Backup Internet Connection is Essential for Business Continuity

October 2023
Sagenet Blog Backup Infrastructure

If you could take a ride in the Wayback Machine to 1998, you’d likely be stunned by the prevailing business attitudes about the Internet. A survey that year found that more than half of U.S. businesses had no Internet access, had no plans to add it and did not consider it important for achieving their business goals. Even those with access reported that fewer than half of company PCs were actually connected.

That seems unimaginable today. According to recent statistics, around 97 percent of businesses depend on Internet connectivity for almost any business-critical function you can think of — from communication and collaboration, cloud computing, research, supply chain management, customer engagement and more.

Connectivity Is Critical

It’s difficult to imagine how any work would get done without a reliable Internet connection these days. Communication would be next to impossible without phones, email, text messaging, video conferencing and other online tools. All cloud-based applications, services and tools would be inaccessible. It would lead to lost sales, reduced productivity and potential reputational damage with long-lasting consequences.

The impact could be particularly severe for retail and hospitality organizations with multisite operations. The loss of cloud-based point-of-sale systems would make it impossible to process payments, resulting in frustrated customers and lost revenue. Online sales, digital signage, customer support, inventory management, and reservation and booking systems would all become inoperable.

Prepare for the Worst

Unfortunately, Internet outages happen all the time, usually due to cable cuts, equipment failure, software glitches, network congestion, cyberattacks or severe weather events. Analysts estimate the average outage lasts 12 hours and costs businesses roughly $300,000 per hour.

For these reasons, a reliable backup Internet connection is an essential component of any business continuity plan. The ability to fail over to a secondary link ensures that operations can continue without significant interruptions during an outage, minimizing downtime and many other operational calamities.

Software-defined wide-area networks (SD-WANs) make it easier than ever for organizations to establish redundant Internet connections. SD-WAN blends multiple connectivity options such as MPLS circuits, broadband Internet, 4G and 5G cellular, and satellite to ensure a quality connection is always available. This redundancy ensures that traffic can be rerouted in the event of an outage or disruption.

Active-Active Failover

A key benefit of SD-WAN is the ability to create an active-active failover architecture rather than the active-passive approach typically used in traditional WAN setups. In an active-passive configuration, one active link moves all Internet traffic while the backup link remains idle, only being activated if the primary connection fails or becomes otherwise unavailable.

An active-passive failover provides protection and is relatively easy to set up and manage, but there are significant downsides. It’s an inefficient use of resources since you must pay for bandwidth you will rarely use. Plus, there will be a brief loss of connectivity while waiting for the passive link to take over during a failure.

In an active-active setup, all links are actively processing traffic. Load balancing mechanisms distribute the traffic across all links, ensuring that no single connection becomes overwhelmed. If one fails or becomes unavailable, the remaining links continue to handle the traffic, ensuring uninterrupted service.

How SageNet Can Help

The value of reliable Internet connectivity has become increasingly clear over the past two decades. It now underpins critical business processes in almost every industry and has transformed the way companies operate and communicate. As such, backup connections are critical for ensuring business continuity.

Contact us to learn more about creating redundant Internet connections. Through our SageCONNECT portfolio of services, we provide the industry’s broadest range of network connectivity options. Our team can help you evaluate, provision and manage backup connections that minimize your risk of business interruption due to Internet outages.

Nathan Jones

Nathan Jones

Architectural Sales Engineer

Networking is at the core of anything we do dealing with customers – you have to have connectivity. The equipment and everything else grows from that on a step-by-step basis. Even from SageNet’s perspective as a Managed Services provider, it’s still true and always will be. The networking is a fundamental for everything you do in telecom. We support that and help customers grow with that as the foundation.

Get to know Nathan

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