Getting Ready for the META Internet Business World…
Wake up & get real for the masses
Based upon research and live customer experiences dating from Q4 2017, I have come to the opinion that the FaaS & WaaS add to the long list of technologies where vendors over rate the value of their wares to the folks that have to pay for them.
Back in September 2017, Airfibre won a tender to supply connectivity to a Government funded business park with infrastructure comprising a 100Mbps Internet Leased Line, a Firewall and 40 Access points.
In hindsight, the specification was massively over engineered given the usage made of the infrastructure, which reflected the profile of the customers involved. In short:
- a) the 100Mbps backhaul never saw greater than 5% utilisation;
- b) the Palo Alto security solution, whilst fine technology, went way beyond the requirements for SoHo environments that would never avail of its features; and
- c) the networked Cisco Wi-Fi infrastructure was more expensive than necessary.
Further learning followed this initial installation as we fulfilled additional firewall requirements elsewhere based upon the Palo Alto platform.
In contrast to the business park, these were customer driven purchases where the users clearly had a cast iron case for the absolute best of breed technology to satisfy highly sensitive blue-chip corporate requirements. In these cases the investment was, in hindsight, worthwhile. (It was worth noting that these customers had full time dedicated professional IT staff.)
Others to whom we introduced the Palo Alto solution accepted that whilst the technology was fantastic, they could not justify the cost and some were wary of being able to provide appropriate resource for managing the solution. (NB, these organisations did not have dedicated full time IT staff.)
From this it was clear that the majority of enterprises do not have full time IT staff, but:
- still need an appropriate level of security;
- are budget conscious and will not typically have extensive funds reserved for data security; and
- will have installed a firewall at some point but may be unsure if it is operating to the current environment or even if the license for the solution is in date, inviting the question as to whether or not they have any protection at all?
Approaches from existing customers also indicated an appetite for a cost effective solution for which there was a single point of contact for any issues arising. In a nutshell, many organisations find it irksome to determine whether any fault may be due to the backhaul circuit, the access router, the Firewall or the WiFi and, moreover, when an issue arises they can be frustrated by the challenge of identifying its root cause, particularly where vendors become defensive and operate denial.
It struck us that whatever we designed had to be:
- a) delivered at a compelling price;
- b) supplied as a managed service to a published Service Level Agreement; and
- c) provide an appropriate level of protection.
Having looked across the board we identified Netgate as an appropriate 2021 Firewall platform for small to medium businesses.
Whilst not uber fancy, that Netgate is trusted by the US Navy and Army was a bonus as far as we were concerned and that it’s cost does not make your eyes water makes a lot of sense.
Recognising that the SME / SoHo environments are relatively straight forward – typically requiring a limited number of SSIDs on a single unit we established that Ubiquity was a perfectly good solution for most – forget about complex WiFi tech and servers with fancy reports and over powering control facilities.
Moreover, my own pub based research found me talking to Landlords bemoaning poor Internet performance and whinging customers. Not as I explained, because the backhaul circuit was inadequate, but because some bozo decided to place the Access Point under a shelf in the corner of a room behind the television.
It was obvious that good straightforward advice with regards locating a device for optimum coverage was another key missing element in the mix – but of course, design and engineering expertise in this regard does not come cheap and I for one don’t want to fund it through the increased cost of my pint.
For our part, we scrapped the idea of selling hardware and opted instead to bolt on a service based upon a low monthly recurring charge and a zero or near zero installation cost.
To make sure that proposed pricing would be attractive it had to be tested in situ to ensure that it was viable to deliver at the intended price point – without quality of service compromise. We also needed to learn what the real-world demands would be.
We proved concept in a variety of locations and customer environments.
- 1) Indoor/Outdoor integrated multi AP solution with FaaS and backhaul at Dublin’s most prestigious development.
- 2) Indoor/Outdoor integrated solution at a steel fabrication plant.
- 3) SoHo locations (backhaul, Firewall & single AP) for Ireland’s leading property management company.
- 4) A multi-tenanted apartment complex in a converted Dublin Georgian property.
In all respects we were satisfied that a satisfactory service can be delivered at a price that folks want to pay.
Serving Businesses Since 2008 Business Broadband. What do you need to consider? If you are buying business broadband, you have a great deal of considerations that you need to factor in before making a decision. In this blog I seek to address the fundamentals that you need to consider including: What is business broadband? Is…
Serving Businesses Since 2008 Protecting Vital Communications This week a Link failed on the network due to an obstruction in the Line of Sight. It beggars’ belief that anyone might consider it reasonable to leave a pile of old furniture and other junk on top of a Georgian building in Dublin waiting for a gust…
Measuring Personal Inflation
Serving Businesses Since 2008 Measuring Personal Inflation – Get a grip… Noting a press article yesterday outlining how Putin is planning for an extended war on the premise that the economic coalition waged against Russia will breakdown over time, I am inclined to predict that the inflation we face today is going to hang around…
Serving Businesses Since 2008 Bio Chips My erstwhile colleague and business partner (the bearded technical one) told me several years ago that he would be first in the queue for a chip implant into his hand if only to be able to settle the bill for his pint (and mine) with the wave of his…
Serving Businesses Since 2008 Telco Suicide In the 1960s telecommunications networks were crap; albeit the preserve of insanely smart engineers giving birth to the Internet (read up on ARPANET). By the early 80s telecommunications and packet switching networks were brilliant. They worked. The operators were respected. The industry was booming. Now, once mighty Telcos appear…
Getting Ready for the META Internet Business World…
Serving Businesses Since 2008 Getting Ready for the META Internet Business World… Having returned from UK following an extended Covid inspired leave of absence I returned to commuting to Airfibre’s new offices in Dún Laoghaire along a route that takes me past numerous bus and LUAS stops along the way The numbers of people with…
Firewall (FaaS) & WiFi (WaaS) as a Service.
Serving Businesses Since 2008 Getting Ready for the META Internet Business World… Wake up & get real for the masses Based upon research and live customer experiences dating from Q4 2017, I have come to the opinion that the FaaS & WaaS add to the long list of technologies where vendors over rate the value…
The Internet Layer Cake
Serving Businesses Since 2008 The Internet Layer Cake With the announcement that Airfibre is adding an INEX peering point to its Cork exchange I got to thinking that the majority of Airfibre’s customers may well ask “So What?”. Whilst the benefits to Airfibre as with any Telco are obvious (more efficient utilisation of the backbone…
No Communications with Communications Companies? How Ironic…
Serving Businesses Since 2008 No Communications with Communications Companies? How Ironic… I read with interest recent publicity regarding the near impossible challenge of dealing with Telcos over the phone. Whether it is a billing enquiry or a call for support, we have all become to accustomed to the ritual. The automated answering system generally wastes…
Market Sector Analysis
Serving Businesses Since 2008 Market Sector Analysis As an Internet Service Provider, Airfibre’s rate of business expansion has been impacted by Covid-19 – clearly less relevant than the health toll placed upon the country. Telco’s can draw ‘business comfort’ from their recurring revenues business model and dependency of their customers upon the communications services that…
Airfibre predicted Eir’s withdrawal from the NBP
Serving Businesses Since 2008 Airfibre predicted Eir’s withdrawal from the NBP Airfibre predicted Eir’s withdrawal from the NBP in its White Paper published in May 2017 which examined the technical and financial challenges associated with NBP delivery and questioned the commercial logic of Eir’s participation. The paper’s content is still valid and questions whether delivery…
Airfibre Commissions NBP Research
Serving Businesses Since 2008 Airfibre Commissions NBP Research Airfibre has commissioned research into determining what the National Broadband Plan (NBP) is likely to hold for businesses across Ireland. Whilst Airfibre is unlikely to gain or lose as a consequence of the NBP, the Company is cognisant of the expectations of the business community in regard…