Case Studies

26 February, 2019

Overview of Failover Solutions – The High Cost of Downtime

Finding ways to keep costs as low as possible is a goal for business in all industries. Every company has unique ways of minimizing costs but there are a few universal methods used in every operation. Maximizing uptime is critical for all organizations – ensuring computing systems are always operational allows staff to be productive and enables you to engage with customers.

The problem is that all computing networks can fail for any number of reasons. For many, this often means business comes to a halt, resulting in a loss of revenue. Here, we’ll take a quick look at the costs of downtime and how to how to handle these situations to prevent losses.

The costs of downtime

Studies from Gartner have shown that the average cost of network downtime is about $300,000 per hour. Of course, this is a highly subjective figure, as it’s a function of how much your revenue your business can generate in an hour, the time of day an outage occurs, and the expense to rectify the matter. For example, if a POS system at a retail chain goes down after business hours, the impact is usually minimal or non-existent.

Herein lies the problem: some businesses think the impact won’t (or can’t) be as significant to their organization. It could be because their operation doesn’t’ generate this amount of revenue in an hour, let alone a week. Or there’s the mindset that your savvy team can “flip a switch” and fix issues in a short timeframe.

Business revenues vary – as does the impact of downtime – factoring in the time a system “chooses” to become non-operational. With that said, it is important to have an idea of the financial impact an outage can create at your location by averaging revenue for different points throughout the day and the week.

Pondering worst case scenarios is something we all hate to think about. However, it’s better to be prepared than to find yourself at a standstill when a mission-critical system stops responding. To get business up and running as soon as possible, a failover strategy allows businesses to keep moving in the event of a catastrophe.

What is a failover solution?

Failover refers to a system that can quickly replace an important machine, application, or segment of data, in the event of a failure or during times of scheduled maintenance. Should something happen, a failover can act on behalf of the normal machine to ensure that business doesn’t bottleneck.

There are several different kinds of failovers to consider, each with different operational models, costs, and benefits. To maximize the investment in a failover system, it’s important to understand the differences to select the best solution for your business.

Types of failover systems

Several types of failover systems are available, from highly-automated systems to more manual models that require extra configuration to replace a failed business resource. Too, data redundancy is helpful when a storage failure occurs, although this falls outside of the scope of failover.

Different sources identify several different kinds of failover systems. To simply to the concept, we’ll break it down into three primary failover designs.

High-availability automated failover

If a virtual switch or machine fails in the cloud, there are a few ways that failovers can takeover. Some systems can run side-by-side as mirrored instances that continually sync information as the systems run. This design can help load balancing (e.g. for high-traffic web servers) and also provides benefits at times when one of the machines goes down.

DRaaS (Disaster Recovery as a Service)

Sometimes combined with automated solutions, disaster recovery services aim to rebuild or move failed systems to working platforms as quickly and simply as possible. Snapshots of system images (and sometimes data, depending on the setup) are regularly captured while in operation – in the event of a failure, these system states are replicated to working infrastructure.

Manual (standby) failovers

Usually the least expensive solution, these systems can be booted in the instance of failure and used for certain operations. This is kind of model can vary, as some designs automatically pull data from active resources while others require network provisioning to properly behave as an active production system. Such solutions are often limited in capacity, meaning that users won’t be able to carry out tasks as efficiently.

Let ConnectUs setup a failover for your needs

Downtime is costly – without a viable solution to getyour business back on its feet quickly, your bottom line will suffer. Several solutions are available, each with its own benefits. We can design a system that’s both tailored to your needs and cost-effective.

Check out our contact page and to get in though with one of our experienced professionals so we can build a solution for your business!

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