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4 connectivity options to consider when building a resilient network
With the world becoming more digitally-focused, being able to ensure fast, reliable connectivity is more important than ever. Any disruptions to this service will no longer be an inconvenience, but could completely shut down critical functionality resulting in your entire business grinding to a halt.
Naturally, sometimes things do go wrong. Whether it's through human error, failing hardware or problems that are completely out of your company's control such as extreme weather, interruptions to a connection can be unavoidable. Therefore, it's vital to ensure your business has resiliencies and contingencies built into your operations so that one issue does not result in the entire company being offline.
Why resiliency matters
When exploring connectivity options, you may be tempted to make your decision on price alone, but this could cost you more if something happened. A budget connectivity operation may only offer a single circuit between your business and the Internet.
While this may be adequate for your day-to-day needs, it will also bring with it unacceptable levels of risk, as if anything goes wrong, there is no plan B to keep things up and running.
Think of network resilience like buying car insurance. Sure, you could opt for a third-party only policy as the bare minimum and it'll protect you in some circumstances. But what happens if you get into an accident, or face a lengthy repair when you really need your car? A comprehensive policy may cost more upfront, but with options such as breakdown cover and a courtesy car, you're not only protected from the cost of repairs, you'll also still be able to stay on the road in the event of a problem.
Which options are available?
There are a number of connectivity options available to improve your company's resiliency and reduce the risk of downtime.
1. Two connections to the same exchange
This is one of the most straightforward solutions. There’s a second line between your business and the communications exchange, so if anything happens to one of them, the link is maintained. However, it does not guard against issues that may occur in the exchange itself or further down the line
2. Two connections to different exchanges - single network node
The vulnerabilities of relying on a single exchange are removed if your business uses multiple connections to multiple exchanges. These can be further split into two subsections. The first still relies on a Point of Presence (PoP) between the exchange and your core network. With issues such as the loss of switches within a single exchange, the fact it still uses a single network node remains vulnerable. Albeit an option that carries much less risk than other solutions, as network nodes are less likely to experience issues than exchanges.
3. Two connections to different exchanges - multiple network nodes
For businesses where even a few minutes of downtime will be extremely costly, adding multiple network nodes adds an extra level of protection. If both an exchange and a network node are offline, there should still be a route through to the core network.
4. Mobile Backup
Mobile backup provides an additional router at each site of your business and each router at each site of your business and each router houses two dynamic sim cards. In the event a primary network failure, the mobile backup router will kick in and provide network connectivity until the network issues are resolved, providing greater resiliency.
How resiliency translates into downtime
To understand what these solutions may mean in the real world, it's important to be aware of what downtime actually looks like.
For a 24/7 business, operational 525,600 minutes a year, how could network resiliency affect downtime?
A company that promises an uptime of 99.93 per cent from their core network may seem impressive - but is it? While this may sound a lot, it could equate to an expected downtime of 368 minutes, or more than six hours over the year.
But a more resilient core network solution with a reliability of say 99.95 per cent could cut downtime to 263 minutes a year - that .02 per cent can make a big difference. The most effective offerings, such as those that run two lines to two exchanges with two network nodes, could reduce downtime even further.
So when looking at connectivity, you must ask yourself how much downtime can your business afford and plan resiliencies accordingly. With various connectivity solutions available from broadband to Ethernet, it is vital that you ensure you get right connectivity solution and design to maintain uptime.
With over 20 years’ experience delivering network and communication services to large and small businesses; we can help you choose the best connectivity solution for your business needs. Take a look or get in touch for more information on our connectivity solutions.
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