Below are some example uses and benefits of fiber optic infrastructure for improving overall business results. Have questions, feedback or ideas to share? Contact us…

Stream Processing – Stream Processing includes data management, storage and analytics of a continuous stream of data. For example, most sensor-based systems require stream processing. Other data produced in streams includes stock markets, environmental and astronomic data, and more. Stream analytics are different than static Analytics because the stream of data never stops and the result must also be streamed.
Drawings and Documents – Some companies such as architectural firms, publishers and printers deal with large documents that can take a long time to downloaded need to be version managed and spooled to other devices such as printers. Productivity of the personnel and equipment is dependent upon the speed and accuracy at which these are transferred. Documents are becoming bigger and more complex (e.g. high resolution, color, formatting, embedded objects such as video). The size of a document with embedded video and images could be GBs per page.
Archives – Archiving is the act of keeping the information and making it available for timely retrieval. For example, you may have heard of the Internet Archive in San Francisco. They have copies of many web sites back to 1996, so if you wanted to see what Google looked like 10 years ago, they have it. However there are many more large users of archive storage, like for the video cameras used for surveillance, and systems that record and monitor sensor-based information. In addition to being large users of bandwidth to store these data, there is also bandwidth used to retrieve and analyze it. As we add more sensors and cameras (and other sources of real time data such as clicks on a web page or the location of aircraft in the sky) these archive requirements are multiplied. The trend of increasing storage and processor capability is increasing faster than networks, and that puts additional pressure on the networks.
Analytics – In many cases, the mass of information is not very meaningful without analysis. Weather and climate data is a good example. Measuring, calculating, tracking, and visualizing powerful storms is an important tool is keeping people and property as safe as possible.
Diagnostics – Many processes are time-sensitive. In healthcare, for example, the amount of data that is generated by a DNA Sequencer has gotten to so large that some of the DNA Service Centers ship hard drives (using the rapidly dropping price of storage) instead of transmitting the results via networks. Shipping takes time, however, and as this information becomes a standard part of real-time diagnosis and treatment, the data will have to be returned in a timely fashion.
Other Real-Time – Some of the applications that will generate a large increase in networked traffic are real-time operations, such as sensor-based systems. One example is hosted applications that monitor the health of a fleet: from aircraft to power stations, to earth-moving equipment. As the price continues to drop we can expect monitoring to be expanded. Another example is location-based services such as mobile phone applications (status updates, GPS directions, etc.) This is particularly challenging because this use increases greatly the UPLOAD side of the networks and is quite counter to the model developed by the original telecom companies.
Sales/Demos – Brochures and demo products require bandwidth for responsive download—and sometimes upload of user data—of material for sales and marketing.
Webinars – Webinars have now become an integral part of selling and providing customer support. These require high quality, high speed delivery services.
Call centers – Call centers have special needs including extremely complex VOIP—often over several time zones—that allow agents to sign on as they begin their days. The VOIP is needed because agent sign-on for local systems can only incorporate units on the same LAN.
Outsourced IT – For many companies, the IT task as it expands to include everything from laptops to phones to building security to networks to racks of computes, have opted to Outsource the IT function. This creates special issues on the network because the people performing functions will have to have special capability such as remote ability to boot and input in the systems securely. There are everyday businesses like metal fabricators that are using these services today.
Distributed Facilities – As an organization grows, it can be a wise and practical decision to separate some of the people, systems and processes into different facilities or locations. There are programs such as telecommuting, outsourcing, and JIT operations that are not only separated, but may be different companies with different policies on their systems. Often private connections (such as virtual private networks, or VPNs) are desirable. When facilities are required to be connected via public telecom networks, those networks can significantly increase the cost of the operation.
Alternate Site Operations – Some facilities, such as banks or stock markets, cannot wait for a restore. These operations will have a completely redundant operations ready to take over on queue, to provide nonstop operations. Fast access for an efficient switchover is an imperative. There are leaders in these fields that might find San Leandro attractive.
Hosting – One special kind of distributed environment involves a hosting facility, where an application such as monitoring or analytics is located in a data center. This can be done for a number of reasons, but the principle one is the reliably of the power. A power outage causes significant disruptions. Data centers often have their own substation and backup generators. Hosting is also used for particular applications like Microsoft Exchange services.
E-Commerce Sites – A special case of hosted solutions, some companies offer a simple self-service web site capability (e.g., WordPress.com, Blogger.com). They have most of the requirements listed above—plus specialized monitoring for security, billing, and maintenance.
Incubators – Incubators help with development of product cycles. Typically an incubator requires a system that simulates the network of the future. Product cycles are often five to seven years, so building something for today makes your product obsolete on release. Having access to powerful networks today aids the design and production of services that will be needed in the future.
Private/community clouds – Given the rapid expansion of storage and processor capability, operating in the “Cloud” is an obvious trend for companies that provide their software as a service (SaaS) (e.g. Salesforce.com) from their own data centers. Their many thousands of customers communicate with these data centers using a web browser with very little permanent data on the client side. One of the biggest advantages of the cloud is elasticity—the ability to scale to millions of users and processors as needed. For example when Microsoft offers patches to their 850,000,000 customers, their system can scale to allow communication with many countries around the world, while minimizing disruptions on national networks. A community cloud also has an additional advantage: the community can select common policies (e.g. security) that are specific to their needs. For example, patient records fall under HIPPA and have requirements that would be specific to the health care industry.

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