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The future's upstream

The future's upstream

How your business can stay competitive as new technology demands more from upload speed

Category: Internet

Date: , 16:40

Company: Eclipse

This summer, technology research company Gartner predicted an "explosion" in the growth of cloud services over the next five years. This will further drive an already booming business demand for greater upload speed. The truth is, an increasing reliance on hosted applications, remote working and shared files in business means you may be closer to the cloud than you think.

 White Paper www.eclipse.net.uk       The future s upstream How your business can stay competitive as new technology demands more from upload speed      A White Paper from   Untitled Document White Paper www.eclipse.net.uk  Executive Summary  This summer, technology research company Gartner predicted an explosion in the growth of cloud services over the next five years. This will further drive an already booming business demand for greater upload speed. The truth is, an increasing reliance on hosted applications, remote working and shared files in business means you may be closer to the cloud you think.  You may be surprised to find your business is already in the cloud If you:   Use smartphone technology to communicate or VoIP or video conferencing    pay as you go with hosted applications like SharePoint or SalesForce   Are able to access your email from anywhere   Remotely back up your PC or servers to secure off-site locations  Working in the cloud demands high upload speeds  All cloud working, remote access and file sharing activities require good upload capacities and with an explosion in businesses accessing these tools, the future truly is upstream. Even if you ve not ventured into the cloud yet, the chances are you re already practicing upload-heavy habits. Even sending and sharing image-heavy files and documents will put pressure on your up-speeds.  Cloud technology isn t a just major enterprise solution. We re all using it already and home and at work. But in business, it s actually the best, value for money, scalable and flexible way for SMEs to enter in to new technology. Typically, when the economy goes bust, tech sales suffer too. With cloud, the reverse is true, and that s because it helps business cut costs, reduce risks and manage spending.  Keep competitive and futureproof your business. This White Paper will explain the range of connectivity solutions available which make higher upload speeds affordable and accessible to everyone. Untitled Document White Paper www.eclipse.net.uk Introduction  A year ago, a study into the global state of broadband provision claimed that Britain was meeting the needs of today but not ready for tomorrow . A lot has happened in a year. The roll out of the UK s first fibre connections, and progress in the government s Digital Britain plan has put our country back on track to meet the future competitive needs of UK based businesses. Next-generation infrastructure is already in place with BT s 21CN network set to provide significantly faster broadband to three quarters of the country by spring next year. Add to this the thousands of kilometres of optical fibre already installed - which has allowed some businesses to get ahead of the game and buy into Fibre broadband and the connectivity market has suddenly become competitive. It s not before time. Faster broadband has become essential to most modern businesses who are increasingly seeing new technology rely heavily on upload speeds. ADSL solutions, with far higher download speeds than upload used to suit the needs of most businesses, but competitive new business tools such as VoIP, video conferencing and a huge move towards cloud computing has left ADSL behind. Never before have businesses had such a need for reliable broadband which offers synchronicity upload performance matching that of download capabilities. A lack of upload capability is now seeing some businesses lose out to their competitors as data-demand upstream increases hugely with the most innovative new technology. Cloud computing or utility computing is being hailed as the key to small business efficiency and success. This solution offers on demand services which smaller enterprises can buy into as and when it s required, giving them the potential computing power of a major multinational without the huge capital outlay. It s particularly useful in sectors which experience peaks and troughs in their computing requirements and don t want systems to remain idle during slower periods. But the use of the cloud relies on fast and efficient data transfer upstream, on a business connection, as well as down. As companies increasingly turn to hosted servers, or web-based software, the demands on the broadband connection serving the business premises changes. Although it s still in its infancy, industry analysts predict that this hosted model for business computing will become standard practice in the same way that companies no longer generate their own power from a generator in the basement. The upstream revolution is on its way.   Untitled Document White Paper www.eclipse.net.uk Don t lose out. Why you might need higher upload speeds now.  Small businesses no longer need to make huge capital expenditures to acquire the technology needed to remain competitive. Services provided in the cloud (web based services) gives small enterprises an easy and cost effective opt in to big business solutions. The pay as you go model is not only useful for scalability, but it also offers access for everyone to enterprise level technology. The days of forking out huge sums for in-house servers and network systems are gone, and small businesses can operate to a far higher and arguably limitless level using cloud technology. What s more, access to these new technologies can vastly increase competitive advantages. The savings on CapEx are echoed by savings in OpEx. Freeing up support staff by buying into fully managed solutions allows you to reduce management effort and start getting value from your solutions instead. But there is one demand which still lies with the individual business: a broadband connection capable of upstream speed. Even day-to-day business is now demanding more from your upload speeds. The move from simple text documents towards data-heavy presentations, pdfs, and image-focussed projects means even emailing your colleagues or clients is putting a big strain on your upload capabilities. With the average good-quality digital photo now weighing in at 5MB, it s not long before your email attachments reach jumbo sizes. Another upload-heavy practise is the use of hosted, shared drives. One of the simplest examples of cloud computing is putting your work files on a secure site, for anytime, anywhere access by colleagues or clients. Perhaps your business telephone system has moved to VoIP? It s much cheaper, and it s more flexible allowing you to conference call very easily. But again, the demands on data going up your broadband connection are hugely increased. And if your business has considered video-conferencing, you ll know you can see by the quality, if your lines are struggling to cope. The cloud has long been the safest, most instantly accessible way to keep your data secure but increasingly, it s offering value added apps which have potential to transform your business, at affordable costs.    Untitled Document White Paper www.eclipse.net.uk Future-proof your business invest in a high-performing connection  Just like with your business infrastructure, new technology means small enterprises don t have to pay out huge sums to compete in the market. Getting access to higher upload speeds doesn t have to be expensive and there are a number of options on the market. For those who really want to invest in a dedicated line, offering great speeds and no contention, Leased line solutions promise high performance and excellent service level agreements. But there are other options in the middle ground, many of which cost considerably less.   Fibre to the Cabinet  One of the newest offerings in the connectivity marketplace, Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) has been labelled superfast broadband by the press over the past year or so. A happy side-effect of the faster, and more efficient, fibre connection is that it also offers significantly quicker upload speeds as well. Not all providers are offering FTTC but a significant few are, and although it s far from widespread in its availability, more and more exchanges are being enabled each month. BT has pledged to get 40% of Britain connected to fibre to the cabinet by 2012.  How it works FTTC essentially replaces the old copper wiring between exchanges and street cabinets with a high-performing fibre optic cable. FTTC is one stage away from the ultimate fibre connection because it stops at the street cabinet. The last section of the line into your business is still copper and works in a faster, but not dissimilar way to your standard broadband connection.  What you ll get If you re able to get FTTC you ll find download speeds of up to 40Mbps and upload speeds up to 10Mbps vastly more than your standard DSL line. With a guaranteed minimum throughput of 12Mbps you re opting into a much more reliably high-performing connection.  How much you ll pay As FTTC isn t a dedicated line, costs are significantly lower than other high-performing private lines. As fibre connections are fairly new on the market, prices are likely to drop significantly over the coming years, but even today you re looking at about double the average ADSL monthly cost, with a varying installation fee which shouldn t exceed 100.  Untitled Document White Paper www.eclipse.net.uk   SDSL  SDSL is the logical next step from your ADSL line if you re simply looking to boost uploads, and can t access FTTC. It s worth bearing in mind that SDSL is not available in all locations. Your local exchange needs to have been SDSL enabled  How it works The clue is in the name: you ll be going from a standard Asynchronous DSL (higher download speed, than up) to a Synchronous or Symmetrical DSL (where up and down speeds are matched). SDSL still runs on copper lines but requires specialist equipment to be installed in your exchange, and a new line from the exchange to the cabinet, which is why it s not available everywhere. Around 40% of the country can access SDSL services.  What you ll get SDSL lines are usually offered at a variety of speeds, ranging from 512Kbps to 2Mbps. As the line is Synchronous, you ll get the same performance up as you do down. Unlike FTTC and ADSL however, you ll be competing with at least half as many other users. Contention ratios are around 10:1 but could be even lower, depending on local demand.  How much it costs SDSL solutions aren t as cheap as FTTC but crucially, you won t be paying for installation. Expect to pay around 200 a month for your connection but with a free install, the only cost commitment you re making is for the length of your contract.     Bonded DSL This is another new solution which is ideal for businesses in rural areas. Slow ADSL broadband services can be boosted by bonding several ADSL lines together to increase performance. For most businesses who aren t accessing great broadband speeds, even at a basic level, the download speed increase will be crucial, but another happy side-effect of the bonded solution is a significant increase in upload capabilities too. How it works Bonded DSL makes use of your standard ADSL broadband and literally bonds together two or more ADSL lines, resulting in double or more in performance. You can bond up to four standard lines together, potentially giving your business four times the upload and download speeds  What you ll get Untitled Document White Paper www.eclipse.net.uk You could expect roughly twice, three, or four times the performance on your current line, depending on how many you choose to bond. Bonded DSL often results in impressive speeds to rival much costlier solutions. For instance, if you are currently connected on an up to 8Mbps line but are consistently getting around 4Mbps download speed and around 2Mbps upload, you could expect to multiply that to up to 16Mbps down and 8Mbps up with four Bonded DSL lines  How much it costs Bonded DSL costs vary depending on how many lines you choose to bond. At its best, a four line solution is likely to cost around the same as an SDSL line but expect to pay a set up fee for this. Installation of around 200 is likely, with a similar cost per month for four bonded lines. Fewer bonds will be significantly cheaper but remember you ll also be paying line rental on each line you use.  Go for the very best a business Leased Line  Get the very best for your business with a totally dedicated connection. These solutions aren t cheap but you can t get better. If you re looking for true performance, backed by impressive guarantees and zero contention, leased line solutions may be for you. This is a real business-grade service meaning you re buying a fully-managed solution which should come equipped with an impressive Service Level Agreement, boasting a guaranteed fix time. This is one connection you shouldn t be taking a risk on and you ll be getting guarantees from your provider to support it.  There are three main options to make the most of your dedicated connection.     Point to Point A point to point connection is ideal for a business with high data dependency in day to day work, but which needs the capability to share data between offices rather than over the web.  How it works A point to point leased line or private circuit isn t an internet connection but does allow you to extend your business network (WAN) over a multiple locations.  What you ll get You ll have the option to choose your bandwidth which can range from 2Mbps up to 1Gbps. As this line isn t shared, it ll provide guaranteed speed both up and down, that s dedicated to your business. It s a great solution to reduce buffering time in both VoIP Untitled Document White Paper www.eclipse.net.uk and video conferencing technology. A point to point line is also totally private, giving you complete security between sites  How much it costs All Business Leased Line costs vary enormously. That s because they re dedicated solutions which are individually installed into your business, so much depends on distances between your site and the nearest Point of Presence. It s always worth finding a provider who will give you a detailed, and honest quote for a Leased Line solution partly because the cost structure is so complex, and partly because this is a major CapEx outlay for your business. As a very basic estimation, a Point to Point connection is likely to cost you between 300 and 1000 a month depending on the speed of the line you choose. It s also worth considering installation costs. Not all providers are good at being upfront about these costs from the start but it s a significant outlay of between 1500 and 3000. A good provider will always give you a frank assessment of installation cost right at the start, and should always warn you that any quote is subject to survey.     EFM Ethernet to the First Mile is a fantastic opportunity for businesses lucky enough to fall within an EFM catchment area. It s not a widely available service, and you may have to search for providers who provision it, but the cost savings can be enormous. Unlike Point to Point, this is a dedicated internet connection.  How it works EFM uses copper pairs to carry data, alongside your existing copper line - which arrives at your premises as an Ethernet presentation. That s why it s cheaper no costly install. The key to maintaining performance is that copper performs just as well as fibre over short distances. You need to be near an EFM-enabled Point of Presence to access this service a quick call to an EFM provider will run your postcode through their systems to tell you straight away if it s an option for your business.  What you ll get EFM is available in speeds of up to 10Mbps and it s totally synchronous. At this speed, the performance you can expect from an EFM connection is identical to that of a Dedicated Internet Access line but often at less than half the price. Similarly, it s uncontended and fully managed and installed in half the time of DIA. The drawback of EFM when compared to a DIA solution, however, is that it s not upgradable.  How much it costs Untitled Document White Paper www.eclipse.net.uk Again, costs vary from business to business depending on distances from the exchange, but EFM can bring costs down by 65% when compared to a Dedicated Internet Access line. Starting at around 300 a month in line rental, EFM also costs much less to install from around 500.       Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) Although EFM also offers you dedicated internet access, a DIA line is a dedicated fibre connection, right from your premises, directly into the heart of the internet.  How it works Your provider will install a dedicated fibre connection right inside your building which connects you directly to the internet. You ll be making two choices: the level of throughput you require (how fast your connection runs from day to day) and what type of bearer you want (the maximum speed your connection could achieve without another installation). You ll be choosing a throughput speed of anything from 2Mbps up to 1Gbps. This makes a DIA connection entirely flexible and scalable. Choose a high speed bearer and you ve got in-built upgrade options ready to go from the start.  What you ll get This is the champion of dedicated solutions, offering you unrivalled performance, reliability and guarantee. A DIA connection gives your business guaranteed and consistent speed and better security as you re no longer sharing normal telephone lines. And as the connection is symmetrical, you ll get upload speeds that are just as good as downloads. Along with DIA s flexibility and scalability, the other key factor is its Service Level Agreements. Buying a DIA connection should ensure you get a high level of SLA and short, guaranteed, fix time.  How much it costs As with all the Leased Line solutions, make sure your provider is offering you a full and frank cost assessment. DIA solutions are similar to Point to Point connections in terms of monthly subscription again, depending on the speed you go for, expect to pay anything from around 400 up to about 1000. The installation costs are a crucial part of the cost analysis here as well these will be tailored to your business location but expect to pay between 1500 and 2000 upfront as an installation cost.   Untitled Document White Paper www.eclipse.net.uk What s right for my business?  The market s never offered so much choice for businesses looking to increase upload capabilities which probably goes some way to explain why cloud solutions are becoming ever-popular. But in a day and age in which moving large quantities of data around quickly and efficiently has become a necessity for almost all businesses, choosing the right upgrade from ADSL is vital. Use this table for a very general estimation of the sort of solution that s right for your business. Pick the statement that fits your needs the best from the left hand side column, then choose the upload speed you re looking for along the top row.  UPLOAD speed requirement  up to 2Mbps   Up to 10Mbps  Up to 1Gbps  Do you prioritise...    Security      Uncontended      Guaranteed performance?    EFM  EFM Point to Point DIA   Point to Point DIA  Or do you have...      Lower upload need      Budget constraints?   SDSL Bonded DSL    FTTC   It s true that the development of Britain s roll out of Fibre broadband will enable even private connections to access much higher upload speeds but the higher value solutions outlined in this White Paper will continue to offer reliable solutions for businesses. Although FTTC solutions are fast, give you a greater upload capability and are affordable when compared to standard ADSL, it is still a contended service. For a business serious about its need for a high-performance connection, the uncontended, dedicated Leased Line solutions will continue to be the connection of choice. Uptake of this type of connection has soared over the past year as more and more businesses realise their future lies upstream. With increasing demand on all broadband connections, a dedicated, uncontended line is a must for any business looking for total reliability and exclusivity of connection. Impressive Service Level Agreements and a fully managed service make Leased Lines an attractive proposition to businesses looking for a serious broadband solution. Untitled Document White Paper www.eclipse.net.uk   About Eclipse Eclipse has been in the business since the very start of broadband. We ve specialised in what we do best: providing internet services to SMEs. We pride ourselves on listening. Listening to what our business customers need and using this to drive our product range. That s why we provide everything from basic broadband to managed server hosting and the latest in cloud computing. We provide technology that works for you. We are experts in our field, because we listen to you. As a member of the KCOM Group, Eclipse operates across the UK s largest internet network. It gives us access to enterprise level infrastructure, which we tailor make for the SME market. We aim to create intelligent partnerships that benefit you. That s why we recently signed a unique agreement with BT which sees Eclipse customers benefit from greater resilience, higher reliability, less disruption and quicker provisioning. As BT s biggest partner, we don t settle for industry-standard service, but demand better. www.eclipse.net.uk 0800 9155 234

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