Don’t Let Lack of Planning Derail Your Business

Verizon recently encountered service outages across the Baltimore area due to a train derailment. This affected government data services, as well as long-distance voice services. As with many emenrgencies and disasters, there was no warning of the disaster. Verizon responded to the event rerouting traffic to other existing network facilities. However, it took 24 hours for all services to be fully restored.

Fiber outages or breaks happen frequently.  Some of them are caused by forces of nature, such as bad weather, driving large trees to snap fiber strung on electrical or telephone poles. Other outages are caused by mechanical accidents, as was the case in Baltimore. It is important to keep in mind that if your network connections are not engineered, procured, or implemented properly, your business can suffer the consequences of an outage. If your network is designed properly, your network and business processes can survive a catastrophic event – while others are waiting for service.

[Think you’re safer underground? It is irrelevant whether your fiber is buried or strung on poles: accidents can happen that affect both types of infrastructure.]

While it’s impossible to know whether or not your business will ever be impacted by a disaster-related service outage, it’s best to be prepared. Outages are not uncommon, so it’s wise to plan networks carefully and design them to be resilient, in keeping with the goals and needs of your business. Having a diverse and resilient network means that if one path goes down, the traffic on the network takes a different path. When networks are not designed to be resilient and traffic isn’t able to be rerouted around an outage, the break becomes service-impacting for the end user – there will be no service available until the break in the single line is fixed.  Can your business afford to be offline for 24 hours? How about one hour? Calculate the cost of potential network downtime: it makes more sense to be prepared in case of emergency, rather than clamber when an outage occurs and gamble the cost to your business.

99% of your job is to manage the IT and network infrastructure, the other 1% is designing and procuring telecom and data center solutions for your company’s future and for the unthinkable.  That 1% can cause you more stress, consume more of your time, and put you in front of the CEO’s firing squad more often than the 99%. There are over 1000 service providers out there, with millions miles of fiber optics deployed connecting to over 1500 commercial data centers… but there is only one of you.   FiberLocator can help solve these problems, plan proactively and remove the stress and difficulties in creating a resilient and cost effective solution for network and for BC/DR.

Next time your telecom services contract comes up or if you’re adding new services, ask a few more questions and perhaps seek a second opinion. Consider your disaster recovery plan. What would you do in a situation like Baltimore if a train derailed and took out your connectivity? Nobody ever likes to think that a disaster could affect them, but it is always better to be prepared than left in the dark when disaster strikes.

If you haven’t reviewed your telecom and data center infrastructure in awhile, it might be worth a conversation. Get a complimentary fiber map and price check from FiberLocator today.

I don’t know how I lived without FiberLocator.  Between the lit building lists and the fiber maps, I can see everything I need to see very quickly, and I use it every day.  I can’t imagine not using it now,…

John-Paul Court,
Fusion Networks
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