2) What type of traffic will the broadband connection support?
It is too easy to merely ask the question of whether the business broadband is supporting data and/or voice. A converged network should be the objective of every IT manager interested in optimizing her network investment and company resources. The much more difficult question is to understand how the existing broadband is being utilized by the business and at what maximum capacity is the current broadband.
In today’s business environment, it is expected that employees are connecting to business and operations support systems (BSS/OSS) to run the business, support customers and perform administrative tasks. This activity usually does not occupy bandwidth exiting the building unless it is in support of remote office locations or home office employees. The greater demand for bandwidth by the average employee will be to conduct Internet based research, access cloud computing solutions (i.e. salesforce.com), connect to personal email or social network sites (i.e. LinkedIn, Facebook), view video (i.e. webinars or YouTube), listen to streaming audio (i.e. Pandora) and other activity. We have decades of tools to forecast and manage voice traffic, however, the usage associated with the Internet continues to evolve and require new forecast assumptions in order to be confident the correct amount of bandwidth is purchase.
Securing this type of information does not require a significant investment. However, it does require utilizing a free or OEM provided network monitoring tool to observe the peaks and valleys of usage.
3) How many IP Addresses are required?
Static IP addresses are numeric IP addresses that uniquely identify a computer on the Internet. IP addresses are referred to as static because the numeric address is always associated with the same unique computer. When connecting to a server without using static IP addresses, users are assigned a dynamic IP address which is used only for the duration of the connection. This allows more efficient use of a limited pool of IP addresses and supports mobile users.
Most business will require static IP addresses to support various servers (including an IP PBX) that are accessed by outside resources or other servers. Pricing for static IP addresses varies from carrier to carrier but in general, plan on getting one static IP included with the broadband purchase. Additional static IP addresses will be sold in bundles ranging from five to eight per bundle. The cost will range from $3-5 per month per static IP address.
More on Friday…