Internet For Business
High speed connections for video,
servers, VPNs and corporate Internet access.
By: John Shepler
Connections to the Internet come in two flavors,
shared and dedicated. DSL and Cable Broadband fall into the shared
category. Subscribers are multiplexed, or connected as a shared
group, to a common backbone Internet connection. To keep access
prices low, more connections are sold than there is bandwidth
to support. The arrangement, called oversubscription, works because
not everyone is downloading files or even online simultaneously.
If too many users do try the access the Internet, the connection
speed simply slows down. In cases of extreme congestion, time
critical feeds such as VoIP telephoneor streaming audio and
video will break up.
Dedicated Internet Connections For Bandwidth
Businesses with critical applications such as online transactions,
Enterprise VoIP telephony, web and email servers, video conferencing,
Intranets and Extranets need a more robust connection to the
Internet. That's the dedicated variety. A dedicated Internet
connection offers full Internet bandwidth to the limit of the
service level you order. It is "dedicated" to your
needs. For smaller businesses, a T1 line at 1.5 Mbps will suffice.
For larger businesses or high bandwidth applications, a T3 line
at 45 Mbps is appropriate. T3 is also known as DS3 service when
it is provisioned on a fiber optic carrier.
The advantage of dedicated Internet connections
is more than just bandwidth. It's the fact that you have control
of the bandwidth. With a dedicated connection, your videoconference
won't break up just because the business next door decides to
download major software updates. Their bandwidth is separate
from yours. In a way, though, the bandwidth is still shared.
It's shared among the users in your company.
You Still Need In-House QoS
This means that you'll still need to engineer your network to
provide a Quality of Service that prioritizes time critical services
such as voice and video over applications such as email, file
transfers and Web browsing. Within your organization you can
rigorously guarantee network performance and properpriorities.
Once you packets are on the Internet, though, you lose a certain
amount of control. Congestion, latency and dropped packets are
normal for this environment. Buying enough dedicated bandwidth
is the best you can do for using the public infrastructure. Encrypting
your data to create VPN tunnels will give you a virtual private
network for your employees, partners, clients and suppliers.
However, for the most rigorous control of bandwidth, jitter,
latency and packet loss you'll have to move up from virtual private
networks to fully private point to point connections.
The Value of T3 Bandwidth
Dedicated T3 lines are often used as the backbone Internet connections
for Internet Service Providers such as DSL, Cablebroadband and
WISPS (wireless). They can provide general Internet access for
companies with hundreds of employees online. They are also a
good choice for in-house or colocated Web, email, fax, streaming
audio and streaming video servers. Higher speed services include
Fast Ethernet WANs at 100 Mbps and OC3 SONET fiber optic lines
at 622 Mbps. All of these can be provisioned as dedicated Internet
connections or point to point private lines.
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