According to Techopedia, Internet Redundancy, or Network Redundancy, refers to a process “through which additional or alternate instances of network devices, equipment and communication mediums are installed within [sic] network infrastructure.”
In other words, it is the process of installing secondary network connections to your initial infrastructure to protect your business from the consequences of an outage or path failure. It is a backup plan that allows your company to continue running its activities without worrying about a possible loss of connection.
Here are three main ways network redundancy can save your business.
Latency, measured in milliseconds, refers to the delay or time it takes for a set of data to be transferred from its source to its destination. Examples of latency include:
- an email that takes too long to reach a colleague’s inbox
- a web page that takes several seconds to load completely
- a screen share that takes a significant amount of time to load
- a delay in a video or conference call
Aside from being frustrating, such things can negatively impact your employees’ productivity and your customers’ user experience. Therefore, it is essential to improve your company’s latency by keeping it as short as possible. One way to do that is through a network redundancy system.
Ensure productivity and performance
As mentioned earlier, a slow or latent network connection will significantly affect productivity. But a complete loss of connection will have much more damaging effects
With a secondary network connection that acts as a backup for your initial one, you will not have to worry about this scenario. This system can even boost your productivity levels when used in the right way. For that, you can simply:
- Keep employees and essential workers on the primary network, and allow guests on the secondary one
- Use data on the direct connection and your VoIP phone system on the secondary one
The process of splitting traffic between your two connections is known as load balancing and is designed to ensure that no system is overloaded. It is an effective way to distribute traffic and boost productivity and performance by reducing downtime, minimizing response time, and improving flexibility.
Protect business profit
A 2015 study by IHS Markit found that North American organizations lose about $700 billion a year due to IT outages. But the details of this study revealed that 78% of this amount represents productivity loss.
And as explained earlier, one of the best ways to maintain and even improve productivity levels is installing a secondary network connection. Using internet redundancy will protect you and your business from any lost revenue due to primary internet downtime.
Now that you know how internet redundancy can help your business let’s look at how you can create your system.
How to create a redundant internet connection plan
Begin by working with your IT department or IT service provider. Together you will decide which two mediums best fit your business practices.
At this point, there are four options for connectivity:
Fiber – Uses small glass fibers to transmit data via pulses of light. This medium can carry vast amounts of data, making it the fastest available. However, for most small businesses, this choice is too expensive and not often available everywhere
Cable – A broadband service that uses the same network as cable television. It is sent to your business using a designated television channel to transmit data. If you can afford the cost of fiber, this is an excellent option for your secondary connection.
Copper – Also known as a standard phone line connection. This medium is a common way for people to access the internet and includes T1 lines and DSL. Because it was built for voice transmission and not data, it is often an inefficient means of internet connection.
Wireless – This includes cellular and satellite internet. While this option is slower than some others, it has the benefit of not being tied to embedded cabling. If you have a good line of sight or signal strength, this is an acceptable option for a backup connection.
During the planning phase, it is essential to pay attention to your current needs to decide on the number of systems your company should install.
When running a business, especially in our digital and connected world, nothing is worse than losing valuable revenue and working time to an internet outage. From increased latency to productivity and profit loss, many things can indeed happen due to lost internet access. And when you only have one connection, you’re in danger of falling victim to this scenario. Luckily, the cost of a secondary connection is far less than the potential lost income of not having a network or internet failover.