High availability – an insurance policy for your business?

by Emmy Lippold on 12 Oct 2016

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We all know how important it is to get insurance against many important things in your life, your house, car, pets, even you. But in business, do you apply the same rules? You may have insurance for your business, so if the worse should happen, you are covered. But it is alarming to discover many businesses still do not take out a simple High Availability (HA) ‘insurance policy’ to protect your IT infrastructure from disaster.

Having a ‘high availability’ strategy is not technically an insurance policy, but it does give the same peace of mind. All businesses should ideally implement a strategy that will make sure that if your systems fail, you and your customers still have access to the applications and can continue working. And it is not just for those companies needing to be available 24/7. Every organisation has their own critical applications that need to be running continuously, and this is growing more and more important as competition gets stronger and the need to keep your customers happy and respond to them quickly is an increasing challenge.

The main business drivers behind most organisations’ high availability strategies are to reduce unplanned downtime, reduce financial risk of data loss and the need for applications to be up and running 24/7. The combination of these drivers all result in money and time savings for a company, not to mention the prevention of damage to company reputation from data loss should hardware failure occur. It is these significant risks that highlight the importance of implementing such a strategy within your IT environment.

So what kinds of things are we talking about when we discuss HA? A few suggestions are implementing a complete, concise disaster recovery strategy, an efficient monitoring service to look at critical applications and possible backup failures, and the use of failover technologies which become active upon failure of the primary device – reducing the risk of downtime significantly.

Devices such as WatchGuard’s High Availability firewalls, available from SysGroup Plc, a WatchGuard Platinum Partner, are a perfect example of the failover technologies we are discussing. Adding redundancy such as this to your network removes one point of vulnerability, and ensures that if a failover event occurs, the standby system becomes active – reducing the chances of that all important downtime.

It is simple steps such as these that can make that crucial prevention against data loss and network downtime.

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