Business Continuity Planning: A Focus on WAN Virtualization

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 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 bandwidth resources. As the vast majority of applications and communication systems cannot function without an Internet connection, it is incredibly important to protect bandwidth resources and ensure that if the primary system goes down, there are safeguards in place to prevent a complete cut off from mission-critical programs.


This is where WAN virtualization comes into play, and is quickly becoming an essential of business continuity planning. Today’s organizations are increasingly trading their T1 networks in for broadband due to its cost-effectiveness and service speed. WAN virtualization takes this investment to the next level by providing the ability to combine different services to ensure the company is leveraging the best capabilities of each.


As far as business continuity is concerned, WAN virtualization is a must as it provides an automatic failover in the event of service disruption. In this way, if one bandwidth vendor experiences an issue with service delivery, the organization can shift to another provider’s network, ensuring that data traffic and online processes are supported.