Below are some example uses and benefits of fiber optic infrastructure to secure information and handle critical situations. Have questions, feedback or ideas to share? Contact us.

PC Backup – Many users would like to have services like automatic backup of their PC’s without intervention. Increasing numbers and kinds of tools and services make this a reality.
Server Backup – As we become more digitally focused, the systems used for managing certain data are unique and cannot be duplicated. It has been years since we have been able to load an aircraft, ship a product, allow people into the country, or book a room without accurate data—and systems to manage the processes. Very simply this means that if you lose your data you are out of business. This information is voluminous but timely backup is more critical, often required every second or, as in some industries, simultaneous writes to backup systems for instantaneous backup. Since backup storage is remote from your location, this puts stress on the networks and, with timeliness requirements, can not simply be performed during the off hours.
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.
Restore – Backup requires also a restore option so that if there is a fault or problem, the systems can be brought back to operational status rapidly.
Alerts and Events – Analytics without alerts is not very useful. For example, keeping records of every fire alarm and sending it to the fire station every day can be useful, but not nearly as valuable as giving an alert when a problem is discovered. The same can be said of face recognition and sensor-based measurements: wherever we are, we need to know when there’s a problem.
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 earthmoving 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.
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.
Centralized Security – Computer systems require special monitoring of all of the IT equipment, especially for attacks to vulnerable parts of the system. Organizations need the ability to implement an aggressive patch strategy. These needs require fast access to the computer systems for appropriate security measures to be implemented properly.
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.
Multi-tenant hosts – Multi-tenant hosting is an operating system and network-level facility (e.g. Windows Server 8). If a company does not want to use publicly available hosting services, it must have equipment that allows participation in an organization-based or community cloud that would allow an application or operator to programmatically change aspects of the network. This requires sophisticated network equipment that is not normally available. It might also require resources and monitoring software that would allow each user to be charged for what they use only.
Public Cloud – Many computer-based operations are being redesigned to operate in the “Cloud.” Companies such as Amazon.com and Microsoft are attempting to monetize the excess capacity of their data centers by offering cloud services. This is called platform as a service (PaaS). The economics behind the clouds requires that people share these complex resources over a network, so the costs per user goes down. There are entire industries in networking and software that are ready to establish relationships with community developers who can speak their language and begin to understand their needs for connectivity, power, and other resources.
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.
Tier I vs. Tier IV – Uptime Institute’s Tier Classification and Performance Standard is an objective basis for comparing the functionality, capacities, and relative cost of a particular site infrastructure design topology. This standard addresses system redundancy, time between failures, and network architecture that optimizes access to services. This is important in situations that require absolute and secure connectivity (such as remote surgeries), and the costs associated with each tier and options.

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