Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

How Much Does Your Work Depend on the Internet?

Cliff posted more than 7 years ago | from the connectivity-required dept.

322

malord asks: "I work for a small company that has recently had problems finding a stable internet connection. It started when we moved our office in order to upgrade our connection speed. We decided to go with cable internet through Comcast, since they offered the best speed for the price and told us that it would be available before we moved. Unfortunately, Comcast did not provide any service for two months after we moved, so we piggy backed on an existing (slow and unreliable) wireless account with another company in the meantime. When Comcast finally came around, the service that was provided was far from adequate with a consistent 30% packet loss and multiple disconnects everyday, which was confirmed through Comcast's tech support. Throughout this process, we have realized that having a reliable internet connection is more important than having a phone line and almost as necessary as electricity. What would you do if your internet was suddenly like dial-up for weeks at a time? How much money would your workplace lose if it was out for an hour or an entire day?"

cancel ×

322 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

How timely! (4, Interesting)

Southpaw018 (793465) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027639)

On Monday, 8/14, we were due to hook up a T1 line with our new ISP. We hadn't had any severe problems with the old one, but our contract with them was up and they seemed apathetic when looking at negotiating a new one. So, we were going to cut over the lines, run the services concurrently for 2 weeks, and then terminate the old one on 8/28. On Saturday morning, our line went down at 1:01 AM. I was in the office at 6 AM Saturday, and I was NOT HAPPY to say the least. Tech support, however, seemed happier beating off than trying to help. They told me they'd give me a call back. The line was down all weekend. Monday was an exercise in frustration; instead of taking 2 weeks to do a changeover to avoid any interruption, we did the whole damn thing at once. We were up and running, completely changed over, DNS and all, by 4 PM.

You may think: hey, that's not bad. You only lost one day - really less than a full work day. Oh, but that's where the pain comes in. I run all our services in house: Goodlink (a Blackberry-like system), Exchange 2003, DNS, everything. Plus, while the lines were down, anyone who called our office heard five rings and was then disconnected. The loss in customer service is irreparable to one major client, and three unbelievably important emails were lost forever - the kind where the intended recipients weren't really in a position to say "Hey, can you resend that for me?" We'll never know exactly how many emails were lost. In a world that works 24/7, business never stops, and an important email that comes in at 3 AM is just as critical as the important email that comes in at 9 AM sharp.

Direct answer to your question: Our T1 line is beyond essential to the daily operation of the organization. It's absolutely mission critical that we're connected at all times, without interruption or major packet loss.

Lost forever? (4, Insightful)

XanC (644172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027645)

Wouldn't the sending email server have continued to retry for four days or so? And wouldn't the sender have gotten a notification that the message failed if it had?

Re:Lost forever? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16027662)

Exactly. Unless you've had the problem we had once where the drain bamaged secondary MX accepted email, but never forwarded the email on.

I'm mildly sceptical of the need for secondary MXs, especially ones you don't manage yourself.

Re:Lost forever? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16027670)

I'm mildly sceptical.

No tanks?

Re:Lost forever? (1)

Nossie (753694) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027880)

tanks? sceptical is a real word and means the same as skeptical unless I've fell out of my tree and you mean something else thats went over my head :D http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=sceptical &x=0&y=0 [reference.com]

Re:Lost forever? (1)

7x7 (665946) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027766)

Not all SMTP servers play nice with queues and retries. Ebay for instance never retries.

Re:How timely! (5, Insightful)

Anubis350 (772791) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027649)

hate to say it, but if it's *that* critical, you *should* have 2 concurrent lines running, from different providers, on different trunks, with your servers set to fail over to the secondary if the primary dies...

Re:How timely! (4, Interesting)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027858)

In some areas, two lines aren't enough. I worked for an ISP with a data-center near a major fault line. They had six different OC48s going out in different directions to make sure that if the data-center survived, it would have at least one connection to the outside world. Of course, most places don't need that much reduncancy, but putting all your eggs in one basket is never a good idea.

Re:How timely! (4, Insightful)

Night Goat (18437) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027667)

Hopefully you come away from this with some new insight on how important the service is to you. Consider redundant T1s from two different companies. And consider using backup MX records for your e-mail, so that mail is queued rather than getting lost. Also, rather than having all of your phone lines running over your T1, you definitely should have at least one POTS line in case of power outages. Some of this was your ISP's fault, and some of it rests squarely on your shoulders for being unprepared.

Re:How timely! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16027673)

>> Direct answer to your question: Our T1 line is beyond essential to the daily operation of the organization. It's absolutely mission critical that we're connected at all times, without interruption or major packet loss.

And you only have 1 T1?

If it really was that mission critical you'd have a second dual-diverse line.

Amateurs.

Re:How timely! (1, Interesting)

Southpaw018 (793465) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027695)

Dang, I was trying to share my experiences as part of an underfunded one man IT department at a nonprofit organization. I wasn't fishing for snide comments!

Re:How timely! (2, Interesting)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027750)

ACs are modded -6. I don't read you, I don't mod you, I don't see you. Don't like it? Don't be a coward.

Uh huh. Meanwhile, he made a good point. If you need guaranteed services, you have to realize what it takes. Hosting web services in house has some mythical attraction that i've never grasped. Get this, host at a colo that has multiple very fast very reliable incoming connections, and you then only worry about your internal people.

Re:How timely! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16027781)

yikes. hypocritically violating your own sig with little provocation is...kinda lame.

otoh, i agree the ac to which you replied was snide. it has the same tone as the "your fault" post a little further in this discussion--the guy i called an insufferable cock.

Re:How timely! (2, Funny)

Monkelectric (546685) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027826)

The juvenile elements of society always have a stupid comment to make :)

Redundancy for home (1)

grahamsz (150076) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027729)

Does anyone here keep multiple internet connections at home?

I currently have microwave fixed wireless and i'm considering getting a cheap dsl or cable package as a backup. I work from home and since i'm paid hourly it costs me dearly when my connectivity drops off.

Re:Redundancy for home (1)

legoburner (702695) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027846)

When I was doing a lot of important work from home for a company, I had cable and DSL and used a linux firewall to route between them and merge the links (to a point). The most efficient way to merge bandwidth across 2 consumer-level ISPs at the time was to split traffic to the different ISPs (web, email on one, torrents on another, etc). Anything that had a cache on my firewall could be merged from both at the same time (NNTP, some HTTP, etc). I used a custom script to ping every second and then in the event that a ping failed, the firewall would rewrite the iptables and routing rules to redirect the internal (netmasq) traffic through the working interface. All in all there was never any downtime and we did not have any power cuts either which was lucky. My paranoia came about from some failures with my previous ISP who managed to damage the cable in the last mile and took over a week to replace it. Nowadays I just have one connection at home (the neighbours have wireless from a different ISP so if there is a big disaster I can beg them/pay them for access).

Emails were lost? (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027723)

WTF? If a receiving server's down the sending SMTP server will spool the mail until it's back or it times out, usually 5 days. The sender is notified if the mail bounces.

Direct answer to your question: Our T1 line is beyond essential to the daily operation of the organization. It's absolutely mission critical that we're connected at all times, without interruption or major packet loss.


So... Why do you have only one of them? It all comes down to money, did you lose more than the T1 costs when you lost the major client? If so then the IT directors/CIO's f*cked up.

 

Lost email. (1)

Cybert4 (994278) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027752)

Quick question. How do you deal with email rejected as spam? The right email can make or break an entire company--as it looks like you've seen. Whitelist certain potential customers?

Re:Lost email. (2, Informative)

Southpaw018 (793465) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027803)

The way I have SA set up, scores up to 3 are green, 3-6 are held for my personal review, and 6+ are rejected outright. I settled on those scores after a month of testing...never saw a legit non-newsletter message score higher than 3.1, and I've never seen a legit newsletter score higher than 4.5.

Thankfully, our server only handles ~5000 emails a day, and that leaves about 30 a day I review. I know that I'm in a special situation, where at a larger organization I wouldn't be able to do that. But it works.

Like this: (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16027831)

.cn REJECT Sorry, we don't accept spam from zombies in China. Why are you fucking gooks not able to secure your computers?

Re:Like this: (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16027904)

Technically, gooks are Koreans (the word guk in Korean actually means country, and Koreans refer to themselves this way when distinguishing from waiguk, foreigners.) I believe the racist term used for Chinese is chink. Hey, you should set up a rule for Vietnamese, too? You could call them VC.

Re:How timely! (5, Funny)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027821)

re:"Tech support, however, seemed happier beating off than trying to help"

I think that would apply to just about everyone on the planet (and many animals from what I've seen at the zoo). Why single out tech support?

Re:How timely! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16027824)

if it is that important then you definately should have more than one. Not to mention you should outsource your email servers to a tier 5 datacenter. Those unbelievably important emails were lost because of inexcusable apathy. Don't blame the ISPs for your mistakes blame them for theirs, a day of lost service.

Re:How timely! (0, Redundant)

flyboy974 (624054) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027834)

Have you heard of an MX? Let me explain this one to you then. Your ISP should act as an MX, or Mail Exchange for you. IF your connection goes down, the mail servers around the world would then try your ISP next (since you have multiple MX records). Then, when you connection is restored, the ISP's mail server (Sendmail, Qmail, the guy in the back room doing.. .umm... it involves online videos...) would send all the pending email in queue to you.

This is why Mail Exchanges were created. Unfortunately too many companies do not employ, nor are they offered a very good backup MX. Email delivery is VERY reliable, IF YOU HAVE A BACKUP MX!

Re:How timely! (1)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027853)

I have decent cable service through Adelphia which is now owned by Comcast. However I am in a small town and when service fails it is often for a full day or even more. To run even a small business such as buying and selling on Ebay one would need a cable connection and also a dial up as a back up at a bare minimum of being in business. To put all ones eggs in a cable connection would be a loosing idea around here.

Re:How timely! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16027860)

If your Internet is so important, BUY REDUNDANCY.

If your Internet is so important, BUY REDUNDANCY.

If your Internet is so important, BUY REDUNDANCY.

Re:How timely! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16027873)

On Monday, 8/14, we were due to hook up a T1 line with our new ISP. We hadn't had any severe problems with the old one, but our contract with them was up and they seemed apathetic when looking at negotiating a new one. So, we were going to cut over the lines, run the services concurrently for 2 weeks, and then terminate the old one on 8/28.

Big deal -- you still waited until the last minute of the two weeks to cut over. You should have allowed a full week of overlapped availability so you had a fallack possibility. That's what you get for letting go with both hands at once.

Newsletter subscription request (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16027653)

we have realized that having a reliable internet connection is more important than having a phone line and almost as necessary as electricity.

Wow, what an amazing conclusion. Next thing you'll be explaining that lower contention and higher service levels are why business class DSL is sold at premium. Please, keep us informed of your awesome discoveries.

Re:Newsletter subscription request (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16027677)

You laugh, but I've had to fight tooth and nail to get my boss to get us off SBC, and on to a real bussiness class ISP.

*all* of our customer service reps work on a remotely hosted server. If SBC goes out, no one can work. If someone's uploading a file (the development team routinely has to upload 100 MB+ files -- and of course, with a tiny upstream, that can lead to extended idle time on their part), the connection becomes slow as dirt for the duration of the upload.

He knows all this, and these things keep him from working as well. And yet he's reluctant to spend more than $40/month on our most critical resource.

Depends on Frugalness of the Company (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16027892)

If the company is extremely frugal and absolutely refuses to spend money on either employee training or technical books (for learning and reference), then the Internet is a vital resource. Actually, the Internet alone is not sufficient. You need both the Internet and a solid search engine like MSN or Google.

I suspect that, at least, 25% of the Slashdot readership uses a search engine to look up things like UART, C-language terms (e.g., printf), Perl-script concepts (like regular expression), etc.

25% of the readership could not do their jobs (at their frugal companies) without the Internet and a search engine. I speak from experience.

Correction (1)

s800 (940543) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027657)

Should read "How much does being at work depend on having the Internet?"

No big deal (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16027659)

In my role, Internet access is extremely useful for looking up information. For example, it can point to a vendor fix, software updates, howtos, etc.. We could conceivably get by without Internet access for a few hours, but invariably there's something that's online that we need whether it's pricing information, manuals (thousands of systems, impossible to locate a particular dead-tree manual), software (wget for AIX, for example), etc..

At home I need reliable Internet to do work (just VPN'ed in to make a change a few minutes ago), check work email, contact vendors (stupid Dell laptop), and do remote administration.

Don't use a consumer-grade service for buisness! (5, Informative)

inio (26835) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027666)

> We decided to go with cable internet

Mistake #1.

You're a business. There's no reason a business should be using anything less than SDSL. It costs more for a reason - it's reliable.

quoth http://www.speakeasy.net/business/dsl/ [speakeasy.net]

> Symmetrical dedicated line DSL with throughput SLAs, rigorous uptime and repair time.

That means they guarantee it'll be fast, it'll work, and if it doesn't, they'll fix it fast.

If a couple hundred per month for internet is too much for your internet-dependent business it sounds like you've got bigger issues than packet loss.

Re:Don't use a consumer-grade service for buisness (-1, Flamebait)

jrmcferren (935335) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027707)

WRONG!!! You can mod me as flamebait, troll, fanboi, etc, but your problem is NOT the ISP, your config or anything like that. Your problem can be fixed for $60 (US) buy purchasing a Motorola Surfboard cable modem. My dorm (residential) connection is so reliable that I can run a business off of it if I wanted to. My CableCo Atlantic Broadband and they lease these out (this is how I have mine) and nobody here in my school has had a problem and that's good because its cable or dial-up no DSL even though we are in a suburb of Johnstown, Pa.

Re:Don't use a consumer-grade service for buisness (1)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027794)

So . . . it's the cable modems fault?

Do you hire yourself out as Tech Support? I mean being able to troubleshoot a connection from halfway across the country without even having to examine anything surely makes you some pretty good money.

Re:Don't use a consumer-grade service for buisness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16027795)

Are you completely fucking braindead?

OMG U R TEH GENIUS!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16027798)

I'm going to put it to my CIO that we throw out the 2600 and layer 3 switching, cancel the dedicated line and replace it all with a "Motorola Surfboard cable modem" and residental connection. Thanks for the tip, you're a total genius.

Re:Don't use a consumer-grade service for buisness (1)

prichardson (603676) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027806)

While I'll admit that a good cable modem can make a lot of difference over a bad one (and when I've had cable, the surfboard behaved admirably), a sketchy modem is one of many places that cable can have problems.

Speakeasy (4, Informative)

beeblebrox (16781) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027775)

I can't recommend them highly enough. Pick-up-after-a-few-rings, by-a-person-who-can-talk-dBs-and-DNS grade service, 24/7.

And that's on their residential product.

Here's a question for you (3, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027777)

Is it cheaper/better to...

1: Buy an SDSL business service from one supplier, with SLAs, rigorous uptimes and repair times.

or...

2: Buy cheap ADSL services from two or more suppliers but forget the SLA, uptime and repair time guarantees?

I strongly suspect that (2) is the cheaper and more robust system.

 

Re:Don't use a consumer-grade service for buisness (3, Insightful)

dbIII (701233) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027815)

You're a business. There's no reason a business should be using anything less than SDSL.
How about no choice due to poor communications infrastructure and regulations that prohibit any roll your own solution? If things were really critical a satellite link may be a possibility, but in a lot of places the low end of consumer grade ADSL is as good as it gets - even in state capitals in Australia 15km from the CBD.

Re:Don't use a consumer-grade service for buisness (1)

mr_zorg (259994) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027832)

> Symmetrical dedicated line DSL with throughput SLAs, rigorous uptime and repair time.

That means they guarantee it'll be fast, it'll work, and if it doesn't, they'll fix it fast.

I'm just playing devil's advocate here, but I find it amusing to do the math. Also from their site:
99.9% uptime SLA guarantee
Do you realize that works out to 9 hours of down time per year? Or 10 minutes of downtime per week? Or 2 minutes per business day? While 99.9% uptime sounds good, you have to ask yourself if that's acceptable or not. Granted, it probably won't really be out 2 minutes every day, but more likely will be out for a few hours at a whack a couple of times a year.

Re:Don't use a consumer-grade service for buisness (1)

jagilbertvt (447707) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027863)

You mean, you have an SLA agreement on your cable modem? SLA's are there to protect both customer and the business offering them. Most likely it wont be out at all, but they need to cover their a**es

All the Time (2, Funny)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027668)

I think the sales and marketing people in my company probably use the Internet more than the programmers do. Us programmers look up an API reference or nifty articles about things going on in our field every so often and we push distributions between offices fairly regularly, but e-mail is the life blood of the sales and marketing people. I think if our internet connection were to go out we'd have a bunch of those guys wandering around looking lost and confused, like small furry animals after a natural disaster.

'Course I have a backup connectin through the bluetooth connection on my cellphone and T-Mobile's unlimited data service. Which leaves me in the perfect position to score with the hot sales babes if our provder's border routers ever go down. Aww right!

My connection's been dropping randomly (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027669)

I'm on PlusNet btw. I raised a ticket yesterday. Today, they traced the problem to their LLU supplier Tiscali and did something to my PPP profile, it's been fine so far. Their service has been pretty good as far as I can see. They know there's a problem, they're working on it.

If you depend on the internet and your internet connection is fubar then by definition you are fubar. If your supplier is telling you to go f*ck yourself by denying there's a problem or refusing to fix it then change suppliers. They are in breach of contract.

 

Your fault. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16027674)

If your company relies on consistent Internet connectivity it's your responsibility to provide redundancy. That could be a completely redundant system, a failover to a different ISP or support contracts to ensure that you get repairs within a certain amount of time. "My company lost money because my ISP sucks". Nope, your company lost money because you failed to plan for failures. Your bad.

Re:Your fault. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16027704)

just like being an insufferable cock is your bad?

100% (2, Insightful)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027680)

If my Internet connection is down- I go home.

Re:100% (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16027725)

If our internet connection is down - I don't go home.

Re:100% (5, Funny)

CthulhuDreamer (844223) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027732)

"If my Internet connection is down- I go home."

If my Internet connection goes down, then I have to go to work.

Re:100% (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027760)

+5 so true.

Freelance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16027682)

I'm a freelance writer and copy-editor. Every single job I've had since 1990 (apart from 6 weeks picking strawberries in 2000!) has been got from contacts on the internet, and has needed internet access to communicate with my employers and clients and to send the finished work back. My present contract involves preparing someone's memoirs for publication, with links to further information on everything he writes about. Without the internet for even a day, I'd be in serious trouble!

Irreversable Damage (5, Interesting)

AjStone (743464) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027684)

My company would almost cease to exist if the Internet went down locally. I mean, it would be the end of life as we know it. That's why we are going to invest (in the new office building) in two seperate connections to the World Wide Web, with two completely independant companies.

Using two ISP's is a relatively untapped resource today, much like mirroring hard disk drives in a RAID array was a few years ago. Today, nobody will build a server without at least one redundant drive. I believe Internet connections should be the same way. How often do businesses complain of "sorry, our network/Internet is down" and lose customers? Do a Google search on a "Dual-WAN" router and see there are a few products around. I love my HotBrick LB-2 router that I use at home. There are about half a dozen people that can easily stress a standard RoadRunner connection. Using my friend's DSL connection going to the same house, it both load-balances and has failover capability. I don't even think twice before unplugging my cable modem. Without any downtime, the router will use the DSL line to pick up the slack.

Is it affordable? Well, that's the same question people were asking about mirrored hard disk drives years ago. The question becomes, is it nessesary? I'm not willing to move into a house that doesn't have the availablility of having two ISP's.

Aj

Re:Irreversable Damage (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16027719)

Uh dude, the "World Wide Web"? Have I been teleported a decade back in time?

Re:Irreversable Damage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16027871)

No, I think his company has a special internet service which only allows TCP port 80.

Diverse networking is normal. (3, Informative)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027837)

Using two ISP's is a relatively untapped resource today,


Um... It's pretty much been standard practice since day one. It's how the Internet provides robust routing. All businesses relying on their network should be doing it. Diverse home networks? Depends how important your porn supply is to you.

 

Re:Irreversable Damage (1)

imroy (755) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027849)

...we are going to invest in two seperate connections to the World Wide Web, with two completely independant companies.

What about email?!?

blah (1)

popisdead (594564) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027687)

100%, when I loose a connection I can't do anything.

is this the right place for this question? (4, Insightful)

macadamia_harold (947445) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027688)

How Much Does Your Work Depend on the Internet?

Pretty much all of it. But then, look at the crowd you're asking.

Re:is this the right place for this question? (4, Insightful)

NoData (9132) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027807)

Is this the right place? I was thinking is this the right decade for this question. If I was going to be a snide Slashdotter (and I am, in fact, about to be) I'd say hey, 1996 called. It wants its Ask Slashdot back.

None at all (5, Funny)

Terminal Saint (668751) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027699)

How much money would my workplace lose if we didn't have connectivity for an hour or even a day? None. In fact, we don't have an internet connection or even a dedicated fax line.

Hooray for state parks!

Re:None at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16027835)

hey moderators, have you lost your sense of humor?

if service is out (1)

Mycroft_514 (701676) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027705)

for a 1/2 hour connecting to the mainframe, we lose thousands of dollars. That is why all the tech people have company paid for cable lines run to their homes. Those are business class cable lines, with 24 hour garunteed fix times (yeah right). Does this help you to understand?

Im loosing` (1)

colemanguy (915683) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027708)

Ok any one else ever get a dial up customer in town, claiming, im looisng thousands of dollars cause i can't use my 19.95 dialup account? God that pisses me off.

I work from home half the time... (2, Insightful)

BlahMatt (931052) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027710)

So if my companies network connection goes down and I can't vpn in....I'm not coming into work... Plus 90% of communication in my company is via e-mail/IM's.... we're pretty much screwed... Plus all of our hosted sites would get really really pissed at us as they couldn't do any business... Plus there would be a riot.

heh (1)

2fuf (993808) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027716)

dude, that would be the end :-)

Too much (1)

rudib (300816) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027718)

If the line does go down, we go play office basketball [email.si] . Okay, even if it doesn't break down, we play it, but still...

What I would do (1)

kilodelta (843627) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027728)

I'd bitch like crazy - to the cable co, to the regulators, etc. That tends to get some results.

I remember when we moved our offices it turned out our current dsl provider didn't serve the area, a T1 fro Verizon was hideously expensive for too little bandiwdth. We ended up going with Cox, we've got a 10mpbs link to them, and then two 2mbps feeds to our other offices. Works very well.

However when they had New England Line drop the runs from the MDF to our point of presence, they used stranded connectors on solid conductor wire. When reps from the state I.T. unit and from Atrion were there they noted lots of CRC's on the lines. I told the that it was the cable ends. Sure enough, Cox came in and re-did them and lo and behold no more CRC errors.

I did ask Cox to re-wire so that it came in via our patch panel, on which we'd left space for the 3 lines. They've never delivered on that so one of these days I'm just going to go in with the wire cutters, chop each line and make them come and wire it the RIGHT way.

Depend on the Internet? I *am* the Internet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16027730)

I run a hosting company. What do you think?

Same here (5, Interesting)

mir@ge (25727) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027731)

We had the same problem with Comcast here as well. They were largely unresponsive to our requests for assistance. After suffering with it for about 3 months, I finally convinced the boss to dump the money on a replacement. I called Comcast and explained to them that their service was unsatisfactory and we would be stopping it, breaking the contract and no longer paying them anything. It was fixed within a few hours and we have not had trouble with it since. Get tough with them. I think they save all the good technicians for when the customers threaten to leave. Typical.

Re:Same here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16027783)

There is some truth to that.

I work for comcast and at our location the more experienced technicians are normally busy with all of the "PR calls", customers who are threatening to leave or have had countless less experienced technicians at their house or business and are still experiencing problems.

In the meantime those less experienced techs continue to generate more PR calls by not doing their job correctly.

a lot (1)

immakiku (777365) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027734)

We have two dedicated point to point T1 lines running from Connecticut to New Jersey because connectivity is that important.

If we lost connectivity between those sites, productivity for the duration would go down probably 60%. If we lost connectivity for an extended period of time our customers would start complaining and probably our suppliers too.

If we lost connectivity to the internet, however, probably the only thing that'd be affected is communications to our international sites and our phone system. We'd switch back over to landlines for the employees and the people that really needed it would use their cell phones.

Answer to the question (4, Funny)

starrsoft (745524) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027739)

What would you do if your internet was suddenly like dial-up for weeks at a time?
Commit suicide.

Redondo speaks ;) (1)

dahdahdah (999584) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027742)

imho - any business to which internet access is mission critical needs redundant providers.

T1 (1)

7x7 (665946) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027748)

Dedicated T1s are more expensive and provide less speed, but they are typically very solid.

Redundant feeds (4, Informative)

mschuyler (197441) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027751)

And THAT'S why redundant feeds from different providers is necessary for any peace of mind. By the time I left my last job I had two T-1's from different providers entirely (I checked to make sure the cables were physically different coming at us via different paths), plus a third fiber optic feed. I was close to adding cable as a fourth. If the Net went out at that place I would have literally hundreds of people pissed within ten seconds. So have redundant feeds, redundant routers, redundant servers, redundant backups. Did I mention that redundancy is important?

My computer feels worthless without the Net (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027754)

It's amazing how things changed in ten years, the computer feels truly neutered without the net.

Which reminds me, if the internet is down, is there a good firefox extension or other thing that saves almost everything that one surfs? Scrapbook is nice, but requires manual use from what I have seen. The cache doesn't cut it either.

Re:My computer feels worthless without the Net (1)

808140 (808140) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027839)

You really want a chaching proxy like squid for this sort of thing. It can be configured as a transparent proxy (meaning you don't need to fiddle with proxy settings on the machines on your LAN) and it is really, really blazing fast. If you've only got one computer on your LAN squid won't speed up your normal surfing much, unless you consantly view the same static pages, but if you have a lot of computers used by different people (or even the same people) squid can also make the internet seem incredibly responsive by essentially "sharing" everyone's cache.

It's a great program, I really recommend it.

Re:My computer feels worthless without the Net (1)

oodgie_boodgie (980886) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027868)

The extension you are probably thinking of is SessionSaver or Tab Mix Plus....

There's always an alternative. (1)

Above (100351) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027786)


Verizon EvDO comes to mind. Sprint offers a similar service. There are sometimes local LMDS providers. Cable, DSL, ISDN, T1 (it's not always as expensive as you think).

An EvDO or similar data card is typically around $60/month, and can be used by travelers to boot. Every business should have a backup when affordable, and this one is....

No service for two months?! (1)

Simon Garlick (104721) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027791)

At my present workplace, if there's no service for more than 30 minutes everyone in my department ups and leaves.

Internet is important to me (1)

walnutmon (988223) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027805)

Working sucks, and therefore I hope the internet goes down. If it did, my company would be screwed until it came back up. I would have the day off, and I could go home and play games. If MY internet connection went down, THAT would be terrible.

Internet or local network? (1)

dfries (466073) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027816)

The internet access could be down half the day and I might not notice it. I probably use it more than I think, it just depends on the day, nothing mission critical to me (most of the time).

Now, if the local network was down (that is the one I use), I'd be SOL in a minute. That tends to happen when /home is mounted remotely.

I absolutely must have Internet connectivity (1)

JeffHunt (129508) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027819)

I work from home as a freelance web developer / web development consultant. During the work day, Internet connectivity is as necessary for my work as oxygen is for my body.

Re:I absolutely must have Internet connectivity (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16027855)

Internet connectivity is as necessary for my work as oxygen is for my body.

I don't believe you, would you be willing to put that one to the test?

Re:I absolutely must have Internet connectivity (1)

JeffHunt (129508) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027882)

Well, maybe it's a slight exaggeration. But: No Internet = No Work = Upset Clients = No Money :)

99% (1)

J05H (5625) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027822)

As a home-office entrepreneur, I rely on the 'Net almost all the time. That extra 1% is pedalling to the Post Office. Cox network's consumer cable modem/phone connection has been very reliable.

Josh

My internet is critical.. (1)

oodgie_boodgie (980886) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027827)

I'm a moderator on 2 forums so my internet is absolutely necessary although I do take disconnected vacations a few weeks every year but if my internet goes down I have my cell phone with a data plan. Luckily I don't have comcast so its usually up and running, but half hour outages are very frustrating. My ISP is Road Runner from Time Warner Cable.

Not much (2, Interesting)

NineNine (235196) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027829)

I own a retail business, and although we do use the Net for several things (credit card processing, music, web site sales), I would never depend on it. It's still several order of magnitudes less reliable than electricity and a land line. We use it every day, but I have backups for everything that we do with the Net, and Web sales aren't going to make or break us. I think that making your entire livelihood depend on an Internet connection is very foolish at this stage in the game.

I'll give it another 10-20 years, then *maybe* it'll be reliable enough that I would bet the farm on it, but not yet. The Internet is still the Wild, Wild West, complete with tons of criminals and people looking to tear shit up. It's all just cobbled together between ISPs, and of which could get a hair up their ass and ruin you instantly. Ever get black holed by some pimply, self-important spam fighter? It's happened to me before, and could happen at any time, at the whim of one annoyed person at Spamhaus. How about the ever-changing laws, regulations, and fees?

MOVE TO KELLER TEXAS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16027875)

Keller Texas, has fiber to the curb in every nieghborhood!!!!! Visited my brother last week. He walked me down to a box on the side of his front lawn. Freak'n unbelievable. Fiber, sticking right out of the ground!!!! Best place on planet earth to open an internet based business. Google housing in Keller. Take a look at the housing value. Roughly 5000 sqare feet for $500K. Stunning place to live. Everything is brand new in Keller. Just out side Dallas. Twenty minutes from DFW. Forty straight days of 100F plus heat, but hey, you can't have everything.

Just realizing this? (1)

Jahz (831343) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027844)

This whole issue falls under disaster planning. The terms does not just cover terrorist attacks and acts of god...

My father is currently an executive director for a billion dollar/year company, managing the disaster plan and more. They do increasingly more bussiness via telephone and internet, though its probably still mostly "storefront." Regardless, if the internal network went down (it spans much of New York City) or the net connection died, they stand to lose over USD $1,000,000/day (on an off day).

When your net connection is that critical, you do several things to protect it. First, have more than one peering point (wrong word?) with your primary ISP (i.e. 2xT1's). Second, have another ISP providing online backup service. The secondary ISP does not need to be as high bandwith/price as the primary (i.e. bussiness cable). Lastly, COLOCATE!! Offsite servers provide unparrelled redundancy.

Anyway... on a small scale, it is really cheap to provide backup net service. In a 50 person company, a second net connection (dsl if primary is cable or vice versa) is really not too expensive.

Home based design and programming (2, Interesting)

Crisses (776475) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027848)

I run my own company from a home office. I do web & print design, php/mysql coding, app installations and customizations for people's sites.

I've lost power -- 2 hours this week, one friday for 24 hrs into saturday, etc. on several occasions. Losing power is disasterous.

I have lost internet without losing power, but far less frequently. There's only so long the cable modem stays up on a UPS ;)

Without power, my laptop battery goes from 2-4 hours. I can still usually code and design for a bit, wrap up to a good pause point, etc.

If the power is out, and I don't want to waste my laptop battery, or if all my projects are live web installs, I'm pretty screwed.

There's a caveat though -- when a nasty thunderstorm rolls through, we power everything down, unplug my laptop, unplug the cable line from the cable modem etc. I've seen a lightning strike on Long Island NY take out EVERY ethernet card on the lan -- and if it was on the motherboard, it took the motherboard with it (not to mention the damage it did to the phones and TV in the house). So when a storm rolls through, anything metal connected to outside (we have overhead power and cable) is unplugged...might as well have a power or cable outtage. I wish I were kidding about the LAN damage, but I helped replace every NIC card on that network and helped replace the fried computer...

bah that's nothing (4, Informative)

Danzigism (881294) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027859)

try working for an ebay powerseller that lists 500 items a week, where the office is located the bumfuck of delaware, and using a dialup connection shared with 3 employees for 4 years straight.. each person's job requires an internet connection, and the bosses aren't exactly willing to put forth much money for anything tech related.. there has been no broadband offered here, yet my boss's house which is 2 miles away, can get cable internet.. I've looked in to distributing their net connection from home, to the office, but no can do due to line of site and expensive equipment.. same goes with satellite.. the satellite providers charge way too much, for a crappy service.. some even have download limitations that decrease your service to dialup speeds if you overflow your quota bucket.. that's after you spend a couple hundred in equipment, and probably around $100 a month for a business connection..

we're right on the border to where Medicom and Comcast seperate.. and verizon is simply a joke.. I've actually contacted the President of Verizon for Delaware's district, to no avail.. One of those typical, "I'll get back to you on that" phone calls.. For us to get DSL, would require them to spend a few thousand dollars in running new lines underground, as well as special hardware for the fucking FIBER FED PG BOX literally a hundred yards from our office.. Cable companies have also said, that they'll need to dig underground, costing thousands, just to lay some cable to our little warehouse..

I've thought of every possible solution, and they are either too cost worthy, or they simply won't work.. we can't afford to have downtime, and dialup is better than nothing at all.. but I did do the math, and we lose a maximum of a 1000 hours every year in productivity due to waiting for pages to load, uploading high res images for products, and the bulk submission of hundreds of ebay items.. ahh well.. i've definitely gotten used to it, but it makes me wonder how much more money we could make, if we just had a faster internet connection.. I certainly understand that even a crappy satellite investment could help us out big time.. but my bosses are still struggling to pay the monthly bills, so its really out of the question until someone like Verizon, Mediacom, or Comcast can offer a decent $30-70 a month internet connection..

Losing internet would be problematic where I work. (1)

Lijemo (740145) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027864)

The company I work for maintains large databases, and sells institutional subscriptions to them. If we lost internet access, none of our customers would be able to connect, and we'd have to go back to mailing them digital media. Unless all our would-be competitors lost internet access at the same time--I wager we'd be in a wee spot of bother.

Hence, the company I work for does not get our Internet connection via Comcast... that would be suicide.

100000000% (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16027881)

i work at one of the top 5 ISPs in the US, soooo.....
global service outage=====>>armageddon
When i get home and i can't play WoW===zomfgwtf /gg uninstall

LAWL i love my life

Our business depends on the Internet (1)

DaWeaves98 (998918) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027884)

I am a manager in a call center for a hotel and everything we do is connected via a variety of networks. We have 10 call centers in the US and Canada and a number of other centers in other parts of the world. Recently all the North American centers except ours have switched to a VOIP setup. I haven't experienced the setup yet, but it is supposed to be easier for phone agents as more information can be provided to them prior to actually speaking to the guest. What I have experienced however is the frustration of that network going down. Other centers can't take the calls that are allocated to them, and they all get routed here, our agents get incredibly taxed and it's bad for business overall. While the outages are generally short, no more than about a half hour at the most, it is incredibly bad for business. From my standpoint it does seem that it benefits us to not be on the system, as we are really the only backup they have at the moment. So, at least for now it is job security.

it's your own fault (1)

bugi (8479) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027891)

You shouldn't be using consumer-grade anything for business-critical functions.

Did you learn your lesson from this incident? Did your boss?

Very important.. (1)

captainclever (568610) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027894)

We just hooked up a 100mbit link to our data center at the Last.fm office, so we have 100mbit internet now.. very handy. Can't get any work done without it, as our staging servers and development platform is hosted with our main servers.

This afternoon a crappy netgear router blew up (you get what you pay for..) and we lost our internet connection a couple of hours before the end of the day.. Perfect timing on a friday, early pub :)

How much we rely on it? (2, Interesting)

FST777 (913657) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027902)

Too bloody much! The company where I work for now has moved in January. Since we were told (too late) that there was not telephone available at the location, we were offered VoIP. That's where the trouble started. The VoIP ran over ADSl, for which you need a phone-line, which wasn't there. We've fought our way through four months of ZERO connectivity (and a few lawsuits). Count the losses.

Currently, I'm in the process of setting up a new company. We will rely on the internet even more, since we will develop web-apps. My biggest nightmare? "Sir, the datacenters with your servers in it burned down to the ground. We will provide you with new connectivity and new servers in about a month... Now go tell YOUR clients!"

Needless to say, the first earnings will be used to rent space in other datacenters. And we will be sure to never rely on one single internet-connection / phone-line again.

Comcast (2, Funny)

ezwip (974076) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027906)

Your IT guy should be fired. If you don't have one you should consider it. Also, tell your boss to stop using AOL, because it just makes you want to leave the company and work for someone intelligent.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>