Keep on communicating
By Stuart Janicki • 20 Aug 2012
Imagine your business relies on an internet connection to make thousands of pounds every hour and the internet dies - yet you're still processing transactions. Or you run the security for major high street banks and criminals cut the data lines - but you're still seeing every security camera. You might rely on constant communication with several different offices to make critical decisions and the local BT exchange has just gone down - but you can still conference with other staff.
Ensuring all these failover scenarios are operational is a chore. Combine this with a sense of reliability about your existing connectivity and you'd take the risk that it always seems to be working - so why worry about it. However, it's only when there is downtime that the panic sets in. Implementing a solution in a disaster is not for the faint hearted and knowing what to do is one thing - making it happen is completely different.
Businesses are becoming increasing reliant on high-bandwidth voice traffic and large scale data transfers, but as this trend has increased the level of continuity we seek hasn't followed suit. This is not helped by historic levels of service, with the average broadband circuit having a forty working hours service level agreement - this is FIVE working days! With businesses staking their reputations on nothing going wrong, this length of time is unacceptable.
Fortunately, there are specialists dedicated to providing failover solutions. From using 3G from within a router or connected to a security camera; multiple copper cables running from the exchange through to the premises; dedicated fibre optic leased lines combined with broadband failover; WiMax for wireless connections over vast distances; or managed routers - the possibility and combinations are endless.
Continuity is assured with any reliable connectivity failover solution. But technology, whilst not irrelevant, is not the only key factor here. A good connectivity provider should be invisible so that when it goes wrong, you're the last person to know about it. Networks and solutions should be built in such a way that they failover without any impact to the business.
So when one of your lines goes down, you can just keep on working. Or if there is a noticeable reduction in bandwidth, your traffic is automatically optimised to ensure that vital applications such as VoIP or CRM are given priority on the line. This means in a disaster there is no panic, no loss of money, no angry customers or diverted prospects. Everything is business as usual, and those criminals are still having their images taken - without them knowing it!
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