Can You Count on Your Failover When You Need it?
Your business relies heavily on your internet connecting, supporting everything from cloud tools to email and VoIP phones. If your connection is interrupted, your business essentially stops cold. Preserving business internet uptime requires investing in a reliable continuity solution – with failover.
Many businesses make the mistake of investing in failover that doesn’t offer much uptime protection. They may have a fibre optic connection, but their failover is simply a second fibre optic cable. While this may look like a good backup solution, it doesn’t offer the diversity necessary to make a failover effective. If an earthquake or other natural disaster damages the cables, there’s no preservation of uptime when they simply run alongside one another. Also, any core outages impacting the internet service provider (ISP) will affect both fibre optic lines. Essentially, you pay for a second line that has limited ability to guarantee uptime.
Instead, enterprises should invest in a failover option that introduces diversity to their connectivity. A wireless method is the best backup for a wired internet connection. Three basic types of wireless connection are appropriate for a failover strategy to support business internet uptime:
- All-in-one primary or edge wireless devices combine a wide area network (WAN) and a wireless gateway in a single device. These are the most common wireless backup solutions, but they have limitations. They only work in an open location with a strong signal and can’t be stored in a closet or basement.
- A 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) cellular gateway is a more specialized, standalone option. It attaches outside – or near the outside – of the building to receive a strong cell signal. The device converts 4G LTE signals to ethernet, which links to the router with cabling to distribute through the building. They can be powered by ethernet and don’t require any electricity.
- A third option enables businesses to eliminate all wired internet. This “air” option uses a single model with two subscriber identity modules (SIM), allowing access to SIM cards from different cellular providers. This is ideal for mobile companies or locations where cable or DSL may not be readily available.
Businesses in rural areas are particularly vulnerable to downtime. Many remote communities only have one cable connecting to the internet, and if that cable breaks, there’s no backup. These rural businesses often benefit the most from a wireless backup solution to support business internet uptime.
A business without a continuity plan for failover risks lost revenue and reputation – not only does an outage impact productivity, but it also impacts the level of customer service you can provide. Without a failover option, there’s no way to accept credit or debit payments for a purchase, effectively cutting your revenue and negatively impacting the credibility of the associates conducting the transaction.
It’s easy to see how an outage impacts point of sale (POS) processes, but many critical processes are interrupted when the connection is lost:
Internet of Things (IoT) Technology: Enterprises increasingly rely on devices to aid in productivity and improve the customer experience. From pressure gauges on storage tanks to your doctor taking notes on a tablet, IoT technology impacts many industries.
VoIP: Businesses are replacing landlines with voice over internet protocol (VoIP) solutions that use ethernet to transmit voice and video calls over the internet. Without a failover connection, enterprises can lose all contact with customers.
Unified Communications: With more employees working remotely than ever before, professionals rely on high-quality internet to communicate. From video chat and email to online collaboration tools, companies without a backup for business internet uptime will see operations interrupted and projects on hold during an outage.
Cloud-Based Solutions: More companies are storing data in cloud servers and using cloud versions of their software. These applications are similar to the in-house version but won’t be available during an internet outage if there’s no automatic failover.
Interruptions to internet uptime are an inconvenience for any company, but for those that operate largely online, even a few hours of downtime can be a major problem. For the duration of an internet outage, they are essentially out of business.
For more information about supporting continuous internet uptime with failover solutions that fit your budget, contact us at iTel. Whether you’re moving to the cloud or you simply want to protect your sales with reliable backup, we can find you the best solution.