A huge BT outage at the beginning of February 2016 saw several hundred thousand BT broadband customers go without internet for a number of hours. Apparently, a single faulty router took down services across the country. Not only was this a wakeup call for BT who should know better than to have a single point of failure like this, it should also be a wakeup call to organisations too. Given how much we all depend on the internet to do business, having a single connection with a single provider is our own single point of failure.
While the BT broadband fail may be over, it has left a bad taste in the mouth of many of its customers. A single apparent hardware failure affected so many customers across the country and took almost five hours to fix. It perfectly illustrates why businesses need a backup connection.
So what are your options?
Larger businesses often elect to have a secondary provider deliver internet access. The access point is in another part of the building, using a different cable to run a diverse route. This secondary connection can be connected and used as a warm standby should the primary link fail.
A router would automatically switch links once it detects the primary has gone down. Users would likely never even notice. These diverse links can also be configured to share traffic, reducing congestion and improving network speeds.
Some businesses may not want to have a secondary link or not be able to justify the cost. Fortunately, there are options that can keep you connected.
Embracing the cloud and using products such as Office 365, One Drive and others cloud apps means staff can work from anywhere and maintain productivity. Whether it’s from home or from a coffee shop, you can keep going while your main connection is compromised.
The speed and coverage of 4G means that for many businesses, 4G networking is a viable option. Vodafone and other carriers provide USB dongles which can be used with most devices and provide access to the internet over the mobile network. They can form part of a monthly contract or be PAYG. Either way, you remain connected while your broadband is down.
Businesses that adopt BYOD can leverage mobile devices to maintain productivity or at least communication. Depending on your business, staff can use their own connected devices to keep data flowing during an outage.
The BT outage has shown business that having a plan b for disaster recovery is now essential. Considering how straightforward it is to set up, there is no reason not to build such a plan. If you want to explore your options contact Excalibur today. We can help!