The Arguments for More Bandwidth
Experts say in the next 10 years, IT could be facing a data avalanche. Consider the impact of streaming videos, digital records, and critical business applications becoming the livelihood of every business and its effects on the network. With the anticipation of 10x growth in servers and 50x growth in data, it’s often difficult for startups and companies to anticipate bandwidth coverage or build dedicated pipes. Companies have historically relied on legacy and MPLS circuits in increments of 1.5 megabits per seconds (Mbps), but although proven and reliable, they tend to be costly and difficult to deploy. Recently with hybrid networking and SD-WAN technology, the opportunities to take advantage of widely available and affordable bandwidth is the best method to support unprecedented connectivity demands. Consider the following trends and scenarios:
- Data Growth and Retention.
Healthcare organizations have some of the most stringent rules for data and retention. Some states require, for example, children’s medical records to be kept until they turn 18. A routine check-up or scan can add dozens of images which then needs to have multiple copies and be kept offsite. Commonly, they rely on stacks of tapes and 7 years of retention, a requirement by Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). There’s the cost associated with managing and transporting, but more importantly, the potential risks if tapes fail or are lost during transport.
A single local law enforcement organization can add terabytes of data daily. By the end of a shift, officers upload bodycam and dashcam videos and store them for years. These videos, although rarely accessed, must be kept for incidental and legation records to meet compliances.
Whether you’re in law enforcement, healthcare, finance, or engineering & design, data sprawls will push every aspect of IT to the limits: bandwidth, storage, and infrastructure.
- SaaS-based Apps & the Cloud
With the explosive growth of the cloud, more and more companies are moving workloads off-premise and rely on SaaS-based applications where fast and reliable bandwidth is critical. Work can now be accessed anywhere there’s computer and internet. Companies who moved business-critical applications and workloads off-premise will look to dedicated connections into hyper-scale clouds like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure while maintaining security and policies. Environments are becoming bare minimums and heavy workloads are hosted where there’s less maintenance, zero-CapEx, and in a scalable place.
- Redundancy & Disaster Recovery
I have the privilege to speak with thousands of organizations and hear what they do to mitigate risk. SaaS-based applications like Office 365 and SalesForce minimize the risk of outages compared to hosting Exchange and CRM databases on premise. But servers and data that cannot be hosted off-premise require redundancy and high-availability. Multiple datacenters with server and storage replication need fat-pipes to keep up with traffic and meet recovery point and time objectives (RPO/RTO). Companies will bleed thousands of dollars by the minute if they’re down. Having a mixed bag of connections available (fiber, coaxial, and wireless) and the ability to failover, gives the best chance for any organization to thrive.