The Importance of Failover Connectivity in Today’s Environment

September 14, 2013
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ImageNowadays, many businesses are moving to the cloud. This migration provides companies with many benefits, such as an increase in data security, availability and flexibility when it comes to subscribing for more resources. Cloud migration done right can also reduce overall costs for organisations.

ImageNowadays, many businesses are moving to the cloud. This migration provides companies with many benefits, such as an increase in data security, availability and flexibility when it comes to subscribing for more resources. Cloud migration done right can also reduce overall costs for organisations.

Connectivity is crucial for successful cloud migration

Moving to the cloud means that companies are relying on their Internet link more than ever. Even though every business grade service has corresponding SLAs, these agreements specify uptime as the target, not a definite. The reason for this being, things that are out of your service provider’s control can go wrong unexpectedly, hence their inability to guarantee 100% of uptime. Some connections, such as wireless, can be affected by the weather conditions. Others, like copper, are running on a 50-year old infrastructure that can occasionally (or often) experience problems.

What if you are having connectivity issues?

What does it mean to your business if the connection is down for a day or two? You need to measure the risks associated with this scenario and determine if you can afford the downtime. This is why we advise our customers to have backup connectivity setup in Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) for automatic failover/failback. It is simply becoming more important in today’s environment as companies start to host not only their computing infrastructure in the cloud, but phone systems as well. If you’re a business operating in the cloud, implementing a secondary link should be best practise to ensure maximum uptime.

Failover connectivity as the solution

To address this issue, GCOMM has created a bundled service where two links are included in one product with built-in automatic redundancy. This service offers customers assurance that they will be able to continue with their daily operations, without interruptions due to problems with the primary connection.

A redundant link means that two services are provisioned, instead of one. Also, these services should be completely diverse. We would recommend to have a fixed line service (fibre or copper) as primary and a wireless service as secondary, since they take different paths and are typically diverse in backhaul.

Depending on location and bandwidth requirements, we may recommend 2 separate fibre paths and/or a copper solution if we know the exchange path is diverse. Most CBD locations will have multiple fibre providers available, however as you move out to metro and regional areas your options may be limited.

Many people see this failover connectivity as an additional cost but the important thing to understand is that this should be considered an insurance policy, as most companies simply cannot afford to be offline.