Following the recent launch of our “Cellular 101: A Glossary of Terms” help guide, Westbase.io is now launching a weekly “What Is” blog series to provide even more insight into the cellular industry.
In our first edition we look at failover connectivity.
What is failover?
Failover connectivity is a back-up solution which provides a secondary connectivity service to keep business communications online in the event of the primary connection being disconnected. Most organisations use a fixed line for their primary solution, which can be knocked out by a wide range of incidents, such as:
Hardware single point of failure
In order to secure their connection some businesses install secondary lines, but these can often be affected by the same incident as that which takes out the primary. The most effective form of failover connectivity should therefore employ the use of a diversified network, such as cellular.
A 3G/4G failover solution integrates easily with existing network infrastructure and can be deployed in a very short time frame, meaning it can provide almost-instant and seamless business continuity. The advancement of LTE also means that cellular failover can now support not only critical applications, but the entire location’s networking requirements – meaning the business can run at full capacity, minimising the threat of downtime.
Furthermore it can also provide out-of-band access to the primary routing hardware to provide central IT teams with the visibility that they need to help restore the primary network.
The importance of failover
When an organisation experiences downtime there are a number of repercussions which can be extremely damaging. As businesses move to centralised and cloud-based systems the reliance on connectivity increases – without it the business cannot access critical applications and databases – and therefore the cost of downtime continues to increase as well. Some of the impacts of downtime include:
Inability to process sales transactions meaning lost revenue
If card-based transactions continue without authorisation the business is opened up to security threats and fraud
Staff productivity is estimated to be reduced to 63% of normal productivity (CA Technologies)
IT costs can quickly spiral as central teams or MSPs deploy expensive truck rolls to restore connectivity
Brand damage – 50% of companies believe downtime damages their reputation (CA Technologies)
Garter estimates the total cost of downtime to be $5,600 p/minute
– and while this varies heavily by organisation size and nature, there is no argument that loss of connectivity isn’t damaging to any business. For this reason, failover connectivity is essential to secure and support all business locations.