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The Bandwidth Blues & Diversity Planning | It’s Your Move | Part 2

by Kevin Gillingham | Oct 12, 2012

The second installment in the ‘It’s Your Move’ series is dedicated to bandwidth considerations. To recap, you’re an office manager—the Decider—and you have to relocate your head office. Last week we explored phone considerations. Today’s all about bandwidth.

The Bandwidth Blues

Bandwidth is one of those Internet terms that everyone intuitively understands but few can define.  So what is it then?  For our purposes we’ll just say that bandwidth is the volume of information, or data, per unit of time that a transmission medium—like an Internet connection, say—can handle.  And it seems there’s never enough for constantly changing, critical business applications.

Got Fibre?

The first thing you must consider prior to acquiring your new facility is whether or not it has fibre—meaning, has fibre-optic service been run by a major carrier (Bell, Telus, Rogers, etcetera)?  If not, then you need to determine whether a Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), basically Internet connectivity over a public telephone network, is enough for your office’s applications.

Bandwidth Considerations

(1) Size Matters: Configuring your system for adequate bandwidth and for future growth is critical.  Inadequate bandwidth will result in frustrating outages and substandard performance.  Do you have remote users?  Lots of VPN connections—Virtual Private Network that’s part of your Local Area Network (LAN)—for remote-networking team members?  Determine if your operation can sustain outages.

(2) Special Applications: In terms of business-continuity planning, you need to consider whether your operation requires special applications, like SAP for example, for business applications, accounting, order-entries and tracking, and general logistics.  Do you have a remote data centre?  Other managed solutions?  Then you’ll need significant bandwidth.

(3) Multiple Sites: Networking all of your satellite offices together for all of your applications, using extension dialing not over a phone network, requires a Wide Area Network (WAN) and therefore serious bandwidth.  If you have multiple national sites—like Activo does—then you’ll want enough bandwidth to sustain you through the necessary multiple network-hops before achieving contact: insufficient bandwidth causes call-latency, delays, and break-up.

(4) Diversity Planning: If you simply cannot afford call-latency or choppy video-conferencing or any Internet outages at all, then Activo can provision you with two redundant Internet access points, so that you have two major Internet carriers, just in case one goes down.

If you’re entirely Internet-dedicated then this is something to think about.  It’s your business.  Your bandwidth supports all of your mission-critical applications.  You need to ensure that you have enough bandwidth to support them, so these applications can support your continued growth.

>> Contact a trained and certified bandwidth expert today for a complimentary assessment.