What is Business Network Redundancy and Why Is It Important?
Data is the lifeblood of any business, but business data is vulnerable. As we have discussed in our article on the risks endangering business data security, compromises in business security data are devastating. And while there are a number of ways to protect your business’ data from such breaches, there’s always more that can be done. That is why network redundancy is so important. It adds another layer of protection that can prevent your IT systems from coming to a screeching halt. If you are vulnerable to debilitating downtime, you could be facing lost customers and sales, and perhaps even legal trouble. So, it’s important to ensure that there are redundancies in place both in your software and hardware systems to prevent such a stoppage.
What is Network Redundancy?
Redundancy is making sure that there are protocols in place so that, if one system within your network fails, there are others to take up the slack in order to minimize downtime as much as possible. That includes both hardware and software systems. This means that, while business network redundancy does include backing up your data on a cloud or similar secure system, there is a lot more to it. In fact, there are many types of redundancy which can improve your network resilience, or how well your system can maintain service despite faults and obstacles that can affect its normal operation. When considering a network redundancy plan for your business, you want to consider the following strategies.
When you back up all of your data onto a cloud server, an external hard drive, or an off-site physical server, you’ve implemented a layer of data redundancy to your business. This gives you a method of keeping your data safe and accessing it in the instance of your primary system going down or getting wiped.
In nearly any business, information needs a way to get from one terminal to another, in order for all who require access to be able to read needed data. This is where it’s important to make sure you have multiple methods of doing so. Then, if a cable goes bad or if a Wi-Fi connection fails, your data has other alternate routes it can take. Think of pathway redundancy as a route you take to get from home to work (or vice versa). If there was only a direct route, any blockage would delay you significantly. If there are other roads that can be taken, you can find an alternate route to get there faster.
If possible, having both wired and wireless connections available can provide a layer of redundancy. If a cable goes bad, the data can still be sent between servers and terminals via secured wireless internet. If the wireless router goes down, you may still be able to connect via the physical cables. Plus, there are special methods of cabling your offices to provide extra layers of redundancy, as well.
Imagine a meteor came down right onto your server. If that was your only physical server, your company would stall instantly while you scrambled to put your data and service back together, if it was possible at all. While this isn’t likely, a number of more plausible issues could pose a physical threat to your server’s hardware, including natural disasters decimating the physical systems, power surges that can fry motherboards and hard drives, and other threats. That’s why you may want to consider implementing hardware redundancy, such as external hard drives, or even entirely separate servers.
If the power goes out, you want to make sure your systems don’t shut down immediately. You need to have a way of keeping the power on, even if only long enough to save your data and properly shut down your systems. However, there are methods of power redundancy that can provide electricity to your systems long enough for the primary power source to be restored. Power redundancy systems include battery backups, alternate power supply units, generators, etc.
What if a tornado or severe thunderstorm went through and knocked out the power not just to your office, but to the entire area, or even the whole city? What if it destroyed blocks of property, including your server room? What then? If you have a backup system set up at a data colocation center five blocks away, is there any guarantee that they weren’t hit and hit hard, too? That’s why it’s so important to not just have a backup system, but to have it somewhere that is geographically redundant. In other words, if a natural disaster strikes your area, your backup system is safe and sound, whether it’s on the other side of the state, the other side of the country, or in the cloud.
Redundancy: It Keeps Your Business Going
Redundancy is clearly not superfluous. Though it may seem like a lot to do for contingencies, if done right, it can keep your business operating at normal capacity 99.999% percent of the time. Time is money, and there lies the true importance of business network redundancy. When the unexpected happens, redundancy makes sure that you lose as little time as possible. Many of the aspects of redundancy are intertwined, which makes the most effective solution the most diverse one. The more aspects of redundancy you include, the more each one plays off the other to fully protect your business and minimize the risk of network shutdown.
Whether you want to install a data network; address cabling; or explore data center, cloud, or colocation options, C1C can help you determine the best course of action for your business. We’ll partner with you to design, plan, and implement business network redundancy strategies to protect your business with increased network resilience. Call 855-TECH-C1C (855-832-4212) or contact us online to schedule your free consultation today!