Combining Cable and ADSL Internet access makes for an easy business decision. The obvious reason is to add Internet redundancy because even a short outage can be costly. Email doesn’t arrive, orders are lost, staff are agitated. For most companies, the costs of lost productivity are much higher than paying the $3/day – the price of a daily latte – it costs for a backup internet access service.
Lesser known but more important reasons are that some applications are better suited to ADSL than Cable and without network separation, some Internet traffic will overwhelm other traffic. A poorly configured network continually frustrates users. Again, the long term costs of lost productivity are much higher than paying $3/day to properly match applications to technology.
Here then are Skyway West’s top 8 reasons for combining ADSL and Cable Internet services:
A. Network Redundancy
1. That darn backhoe. We’ve all heard of incidents where a backhoe mistakenly ripped apart thousands of strands of cable affecting thousands of users for hours, if not days.
2. Who stole my Internet connection? One of our customers lost service three times in the last year because thieves stole the cables serving their neighbourhood to sell as scrap. Telus had to rewire their neighbourhood and they were down for two days each time. Others have similar stories.
3. Dirty power. Power spikes can permanently damage Internet modems. Every piece of electronic equipment should be on a surge protector. It can take 4 – 8 hours to replace a damaged modem.
4. Who unplugged that cable? Internet equipment is often stored in small cramped places and the most careful worker can accidently disconnect a critical Ethernet cable. These “Internet” rooms are often locked and local staff are hesitant to touch unfamiliar equipment. It can take hours or days to find the correct key, and the right person in the office.
5. I just want service guarantees. ADSL and Cable are sold on a best efforts basis. Remote diagnosis may occur quickly but a timely site visit from Telus or Shaw depends on who is sick that day, who is on holidays or if it’s a busy time of year, and after they’ve taken care of guaranteed services like Fibre.
B. Application performance
6. Speed versus performance. 50 Mbps cable shines when downloading large files but domain name look-ups, web browsing and email are more influenced by the speed of your computer and application. Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), Active Directory and VoIP are indifferent because they use predetermined amounts no matter how much speed you add, but just one person downloading a large file can degrade performance for every RDP, Active Directory and VoIP user.
7. ADSL delivers stability. Unlike ADSL, cable customers share a neighbourhood network and each neighbour determines the speed and stability of their neighbour’s service. Neighbourhood congestion can cause an uneven flow of data and degrade VoIP, streaming video and cloud applications which work best when data arrives at consistent intervals.
8. Packet order matters. Many IT managers use a separate Internet service for applications that rely on data arriving in correct sequence. They do so to prevent indifferent uses like file downloads, web browsing and email from degrading VoIP, streaming video and cloud applications.
These 8 reasons make a solid business case for combining ADSL and Cable. Another time I’ll share the many ways to properly configure failover. Meanwhile, contact us to explore how we can match a failover solution to your business needs.
Wikipedia and other Definitions
What is RDP?: Remote Desktop Protocol is a proprietary protocol developed by Microsoft which provides a user with a graphical interface to another computer.
What is AD?: Active Directory is a directory service created by Microsoft for Windows domain networks.
What is VoIP?: Voice over Internet Protocol is a family of technologies, methodologies, communication protocols and transmission techniques for the delivery of voice communications and multimedia sessions over Internet Protocol (IP) networks.
What is Cloud computing?: Cloud computing is the delivery of computing as a service rather than a product, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices as a utility over a network.