Business Continuity Plan: Network Considerations

network connections for business continuity plan

A recent industry study found that on the endless list of priorities IT managers take into consideration, business continuity and disaster recovery reach the number two spot. This illustrates the growing importance of planning for the unthinkable, especially as the number of service outages, caused by everything from storms and fires to vandalism, continues to rise.

When a critical program or platform becomes unavailable, it can seriously impact business operations, sometimes bringing processes to a grinding halt. This not only affects the company itself, but every client and partnering organization as well. For this reason, it is absolutely essential to plan for these events, and include all relevant factors in these considerations.

TechTarget noted that there are several essential elements to think about when crafting a business continuity plan, including the critical processes and IT systems that the enterprise cannot live without. Once these applications and technologies have been identified, the group can work to ensure their reliability and protection.

The main aspect to consider with nearly every business continuity plan – no matter the size or industry of the organization – is the company’s network resources. The vast majority of applications and communication systems are cloud-based and cannot function without an internet connection. Therefore, it is incredibly important to protect bandwidth resources and ensure that if the primary internet connection goes down, there are safeguards in place to prevent a complete cut off from mission-critical programs. This is done either through having redundant internet services and an automatic failover device, or redundant internet services and software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) with data duplication.

SD-WAN, also known as WAN virtualization, is an essential of business continuity planning. Today most organizations use broadband instead of (or in addition to) MPLS due to its cost-effectiveness and service speed, but the tradeoff is a need for greater reliability than most braodband service providers offer. SD-WAN takes care of this by providing the ability to combine different services to ensure the company is leveraging the best capabilities of each.

SD-WAN is a must for business continuity as it provides an automatic failover from a failing connection to good connections in the event of service disruption. It even provides the option of full data duplication, whereby if one bandwidth  vendor experiences an issue with service delivery, all the data is delivered over the still-functioning link with zero service disruption. The organization’s data traffic and online processes are fully supported. One Ecessa client noted that during a high-level video conference, one of their internet connections went down. But the video conference continued without any glitches. “Nobody even noticed we had an outage.”

Ecessa can help you with important network protections. Contact us to learn more.