Using satellites to connect remote sites has become a staple in the oil field. At first glance, the attractive pricing of consumer-class Internet service may seem like a worthwhile choice for a company’s satellite Internet needs. Much like the transportation industry moving people and goods around, there is a variety of methods to transfer data over the Internet. For the transport business, a company might choose a bus, a car or a heavy truck. However, using a car to move a hockey team could get a little crowded.
Likewise, Internet networks today are “shared.” Multiple customers use the available bandwidth capacity from the Internet service provider (ISP). By squeezing the maximum number of paying customers on the network, ISPs can achieve maximum profits. This oversubscription model has been a mainstay for the economic model of ISPs since the inception of the Internet and is based on the premise that it is virtually impossible for multiple users to press “enter” at precisely the same time.
Unfortunately, this network design is becoming more and more challenged very quickly. Many consumer-class networks now have oversubscription ratios of 100:1 or more. An oversubscribed network with proper care and attention by ISPs could deliver reasonable speeds for basic email and surfing. However, as Internet use evolves to more of an entertainment medium through applications like Hulu, Netflix and YouTube, ISPs are seeing exponential demand for bandwidth, and traditional models simply won’t work anymore.
Enterprise networks are not grossly oversubscribed. In a model where fewer customers share the same resource, it costs more. Conversely, users will have a much better chance of obtaining optimum speeds on an enterprise network. In terms of raw cost per bit transported in a well-managed enterprise network, it may be surprisingly affordable.
The strongest reason to select enterprise over consumer-class is the ability to customize connections to maximize performance. For example, Galaxy Broadband has the ability to prioritize, throttle, block or manage a specific site’s traffic, ensuring the best possible performance and strongest connection. Like the bus vs. car analogy, true enterprise ISPs have engineers on staff to design, implement and monitor clients’ connections. They are professionals with specific training on applications and work with a client’s IT resources to customize solutions to transport data.
Adding speed without adding network management is not the solution. Installing a device on a LAN also is not a solution unless a company has a large budget to acquire the hardware and even larger budget to monitor and manage the system effectively. Nonetheless, most affordable appliances on the market are only partially able to detect, identify and in some cases control the worst offenders. The solution is network management and application customization that an enterprise ISP can provide.
As smart rigs become more common, requiring increased video and data demands, the quality of the streaming video with constant information rates (CIRs) becomes even more important. A CIR will ensure delivery of the required bandwidth in a very predictable and steady manner.
With all Internet connections, technical glitches or connectivity issues can happen. Therefore, an occasional call for help can be frustrating if using consumer-grade services.
Enterprise technical support offers engineering-level expertise and real people to talk to at any time who have the ability to modify service profiles as requirements change onsite.
In a corporate environment time is money. Sending critical information on a poorly suited connection ultimately costs more than taking the bus.