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Forget High Availability; Modern Enterprises Need Always-on Services

To ensure applications are always on, redundant networking connections are critical for businesses that need to avoid downtime and outages.

As the Internet of Things (IoT) and mobile broadband have been embedded into every industry over the past decade, the cost of connectivity issues has increased, with some businesses now facing life-critical incidents during downtime.

At the heart of the matter is that mobile connectivity expectations and requirements are much higher than ever before for many use cases. Any downtime or service disruption is critical. Unfortunately, most enterprises are impacted on a regular basis. In fact, over 95% of businesses have experienced some form of connectivity issues every month, with two-thirds losing customers due to the loss of connectivity and a quarter falling victim to a cyberattack, according to rSIM, a provider of intelligence SIM cards.

Mobile networking operators try to placate worried businesses with Service Level Agreements (SLAs), which typically ensure 98% to 99% service every month. If the operator fails to meet the target, the impacted business is usually compensated, although the customer is responsible for measuring the downtime and reporting it.

Mobile networking stability has improved massively over the past decade, to the point where some operators offer "99.999%" uptime. However, the majority stick with 99% or 99.9% to cover them from mishaps. Even then, most operators fail to meet 99% consistently, with the hope most customers won’t file a report.

99% Not Good Enough

Even at 99%, businesses face hours of downtime a month, which can be very significant depending on the operations. A 1% downtime translates to 1 hour 40 minutes offline per week, or 7 hours and 15 minutes per month. At 2% downtime, businesses face 14 hours and 24 minutes of downtime a month, which equates to more than seven days of downtime per year.

Downtime is usually unplanned, the result of hardware failures, software bugs, or human error, meaning it is unlikely to happen at a convenient time for customers. For customers in healthcare and other mission-critical industries, a loss of connectivity may force a shift back to manual operations, which reduces the chances of a successful procedure.

Read the rest of this article on Network Computing.

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