Ensuring Business Internet Continuity: Smart Failover Practices and How SDN Can Help

virtualization benefitsAs more enterprises leverage bandwidth sensitive technology such as SIP Trunks or VoIP T1s, as well as cloud-based solutions, a new challenge has come up involving business continuity and system-wide performance. If you lost your Internet connection for one hour, how would that impact your prospects, vendors, clients, and staff? Losing access to critical cloud applications as well as poor performance of cloud solutions can have serious consequences for your business. Poor call quality will drive new prospects away. You will start losing revenue and begin to damage your reputation with your current client base.

While many organizations prepare for disasters with business continuity solutions for their data and servers, quite a few are short-sighted when it comes to protecting their Internet and dial tone. Here are some thought-provoking questions that any business looking to thoroughly prepare for a disaster and minimize downtime should answer. If you don’t know how to respond to these questions, it’s definitely time to re-think your business continuity strategy.

1. What are your Internet and dial tone connection types (e.g., copper, fiber, wireless, etc.)?

2. How many Internet connections does your business have?

3. How many voice gateways or options for dial tone does your business have (e.g., POTs, VoIP, SIP, etc.)?

4.  Do you intelligently route traffic via multiple Internet connections, or do you simply have a second connection as a backup?

5. Is traffic strategically re-routed when your business suffers a primary outage, or does it change when it hits a latency threshold?

6. If you experience a primary connection issue, do you lose your Internet and voice traffic?

Additionally, here are some easy steps you can take to determine if you’ve adequately ensured business continuity for dial tone and Internet.

1. Identify the impact voice and Internet outages would have on your business.

2. Review the capabilities of your phone system, IT infrastructure, and IT equipment.

3. When is the last time you tested to ensure your current setup would produce the desired/optimal outcome for your business if an outage occurred?

Today, there are even more business continuity technologies that businesses can easily leverage, such as policy based routing, load balancing, and software-defined networking (SDN). Simple enhancements to on-premise firewalls have been an easy fix when certain solutions allow clients to provide multiple Internet connections and route traffic accordingly in an active/active fashion. However, recently SDN has gained momentum because it provides an additional layer of intelligence when it comes to routing at the premise, provider, or hosted level. SDN architecture separates network control from forwarding, which allows for direct programming of network control and abstraction of the underlying infrastructure, according to the Open Networking Foundation.

SDN allows businesses to boost agility and flexibility and manage traffic loads more efficiently. Standard client premise technology allows for multiple Internet provider failovers and redundancies. However, with SDN, companies can leverage multiple backbone providers for more intelligent traffic management. SDN for the Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) can not only help businesses achieve greater resiliency and availability but also optimize bandwidth and contain operating costs, according to Cisco.

If you’d like more information about business continuity solutions, our expert team at Stratosphere Networks can help you explore your options and find one that meets your unique business needs. Contact us today by calling 877-599-3999 or emailing sales@stratospherenetworks.com.

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