Reliable networks are more important than ever, as businesses use them to access corporate and cloud resources. Users are constantly connected via mobile devices throughout the day and night.
For these businesses, network outages can be costly, with an average downtime of 7 ½ hours for private data centers, cloud, and traditional hosting. Every minute of this downtime quickly translates to lost revenue.
“Based on industry surveys, the number we typically cite is $5,600 p/minute, which extrapolates to well over $300K p/hour,” said Dave Cappuccio in Ensure Cost Balances Out with Risk in High-Availability Data Centers.
To reduce the risk of downtime, most data centers rely on network redundancy.
The underlying concept of network redundancy is simple. If you have a single point of network failure and your connection goes down, your business will suffer.
Network redundancy is the process of adding additional instances of network devices and lines of communication to help ensure network availability and decrease the risk of failure along the critical data path.
One of the first steps of a network redundancy plan is to create a network strategy where you review your existing infrastructure. During this time you will brainstorm ways of making it redundant. Several things will factor into your plan, including the location of the systems, physical layout, available providers, and more.
Select a list of potential vendors and go through a selection process where you evaluate line speed, providers, costs, etc. Once you have decided which vendors you want to select and negotiated contracts and prices, you will be able to schedule a timeline for when it can be implemented.
Once implemented, you will want to test the different connections by physically disconnecting hardware to make sure failover occurs as anticipated. If things do not go as planned during testing, create an after-action report that lists the items you need to fix as a result of the testing. Create a procedure to follow for both automatic and manual flip over.
Monitor your redundant network systems (connections and local hardware) to make sure all are functioning properly. Analyze the connections to make sure you’re getting the results which you expect.
At vXchnge, we have already implemented network redundancy into all of our data centers. With multiple carriers per data center, we regularly test and monitor carriers and equipment to ensure 99.999% uptime.
Modern businesses require a continuous connection to the Internet and cloud for mission critical applications and resources. Without network redundancy, if one device fails you can take down your entire network, and it sometimes takes hours if not days to restore.
You must weigh the cost of redundancy to the risk of an outage. In most cases, redundant networks will offer significant value. By creating and implementing a plan for network redundancy, you can ensure that your mission-critical applications are still accessible during times of need.