Perfecting Cloud Failover Through SD-WAN
In the early 1990’s when Iqbal Quadir initially observed “connectivity is productivity,” it was quite visionary. Today, we live in such a hyper-connected world this seems almost self-evident. When our business applications move to the cloud, productivity cost of network outages increases, are we doing all we can to prevent them?
"Connectivity is productivity, whether it's in a modern office or an underdeveloped village "
Unleash Your Full Cloud Potential: 5 Ways to Maintain Online Connectivity
Business leaders who demand high productivity should make cloud availability a top priority. The last-mile connection is the weakest link in the cloud connectivity chain, but all failover solutions are not created equal.
1. Fully Autonomous Protection
Any failover solution that requires “hands-on” intervention to identify or remediate link outages puts productivity at risk. There are unknown time variables between when the outage occurs, when it is recognized, and when it is remediated. Productivity loss is already happening by the time someone notices there’s an outage. For businesses that rely on Internet of Things (IoT), machine-to-machine connections or overnight backups, the lost productivity may go undetected for hours.
Time is of the essence, so you need automated failover protection that works instantaneously. Make sure you have a completely hand-free, self-healing failover solution with artificial intelligence to recognize, remediate and recover when the down link come back online.
2. Protect All Cloud Applications
Did you know that most wide area network (WAN) failover solutions in the market only protect some of your productivity applications? Typical solutions with advanced failover features work like bookend appliances that manage traffic moving between sites within your network. This failover design can’t offer downtime protection for public cloud applications or communications with external customers and suppliers, so key parts of your value chains are still at risk.
Analysts estimate that 90% of businesses already have at least some production apps running in public clouds, and that number is growing. If you rely on cloud applications like Salesforce or Microsoft Office 365, be sure to find a failover solution that protects all your site traffic to maximize your productivity across your entire enterprise.
3. Zero Disruptions of Live Sessions
Just because you have failover, it doesn’t mean you won’t get interrupted when a network outage occurs. Your cloud connection relies on IP addresses, so any change in your IP address will break your active application session and disrupt your workflow. The impact depends on the type of application your using. Phone calls will drop, Microsoft Office or Salesforce will become temporarily unresponsive, and file transfer will probably just terminate. The bottom line is that IP address change can cause a disruption. Your IP address is usually defined by your ISP link, so any link outage puts your productivity at risk.
Most failover technologies won’t preserve your IP address, and even fewer will react so quickly that you won’t even notice a disruption in a live 2-way application. To optimize productivity, seek out a solution that seamlessly protects live sessions including VoIP calls, financial transactions, and SaaS applications that happen in real-time.
4. Use All Links as Active Connections
Link outages are a fact of life. Having a second (or third) ISP connection is a smart invest, but all too often they are configured only as redundant “backup” links. If your backup link is only active when a link outage occurs, you can never get access to all your bandwidth at the same time. This means you’ll never reach full productivity potential because your bandwidth connectivity investment is underutilized.
Consider our premise that “connectivity is productivity,” then surely faster connectivity can drive your productivity even higher. Find a failover solution with active-active link aggregation that delivers the speed of all your links all the time.
5. Minimize Bandwidth Consumption
If your goal is to maximize both bandwidth utilization and network availability, beware of failover solutions that rely on packet duplication. One problem is that duplicating packets means each application you protect will use twice as much bandwidth. The trade-off decision means that packet duplication is only applied to selected applications that are considered “mission-critical” and “low-bandwidth.”
Bandwidth usage is highest during peak hours of production, but packet duplication consumes bandwidth so it’s ill-suited for maximizing productivity. The bottom line is that packet duplication is only meant to protect some of your applications, and it only makes sense some of the time. To reach your full potential, find a more advanced solution that guarantees network availability for all your applications without draining bandwidth.
Failover protection is a wise investment, but there are big differences among available solutions. Most solutions will only protect some applications, some of the time, so your organization can never reach its full potential. For maximum productivity, you need an autonomous failover that reacts seamlessly and protects all your applications while providing full bandwidth utilization across all your links, all the time.
Adaptiv | SD-WAN solutions offer non-stop cloud connectivity as part of a managed network service that delivers maximum bandwidth utilization across all your applications. Contact us today to learn more about maximizing productivity and eliminating downtime for your organization.