Top 5 Tips for Building a Fail-Safe Network

    It’s a headache that nearly every network admin has dealt with: A critical server is down, the helpdesk phone is ringing off the hook, and you’re doing everything in your power to contain the pandemonium and fix the issue. Each time something like this takes place, you think to yourself, “Next time, it’ll be different. Next time, this won’t happen.”

    The only way to assure that is to respond proactively, and build a network that is completely fail-safe. With this type of critical resource in place, employees can always access the applications and assets they need, and you can rest easy knowing that your network is robust and free from performance-robbing issues.

    In this slideshow, Neil Abogado, Talari Networks, looks at the top five things you can do to establish a fail-safe network in your company.

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    Establishing a Fail-Safe Network

    Click through for five things your organization can do to establish a fail-safe network, as identified by Neil Abogado, Talari Networks.

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    Map Your Network

    The first step in creating a fail-safe network is identifying what equipment is included in your business’s computing landscape. Without a full understanding of what servers, components and other assets are running, it’s nearly impossible to prevent failure in every one of these moving pieces. There are several tools available today that can help IT admins easily and painlessly map their network, making any subsequent adjustments and improvements much more streamlined and successful in the long run.

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    Monitor All Types of Traffic

    In addition to having a map handy, today’s network architects should also be able to identify and monitor the different types of traffic traveling within the network. This includes data packets associated with critical applications like VoIP, videoconferencing and essential databases, as well as less important traffic like personal web browsing.

    This makes it possible for the IT team to prioritize certain types of data packets over others, ensuring that the traffic connected with mission-critical operations always has the support it needs for top-notch performance. While this prioritization requires a specialized solution, it can go a long way toward preventing network failures.

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    Have Multiple, Diverse Connections in Place

    A completely fail-safe network should also include multiple, diverse connections to ensure that there is always a robust path available for critical traffic. However, this doesn’t mean that your business has to pay for an additional T1 line or more bandwidth simply to have as backup. New strategies make it possible to leverage all types of available connections — from MPLS to broadband Internet — continuously for the best critical application performance possible. This not only supports optimal network activity, but makes the additional connections well worth the investment.

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    Consider Emerging Solutions and New Technologies

    Network admins should also keep an open mind when it comes to new technologies, and look to investigate and review those that might make a difference for the company. This certainly doesn’t mean the IT team should dismantle and replace the entire network every time an exciting new solution comes out, however.

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    Leverage an SD-WAN Solution

    One of the best ways to establish a fail-safe network is to utilize the right SD-WAN solution. The technology works by continuously measuring key network metrics for every network connection and path, including availability, latency, jitter and packet loss. These insights, combined with customized routing protocols, help the SD-WAN select the best route for each and every packet.

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