Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Burstable Bandwidth Offers Flexibility

You're used to buying WAN bandwidth to support voice and data services. For most companies, that's dedicated service. But there's another option you should know about that can save you money. It's called burstable bandwidth.

Let's look at business broadband service. DS3 dedicated Internet access gives you a solid 45 Mbps of bandwidth in both the download and upload direction. That full capacity is available at all times. If you want to transmit a large image or backup your files to remote storage you max out at 45 Mbps. When you are not using the full capacity of the line, it simply idles waiting for more packets.

With the recent price reductions in DS3 bandwidth, most medium to large size companies will simply order DS3, Fast Ethernet, or higher levels of fiber optic line service. But smaller companies with only occasional needs for large amounts of bandwidth are in a pickle. Do they order a full DS3 to accommodate their peak needs? Or do they go with a fractional DS3 service that costs less but is limited to speeds much less than 45 Mbps?

The compromise solution is burstable DS3. You order a line with the capacity to accomodate the full 45 Mbps of dedicated DS3 Internet access. But you only pay for a fraction of that amount, say 5, 10 or 20 Mbps. As long as you stay under your committed rate, you pay just the cost of the fractional DS3 service. But for those times when you need to transfer large amounts of data such as a video stream, software package download or engineering dataset, the line will run up to its full capacity.

Dedicated services are sold on a flat lease charge regardless of actual usage. Burstable services are monitored by the service provider. During periods when your traffic bursts above the committed rate, you'll pay additional charges based on the overage. A typical industry standard is the "95th Percentile" method. Traffic levels are monitored in 5 minute increments. The highest 5% readings are thrown out for billing purposes. You'll pay the rate for the highest bandwidth you used during the other 95% of the time.

Burstable bandwidth is commonly available in colocation hosting centers. It allows a company to operate its Internet servers without worrying about running out of bandwidth. A Website might normally generate a consistently low traffic level. But if there is an unexpected increase in demand, the line can burst to a higher rate to accommodate the sudden influx of customers or inquiries.

Which bandwidth solution is right for your company? Fractional, full rate or burstable? Let out team of expert consultants help you pick the T1, DS3, Ethernet or OCx bandwidth service that is most cost effective for your needs.

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

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