Redundant Internet Connections Will Keep Your Business Going
Network outages are costly. When your Internet connection is down, you’re cut off from suppliers, customers, distributors, sales partners, cloud applications and, of course, revenue.
While the costs of all of this activity grinding to a halt are staggering for enterprise customers – pegged at $5,600 per minute according to Gartner – outages can be just as devastating to small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs). And not just in the direct costs of idle employees and lost sales, but in reputation and future revenue as well. Frustrated customers that cannot complete purchases or reach your service team during an outage become lost customers quickly.
All in, it’s far less expensive for any business to establish redundant Internet connections than to suffer an outage.
What is Internet Failover?
Internet failover is essentially a backup Internet connection that creates redundancy so that your business is protected from the vulnerabilities of single-connection failure.
Thanks to SD-WAN technology, it’s never been easier – or more affordable – to establish Internet failover protection. With SD-WAN, network traffic is routed over a secondary connection when a business’s primary Internet connection fails, or experiences packet loss or latency spikes.
Some failover solutions incorporate wireless failover protection as either the secondary connection or a third failover connection if the first two connections fail. For example, GeoLinks’ Internet failover with Fourth Generation Long Term Evolution (4G LTE) is a best-in-class choice for most businesses using fiber or fixed wireless connections.
When Does Your Business Need Internet Failover?
Since online connectivity is essential to today’s business models, nearly all businesses should view Internet failover as a vital component of network setup and business continuity. Systems in your organization that require an Internet connection include:
- Email Access
- Accounting Systems
- Project Management Systems
- File-Sharing Applications
- Point of Sale Transaction Systems
- Cloud Computing Systems and Apps
- Collaboration Applications
- Chat and IM Systems
- Portals and Inventory Management Systems
- Video Conferencing
- VoIP Communication Systems
What’s the Advantage of LTE Failover?
LTE failover is advantageous because the backup router links your devices to a fully functioning network with no noticeable service disruption – the data automatically switches over from Wi-Fi to LTE, preventing you from losing signal. Additionally, since the causes of outages that take out primary wireline (e.g., copper and fiber) connections can take out secondary wireline connections, wireless failover protection delivers superior failover diversification to wireline-only redundancy solutions.
What Industries Most Need Internet Failover?
While all businesses that are connected to the Internet can benefit from Internet failover protection, several industry verticals are acutely vulnerable to outages, including:
- Healthcare – Technology in hospitals, including connectivity, is essential and needs to be always-on 24/7.
- Retail – Retail businesses that lose their connections typically can’t make payments through their point-of-sale transaction systems. Customer service departments can also be affected if customers can’t reach them or when staff can’t access inventory catalogs, online help desk portals or employee schedules.
- Restaurants and Food Services – These businesses have long been vulnerable to POS outages, lost revenue when customers cannot call in takeout orders, etc. But the adoption of food delivery services (e.g., Grubhubb, DoorDash, etc.), which skyrocketed as the COVID pandemic of 2020 took hold, has made outages potentially catastrophic to these businesses.
- Agriculture – Irrigation systems, product transportation and communications are all structures that require always-on connectivity.
- Finance – Latency alone can cause serious issues in the finance industry, never mind outages. Payment logging, transfers and tracking are all handled electronically online. The scale of vital activity in this industry ranges from massive global financial transactions to functionality at a retail banking location. Even physically opening a register at a local branch can be inhibited by a loss of Internet connectivity, depending on the security systems involved.
- Transportation – Communications operations in the transportation industry are vital for safe navigation and direction of various forms of transportation including light rails, trains, subways, bus routes, taxi cabs and ride-sharing services.
- Other – In today’s cloud-driven world, connectivity is essential for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
Internet failover can be a vital part of building a business continuity and disaster recovery plan – learn more in our blog “Disaster Recovery Plan – The Only Way to Ensure Business Continuity.”
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