A Little Can Equal A Lot

Small Adaptations Can Result in a Significant Outcome

Considering we all know technology and 100% uptime can be very difficult to achieve and likely costly, it is critical each organization measure their own level of tolerance for downtime and calculate the cost.  The term five 9’s is often thrown around which equates to 99.999% uptime, but even that level of reliability can cause mean you can be out of service.

Consider the following table showing uptime vs. downtime equivalents.

% Uptime
Downtime Per Year
1.2 months
3.65 days
8.76 hours
52.5 minutes
3,132 second

Of course, 90% uptime is unacceptable.  But, from the chart above, it can be seen even slight adaptations can have a significant impact on the productivity of your organization.  Here are some tips to improve your network reliability.

  • Fiber Access – For most customers, the copper access being used has been in place as long as the building has existed. With age and weather, these facilities can become less reliable.  If available, many customers have found fiber services to be more reliable and even faster.
  • Dual Providers – Although the last mile and potentially the interface equipment are the areas in which we find most network failures, there have been instances where a carrier can have a regional service outage. By implementing alternate carriers, this can help to increase network reliability.
  • Dual Access – It is amazing what a strategically placed back hoe can do to telecom services. Whether it is right in front of your building or down the street, construction equipment has been known to take down services.  By providing alternate access entrance, you can minimize the impact of the wicked back hoe.
  • Data Center/Hosted – Of course, there is always the opportunity to completely eliminate these physical challenges by relocating primary or even secondary services to a hosted environment that are hardened. Because these facilities are naturally redundant and the expense of some of these other steps are spread across multiple customers, these solutions can be very cost effective vs. building your own redundancy.

Another Helpful Hint:  Although this hint will NOT avoid service outages, it can help you restore services more quickly.  Make sure you have a written business continuity plan that includes vital information such as carriers, circuit IDs, contact telephone numbers and escalation points.  And, make sure this information is shared amongst your organization.  You do not want to waste time figuring out what to do instead of just doing it.  And, there may be a day in which you would like to take a vacation.

The best time to be considering your redundancy options is when you are initially designing your network.  There are often carrier promotions or other pricing options that can help to cover the costs of these implementations.  Slight changes can have a significant impact on your network uptime.  As always, if you have any questions, comments and/or concerns, please feel free to reach out to Orion.  We are here to help!