What’s the Big Deal About Redundant Internet Connections?

So, you finally entered the here-and-now and moved your operations to the cloud. As such, nothing you’re hosting is on-site any longer, and you are looked at as the proverbial superhero – with fluttering cape and all – of your company.

You’ve saved the day…or have you?

If you are still running only one firewall rather than an high availability or “clustered” pair – or have only one internet connection – there may be some road blocks you run into. Case in point: Your firewall dies, and you’re told it is going to take 48 hours to get a replacement. Will your heralded cloud-based business be able to cope? Worse yet, if your internet goes down and your ISP has to send a tech to run new lines – a process that normally takes up to three days – because you promise “small business-based, best-effort service,” will your operations be able to withstand it?

Okay…at this point you’re probably asking yourself where we’re going with all of this. Here’s the scoop: We strongly recommend to all of our customers that they install a pair of “NGFW” (next-generation firewalls) and at least two internet connections, to provide for services in the event of a catastrophic failure. While on the surface this may seem somewhat redundant (hence the title of our blog), it enhances troubleshooting by way of a second connection.

What’s more, with such a “dual” setup, bulk or lower-priority traffic can be routed to the secondary link (for example, updates, streaming video, social media, guest networks, et al.), rendering the primary link “clean” for more business-critical services such as voice, audio/video, remote desktop/VDI, VPN and web/mail traffic.

Let’s recap for a moment; brief outages in your internet service can cause major problems for your business, such as:

  • Unanswered emails, leaving partners and clients in the dark
  • Inaccessible files stored in the cloud, rendering apps all but useless
  • The possibility that customers may not even be able to reach you by phone, resulting in business productivity – and profits – plummeting

What DMS iTech is always telling clients is this: Every good business strategy mitigates risk in some way, and installing a redundant internet connection represents one method to ensure your business is always online.

Understanding the Basics

We threw a lot of jargon on you in the opening paragraphs, so allow us to break things down in a more layman’s-oriented approach now. A “redundant internet connection” should be thought of, at its most basic, as a backup internet connection…a link to the online world that initiates in the event your primary connection fails. By now, you should have garnered that a single solitary internet connection should never be trusted 100-percent; too much could go wrong. The backup connection ensures your computers and associated networks are always connected.

The redundant internet connection can be performed manually or through the utilization of a router/firewall capable of “automatic fail-over.”

What are Your Redundant Connection Options?

As we hinted at above, it is our recommendation to install a pair of next-generation firewalls and at least two internet connections, and in so doing, the secondary internet connection should be on a different carrier or network. Why is this important? Think about it: If both internet connections are supplied by the same provider and the entire network goes down, so does that backup solution.

Depending on where you’re located, an alternate carrier may not be available for your business; in these cases, we recommend turning to a different technology for a backup line, such as SD-WANs and 4G Branch Routers.

Does Your Business Need a Redundant Approach?

Ask yourself this question: How much does my business rely on the internet?

Take into consideration email, VOIP phones, cloud storage, online tools and web browsing…because if your business relies on any of these web-dependent functions on a daily basis, it would benefit from an internet fail-over solution.

How Can DMS iTech Help in This Process?

Don’t wait until it’s too late. DMS iTech, one of the leading backup service providers in Canada, offers reliable and affordable backup solutions to ensure your operations are always up and available. You can sleep well knowing that your critical business data and internet connections are safe and readily accessible, even after an unfortunate event.

Contact us today to discuss your internet needs and redundancy options.