It’s 2pm. You and your team are in the middle of a huge project for one of your biggest clients, when suddenly, your entire network goes down.
If you’ve experienced a complete network outage, you know the sinking feeling that follows. If you’re on the flip side of the coin and haven’t experienced a complete network outage, consider yourselves among the few.
Did you know that the average downtime cost is around $5,600 per minute, according to a recent study by the Gartner Network?
To put that in perspective, let’s say your network goes out at 2pm and doesn’t come back up until 5pm, you are looking at roughly $330,000/hour in operating losses.
Of course, this varies widely on the industry, the amount of employees, and type of business you are running. But in the end, when your network is down, your business is down.
Let’s look at 4 ways of planning for a network outage.
It will be nearly impossible to conduct day-to-day business without updating or replacing software. With this comes planned network outages. However, by scheduling these over the weekend or late into the night, with a carefully thought out plan, you will eliminate the risks associated with a complete network outage.
A battery Backup system or UPS is a system that has a bank of batteries that provides electricity in case of a power outage for a limited time for your infrastructure. If your equipment is on you can still work. Sure this is a limited source, but it can make all of the difference if you are given an extra 1-2 hours of ability to use your equipment. That’s also 2hrs that you are not down.
Most network outages occur from poor monitoring of the systems in place. Reading the logs of each server every day or night can make all the difference between complete network failure and a smooth operation. Server and Switch logs should be the main focus, if you can see an issue coming you can plan a maintenance window to take care of the problem before it becomes a major issue for your business.
Knowing you network seems a little rhetorical, but it’s just as important as reading your infrastructure’s logs or planning a large project. If you know how your network will react before a major update, and equipment change, you will be better prepared to handle a situation when it arises. Planning network outages or as we like to call them in the tech window, maintenance windows, are a big part of how to get to know your network. Overnight you can see how your network reacts to updates, changes in configurations, policy updates and you can get a sense of how to react if something unexpected happens.
In the end, your business depends on the technology that drives it. Keeping your network up-to-date and secure will help your company stay up and running during the most critical times. The most important item to remember is not if you will have a complete network outage but when.