For your business to achieve its goals, it is critical that your servers, phone system, networks, voice circuits and Internet connections are up and running to their peak performance. You hear the typical industry terms of failover, high availability, and clustering… but what does it all mean? And how does it specifically relate to YOUR business’ uptime?
Let’s start with the basic idea that there is no such thing as 100% uptime. Something will always go down or have an interruption. Even if you buy the most expensive server, eventually it will die or need to be rebooted for a security path to be installed. So the key is to plan and implement technologies that will mitigate those risks and ensure you are on a path to get to the optimal uptime, which is 99.99% (only 52 minutes of downtime a year which is the typical reboot or applying updates after hours).
When we assist organizations in developing their optimal uptime scenario, we first document their key critical business systems. The systems could be their Internet connection, servers or phone systems. Once the key systems are identified, we recommend a solution for that specific technology to eliminate what is called the single point of failure. Single point of failure relates to any specific piece that if it were to fail, the entire system dies. So if the system is a server, a power supply, network cable, or a NIC could fail, thus the entire server would be unavailable. So the redundancy would be dual power supplies, dual networking cards and network cables plugged into different switches. So if any one of those items were to fail, the server would still be available without any downtime.
With more businesses moving their systems to the Cloud, such as backups, file storage like Dropbox, eCommerce, VoIP phones and e-mail, Internet redundancy has been very critical for most of our clients. Internet connectivity is one of the easiest single points of failover to mitigate. Most business firewall/routers can already handle the failover if the primary Internet connection fails and if you need to purchase a firewall/router, it is only a one-time cost of around $400. The next piece is signing up for a redundant Internet connection. Since this is your failover, you don’t need anything expensive, so a basic DSL or Comcast connection around $60/month would suffice. The failover happens automatically and most users would not even realize the primary connection is down.
If you are interested in having BWS schedule a free evaluation of your key systems and developing a redundancy plan, please give us a call at 312-361-3800.