Backup Service, It costs less than insurance but allows you to secure the continuity of your work and avoid expensive connectivity blocks. Have you ever thought about the importance of also having a voice and data backup solution that protects your company’s business continuity?
Whatever the size of your business – VAT number, SME, or large multi-site enterprise – backup should be one of the first things to think about when choosing a telecom operator.
Table of Contents
The benefits of a professional backup
The benefits of a professional-grade backup are remarkable:
- your work is not interrupted even in the event of a failure in the main connectivity: navigation, cloud services, virtual switchboards, POS IP payments, and electronic and management tills continue to function normally
- you protect the continuity of work (and the services you provide to your customers) with a backup that is activated automatically without calling the operator
- you can choose a combination of multiple access technologies to prevent a breakdown from blocking your work
- you can increase the bandwidth at your disposal by using more lines active at the same time (bonding)
- keep the same IP addresses even if the main line fails
Business Continuity: why it matters to your business
A connection blockage can cause incalculable damage to your business.
Gartner quantified the cost of downtime at $ 5,600 per minute. More recently, a study by Infrascale, an American company that deals with Data Protection, narrowed the field to small and medium-sized enterprises, noting that only 27% would have suffered hourly damage of fewer than 10 thousand dollars.
To avoid these problems, many companies have developed more or less structured plans to guarantee business continuity, that is, the continuity of service, even in a breakdown in the IT systems.
It is important to mention the difference between business continuity and disaster recovery briefly.
The first refers to the ability to build an infrastructure that prevents downtime in the event of failure or unexpected events. On the other hand, disaster recovery refers to the speed of recovery of services in the event of downtime and, therefore, to the reduction of damage.
In all business continuity and security plans, reliable connectivity services play a major role.
Cloud backup, colocation, remote desktop, virtual switchboards, VPN: the solutions to guarantee business continuity depend on efficient connectivity.
Almost all of these tools have in common the fact of exploiting technologies in the Cloud. And without connectivity, the Cloud cannot function.
But just any connectivity is not enough. You can invest in the largest virtual infrastructure, but without professional access and with backups, you risk not being able to exploit its potential. Or even not being able to reach it.
A comparison helps to understand better. Your access link to the Cloud is like a bridge that connects your company to the internet world.
Connectivity backup services are used to create alternative routes to avoid having all your work hinging on that one bridge.
Backup services: choose the best technologies at your disposal
When choosing a provider of voice, data and ICT services, there are many elements to consider (professional quality of the network, ability to control internet traffic, infrastructure redundancy systems, levels of assistance, and the ability to restore services quickly in default cases).
However, one of the elements that are too often underestimated is the offer of line backup services.
There are many types of backup solutions on the market that take advantage of all available network technologies: FTTC, FTTH, xDSL, radio, and mobile. There are also many configurations and features of these services (failover, bonding, IP maintenance, voice and data backup, etc …). The combinations of these elements allow the creation of suitable solutions for every type of company.
Here are five useful tips to easily find the best solution for your business
Backup of access lines: a safety net for your business
An internet access backup line is a ” safety net ” that all businesses should invest in.
The eventual cost must not scare:
- there are solutions for every type of budget
- some operators offer backup services included in the price
- even for the most complex solutions, the cost/benefit ratio is very low.
Simplifying as much as possible, and a backup service provides a spare internet access line.
This secondary line comes into operation when the operation of the main line is interrupted (or always remains active in conjunction with the main connectivity) and allows normal use of voice and data services even in the event of a fault.
Shops, VAT numbers, and professionals with small studios (and therefore limited budgets) could take advantage of a simplified version of these services to continue using telephony, web browsing, POS IP, e-mail, remote access, VPNs, and remote surveillance, even in the event of the main line failure.
In this case, they could choose a backup made on the mobile network that allows you to choose whether to guarantee data traffic only or add that voice as well.
Protect access to the network with diversified technologies
To make the backup more effective, the operator must first of all be able to provide the best access technologies available in the area where the customers’ offices are located.
In addition, it must be able to provide diversified technologies to create a default-proof access network.
Why is this last point significant?
For example, suppose the main line works in Fiber to the Home (FTTH). In that case, the second line should exploit other technologies that use different transmission channels, such as ADSL, radio, or mobile. These secondary lines should also be connected to other cabinets and collection points to avoid creating single points of failure.
The risks of service interruption due to network problems approach zero only in this way.
Thanks to diversification, the bridge that connects the company to the outside world are no longer unique and passes through different paths. Just what happened with certain medieval castles that had secondary passages that allowed the supply of food and weapons in the event of a siege!
Automatic activation of backup services
Who is responsible for activating these backup systems?
To ensure maximum efficiency, secondary lines should come into action without anyone intervening.
The secondary backup line, when needed, must be activated automatically without the company calling the operator. In this way, the work can continue without interruption, even if a failure occurs.
The automation allows voice and data to be diverted, without interruption, to the secondary line, waiting for the primary connection to be restored.
Without automatisms, the operator should instead activate the secondary line, perhaps upon notification of the user who sees his work stop.
The service’s automation guarantees the service’s fluidity and thus becomes a pillar of business continuity.
The router doubles to increase security
The devices for accessing the network can fail at any time. To think otherwise would be a utopia.
The best operators provide high-quality hardware (routers are also important to allow constant monitoring of the quality of the lines) and update the equipment with all the software necessary to maintain efficiency and safety.
But sometimes, this is not enough: even top-of-the-range machinery can break down sooner or later. In that case, the router should be replaced immediately. At what times, though?
No fear. The operators are more attentive to the needs of companies that also provide router backup services.
These devices are activated in case of failure of the router on which the main connectivity is attested.
A backup router project should, of course, provide alternative connectivity attested to the backup router. Also, in this case, the rules on the diversification of the technologies used and on the use of alternative collection points apply.
Maintaining IP addresses
Maintaining the same public IP address in the company is another key element to consider when evaluating backup systems.
The IP address is a unique code that allows you to identify a device on the internet or in a local area network (LAN).
It is essential to distinguish between public and private addresses in this context.
The first is like your home address. It is unique in the world, and it serves to make you find from the outside.
The second is like the interior of your palace. It is unique only locally because it serves to identify a specific PC or device within a network.
A company needs a static public address (which never changes) always to be reachable and to allow the operation of services based on IP recognition (VPN, POS recognition, server, etc.)
This unique address is usually linked to connectivity. If this fails and a secondary line is used without IP maintenance, the risk is that the company will no longer be reachable.
Operators can eliminate this risk.
Thanks to the use of protocols such as HSRP and BGP, the technicians are able to connect the same IP address to multiple connections, automatically guaranteeing the maintenance of the same IP even when the backup line is activated.
The power of assistance
The level of assistance provided by the operator is an essential element for the efficiency of the backup systems.
First of all, during the sales phase, it is necessary that the supplier carefully listens to the customer’s needs and makes available the technologies and configurations most suited to the real business needs.
In post-sales and after activation, the provider must ensure constant quality control of the main and secondary lines to prevent outages (predictive maintenance).
In fact, when needed, the backup line must always be functional.
In a breakdown, the operator must also intervene quickly and proactively to solve problems on the main or secondary lines, even before the Customer notices it.
Only in this way can the safety net created by the company express its full potential.