KEY ELEMENTS OF A RESILIENT NETWORK
Resilience can be defined as the ability of an organization to quickly recover from adversity or setback. In simple words, it is the ability to get back on your feet after you fall. However, with everything happening on computer networks, how do you design resilience into your corporate environment?
Despite technology stacks demanding more frequent updates, Information Technology Consulting (ITIC) reported that 85 percent of major corporations now demand an uptime minimum of at least 99.9 percent for critical hardware, operating systems, and main line of business (LOB) applications.
In this article, we look at four factors that will help build a resilient network.
1. KNOW THAT EVERYTHING FAILS
The first step to building a resilient network is understanding everything that fails—from routers to switches, cables, circuits, and even cross-connects. Hence, regular network maintenance is crucial to smooth business operations. This will help keep your system at the right software levels, allow the application of network security patches, and even give way for hardware maintenance and replacement
2. OPERATING HOURS
Next, you should think about and determine the operating hours of the environment. For instance, your office network might not have users after work hours or during the weekends. On the other hand, this sort of network might come with strict reliability and availability requirements during regular hours. Nonetheless, it can be maintained after work hours too. On the other hand, data centers or life and safety systems should operate 24/7. Hence, the right design is essential for these networks to deal with failures as well as the ability to operate during maintenance.
3. VIRTUALIZATION, CLOUD, AND SAAS APPLICATIONS
Then comes visualization, cloud, and SaaS application suites. Often people feel cloud-based applications lie outside IT controls. But this is not really the truth. For instance, AWS makes a considerable effort to advise clients on the availability offered by applications. In addition, applications put forward several service-level agreements to users based on where they are hosted, like with single availability zones, multiple availability zones, or operating across regions. It is also important how enterprises and their customers connect to the cloud or SaaS providers.
4. RELIABLE REMOTE CONNECTIVITY
In the post-pandemic era, if there is something enterprises should think of, that is the reliability of their secure remote access solutions connectivity. For example, does the connectivity run on primary or secondary VPN connectors? Is it load-balanced across systems, allowing for required maintenance?
HOW IMPORTANT IS IT RESILIENCE?
Healthcare organizations, financial institutions, and government public safety agencies engaged in time-sensitive computing operations are just a few of the many types of entities that can’t accept even a few hours of downtime compared to their counterparts in the corporate world. For this reason, a resilient network sounds more important to them than ever in the era of technology and the internet. Typically, the IT resilience strategies employed in a data center will vary from one organization to another depending on the workloads and application availability.
Organizations with more mission-specific workloads will have to introduce greater resiliency techniques at greater levels within a data center. Why? Because the cost of not appropriately protecting critical computing services happens to be more expensive than an unplanned outage or fallout. On the contrary, non-essential workloads that can do with a few disruptions can receive less resiliency or remain offline until they are restored completely.
The rule of thumb here is to carefully determine the systems, services, and applications crucial to your business viability and those less essential. If you take a quick glance, you might think that email is a simple, non-essential business function when it is not. If the employees of an eCommerce business or B2B company cannot communicate with its customers or partners for an extended period, the results could be disastrous.
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