The Critical Importance of High Availability

high availability play diagram


This weekend’s virtual NFL Draft relied entirely on the Internet and phones. Respecting social distancing, General Managers made selections from their homes instead of gathering in a packed Las Vegas arena. So much could have gone wrong. For the Denver Broncos, it almost did.

Broncos coach Vic Fangio said, “About five minutes before the draft started everything went out in my house. Not the power, all the internet, my TV wasn’t working, everything froze up.” Remarkably, Comcast sent a crew over to fix the issue in about five minutes.

Some team IT departments installed second internet connections in GM’s homes. GM Rick Spielman gave credit to the Minnesota Vikings IT department for setting up a rock solid virtual draft process that included a strong WiFi signal, plenty of bandwidth and constantly open phone lines between his staff and the NFL.

Automatic Failover and High Availability

On a worldwide scale, the Internet is essential for conducting business and communicating with customers, partners and employees. Network downtime not only costs money and loss of productivity, it can also ruin a company’s reputation. Automated failover prevents those damages by rerouting data from a failed component, such as a server or network connection, to a functioning component. The three critical elements requiring failover configuration are power, network connectivity and server capacity.

Most organizations install uninterruptable power supply (UPS) equipment in their data centers. Many have redundant servers. Network components require the same attention.

Depending on your tolerance for outages (and we would argue that level is near zero for most organizations), you can keep spare equipment on hand for manual replacement (cold spare), stand up a fully redundant, synchronized disaster recovery (DR) site, or deploy redundant paired units (hot spare) that failover automatically.

Ecessa WAN link controllers are designed to provide automatic network failover when one communication link fails. Continuous network uptime is so critical that many organizations integrate a secondary Ecessa device to serve as a backup to take over if needed. This configuration is referred to as a High Availability pair, or HA pair.

High Availability network diagram

When hardware is configured as a High Availability (HA) pair, the failover mechanisms run in the background, so the transfer takes place automatically. There is no need to drive to the office in the middle of the night to manually connect and configure replacement hardware. The data on both systems is continuously and automatically synchronized. To the user, failover resembles a very fast automatic service reboot.

You can learn more about High Availability in Ecessa’s technology brief, Everything You Need to Know About Network Failover.

Ecessa’s mission is to make business networks more resilient, to ensure uptime and keep organizations growing.  Rainy days do occur; every company needs a backup plan in place. Ecessa is here to support you and give you peace of mind. To learn about Ecessa HA pair options, please contact us at 800.669.6242 or