As enterprises outsource more of the business operations to hosted platforms, more emphasis needs to be placed on ensuring mission-critical applications are always accessible. This means that the network connections to enterprise sites increase in their importance.
The traditional goal is “five 9s” (99.999 percent) network uptime¹, which roughly calculated means your business experiences about five minutes of network downtime in a year. This is the gold standard, and it is achievable with preparation, investment, and common sense.
How to Achieve 99.999% Uptime
Using the cloud to host business applications is a good practice as copies of vital data are stored in geographically disperse locations². However, unless your network is “up”, you are not able to access these hosted applications.
Reaching a goal of “five 9s” uptime requires three strategies. Below are the three techniques to include while you evaluate enterprise network solutions.
1. Improve Network Monitoring through IoT
The Internet of Things (IoT)³ is an army of sensors that exist in the network. They do more than collect data for your company, they can also provide early warning signs of a network problem. Once a device spots a security issue or other anomaly, you are able to start troubleshooting immediately and proactively solve the network problem. If the issue is serious the backup network should immediately take over.
Too many companies overlook the benefit of IoT devices and the benefits of modernizing their network. To reach a goal of “five 9s,” start developing IoT monitoring procedures that are shared with your network team.
2. Do Not Fall for the Common Redundancy Pitfall
Separation is not always obvious, even if your company has preliminary and backup networks from two providers, it is not guaranteed to be redundant. This is because many carriers expand their network by leasing fiber from third parties. If both carriers lease from the same third party and both of your network providers use the same fiber, then a single problem will affect both your primary and your backup services at the same time. Redundancy is a process of due diligence for enterprises, but how do you go make sure that your redundant networks are truly separate?
To ensure you build a true redundancy into your network, ask your network providers what carrier network infrastructure they use. Is it self-provided? Do they lease the fiber from a third-party? If they lease from a third party, find out who is the underlying provider. Request maps of the routes to make sure your primary and backup providers are truly diverse and your network is redundant.
3. Choose a Critical Infrastructure Network Provider
Critical infrastructure refers to the infrastructure that is used to deliver essential services to the community, such as electricity. In the event of a problem, such as the fires in Southern California destroying key infrastructure, the critical infrastructure providers are allowed into the area once the emergency services declare the area safe. The Internet and network infrastructure services are not typically considered critical infrastructure. If a problem occurs in your area, your provider will only be allowed in to fix the issue after emergency services and critical infrastructure providers.
No matter how much downtime costs your company, the Internet will never be as important as electricity. However, you can improve your chances of getting back up and running more quickly by selecting a network provider that doubles as a critical infrastructure provider.
Southern California Edison, for example, is a critical infrastructure provider because we deliver electricity to the Southern California area. To monitor our electric network, we use fiber optic cables. The extra capacity and fiber on these cables provide the network that Edison Carrier Solutions leases to enterprises and carriers. If a problem should occur, Southern California Edison is one of the first to access the area. By being one of the first, we are able to help businesses up and running more quickly.
Edison is one of the best providers in the Southern California area. If your business is dealing with mission-critical data and needs top uptime performance, consider selecting a business internet service provider that doubles as a critical infrastructure provider so you can get faster problem resolution in emergencies.
Use a Variety of Tactics to Achieve Better Network Uptime
As the use of cloud environments increases, the challenges of managing a high-performance network become more demanding. Enterprises with mission-critical data should employ a variety of techniques, including effective monitoring, true redundancy, and careful provider selection to ensure they have the best possible solution.
1. Intermedia. 99.999% uptime vs 99.9% uptime: the difference two extra “nines” makes– https://www.intermedia.net/blog/2014/01/28/99-999-uptime-vs-99-9-uptime-the-difference-two-extra-nines-makes/
2. SecurityInfoWatch. “America’s Critical Infrastructure: Threats, Vulnerabilities and Solutions”–
3. IoT Evolution. “Extreme Networks Securing Edge Devices with Defender for IoT”
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