An often-overlooked component of minimizing catastrophic IT failure is redundancy. The vast majority of business owners don’t even understand what redundancy is and have no idea how valuable it can be in avoiding downtime and protecting your bottom line.
To start, let’s explain what redundancy actually is. Redundancy serves as a secondary system that, in the event of any IT failure, minimizes the risk of unplanned downtime by allowing systems to remain operational. This is different from your data backup solution, which serves to keep your operating systems, program files, user profiles, and data stored and protected in a secondary location at all times, and quickly recoverable.
In essence, redundancy is a physical copy of part of your network or your entire network.
Where is redundancy helpful?
Redundancy allows your organization to continue operations even when one system, or part of a system, fails. Lack of redundancy means that your chances of downtime are greater, as there is no safety net for your systems if they fail. This leads to a greater chance of loss of productivity and data loss.
Where is redundancy a hindrance?
Redundancy can get a bad rap when people think of it only as unnecessary duplication, costing them money for no good reason. It’s seen only as increased costs and support, depending on the level of redundancy applied.
How can you achieve the proper level of redundancy?
This starts with a conversation with your IT provider. The first question you should cover is how much downtime your company can tolerate. This doesn’t mean only how much time you can tolerate. It refers directly to the costs of downtime and what will put your company in serious financial risk.
The second question is about how much you want to invest in a redundant solution. Network redundancy is a scalable resource, ranging from minimal redundancy to full scale network redundancy. Some redundancy is very inexpensive, such as redundant parts in a server. However, implementing a complete redundant network in a remote location that is synchronized with live data can be very expensive. IaaS (infrastructure as a Service) in a public cloud can mitigate some of these costs, but there are things to consider within this solution, such as lack of control and possible performance issues.
A proper investment in redundancy is critical to your bottom line in two ways. First, without some level of redundancy, your company could suffer serious financial loss due to downtime. Secondly, without the correct redundant solution, your company could be paying too much for a redundancy you don’t need.
It’s important to speak with your trusted IT partner and determine which redundancy investment is appropriate for your organization. You can contact us at (952) 258-8200 to speak with us about redundant solutions and how to make the right choice for your organization.