Friday, January 30, 2009

Challenges And Solutions For Medical Imaging Bandwidth Requirements

A Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS) is integral to the smooth, timely, and quality delivery of health care in every medical setting today. However, PACS have long faced challenges in delivering this digital imaging support. The main issue has always been the availability of sufficient bandwidth (load and speed).....at a reasonable cost.....to support the growing demand for quick easy web-based access by medical providers. Enter the digital solution.

For more read the rest of the article here: Medical Imaging Bandwidth

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

VoIP PBX Solutions For Businesses - What To Look For

Business communications has always been a challenging arena for management.... subject to cost, function, reliability, and other pressures and concerns. The emergence of VoIP technology.... and specifically application to PBX systems via IP based protocols... has provided an enormous opportunity for companies to reap many benefits.

To read the rest of the article on this subject go to: VoIP PBX Solutions

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Building a Wireless ISP Network... The Opportunity

In the US, most of people have one or more broadband access services to choose from for home and/or small business use - variations of DSL and T1 from multiple vendors plus cable. That is if you're in a metropolitan area. For more rural locations your choices are limited .... if you have any at all. Therein lies an opportunity for those willing to pursue it.

To read more of an article on the subject .... detailing how you could take advantage of the situtation .... go to: Wireless ISP Opportunity

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Virtual Office .... ....Business VOIP Solution Including Hosted IP PBX

Today's businesses small to large can all benefit from efficiencies offered through implementing Virtual Office solutions.

A Virtual Office allows users anywhere in the world to group multiple VoIP lines into a virtual business telephone system that includes a host of IP PBX features. This gives your business geographic independence and flexibility, providing feature-rich telephones that bring together dispersed staff to sound like one office location .... or to appear as satellite offices located all over the world.

A Virtual Office suite offers the advanced telecommunication connectivity and management services your business needs most .... for far less cost than traditional hardware PBX.

For those interested you can find more information on the resource I recommend as the #1 choice for business here: Virtual Office

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What Is The Future For Land Line Phone Companies?

What does the future hold for "landline" phone companies??

It depends on their ability to adapt to the changing market. Some will adopt or hedge against new technologies or find other servies that can be delivered over their legacy (invest in new) infrastructure that will add margin to their accounts.

The residential market has been deflationary for years. Carriers have seen price erosion due to competition, competiting technologies (cell phones, email, VoIP). Verizon for example has found a new market to compete in, offerring television services as well as voice and internet, assumably increasing revenue per customer and margins (once the fiber is paid off). Sprint has more than offset huge landline losses with wireless sales

The SMB and Enterprise markets have seen similar deflationary forces for years. They have seen new technologies like email and cell phones as well as VoIP, WAN technologies, etc, lower the average revenue per customer significantly as we all as decrease margins. However, you see many respond by adding professional services, managed services and other high margin, value-added services to their portfolios.

Some carriers will not respond appropriately to the changes in the marketplace, and will be acquired for their customer bases, network or geographic presence.

Additionally, technologies need to evolve and become more stable before land lines can disappear. For example, land lines are still preferred for faxing, alarms and inexpensive redundancy as technology still limits alternative means.

Ten years might be a little too aggressive a timeframe to expect to see them disappear, but you may not recognize the companies that are selling them compared to the way they look today.

By now most telcos have come to the conclusion that telephony is evolving and IP telephony, whether over landline or mobile will be the norm in the next 2-3 years. As for the landline itself, it represents a significant investment in infrastructure, one which has, in most cases, already paid for itself, so the net return is high and warmly welcome. Its future rests with its ability to deliver competitive broadband services, and with VDSL2 can deliver around 50Mbs. This is enough (so far) to deliver IP telephony, some IPTV and reasonable broadband services with QoS.

There is the belief that Mobile services will overtake the humble landline, but the technology is not yet fully developed and there is the constant problem of lack of available spectrum. (not to mention those who think we will all end up glowing in the dark). For these reasons, as well as the additional cost of delivering data over radio, most telcos are busily running fibre services as quickly as they can.
Meantime, at least for the next 10 years, landlines (copper) will remain the cheapest and easiest means of delivering reasonable speed broadband services.

Fixed-line telephony companies - at least some of them - will be around for a very long time to come.

Yes, consumers and business now have a vast array of choices for their telecommunications needs. Disruptive technologies like VoIP and Wireless are changing the markets forever. Call and access prices on these services are dropping rapidly while hard lines remains somewhat expensive.

And yet...

There is an unimaginable amount of copper in the ground, all over the world, which represents a massive infrastructure investment. And it generally works really well. We can be certain that those who own the copper will find ways of ensuring it continues to generate revenue for them. Just dropping call costs enough would do it, as will the advent of new services which could be delivered over existing landline connections.

For a neat online tool which finds and compares available providers by location (e.g. YOUR area) play with the Best Phone Rate Calculator from FreedomFire Communications.

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Monday, January 19, 2009

What Do You Like Or Dislike About VOIP?

VoIP still means a lot of things to different people. Most often it is a marketing label.

I'd first like to make the distinction between a customer premise VoIP system where there exists an IP PBX that runs VoIP over your internal network regardless of what type of phone service you have ..... and then there's internet VoIP which people most commonly refer to as a "Vonage" type service.

Internet VoIP service in my opinion is not yet an enterprise solution since there is typically no SLA's or quality of service offered, but the savings are there which has prompted its adoption amongst small businesses that don't demand an "always" reliable service.

There exists dozens of open source IP PBX systems on the market many of which have varying levels of reliability, quality, and redundancy. For small systems that require non-technical administration I believe the best is Switchvox. When engineered flawlessly, the most reliable, flexible, and scalable IP PBX is plain old Asterisk.

If you have the right IP PBX internally, there really isn't much of a downside except the fact that IP PBX systems can be expensive. IP PBX systems also do not live as long as TDM phone systems purely because of the difference in technology running behind the two. To successfully deploy VoIP internally, just make sure that you have the infrastructure to do so which includes Cat5 or greater wiring and an appropriate data network. Ideally you want to segregate your voice and data network but many companies do not because of the cost... but if you can do it.. you should.

As far as VoIP phone service goes, we're talking about phone service which is delivered over your existing data connection. Like I said, not really a business grade product but the fact that you can use an existing data connection for voice means that the savings can be pretty enticing. The problem with internet based VoIP service is that you're tied to a single point of failure. If data goes down, you have no voice service.

Another issue, which not all users will experience, is problems with call quality. Because your phone call is running over the internet, the company providing you with phone service usually is not the same company providing your internet connection and therefore can not control, monitor, or fix your connection .... nor can your VoIP provider control all the facets of the internet. What this means is that your VoIP provider has no ability to prevent packet loss which in turn can produce static on the line, jitter, and dropped calls. Again, not everyone experiences these problems but many do and they are an inherent risk with hosted VoIP service.

To minimize this risk, I recommend that a company purchase their Hosted VoIP service from the same company that is delivering their data connection. There are many technical and infrastructure related reasons why this is a better service which I'm not going to get into it now .... but I can guarantee that if your ISP is legit, they should offer decent hosted VoIP as well.

So all in all .... there's quite a few things that you need to consider when looking at VoIP. Unfortunately companies who are in the business of selling VoIP systems and VoIP service manage to get away with selling half ass'd and janky solutions which can result in poor voice quality and many other "bad" things. What this means is that just because someone is in the business of selling something VoIP, it doesn't mean it'll be a good product. All I say is that you should make sure that the company you get your IP PBX or Hosted VoIP service from is a solid business with lots of customers and positive feedback.

If your looking for a voip solution for your business .... any sized business .... I strongly recommend taking advantage of the free assistance from Business VoIP Solution to find the right fit for your business and applications.

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Friday, January 16, 2009

Is A Point To Point T1 Better Than Frame Relay?

Frame Relay is a data transmission protocol. It gets its name because it places data, and the information required to transmit it properly, into a “frame” that is made up of several fields. It places the data to be transmitted into a specific field, surrounded by four other fields, which contain information about where the data frame should go and how it should be handled. A user installs dedicated circuits to connect its locations to the Frame Relay network of their carrier. Then, the carrier utilizes what’s known as “Permanent Virtual Circuits” or “PVCs” to transmit the data within the network.

The main advantage of Frame Relay over point-to-point is that it enables you to only need one connection from each site to enable you to be linked to all sites. For example, if I have 4 offices that all need to be connected to each other (called a “meshed” network”), I would need 6 circuits. But, with frame relay, I need only 4. Frame Relay enables me to do that job with 1/3 fewer circuits. Plus a user can also connect a PVC to the Internet in order to incorporate BOTH its LAN/WAN networking and its Internet Bandwidth needs into a single network architecture.

When buying Frame Relay, the user will select the bandwidth of the PVCs that it purchases. This is the “fixed” data speed, or bandwidth, that they have. The user can also select a “burstable” bandwidth / data rate. Burstable means that on an as-needed basis you can “burst” to a higher speed, and only pay for that additional bandwidth when you actually use it.

One example of this is that a client has a normal ongoing need for 512 kbps of bandwidth among its locations. Plus, once a month it backs-up all data from each site to the main site, which requires a “burst” to 1.544 mbps for a few hours to accomplish the data transfers. In a point-to-point service, the client would be forced to buy 1.544 mbps bandwidth to all locations, even though it would only be fully utilized once each month. For this and similar reasons, Frame Relay has been the predominant type of data communications service for business for many years.

So what does a clinet need? It depends upon a number of factors, but mostly (1) how many locations do they need to network, and (2) what types of communications do they want to use the network for. Today, very few firms are looking at implementing Frame Relay unless they already have it in place. New installations are typically choosing between MPLS and Carrier Ethernet options. I will not seek to get into detail on these other two services here in this post, but suffice it to say that if a client only has two or three sites they may be fine with point-to-point, or just connecting via Internet and using Internet-based applications to accomplish their voice and data communications. If they have more locations, signficiant bandwidth needs, and/or a desire to perform voice, data, and video communications among the sites, they are most likely better off with MPLS, mostly because MPLS will enable them to control quality of service, which is most critcal when utilizing mixed services, and real-time services such as voice and video.

In laymens terms ..... I'll try to simplify even further.

1. With a point to point connection you have paid for a connection between two points. You pay a committed rate for that connection per year, or per month. There are several variables that affect the cost.

A) How far apart are the two points
B) Do multiple telecommunications carriers connect the points or just one carrier
C) Are the points in different Cities, States, Countries, Continents
D) How fast do you want the connection to be
E) Do you want the connection always available or only available when you request it (e.g. ISDN or even dial-up --- they are both versions of point to point, just tempoary)

2. With Frame Relay, or MPLS or ATM or any other number of shared connection systems .... you are buying only the "last mile" of your connection on both ends, while you are sharing the middle with other users. You pay your network carrier to segregate the traffic inside the middle (typically described as a "cloud" because it's an abstract concept, your network provider can implement it any way they need to) and to provide you guaranteed bandwidth. Some carriers will sell you the ability to "burst" your speed higher so that you can occasionally (but not always) use higher speeds on demand. Your connection speed is limited by the lower of either the "last mile" connection speed on either end or by the committed rate you bought from the carrier. The carrier will use a name like CIR, Committed Information Rate to describe the rate you have purchased.

A) Distance not really a determiner of price
B) Do multiple telecommunications carriers connect the points or just one carrier (you still have to pay last mile charges on both ends)
C) Are the points in different Cities, States, Countries, Continents (could affect tariffed rates and taxation, plus regulatory)
D) How fast do you want the connection to be
E) Usually you are paying for an always on connection, called a permanent virtual circuit. You really only consume network resources when you send data but it's always there for you immediately.

3. Finally you can stop paying for that part in the middle completely by using Virtual Private Networks across the Internet. In this case you still have to pay for access on both sides, but nobody pays for the middle. There are of course some tradeoffs:

A) Since nobody is guaranteeing the middle, you are on your own to support it and troubleshoot it
B) Your traffic will comingle with public internet traffic. It's up to you to ensure it is secure. You do this by employing a well regarded cryptographic protocol and a very strong initial encryption key.

In short, Point to Point is best to ensure data, but Frame Relay is more cost effective. Analysis of what the requirements are will determine the actual need for one versus the other and defines the ROI (Return on Investment) for the application requirements once defined. For help in working through this analysis to find the right solution for you .... I suggest using the free assistance available through T1 Bandwidth.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Does HDTV Have A Chance?

So, analog broadcasting is set to cease on 19FEB08. That should be something to see! It's been talked about for 20 years. At first, we were told we had to have HDTV because Japan had it. Later, though, we learned the gov wanted to sell off the bandwidth.

I have always understood that the airwaves "belong to the people." So were they stolen? I didn't give them away. And do I understand correctly that it was the FCC, all by its lonesome, who made this decision on our behalf?

This is probably not the best time to ask consumers to invest in new equipment. But -- wail till they find out about HDCP!

If you were sentient in the late 80s, you may recall the Digital Audio Tape player. This much-ballyhooed successor to the analog cassette tape never got off the ground, thanks to hardware copy 'protection.' Hardware manufacturers went to bed with camels, and got up with fleas.

HDCP is poised to do the same thing to the HDTV format. Except this time, we won't have prior technology to fall back on. This ought to be very interesting.

All airwaves in the U.S. are regulated by the FCC. This is nothing new. In the early days of CB Radio, the FCC required everyone who purchased a CB to fill out a form to acquire a license for use, much like Ham Radio operators. However, they did away with license requirement when the FCC administrators couldn't keep up with demand. For other reasons, CB's died later on (i.e. cell phones). However, no one should delude themselves into believing that the "airwaves belong to the people". The "people" never had this right. In order to keep from overlapping and conflicting broadcast signals, the FCC must regulate the airwaves in an orderly process.

As for HDCP, this is present on HDMI connections to HDTV sets only for premium content (e.g. HBO, Adult Channels, 1st run Sporting Events, PPV). It is not (well, should not be) present on ordinary broadcast channels, and certainly not on local broadcast affiliate tiers.

As for the need for people to go out and purchase devices upon the analog-shutoff date, the FCC has contemplated this as well (far in advance of the economy crashing). They offer a $40 coupon for redemption of a free-to-air digital converter STB which you can buy at CPE retail outlets, or can get through your cable company. Therefore, in theory anyway, if you're simply looking to continue with "rabbit-ear like service", you can continue to do so with the coupon-funded converter and without HDMI/HDCP requirements if you're simply hooking up your converter to an analog TV set. Should you decide to purchase an HDTV set, then you should expect that premium channels will be HDCP-protected, and the only way around that is to sign up with your local cable provider, DBS provider (DIRECTV or DISH), or your telco provider who has TV (e.g. AT&T U-Verse or Verizon FiOS).

This was one of the proposed changes brought forth by the 9/11 Commission Report. The bandwidth will be used to connect first reaponders nationally, which s absolutely necessary and entirely far past due. It was supposed to be done right after the report came out, but the TV owners balked, because of the high consumer analog use, and for control/political reasons. And you can expect radio bandwidth to be next.

It's been interesting to see how they've marketed this, and how they've NOT advertised. Unless one has actually read the Commission Report they'd have no clue what's really up.

So yes, it will succeed. There is no other option. The bandwidth is needed elsewhere. But I doubt we'll have it down as well as other countries who have had it for years at first. So, patience is important, especially given the real reason why it is being done.

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Asterisk vs Proprietary IP PBX - A Technology Point Of View

What makes Asterisk a more technologically advanced piece of software over the software that runs various proprietary systems?

For example, how does the technology of an Asterisk IP PBX compare with that of a large Nortel, Avaya, or Panasonic system? Don't think Switchvox or Trixbox.... think pure OS Asterisk software built using best of breed hardware.

I'd like to say Open Source is almost the clear choice, and it may be the right one in some cases. However, the fact of the matter is that Asterisk is so extensible that it some times hurts the product. There is a common risk factor. End users, they are your greatest asset and threat at the same time. Distros like TrixBox have the right idea, build a distribution and implement "Service Modules" to handle the configuration of tasks.

Now this answers the cry of all the "mom and pop's" out there, lets address "Big Boy Corporation." Larger corporations need a security blanket and if you can't offer that then your out the door. Most open source products do not offer that. However if you are "Super VoIP Man", the one man consulting operation, it presents a unique niche market. Yes Asterisk is Bad @$$ and can do many of the things that XYZ Big Box vendors offer and more. But there are points where it takes extreme amounts of time to compete with 'out-of-box' features that XYZ have.

Some of these Key features break down to Survivability and Redundancy. Many businesses have put together exceptional plans that can recover failed systems or distribute load across a multitude of physical servers. But if "Super VoIP Man" gets hit by a bus tomorrow ..... how long do you think that system will survive without you? Defiantly not past its next major upgrade. Big Boy Corp.'s around the world know this and in an instant you and your service become a risk.

Lets examine one other scenario, Big Boy Corp.'s IP enabled contact center. Transacting 20k worth of calls a day IVR's w/ speech recco, Advanced ADC call treatment and distribution, recording and analytics, geographically disperse locations. I can guarantee that there is not a single open source solution that could deliver a working, STABLE (keyword .... Stable), highly available solution like XYZ Big Box can. Why you ask? Well that's easy, MONEY. Everyone out there is driven harder by the influence of money to make things faster, better, and easier to use. Big problem in the industry, throw some money at it, guarantee it will get fixed.

There is always going to be a niche market where Open Source solutions (like Asterisk) fit, and that market is always changing. But when it comes to playing the game with the big boys the guys with the deep pockets will win, basic economics.

Now for every Asterisk VoIP wizard out there (I wish there were more) I have one recommendation .... focus on integration solutions. Many save thousands (for example in Cisco Device Licensing) utilizing Cisco Communication Managers and a SIP trunk to an Asterisk server catering to Wifi SIP endpoints. For home you can use Askerisk (on say a Linksys router) to power all your wired and wireless SIP endpoints.

In conclusion Asterisk is a great product and can (be configured to) do a lot of things. But it is simply not Big Boy Enterprise ready ..... and may never be for that matter. As long as it is a open source solution.

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Friday, January 09, 2009

DSL, Cable, & Satellite Internet Deals In Your Area

This is pretty cool .... an online real time price shopping tool that finds you the best deals for residential high speed internet (DSL, Cable, & Satellite Internet). It can be used for small businesses too.

You are seconds away from finding the best High Speed Internet Service Provider in your neighborhood. Simply shop & compare from providers like Earthlink, Adelphia, BellSouth, Charter, Direcway, RoadRunner, Mediacom, SBC, Sprint, Verizon, DSL.net, & many more.

Simply enter a few bits of information on the location to search .... and you'll get real-time unbiased DSL, Cable, & Satellite rate quotes including specials. You can even select the provider & price plans that interest you and order right then. Convenient and comprehensive.

To try it out go here: High Speed Internet

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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Do You Sell Telecom And/Or IT Equipment And Services?

If so .... you should take advantage of the VAR (Value Added Reseller) program offered through Telarus. The Telarus VAR program comes highly recommended by the Telecom Association (just google it .... too many articles to share here).

As a VAR associated with Telarus you'll receive solid customer leads (equipment and network sales and installation leads) specific to your geographic location and target market.

If you sell or install LAN or WAN networks, phone systems, telecommunication equipment, routers, switches, servers, business VoIP equipment, IP PBX, or point of sale hardware .... I strongly suggest you consider joining the Telarus VAR Program.

You'll find more information here......

VAR Network

VAR Program

Note: above available for US only...sorry.

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Monday, January 05, 2009

What Voice/Data Network Solutions (e.g. T1, DS3, Ethernet) Make The Most Sense In Today's Economic Environment?

Given today's economic contraints (actual or perceived) .... and the hypothetical situation that "you" are looking for a bandwidth solution for the backbone of your network infrastructure for a multi-site business .... what would you gravitate toward and why? (e.g. T1 based ... such as MPLS, DS3/OC3/Sonet based, Ethernet based, other).

In reality there is no universal answer for this.

I'd recommend a three step process:

1) Determine your bandwidth and performance needs.
2) Get quotes for various services, from various vendors that meet your needs.
3) Pick the lowest cost solution that comes from a vendor you trust.

In my opinion MPLS always makes the most sense (when available), because it's very cost effective and redundant (new or replacement). However, like anything else, it depends on the scenario. We have many different deployments of MPLS, DS3, T1's, OC3's, and in some cases E1's (outside of North America). However, no matter which pipe works for your particular deplyment, any sort of shared resource/cost model will always be more economical.

The answer is not quite that straightforward. The answer would depend on the size of the company, the number of offices, their geographic locations, the amount of bandwidth needed between offices, and the number of dollars they want to commit to the project.

If they are in a large metro area metropolitan ethernet may well be the cheapest form of connectivity. It's very easy to attach to the LAN at each location and as a Layer 2 transport supports any and all Layer 3 and higher protocols. It would also allow you to prioritize traffic and make priority changes as you desire. As implemented by most carriers, metropolitan ethernet is "layer 1 agnostic", meaning it doesn't care if it's running over a DS1, DS3, OC3, OC12, etc.

If they are spread across a wider geographic area MPLS would most likely be your best option. But it will require additional expertise at the router level and additional dollars to spend for routers and IOS software that support MPLS traffic. But again as a Layer 2 transport it supports almost any and all Layer 3 and higher protocols. And depending on the carrier selected, it too should allow you to prioritize traffic and make changes as you desire. As implemented by most carriers, MPLS (like metropolitan ethernet) is also "layer 1 agnostic".

If they are a small, financially conservative company with a dozen offices spread across a state or region a high quality site-to-site VPN may be the best option. It's very low cost, easy to set up and maintain and very well understood technology.

No matter which of these 3 you pick, they all have the potential for built-in redundancy which allows for traffic re-route around a cut line or other network failure. If you were going with a large deployment of MPLS (say national or international coverage) I would suggest implementing MPLS on 2 different carriers to protect you against carrier outages as well.

If you're looking at MPLS nationally, AT&T and Global Crossing are probably your best choices. They both understand MPLS very well, and both have it deployed in their own backbone networks (and have for 7+ years).

A key question to ask is whether or not the site equipment is being upgraded (i.e. Legacy PBX to VOIP-PBX) as well or just the backbone.

There exists the following possible scenarios:

1) If you are upgrading Legacy PBX's to IP-PBX's, then the infrastructure is simply an ethernet backbone for both voice and data.

2) If you are keeping the Legacy PBX's in place, you need an infrastructure that supports both T1 (or E1) for legacy voice and ethernet for data services.

a) Simplest way is to implement separate links for T1 (for the Legacy PBX's) and ethernet link for data services.

b) You could implement an all T1 solution for both legacy voice and data services. You would need an additional piece of equipment that maps Ethernet onto T1 (or E1) via EoPDH protocol.

c) You could implement an all ethernet solution for both legacy voice and data services. You would need an additional piece of equipment that maps T1 (or E1) from the Legacy PBX onto ethernet via the SAToP or CESoP protocols.

Of the above proposals, #1 and #2C are the preferred options.

For multiple sites, MPLS is a very good approach for VPNs. You can also use single VLANs (802.1q) or stacked VLANs (802.1ad) based equipment for creating VPNs.

Ultimately .... the answer would depend on the size of the business and the typical office set for the multi-location scenario to determine the most economically viable solution.

For a large Enterprise account or even an SMB the convergence of voice and data networks is the key in my opinion. Get more out of your wireline for less. The solution could be a hosted VoIP solution using a network based carrier that can overlay MPLS for data application sharing with a hosted VoIP product that offers QoS on the voice side. For a larger account where hosted may not work it could be IP enabled PBX at an HQ with all voice traffic funneling through there to remote offices using IP sets.

In either a hosted or premise based PBX scenario you can reduce costs by reducing copper lines as well as per minute usage charges by implementing the VoIP model. If it is a premise based solution the MPLS with QoS for voice for IP calling between locations is the critical piece.

Some carriers offer a high bandwidth solution at a low cost using EFM (Ethernet over First Mile) that can povide you with the same capabilities of a T1/DS3 from a network (or WAN) infrastructure standpoint in terms of high speeds, and overlay with MPLS, VPN, etc, while still being able to honor CoS requirements and provide QoS for voice calling to give you a converged solution.

Dynamic bandwidth (single or bonded IP backbone delivery broken up for voice and data) can be used in a converged solution in a bunch of different scenarios. But in today's world, as much if not more business is being done via the internet than over the phone. Therefore, maximizing the companies utilizations in the right way is the best way to determine what solution is best for them. Be it a network upgrade or new network construction/design, getting "the most for less" is critical with today's economic constraints.

To me the answers are always dependent on the true business requirements AND the flexibility and scalability your business plans call for.

For a new network ..... I would think you would especially gravitate to what you perceived to be the most scalable, both upwards and downwards. However, you also have to make a decision on the network availability your business requires. Do you require 99.999% availability? If so, then what providers have demonstrated this level of availability and what contractual remedies do they provide? Obviously, these are just a couple of examples that makes the selection process extremely dependent on your business requirements.

For upgrading or replacing your network ..... you have the "benefit" of having a very real track record of your business history and therefore your network infrastructure performance and dependencies in my specific environment.

However, the evaluation/decision criteria is the same.

In both scenarios, by now, you have a fairly good idea (based on your product and services) the impact the economy is having and will have on your customers .... and therefore you have scenarios based on "what if". This dictates and drives your decision process on how you can have a dynamic network infrastructure to serve your current needs .... and a network provider that has contractual conditions you are comfortable with in meeting your needs for "dialing up" and "dialing down" those needs.

Keep in mind that to find the best solution you'll need to determine your detailed set of requirements --

What is your application? Voice & Data? Just Voice? Just data? And by data, is your requirement for internet connectivity alone or inter-site data transmission? What are your bandwidth requirements? How concerned with quality are you? Do you need specific SLAs? Do you have mission critical data? Do you need redundancy? If so, at what layer? Where are your locations? (urban, suburban, rural, very rural, international?) Are the sites relatively close together? What are your latency and jitter requirements? Do you have specific security requirements? Lastly - what's available?

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As a Telecommunications Consultant, my job is to figure out what makes the most sense for each company on an individual basis. It's not a one size fits all world.

As a Telecommunications Consultant, I ask the necessary questions about business processes to determine what the bandwidth requirements are.

There are numerous scenarios from security, regulations, network usage, type of usage (video, VOIP, VPN), etc. that will define a solution for each client. It is rarely the same in all instances.

It also depends on Location. Ethernet is not available everywhere. Not every location has more than two choices. (It's called a Duopoly for a reason).

As a Telecommunications Consultant, the client is looking to me to ask the appropriate questions and design a solution for their specific needs.

That's what I do.

For no cost assistance working through the above to find the right solution for YOUR specific requirements .... simply provide some information to get us started here:

Bandwidth Solution

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Friday, January 02, 2009

AccuConference .... Recommended Video And Audio Conferencing Resource

If you're in business any where in the world these days you know that video and audio conferencing is a crucial part of your daily routine. It has to be ... with today's economy travel is just too expensive .... both in direct costs and time costs. Conferencing is cheaper and more timely. Plus with todays advancements in technology you can present / discuss everything necessary just like "being there".

All that said .... there's one video and audio conferencing resource I highly recommend. That's AccuConference. Cost effective, feature rich, reliable, scalable, and top notch customer service and support.

To learn more about AccuConference simply go here:

Video and Audio Conferencing

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