Too many connections? Let’s talk about the Load Balancing
Our hotel's internet connection works exactly like a water main: the more taps we turn on at the same time, the less water the individual users will have available.
This means that even a good internet connection, if not used with care, will always be undersized for the number of guests connected.
Working with "brute" force is not always useful: we can have a lot of bandwidth available but, without control, it will take only a few users to use it all. And let's not forget that we also need the bandwidht: email, web, but also the continuous transmission of data from the booking engine and channel manager that publish our online availability.
When I talk about control, I'm not thinking about "usage limitations" - none of us like having something available and not being able to use it fully. Telling the guest my connection doesn't work on Youtube or for video calls is not good service in my opinion.
Worse still, I happened to stay in a hotel where the wi-fi was guaranteed at hourly slots!
The solution is -as is often the case- in a middle ground: fair to all.
Where the everyone is the customers but also the specific services that need to be prioritized in our facility.
In technical terms, the solution is called Load Balancing.
Suppose we have the classic 20 mega line and 20 users connected. Assuming that it is really 20 mega (usually does not exceed 14) we will have 1 mega of bandwidth available per user. But if one of these users can't sleep and decide to watch a movie in streaming.... what will happen to the others who try to surf?
Load balancing comes to the help us and allows to allocate a sufficient but "controlled" amount of bandwidth for each user that connects, but also to prioritize certain services (such as channel manager traffic or remote video surveillance)...
But it doesn't end there.
Let's say our facility is medium-sized and, when we're full, our customers curse the connection and we're super slow at the desk.
Considering also that by now a hotel lives off the Internet, the ideal solution could be to have an additional line with different functions. This would also allow us to have a backup solution as long as the lines are not only from different operators but work on different equipment.
The cost of the solution? Really low!