It’s no secret that the network is increasingly at the center of business operations. As companies increasingly look to network- and cloud-based solutions for their business functions, their network design and resiliency becomes ever more critical.
Understanding Network Failover
But what is network failover? And more importantly – what is it’s value to the enterprise?
Put simply, network failover is a design concept by which network traffic has more than one path to follow in the event of an outage or service interruption to the primary network. In network failover designs, traffic typically utilizes a primary network, which might be comprised of MPLS, DSL, cable or something similar. Augmenting that primary network is a secondary network which might be cellular 4G/LTE service, VPN, or some combination of the two. Depending on the design, this secondary network might carry traffic of it’s own, or it might exist solely as a backup to the primary.
Then, in the event of anything from complete failure in the primary network to network congestion and performance issues, the secondary network can be utilized to offload some or all of the traffic from the primary network as needed. In a well-designed network environment, this functionality is provided automatically by IoT software and/or hardware which monitors the health of both networks and makes failover decisions on an automated basis.
Impact to the Enterprise
It’s not hard to see the business value of network failover to a business. When you consider the applications that are in use in most enterprises today – CRM applications like Salesforce, cloud resources like AWS and Azure, and cloud-based applications like Office 365, the need to access these resources becomes pretty evident. And when you combine that with the need for the enterprise to access critical internal data centers and provide access to resources for both office and remote users, the need for a resilient network becomes obviously critical.
Because of this, nearly every industry is affected by network outages, including:
- Mobile Networks – Networks used by first responders, transportation and shipping, and mobile command centers all rely on network availability and uptime.
- Branch Offices and Networks – The retail, restaurant and hospitality industries all rely on network uptime for their point-of-sale and reservation systems, among others. Because of this, a network outage can have instant impacts on sales and revenues.
- IoT environments – IoT environments are often especially dependent on their network, and outages can have a critical impact on their operations.
Network Failover and IoT
And for IoT (Internet of Things) environments, network failover is even more critical. IoT applications, virtually by definition, are network-dependent – without a reliable network, the data generated by IoT sensors can’t be collected, and commands to IoT systems can’t be received by those remote nodes. In those environments, a prolonged network outage can be devastating.
Because of factors like those mentioned above, it’s not only critical to design network failover to provide redundancy and uptime, but also to address other factors such as WAN optimization, load balancing, path optimization and traffic shaping, to name a few. Good failover design recognizes that, in a failover scenario, critical data traffic needs to be given priority and performance needs to be optimized as much as possible until the primary network can be restored. In this age, simple failover isn’t enough.
The Datablaze Retail Failover Solution
Datablaze understands this reality and designs solutions that specifically address network failover and resiliency requirements. Datablaze solutions recognize that simply providing alternate paths for data isn’t enough – in order to truly maximize the business value of any network failover design, considerations such as performance and throughput, uptime and load balancing across connections (both for inbound and outbound traffic) are critical.
Addressing the requirements noted above, Datablaze solutions do a lot more than provide simple failover. By providing real network insight and intelligence, Datablaze solutions focus on prioritizing critical traffic and optimizing your network to provide not only resiliency but the best possible performance.
Contact Datablaze to discuss the right network design for your mission-critical retail failover solutions.