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Network downtime is a costly reality of running a business, and unfortunately, it’s more likely to happen to you than not. If Google, Amazon and the United States Government have dealt with such issues, it’s a safe bet that you’re going to run into them as well.
But, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do about it. The key is to understand what dangers threaten to bring your network to a halt, and then put precautions in place to mitigate the risks of system downtime.
Recognizing and understanding the deterrents to network uptime is as important – if not more important – as your ability to get your network back up and running in the event that it goes down. It’s simply more effective to proactively address potential trouble areas, rather than spend energy and resources trying to resolve preventable problems.
Even so, if you’re able to identify the most frequent issues, you’re better equipped to get your network back up as efficiently as possible. The five most common hazards that lead to network downtime are as follows:
Planned network downtime is a costly necessity, though it's often warranted to install new hardware or software. Depending on when you schedule the network downtime, it may hinder your team's productivity and cost your organization a lot more than it should. Be mindful of when you're scheduling such downtime, to ensure that the time selected limits the cost to your company.
While not the most common threat, defective software stops work just the same. Servers, applications, and databases may become infected with viruses or malware as part of a phishing campaign, rendering the tools your team needs inoperable.
These types of failures often occur when new hardware is recently installed or reached its shelf life. The former circumstances tend to stem from design flaws or manufacturing defects, while the latter is a product of standard wear and tear. There's not much you can do about a product flaw, but regular maintenance helps to extend the life of your hardware and prevent it from failing.
Predictable, the most common hazard to your network (and life in general) is humans themselves. Human error, by far, is the most common culprit of network downtime. Accidentally shutting down the network as well as pulling out the wrong cord are common causes that you're simply unable to plan for; however, overloaded circuits and other network design risks are much more preventable.
There's little getting around earth's natural hazards. Earthquakes, hurricanes, fires and other natural disasters are always a real threat to your network uptime. The key is to have a backup system and plan in place should a natural disaster occur in your area.
Don't let a lack of understanding and preparation threaten your business' productivity and profitability. Identify the likely causes of network downtime, address their risks, and put plans in place to recover from them as quickly as possible.
[Want to learn more about Network Uptime? Download our latest whitepaper on ensuring network resiliency through the use of failsafe and bypass technology.]
Chris Bihary has been in the network performance industry for over 20 years. Bihary has established collaborative partnerships with technology companies to complement product performance through the integration of network test access points. Previously, Bihary was Managing Partner at Network Critical.