that give you a virtually private network that emulates a truly private network.

That emulation may fall short, not for security reasons, but in performance. The Internet is not engineered to minimize latency or jitter. It’s architecture is designed for resilience. If you lose a connection between servers, the network will automatically reconfigure to heal itself and keep the traffic moving. Unfortunately, that means your packets may take different paths on different trips. They may also encounter bottlenecks if particular nodes get overloaded.

Does this mean you can’t use the Internet to connect to the cloud? For maximum performance or highly sensitive interactive and real-time applications, you’ll do better with private lines. Otherwise, you might be satisfied with a private/public hybrid called DIA or Dedicated Internet Access. You still share the high performance backbone of the Internet core, but you connect via a private line that minimizes latency, jitter and packet loss during that critical first mile.

Finding a Better Cloud Connection
There is a range of cloud connectivity options available for most business locations. You should look at the cost/performance tradeoffs involved with each of these and then choose the link you need to make your connection to the cloud as transparent as you need.

Click to check pricing and features or get support from a Telarus product specialist.

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Monday, February 02, 2015

Do You Still Have Broadband?

By: John Shepler

If you’ve had the feeling that Internet broadband speeds have been accelerating lately, you’d be right. Broadband service was an amazing improvement on dial-up access when it was first introduced and then quickly took over. For a lot of years a few Mbps seemed plenty fast enough. Then 10 Mbps became the benchmark to shoot for. Now businesses are moving quickly to 100 Mbps and beyond, while the FCC is codifying 25 Mbps as the threshold where broadband begins. What does this really mean and what does it portend for the future?

Broadband Cable Dripping Data iPhone 6 Case. Get one for yourself now.What Does The New Standard Represent?
Official broadband standards have never been a leading indicator. They are set after a technology is well proven and the need clearly demonstrated. The move from 4 Mbps to 25 Mbps is quite a jump and it tells you something important about where bandwidth requirements are going. Is 25 Mbps the end of the road for awhile? Not likely and here’s why.

Few individuals and fewer businesses are going to pay up for higher line speeds for simple bragging rights. Something is driving the need to upgrade and then upgrade some more. The big factors are the move from local to remote resources and the nature of content itself.

The Rapid Growth of Computing Requirements
Remember message boards? Digital communications used to mean ASCII text transmissions. No need to press up against the speed of light just to get a few KB of characters to a distant server. It was the text-based model of computing that prompted Bill Gates to declare that 640K of RAM was plenty for the original PC, because who could possibly need more? Well, nobody did when the migration was starting from 64KB 8-bit processors. In just a few years, 640 KB was a joke. How long before 640 GB becomes a limitation? Probably sooner that any of us think possible.

Processor speeds have bumped up against some practical manufacturing limits, but the way around that is multiple processors. Memory, both RAM and Disk (now solid state), are sill growing. Bandwidth? Why is anybody surprised that WAN bandwidth requirements are going up when processing capability and memory are steadily increasing?

What's Next?
Computers always seem on the verge of not being able to keep up with us because of the functions we ask them to do. Text? That’s kids stuff. Photos? Easy. HD and 4K video? That’s more of a challenge. Will 4K be fully deployed before 8K starts to take over? What then?

You might think that software is getting less sophisticated because of the relatively small size of downloaded apps compared with some of the huge software packages that used to come in fancy cardboard boxes. That’s an illusion. The real power of of the apps we use is in all of the back-end processing that is going on at some remote server. Now everything is being tied to locality (with GPS) and highly personalized. A lot of this personalization is subtle and automatic. The system watches your behavior instead of you having to manually input a bunch of parameters.

Big data was a big bottleneck when it had to be handled locally. Just how much of a database can you put on a PC and how much grief is it going to be to keep up to date and accurate? Enormous data bases in equally enormous data centers can present a wealth of opportunity. The way the investment in gathering and managing all this data makes sense is to keep it simple for the end user. That doesn’t mean the system is simple. It just means that you and I are only dealing with the tip of the iceberg when we access these systems.

Big Data, Big Support Required
Big Data and sophisticated business applications have driven IT to a new architecture: The Cloud. The cloud pools all the processing and memory you can possibly use in a system that allows individual tenants to scale resources up and down at will. What you don’t need right now can be used by someone else. The resources they release can be put to work on your growing applications. As long as there are sufficient resources above and beyond what everybody needs at the moment, the system appears to be infinitely expandable.

What often isn’t infinitely expandable or even seems that way is bandwidth. The WAN connection, be it a dedicated line or Internet connection, has become the new bottleneck. Think of those clouds as enormous lakes full of data and you are getting your share through an old garden hose.

The way businesses are going to continue accelerating productivity is to let the machines do more and more of the work. Paper pushing is already a thing of the past in most clerical operations. Manually filling out forms is as obsolete as standing at a drill press or using a scythe to cut grain. Make no mistake that performance will continue to increase and probably accelerate. If you don’t make it happen, competitors will. That means more and more sophisticated processing, more mobility, and more data to present in simple, usable formats, more flexibility in manufacturing (think 3D printing) and larger data communication channels.

How Much Bandwidth Is Enough
In the long run, we have no idea how many Gbps or Tbps or Pbps will be needed. Right now, we can make some good estimates on what’s needed immediately and what that will grow to over the next few years.

Single digit Mbps connectivity has had its day. The only place T1 lines are still appropriate is for simple point of sale terminals and remote locations where there really isn’t any better solution. Bonding T1 lines can take you to 10 or 12 Mbps, but that’s just a stopgap. You’ll be needing more in the future.

If the consumer threshold for broadband is 25 Mbps, then that seems like a reasonable amount for businesses too. Granted, most business users aren’t creating or consuming a stream of HD movies all day. But they are accessing cloud applications, doing desktop or conference room video conferencing, sharing large files among business locations and running the phone system in the cloud. Remember that one consumer or a family is using that 25 Mbps. Your business demands per person may not be as consistently high, but you have lots of them on the same line. Productivity is also more of an issue when you are paying people. You don’t really want them sitting around waiting for the computers.

That argues for at least 10 Mbps for really small operations and 25 to 50 Mbps more commonly. Fast Ethernet at 100 Mbps used to be expensive and hard to come by. Now it’s reasonably priced and readily available. It doesn’t seem unreasonable for a medium size office to have 100 Mbps broadband… especially when that 100 Mbps may not cost much more than the 1.5 Mbps T1 line you budgeted for when you first got broadband many years ago.

Larger companies or sophisticated operations creating video content or doing 3D printing on an industrial scale can easily justify Gigabit Ethernet. So can school districts and anybody else with hundreds of simultaneous users.

How about really big companies? The new threshold may well be 10 Gbps Ethernet or 10 GigE. That service is readily available in metro areas and 100 GigE is starting to deploy nationwide on some carriers. This is where the upper end will be soon. Can Tbps service be far behind? It’s in development now.

Ethernet is the Way to Go Now
Note that all of these recommended services are Carrier Ethernet based. That’s where the industry is going for ease of interfacing and rapidly scalability. Like cloud resources, connectivity changes will be on-demand as well.

How is your company doing for broadband? Feeling the squeeze as you try to get more packets through the old lines? Feeling put upon now that the FCC has declared your connection as below broadband standards? Not to worry. Faster fiber optic bandwidth connections are plentiful and now cost much less than you might think. This is a good day to make a broadband upgrade.

Click to check pricing and features or get support from a Telarus product specialist.

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