Being able to connect to the internet is mission critical for most organizations today. We use the internet to access our cloud services like email or online databases or even to simply connect to another site. Our phone systems are increasingly becoming cloud-hosted Voice over IP, which means they’re completely beholden to a reliable internet connection.
So what are your plans for when you lose internet connectivity? Maybe a backhoe took out your cable drop, or your illustrious provider is having some mysterious issue. Can your organization withstand a complete loss of internet?
If not, there are several options available that might be able to meet your resiliency and/or budget.
Same level of business-class internet from two different carriers
For businesses that have very high resiliency needs, having two separate internet connections is the best way to go. For example, we have a client who has fiber from AT&T and Spectrum both. It’s best to work with a broker to negotiate these packages and sometimes they can work with an aggregator to roll it all up into one contract.
Business-class internet with backup DSL/Cable Internet
If performance isn’t as important to you in a failover scenario, having a backup DSL/Cable Internet connection is a better option budgetwise. In the event of a failover, everyone will have to understand their connection’s limitations, but it should help you accomplish those minimum mission-critical tasks until your main connection is back up.
Maybe having multiple connections isn’t an option where you’re located. Or you only need certain important things to go through over the internet, like point-of-sale transactions. Cellular failover might be a better option because you only pay for the data you use. However, if you have an organization that uses the internet a lot, you can’t function “business as usual” when you fail over to cellular data or you might get a bill that will turn your hair white.
Microwave connections are a great alternative to cellular connections. If you are in an area with congested cellular airwaves, a microwave connection might work better.
While this is typically the slowest connection, it is very reliable. Many organizations rely on this for remote locations (and when I say remote, I don’t mean a branch office, I mean like “middle-of-nowhere” remote). Gas stations often have a satellite connection.
Having metro government-provided or private-business provided wireless is a trend taking hold in a number of cities. This is still in its infancy, but expect to see this grow in popularity and reach over the next ten years. Currently these connections have a limited area of coverage but will provide an acceptable level of failover quality.