Tuesday, December 16, 2008

3Gstore Uses EVDO: What's YOUR Backup Plan?

Have you ever heard the phrase "eating your own dogfood"? It refers to a company actually using the products they sell, like Bill Gates showing faith in Microsoft by running Windows. Here at 3Gstore, we "eat our dog food" all the time. We don't just SELL 3G products - we actually USE them!

Like many companies, we rely on a T1 internet connection for connectivity at our headquarters, and every once in a while the network fails. It happened to us early this morning, and it took several hours for our provider to come out and fix things. This COULD have been a disaster: after all, we rely on the internet for our entire business! All of the order processing is done at this warehouse, and we also use a PBX system for our phones. Without internet, operations would have been extremely limited today.

Thanks to EVDO and Cradlepoint, we didn't miss a beat!!

See, we know that no matter how much you're paying for your wired internet, it is not fail-safe. Outages are inevitable, and anyone that relies on the internet for work or school would be wise to consider a backup plan. In our case, of course, we use EVDO! We have a Sprint U720 modem (with a fixed IP, so that our emails will go out through our mail server with no problems) set up with a Cradlepoint MBR1000 router in the warehouse for this purpose exactly. It is always connected and with the switch of just ONE cable, we can hook up to our main Cisco router and be back online in a matter of 12 seconds.

Left to right: Sprint's Novatel U720 plugged into Cradlepoint MBR1000, network cable, and our main Cisco router

Our T1 provider did eventually solve the problem, but all five computers in our warehouse were able to function perfectly with the U720 for several hours. Orders were processed, emails were answered - business as usual!

Having a solid backup plan is a great idea, especially for an internet-based business like ours - and an EVDO backup is an incredibly affordable option. At $59.99/month, it costs just $720 for a year of EVDO service - getting an extra T1 or business cable line would cost that much or more just for the installation! Add $200 or so for a powerful router like the MBR1000 and you've got an internet connection you can count on for your entire office.

Do you have an EVDO success story like ours? Share it with us at the EVDO Forums!