Failing at Failover? Some Things You Should Know

Having a failover solution for your business's connected devices is kind of like insurance: If you never need it, you've born the costs of it. When you do need it, though, its potential ROI suddenly dwarfs its costs.

As businesses become increasingly connected and as more business operations functionality moves to the Cloud (are your SalesForce and WorkDay accounts local? Didn't think so), the potential ROI of a failover system increases exponentially faster than its costs. High-transaction and distributed facilities are especially vulnerable, and a 2017 ITIC survey revealed that network downtime costs can run into hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars per hour.

Nor are downtime incidents particularly unusual. Internet connectivity can be (and is) disrupted in a multitude of ways: Hackers launching DoS attacks. Construction equipment severing a buried trunk line.  A tree branch falling on the run from the pole to your building. An animal chewing through a cable. Maintenance at your provider. Any of these things can lead to service outages -- and aside from the direct costs of downtime, there are also a variety of indirect costs that may follow: Lost employee productivity, loss or compromise of data, lapses in physical security, disgruntled customers and a tarnished brand are all among the damages a business might suffer from a network outage.

Fortunately, advances in cellular technology (looking at you, 4G LTE) have made it a viable connectivity provider as part of a robust failover plan:

  • It's geographically widely available, and also has a high uptime -- 99.99% is not unusual, here.
  • It's a well-established and supported technology, so implementation is easy.
  • It provides out-of-band management (OOBM), so your tech people have visibility into systems even when primary internet is down.

Because 4G's connectivity mechanisms are so different than a traditional landline, the chances that it would go down at the same time as your primary internet connection are practically nonexistant -- and coupled with its low cost and ease of implementation, it becomes in many instances the connectivity of choice for business failover solutions.

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