What to consider when planning an IT infrastructure

Planning a company’s IT Infrastructure is a daunting task. Businesses are reliant on a strong infrastructure to process pertinent information in a variety of ways, and any gaps or failures in the infrastructure can have devastating effects for a business, its employees and their clients.

A critical component of IT infrastructure is a fast, reliable and secure network capable of scaling up with potential growth. Dark fiber networks are the future of internet frameworks. With faster speeds, greater security and increased flexibility, a network based on dark fiber could eliminate many of the gaps and failures in IT infrastructure.

The combination of cloud computing, networked devices and internal data transfer and storage has put a tremendous amount of strain on traditional IT infrastructure plans. The three components demand bandwidth at ever increasing rates. The question businesses must ask is are they prepared to answer immediate and future demands as the business grows.

Things to consider when choosing a network

There are a number of aspects to consider when deciding how to keep your IT infrastructure connected. These considerations have a profound impact on the kind of network connectivity needed to foster the effective processing of information.

  • Number of employees
  • Number of network devices
  • Applications the devices rely on
  • Expectations for business growth
  • How to finance

While these seem like basic considerations, their impact is profound. Accurately gauging the number of employees and networked devices combined with the applications in use will determine bandwidth needs to keep everyone and everything working optimally.

Be sure to plan for the future. As the business grows, more and more resources will be needed. An IT infrastructure that doesn’t take growth into account will become dated and difficult to use, increasing the likelihood of the aforementioned gaps and failures.

Each style of network will have its own financing parameters. When financing dark fiber, there are two options to consider: lease or indefeasible right of use (IRU). While dark fiber IRU is the most common financing option, both have their benefits and are great options to consider when planning an IT infrastructure.

The future is now

The U.S. ranks a paltry 31st in the world for internet speeds. We are beginning to combat this ranking as many cities have begun installing, or already have a foundation of, fiber optics. Dark fiber provides many benefits for a business looking to build or improve their IT infrastructure.

  • Speed – With a dark fiber network, a company’s internet speeds increase from the country’s average of 11.5 mbps to 1000 mbps (or one gigabit). For comparison effect, a 2-hour HD movie – 3.0-4.5 gigabytes – downloads in a little under 60 minutes on a traditional broadband connection. On a gigabit connection using a fiber network, that same movie would download in roughly 25 seconds.
  • Security – Dark fiber provides increased security. Unlike public access networks, closed fiber loops are accessible only from a little number of points. This eliminates the need for firewalls and other protective measures.
  • Flexibility – Connecting and utilizing dark fiber allows organizations to own and manage the equipment. The data transmitted across fiber is done so at different wavelengths. On normal fiber connections, each business or customer has a specific wavelength in which its data is transmitted. When leasing dark fiber, businesses have access to any and all wavelengths. This increases bandwidth and security and provides the groundwork for scalability.
  • Scalability – As the business grows, it’s important the network can grow as well. Scaling up a business’ network is quick and easy when leasing a fiber infrastructure. A business can configure its own lasers or wavelengths and increase network speeds at no extra cost.
  • Internet Redundancy – Downed internet is an inconvenience at home, but comes at a real expense of time and money at work. Backup plans are a necessity. Dark fiber is a viable option as both a primary and backup option to keep internet connectivity. With extra fibers on separate physical paths, dark fiber networks can take over seamlessly in the event of primary network failure.

Downtown St. Louis has a dark fiber network waiting to be tapped into by businesses looking to bridge those gaps and create fail safes for their IT infrastructure needs. The benefits of dark fiber are plentiful and can be a tremendous help and support for businesses.