In the modern era, many businesses rely on the internet. While it may not seem like a big deal, network outages can lead to chaos and a loss of revenue- especially for retail businesses. After all, how can a transaction occur if payment cannot be processed? This is especially crucial given that 80% of customers prefer using a card over using cash. Recent research from Uptime Institute’s 2022 Outage Analysis Report shows that downtime costs keep rising. Over 60% of outages cost more than $100,000- and 15% of outages cost more than $1 million. Given these risks, it makes sense to investigate ways to prevent network outages for your business. Thankfully, there are a few ways to be proactive.
Redundancy is a crucial strategy to prevent your business from losing connectivity. Redundancy means you have two connections- possibly from two Internet Service Providers (ISPs). This is an excellent solution because you will have a backup connection if one fails. Having your connections work together to increase your bandwidth is also possible.
This isn’t a perfect solution, however. Both of your internet lines may use the same infrastructure, especially if you are in a rural or underserved area. If a critical piece of infrastructure breaks, the internet will go down – taking both of your network connections with it. Therefore, if you’re getting a second line from the same provider- using the same infrastructure- you will only be protected in case of equipment failure.
Ideally, one connection will use the traditional landline, while the other uses alternative technology – such as LTE or 5G – for redundancy.
Another good choice is to be set up with automatic failover. This process automatically moves your connection to another connection during a service failure. Automatic failovers are possible on multiple technologies – such as broadband and wireless (LTE/5G). Using two different technologies protects from most outages. Though this is an ideal solution, massive data transfers on a wireless service can be costly.
SD-WAN stands for Software-Defined Wide Area Network. SD-WAN is a virtual network architecture that allows businesses to use a combination of internet connections – such as LTE and broadband- to connect users. This service uses a centralized control program to direct traffic across the network securely and intelligently. Using an SD-WAN can increase application performance and deliver a high-quality user experience. In the long run, using this technology can improve business productivity while reducing costs.
SD-WAN allows businesses to prioritize some applications (like point-of-sale systems or voice) over less critical applications (like browsing). During an outage, SD-WAN can ensure that a high-priority application like a PoS system can be given critical priority on the reduced bandwidth available.
Managed Network Services are an excellent choice for a variety of reasons. Your IT team can focus their efforts on creating business value. With an outsourced managed network, everything is handled for you – from setting up and implementation, to ongoing monitoring and support. Experts will monitor your connection 24/7 to ensure maximum uptime. If there is a failure in the network, it will be detected quickly and resolved. Certified Network Engineers will also perform proactive system management and troubleshooting actions as needed. This leads to a solid connection with high uptime.
The internet has become a critical part of business today. It is used for everything from customer engagement to payment processing. So, when there is a network outage, it can be catastrophic. It can cost tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars the longer it goes on. Thankfully, there are a few ways to protect your business.