I was at a conference a couple weeks ago and was complaining to a peer from St. Paul about the high cost of fiber internet in Albuquerque where an enterprise class connection can cost upwards of $1900/month. How much does he pay for a 100 Megabit connection in Minnesota? About $200/month in St. Paul. Yikes.
New Mexico needs a way to close that gap.
To be clear, we do have reasonably priced broadband connections like cable and DSL here, but because those connections don’t offer what many businesses need like 24/7 service guarantees and symmetrical upload and download speeds (where the upload is just as fast as the download), these are not considered “Enterprise Class.” They are fine for basic internet and email functions, but if you want to consider things like:
- Moving your servers to the cloud
- Running cloud hosted voice services
- Getting better than “best effort” uptime
Then you need an Enterprise Class Circuit or else you put your productivity and business at risk of a major outage.
For these kinds of requirements, you need fiber, MPLS or T1 connections and often it is just out of reach for many of the businesses we support. When I say “out of reach,” I mean that literally. Sometimes the connection is just a few hundred feet away, but the construction costs to connect to your office can ratchet the cost up to well over $1500/month. With insurance and labor costs on the rise, that can be a non-starter that can put cloud services on the back-burner for years.
SD-WAN is an acronym for “Software Define Wide Area Network.” Previously, you could use a cable connection as your primary internet connection and failover to a DSL if something happened to the primary. With SD-WAN, you can now combine 2 internet connections together to get better performance and improved reliability.
Its called “software defined” because this new technology uses software to determine which information packets go out first. If you are relying on an internet-hosted phone service, you can set those packets to get the highest priority so you don’t experience the robot voice or dropouts that can plague VOIP systems on low bandwidth connections. SD-WAN can send packets out both connections simultaneously and whichever one gets there first gets used and the other is dropped.
While this doesn’t get you to true Enterprise-Class, it gets you about 75% of the way there and that may be enough for many New Mexico companies to start to leverage more cloud services. All of this means improved reliability at a fraction of the cost of a true Enterprise-Class Circuit.
Want to learn how you can take advantage of this new technology? Call me at 505-819-5471 to learn more.