How to Ensure Enterprise Availability With Network Outage Prevention

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By: Pam Baker|

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It’s common to think of maintaining the network as a valued adjunct to IT staff in terms of keeping day-to-day tasks on track. But maintenance of network and security equipment offer more than daily enterprise availability; it also serves in outage prevention and as a business-continuity vehicle when a system glitch causes the network to go down.

Unexpected outages are costly on many fronts, ranging from financial loss to brand image and customer relationships. The need to mitigate these risks is why it is better to prevent outages rather than simply react to them after the fact.

Further, smarter infrastructures are more complex and harder to troubleshoot. So finding the problem after an event in a multi-vendor, virtualized and cloud computing environments can take time — the one thing you can’t spare when recovering from an outage.

Resiliency Used to Mean Recovery

Resiliency and disaster recovery were once considered largely interchangeable terms in the quest for continuous enterprise availability.

“In fact, 20 years ago, most enterprises looked at resiliency simply as disaster recovery,” wrote Michael Puldy, director of Global Business Continuity Management for Global Technology Services at IBM. “Information was managed locally, backups were taken once a night and data was manually moved offsite each day. This coverage was sufficient because exposures were few and threats were less intrusive and less damaging.”

“Plus, IT had a change window,” he explained, “a daily period of business downtime, when it could fix problems and shield the impact from clients.”

New Resiliency Challenges

Today, IT has no such luxury in either limited risks or an abundance of change windows. Enterprise availability must be 24/7, and not just for the business users. These days, partners and customers must also be able to access the information from nearly anywhere and everywhere. These changes introduce a plethora of new risks while compounding losses from an outage due to seemingly random system glitches.

These risks are measurable: Statistics by Gartner’s CIO Agenda Report find more than a quarter of data breaches come from system glitches. The rise in these incidents has forged a new mindset that separates resiliency and disaster recovery into different but related functions: While it is still crucial to have a robust disaster recovery plan in place, the focus is now also on preventing a data breach caused by a system glitch from occurring at all.

How IT Support Services Prevent Outages to Speed Business Continuity

No matter what type of system glitch caused the outage, having a disaster recovery plan is a fast and efficient way to ensure quick recovery. But it isn’t just your data or systems that you need to worry about. You also need to make sure you increase network stability and strengthen the network’s security by applying the latest updates and patches, and have end-to-end visibility into the state of your networking and security equipment. Investing in a third-party IT support service vendor to maintain your multi-vendor OEM networking and security equipment is a great way to uphold a single point of contact that can ensure everything you need is available for fast recovery and business continuity.

Further, an IT support services vendor can prevent outages by providing remote alert and monitoring to detect or predict fail points in complex network environments. This enables a sophisticated and proactive approach to outage prevention, which starts with equipment maintenance and automated remote diagnostics. That way, when networking and security equipment incurs an issue, support can understand it before it causes damage and without interrupting the network. Further, according to Network World, a comprehensive network diagram can help isolate potential outages before they put company data at risk.

Given that a recent Ponemon Institute report found “the average cost of a full data center outage has increased 38 percent since 2010,” it also makes great business sense to leverage IT support services as a vital part of your disaster recovery and business continuity plans and as an outage preventative.

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About The Author

Pam Baker

Freelance Writer

Pam Baker is an award-winning freelance journalist based in Georgia. Her published credits number in the thousands, including books, e-books, e-briefs, white papers, industry analysis reports and articles in leading publications, including Institutional Investor, CIO, Fierce Markets and InformationWeek, among many others. Her latest book, "Data Divination: Big Data Strategies," has been met with rave reviews, was featured in a prestigious National Press Club event, is recommended by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for business executives and is currently being used as a textbook in both business and tech schools in universities around the world. Baker is a "big-picturist," meaning she enjoys writing on topics that overlap and interact, such as technology and business. Her fans regualrly follow her work in science, technology, business and finance.

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