28 Feb 2013

Connectivity insurance – making sure your business remains online.

Things break and this is a fact of life. When some things like data connections to your business sites go down it can mean direct financial loss due to a halt in electronic payments processing, no access to ordering systems and loss of other internal communications. For retailers this means cash payments only and therefore a loss in trading earnings and potential brand damage. For finance folk this could mean a complete shut down or a reversion to paper based processing for the duration of the data outage. Transport and logistics rely heavily on data connectivity as a sales channel but to also facilitate efficient operations. In summary, a loss of data connectivity often leads to chaos, financial loss and unhappy customers. Why do things like data connections break? Although data access technologies such as Ethernet over optic fibre is stable like all cable delivered services it is vulnerable to disruptions caused by things like physical damage, power failures and adverse environmental conditions. There is a simple yet effective way of insuring against a complete loss of connectivity and this is through the deployment of a secondary diverse access method that can automatically take over when the primary fails. A suitable failover solution is often realised using mobile broadband (3G) router connected to a sites primary link router. If the primary router experiences a loss in connectivity the secondary router (or module within the one integrated dual technology router) detects this event and automatically establishes a network connection. Total network outage is minimized to a few seconds typically and critical business operations continue until the primary link is restored. Many data networking service providers will be able to deliver off the shelf business continuity solutions at a price that makes logical sense when compared against the potential loss of primary connectivity. Insuring against loss of data connectivity is something that all businesses should seriously consider.