Any project your IT staff implements, whether it involves computer networks, cloud services, or mobile capabilities, is done with the sole purpose of helping drive business goals forward. Well-thought-out projects that undergo proper planning often do just that. One area that has the capability to completely disrupt the technology that many businesses rely on is network reliability. Network reliability issues cause things to run slowly because of latency, or even result in complete downtime during which no business can be completed. When people aren’t able to work, your company loses money.
A survey by the Aberdeen Group showed that unplanned downtime costs an average of $8,600 per hour. For a small- to medium-sized organization, it is not unrealistic to lose upwards of $100,000 a year in revenue because of network reliability issues, according to the same survey. Fortunately, whether you’re in Boston or elsewhere, you have the ability to reduce network reliability issues and the losses that come along with them if you implement a few basic IT services on your network.
A load balancer is a solution that divides incoming traffic across multiple server instances. This helps prevent latency issues and can even prevent an all-out crash of your system, should usage result in maxing out the computing resource potential. There are load balancers that handle specific types of traffic, as well, such as application and network load balancers.
Not only does proper load balancing help ensure the availability of resources, but it can also help with the security of your solutions and allow for more granular monitoring and auditing of connections, usage, and other metrics.
Bandwidth is simply the rate of data transfer across a communication network. It consists of all the packets, requests, and other communications that move across your network as your employees do their work. Managing bandwidth is important because it allows you to control the priority level of your applications, solutions, or other resources. This ensures that traffic to these resources is delivered first; those with lower priorities suffer from latency if there is a high use of bandwidth at a given time.
Bandwidth management usually starts with a period of monitoring when the management solution is able to baseline your bandwidth use. From there, you have the ability to identify which devices are using the most bandwidth and not only identify problems, but also set up controls to distribute bandwidth to the resources that need greater consumption.
If network reliability issues are not something that your organization can live with, a network audit is one way to identify any issues as they are happening—or even before they become a problem for you. A network audit collects information regarding your network to better analyze:
- The implementation of controls
Audits start with a baseline. After analyzing data for a period of time, you are able to set the baseline for the metric you are measuring. Future audits are compared to this baseline to measure success or to identify where changes are needed.
Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Plan
Not all network reliability issues result from something you have control over. Natural disasters have the ability to take down even the most well-planned, well-managed networks. A malicious attack such as a distributed denial of service attack or a ransomware outbreak can also bring your network to a halt.
Whether your reliability issues are the result of uncontrolled events or the fault of poor planning, a well-documented business continuity or disaster recovery plan can help get your business back online quickly. By identifying what actions need to be taken and by whom during an outage, you can significantly reduce the amount of downtime because your team knows what to do. Of course, you need to practice this plan, not only to ensure that it works but also so that people know how to step into action.
Eliminating reliability issues altogether is difficult. However, with the right solutions and planning in place, your Boston-based business can reduce the effect they have on your network and business. If your team has the ability to implement the strategies listed here, have them start to look into them immediately. If your team is lacking in expertise or is looking for industry guidance, a third-party managed services provider in Boston can give recommendations. You will find that the right partner will have specialists in each of these four areas ready to help you keep your network and your business up and running.