Monday, August 05, 2013

Bandwidth on Demand Complements Cloud Services

By: John Shepler

A big advantage that cloud services have over running your own IT infrastructure is agility. A deep well of virtualized servers and disk drives combined with the ability to scale resources up or down on the fly gives businesses an unprecedented ability to match resources with need. The result? Greater productivity through higher resource utilization.

Bandwidth on demand is the perfect complement to your agile cloud services...One part of the solution that hasn’t kept up with the move to virtualized resources is connectivity. The connection between your facility and the cloud is still treated as a large dedicated pipe of a fixed size. You can likely upgrade to a larger pipe when needed, but it is a major undertaking.

The WAN has to be reconfigured and equipment has to be replaced on-site. Just getting your order scheduled can involve serious time delays. The result is weeks or months needed to respond to a change in demand that the cloud handles almost instantaneously. Will bandwidth be the Achilles’ Heel of commerce?

Not for long. A major change already underway is the move from traditional TDM telecom services to Carrier Ethernet. What Carrier Ethernet offers, aside from a lower cost structure, is rapid scalability. The network is designed for quick changes and no premises equipment work is required so long as you have a large enough port installed. These days, that’s at least 100 Mbps and generally 1000 Mbps. Ports up to 10 Gbps are available.

Just because you have a larger Ethernet Port than you can use right now, doesn’t mean you have to pay for the full capability. You pick the bandwidth level that you need to support your operations and pay by the Mbps for that. The day will come when your current service gets maxed out, perhaps only at peak utilization times immediately and then most of the time. When you detect a bottleneck developing, you call your service provider and request an incremental upgrade. Your bandwidth will be increased in anywhere from a few hours to a few days.

What’s even better? Automatic bandwidth on demand. Why wait until network congestion starts to impact sales or employee productivity before you take action? Why not let the system monitor your activity and automatically increase your line speed when needed?

That’s the idea behind tw telecom’s new “Alerts Driven Dynamic Capacity” service. The idea is that you pre-set bandwidth utilization thresholds and the system automatically adds capacity when traffic rises above that threshold. You can double or triple your business Ethernet bandwidth up to 6 Gbps on a 10 Gbps port right on the fly. If the need is only to cover a short term peak demand, you can return to the originally committed network bandwidth when things slow down again.

What applications can make good use of this bandwidth on demand? tw telecom suggests that it is a good match for fluctuating demands on the network due to data backup & replication, seasonal traffic increases, limited time projects or campaigns, video conferencing, telepresence & streaming video, new software updates & deployment, variable cloud computing resource consumption and unforeseen events in general.

Where is this service available? It’s being offered to companies that have access available to tw telecom’s intelligent network services in any of the 18,500 fiber-connected buildings in 75 major metro areas.

Bandwidth on demand is clearly an idea who’s time has come. Agility is now part of efficient business structure, even being able to respond to changes in hours, minutes or even seconds. Look for these services to expand rapidly, perhaps as a part of a comprehensive cloud solution that increases the competitiveness of your business.

Are you in need of a better bandwidth or cloud solution? There is a lot to choose from compared to even a few years ago. Capabilities have increased while prices have been reduced. See what cloud and bandwidth services are available for your business locations from tw telecom and other major service providers.

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

Follow Telexplainer on Twitter