The unexpected failure of a network connection can have far-reaching consequences for organizations. For example, an Internet access interruption can make applications and company data temporarily inaccessible. To prevent this, it is recommended to work with redundant network connectivity. A real-life example of the importance of redundant network connectivity: due to an unforeseen trenching incident, a cable from a service provider is damaged. If an organization has only one network connection, it means an outage of network traffic. With redundant connectivity, there are two separate connections. If one connection fails, network traffic is automatically routed through the second connection. This keeps the outages to a minimum.
Completely separate connections
Many organizations assume, often wrongly, there is automatically redundancy by using two different infrastructure providers. What they don’t realize, is that the cables of these providers may very well be in the same trench. The chance of both connections being damaged by digging or some other calamity is therefore greater than if the infrastructures were actually completely physically separated from each other. There is also the risk that the two different suppliers will carry out maintenance on the connection at the same time, which means that the connection would have to be temporarily interrupted.
With true redundant network connectivity, the connections are completely separated from one another. Service providers who have fully digitally registered their networks can ensure this more easily: after all, they know exactly where their connections are located. There is another important consideration when selecting a redundant network connectivity provider: ask the service provider if they can guarantee that their contractors and employees never work on separate connections at the same time.
SLAs and procedures
A redundant fiber connection is an important foundation for uninterrupted network connectivity. However, to ensure continuity in data traffic, a number of other issues must also be in place. For example, it is crucial that the equipment on the network connections is properly configured and redundant. In addition, the agreements (Service Level Agreements, SLAs) with the various IT suppliers – from data centers to cloud providers – are important. And both internal and external processes and procedures must be properly organized in case of network connectivity failure. If you tick all those boxes, you have done everything possible to ensure business continuity.
To what extent does your organization need redundancy or to what extent are you already redundant?
You can easily determine this yourself based on a number of questions:
- What is the maximum permissible downtime per year?
- How is redundancy implemented in the data center (number and capacity)?
- Are redundant facilities physically separated?
- Is redundancy guaranteed during maintenance?
- Do you have one or more network providers?
- Is redundancy described in processes and procedures?
- Are SLAs with system suppliers ensured?
Stay informed about all developments
You will receive the newsletter once per trimester.