Business Continuity Solutions for Variety of Mission-Critical Needs
By David Rush and Landon Reese
Regardless of industry or location, every business needs to strategically and proactively plan for network failover. When connectivity goes down, Point-of-Sale (POS) services, business operations, profits, and even customer satisfaction suffer.
In the interest of business continuity for your network, here are seven key factors to consider regarding failover:
1. Overlay Failover
Organizations that may not have the resources to overhaul their new network architecture can instead implement overlay failover with their existing infrastructure as a simple, cost-effective solution. Cradlepoint’s ARC CBA850 bridge converts LTE broadband to Ethernet by providing the existing wire-line router with a second “wired” WAN connection.
Overlay failover increases reliability without relying on last-mile connectivity via the same trench. It’s easy to set up as well; IT staff can simply plug in the router and configure remotely with Enterprise Cloud Manager (ECM), the network management service within Cradlepoint NetCloud.
Multiple parts of a network can fail, so it’s important to deploy different types of redundancy. If your wired WAN connection goes down, you can failover to LTE. In the event that your router goes offline, you can take advantage of a second, parallel router using Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol (VRRP).
VRRP, a layer 3 protocol, empowers businesses to take failover to a higher level by allowing Internet failover and router failover simultaneously. If the primary router fails, a backup hardware solution — many organizations use the Cradlepoint AER1600 Series — can take over as the primary router. The entire network automatically fails over to the Cradlepoint router — with the LAN and WAN uninterrupted.
3. Out-of-Band Management (OOBM)
OOBM is another important element of network failover. Traditionally, a truck roll — requiring expensive equipment and labor — is needed if something goes wrong with a primary router’s configuration. Through OOBM with ECM, IT staff can use LTE connectivity to remotely access the router and all LAN-connected devices sitting behind Cradlepoint’s ARC CBA850. It’s like having an engineer sitting at a laptop plugged into the console port of the primary router, from anywhere in the world..
These robust OOBM services are available through ECM without the primary Internet connection, inbound SSH, or a static IP address.
Many businesses are simultaneously exchanging multiple types of data, such as sales information, voice and video data, and inventory, often at peak times. LTE failover is ideal in the event that your primary WAN connection goes down, but why not utilize the extra bandwidth all the time?
LTE is incredibly powerful because it supports high bandwidth, which your business can benefit from by utilizing LTE failover for load balancing. Critical traffic can be sent across LTE while public traffic can be routed through a land-based connection. In the case of an outage, public WiFi can simply be shut off to preserve critical services, thereby ensuring failover when you need it while expanding bandwidth when you don’t.
5. Multi-WAN Management
At first glance, 99.5% uptime sounds impressive — until you realize that the missing 0.5% equates to four hours of downtime each month. If your business has multiple locations, that downtime can become very expensive very quickly.
A multi-WAN solution can boost that uptime to “four-nines” uptime, or 99.99% solution. With multi-WAN failover and several failure detection and decision agorithms, Cradlepoint provides flexible and robust failover and failback. Cradlepoint offers best-in-class mechanisms that allow you to pick which WAN source to use and can handle advanced multi-WAN management.
6. Wireless-to-Wireless Failover
In vehicles, where wired lines aren’t an option, LTE is the primary connection, but that doesn’t mean failover isn’t available. The Cradlepoint COR IBR900 and COR IBR1100 both support multiple LTE connections as well as WiFi as WAN. WiFi offloading of video DVRs via station WiFi for busses or police is common so as not use the LTE connection while in the field. IT managers can select WiFi to automatically attach and trigger video offloadingwhenever available and LTE to activate while on the road.
IT teams that deploy the COR IBR1100 together with the Dual-Modem Dock can achieve true wireless-to-wireless failover, going back and forth as needed between two LTE connections and WiFi.
Future-proofing your network is a smart investment now and later. Ensuring that what you buy today is adaptable to what is released tomorrow can be an extremely important — and financially responsible — element of your network failover solution.
Cradlepoint’s, for example, connects into the CBA850 and other Cradlepoint routers, which offers a turnkey networking solution for best-in-class 3G/4G/LTE. When the next generation of LTE modems is released, businesses can take advantage by only upgrading the MC400 modem portion of the product instead of the entire router.