Planning For a World Without Downtime

    September 8, 2015

    By Dino Balafas

    If your company’s network crashes, the resulting downtime could be disastrous for business.

    As online businesses have become increasingly popular and profitable, the importance of maintaining a stable network connection has risen dramatically. Sudden network outages  also known as downtime according to Noction  aren’t just an embarrassment; they can irreparably damage a company’s reputation, and in turn, its revenue streams. In fact, m2mnow reports that U.S. businesses lost over $100 million to downtime in 2014 alone.

    You can keep the wheels turning on brand development until the cows come home, but if your connection is lagging, your customers won’t hesitate to take their business elsewhere. In order to effectively mitigate these risks, companies need to make sure that all of their bases are covered.

    Know the Root of the Problem

    For businesses operating out of more than one location, meeting the demand of multiple branches can be a real challenge. These organizations need to pay close attention to their capacity management planning techniques to ensure that their resources are being utilized effectively.

    This involves a focused analysis of a system’s ongoing performance, as well as developing the flexibility to reallocate resources whenever and wherever necessary. Keeping a network running smoothly is a touch-and-go process, and businesses can’t afford to take their eye off the ball.

    Unexpected issues  such as storm-related outages — can arise, so an effective plan of response should be developed well in advance. While flukes like these may seem somewhat trivial, remember that your customers aren’t going to cut you any slack if your service is down or lagging, even if it’s for a relatively short period of time and not really your fault.

    Even more common and potentially catastrophic are in-house hardware failures. Oftentimes, these stem from a single faulty aspect of an otherwise flawless network, but that’s all it takes for the entire ship to go down. Your network is only as strong as its weakest link, so it’s important to locate problem areas and develop a comprehensive backup plan.

    Tokheim, a global service provider focusing in the oil and gas industry, recently made a point of focusing on its network’s ability to make sales on a global level, interlinking the more than 5,000 petrol service stations it represents.

    To make sure its sprawling customer base would receive uniformly swift service, Tokheim focused directly on its network’s payment platforms and made sure they were all based out of a centralized hub. To plan for potential outages, they enlisted 3G as well as VPN remote access, so that several backups would be available in the event that one occurred.

    Calling in Backup

    But let’s face it: IT departments are always busy, and planning for downtime disasters frequently gets put on the back burner. For businesses that are smaller than Tokheim but still want to mitigate the risk of costly outages, it’s hugely helpful to enlist the help of an outside party.

    The experienced and savvy experts at TeamQuest will help you analyze and interpret data to root out the weak links in your system and improve your network’s strength and capacity. After monitoring general performance, we will provide the framework for achieving IT service optimization maturity, ensuring that you can move forward and expand the reach of your service with confidence.

    Unexpected issues and spikes in demand keep your reputation in a perpetual state of vulnerability, and there’s no reason you should face the challenge by yourself.

    (Main image credit: Atomic Taco/flickr)