Monday, October 27, 2008

What Flavor Bandwidth Is Right For You .... T1, DS3, Other?

What is a viable choice for your business network backbone? Is it DSL, cable, T1, DS3, or something else?

Ok, is T1 bandwidth a viable choice? Yes, due to geographic locations where DSL/Cable is not available.

As far as other flavors? Well DS3 Bandwidth is a viable option when fiber is not run to the location and therefore a copper circuit is still required.

Voice T1s/PRIs are still viable choices.

If the organization is large enough, then a T1 for backup would be a viable option.

DSL and Cable (when available) or good choices for very small businesses that do not run specific servers.

As fiber is built out to more locations, copper circuits sales will continue to decline.

At the enterprise level, most phone companies will not bond more than two DS3s (around 88Mbps), when you could have Gig-E Internet (Gigabit Business Ethernet)if the location is fiber lit.

DSL vs. T1 - depends how far away you are from the central office whether DSL is a viable alternative

Cable vs. T1 - depends on how many people are running off of the node. The Cable company may state 8M/1M but the actual speed may be 4M/384K, ah the wonders of speedtest.net

FiOS vs. T1 - FiOS will win everytime. 20M/20M business FiOS is around $150/month? NxT1s can not compete with that. Of course this is limited to Verizon footprint and FiOS availability.

To really zero in on what you actually need (notice I didn't say "want" ) ...... ask yourself these questions:

Do you require the line to be confidential?

What is the maximum acceptable outage you can handle for this line?

Does the pipe size meet your requirements and allow for future growth?

What kind of support do you want for the line?

What kind of money do you want to spend?

If you require the line to be confidential, you could use either a T1 or a VPN over cheaper media.

The uptime of a T1 will generally be greater than that of a lesser service because you're paying for a dedicated circuit. Most providers offer credits when the service is down, so you are not charged when the circuit is not usable. Compare that to lesser services.

A T1 can send and receive 1.544 Mbps concurrently (really 1.536), depending on your location, other services have probably surpassed this: FiOS, Comcast Cable

T1 support is generally much better and more personalized than a lesser service, because you're paying for a dedicated line.

T1 pricing can be somewhat expensive compared to lesser services. But .... this is NOT always the case.

Please note that I call anything non-dedicated "lesser" because it essentially is a lower quality of service you are receiving.

In the end .... do your homework. Making a decision based on anything other than sound business analysis will get you into trouble. Don't buy on your emotion, a friend's advice, or a vendors pitch and hype. Answer the questions above and focus on what makes business sense.

If you're looking for a true business solution for your network backbone needs .... you can get free rate quotes comparing multiple providers by location here: How Much Is A Bandwidth Solution?

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