Network redundancy ensures business continuity with backup network equipment and systems. Most organizations nowadays rely on digital information, data, or procedures to carry out their routine business activities. Network redundancy ensures that your business can still access vital processes or information when network components malfunction.
A network redundancy plan, often known as a disaster recovery plan, identifies the crucial network elements whose failure would result in protracted outages.
What is network redundancy meaning?
Adding extra or backup instances of network hardware, software, and communication media to network infrastructure is known as network redundancy. It is a technique for ensuring network availability in the case of a network device breakdown or path unavailability. It offers a method for network failover a result.
Network redundancy is largely utilized in enterprise network infrastructure to provide a redundant source of network communications. Unanticipated network outages are a backup system for swiftly switching network operations onto redundant infrastructure.
Redundant standby routers and switches are typically used to implement alternate network pathways to ensure network redundancy. The alternate path can be built immediately to ensure minimal downtime and continuous network services when the primary path is unavailable.
According to Veeam, over the previous 12 months, 40% of servers, or 2 out of 5, experienced at least one outage.
Your organization can ensure business continuity by introducing network redundancy, which lessens the effects of unforeseen events that might interfere with regular business operations.
What are the types of network redundancy?
Designing a redundant network necessitates a thorough understanding of how to handle the different obstacles the undertaking presents.
A few network infrastructure design factors are considered while creating network redundancy systems that serve as a failsafe to guarantee service continuity.
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The emphasis on several alternative network paths for the information within the network is known as pathway redundancy.
The network devices that ensure network availability ensure that there are established alternative routes that can be used to get to the destination if a connection is down.
The majority of network equipment requires electricity to operate. Therefore, a backup power source is essential whether your network devices are in a basic equipment room or a sophisticated data center.
In the worst-case event of a power loss, power redundancy assures that a power backup solution, such as an on-site generator or a UPS, may be used to maintain network operation.
A major outage at the primary data center, such as a prolonged citywide blackout, means a backup data center in a distant location from the impacted one can take over to maintain business continuity.
In most cases, data redundancy coexists with at least one of the aforementioned redundancy categories because data is one of a company’s or organization’s most valuable assets. Consequently, having backup data—either on a separate backup server or in the cloud—is necessary to ensure that data remains accessible despite any unfavorable downtime.
Network redundancy benefits
By putting a network backup plan in place, the company may be able to stop revenue loss brought on by unanticipated outages. Do keep in mind that preemptive measures can reduce downtime even if they are unplanned.
The following are a few advantages of having thorough backup procedures throughout your entire network:
The use of redundant networks has the obvious benefit of providing network availability around-the-clock. Customers who depend on 24-hour services, like banks and hospitals, should be aware of this.
Redundancy is a requirement for effective IT security in general. We can implement cutting-edge security measures and have the support of successful compliance assessments thanks to redundant networks. With redundant networks, downtime won’t put your data at risk while team members try to find and fix the security issue.
You will be less likely to suffer slow connections if there are several ways to reach the same place.
The main advantage of network redundancy is that it keeps the company operating and able to serve its clients. The network must be able to support its users in the event of any calamity, be it a minor inconvenience or a huge catastrophe.
Disadvantages of network redundancy
A redundant system could offer subpar availability during a failure. Imagine, for instance, a situation where two redundant server components are sharing the load. If one server component fails, the other server may be overloaded and respond to client requests more slowly. Customers who depend on prompt responses can view a late response as a failure. In other words, even while the service is operational, it may not be available enough to satisfy the client’s needs.
The following entities can be added to the disadvantages of network redundancy:
- Speed, and more.
Network redundancy examples
These are the most common network redundancy models:
Multiple Spanning Trees (MST)
MST enables scalability and load-balancing capabilities simultaneously. It allows the designated administrator to assign a haphazard assortment of VLANs to a single MST instance. As a result, the fewest instances are required to meet a design.
A form of topology called a ring network has nodes connected in a closed loop (ring) arrangement. A ring network resembles a bus network in that it has an additional link connecting the last switch to the first switch, and each switch is capable of supporting a redundancy protocol.
Ring protocols often disable one link to prevent messages from spreading throughout the network. The backup link is activated to restore the network if a link in the ring fails.
Communication and network access between two switching centers are made possible by diverse trunking. Multiple wires, cables, or fiber optic strands can be bundled into a single physical sheath to form a trunk. Redundant standby routers and switches are typically used to build alternative network paths from a secondary physical wire to achieve network redundancy.
The alternate path can be built immediately to ensure minimal downtime and continuous network services when the primary path is unavailable.
Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS)
A meshed and redundant network called an MPLS cloud is one in which data packets are given labels describing the paths or routes they should take to be transmitted throughout the network. Following these directives, Label Switch Routers (LSRs) read these brief labels and route the data packets. This makes it possible for the core MPLS network to support redundancy and highly fast packet switching.
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Network redundancy best practices
How to implement network redundancy? The following six stages will help you implement or enhance network redundancy at your company:
Backup your data
Back up your data as often as you can. Select at least one alternate location to keep the important information for your business. To ensure that you can access your data in various network circumstances or problems, you might back it up to various locations.
For instance, you could want to locate a physical way, like an offshore server, and a digital one to back up your data, such as a cloud computing provider.
Simplify the configuration
Keep your network connections and parts as straightforward as you can. While allowing your network to carry out the required operations and activities, use as few network connections and devices as possible. Network redundancy aims to eliminate unused network links or devices while offering a safe environment for your data.
Test and maintain backups
Regularly evaluate your backup systems. Every week, ensure your backups are accurate and continuously update your business’s data, information, and operations. Test the integrity of your backups by determining whether the backed-up files are legitimate and safe for usage.
Build duplicate systems
Embed duplicates of various devices or components around your network. Use switches, for instance, with the same models, programs, and connections for every switch in your network. Your network should be less complicated and simpler to operate overall.
Create parallel connections
Utilize parallel connections to connect your network’s devices and components. Parallel connections allow your network pathway to operate normally even if one device experiences a problem.
Let’s take the example of a network with two core switches, two firewalls, and two access switches. The first core switch should be linked to the first firewall through the first access switch. The second core switch and the second firewall are similarly connected to the second access switch. The two access switches and core switches would also be connected to one another. A network made completely of parallel connections is produced by this design.
Be ready for physical and cyber threats
Create your network with protection from both physical and digital threats. If you prepare in advance for both physical and digital issues, network redundancy can assist your network in remaining operational throughout both.
You may safeguard your network against physical harm by storing your data offshore. Consider employing additional inline security technologies, like as firewalls and intrusion prevention systems, to protect your network from attackers.
Why is network redundancy important?
Network redundancy can provide your company with several advantages, such as:
- Reducing chances of network failure: With a network redundancy plan, your network is more likely to continue functioning and being linked.
- Optimizing time and money: Network damage can cost businesses time, money, and human resources. With network redundancy, you can focus your company’s resources—including money, people, and time—on more worthwhile activities.
- Raising network uptime: Network uptime is the period of time that your company’s network is operational. Customers and employees can access your company’s network more easily, swiftly, and reliably the higher your network uptime is.
- Improving company security: Network redundancy helps shield your business from physically harming its network by events like natural disasters or theft. Network redundancy enables you to defend your company against cybersecurity threats better.
DDoS attacks and network redundancy
No network administrator likes to deal with DDoS attacks, also known as distributed denial of service attacks. A network or service’s inability to function is the main objective of an assault like this. Fortunately, as network redundancy enhances network security, it can lessen the effects of DDoS attacks.
In a DDoS assault, data centers might reroute network services using several ISPs. Because of this, having redundant networks with adaptable internet access is essential. Businesses can’t function if the network is down; these days, reliable internet connections and functional technology are necessities. Without redundancy in your network, especially an additional internet connection, the failure of one device could cause hours of network disruption.
Utilizing redundant physical, virtual, and/or interconnected components is called network redundancy. Deploying two network firewalls with duplicate cabling connecting to the interior, outside, and demilitarized zone networks is a typical illustration of this.
Network redundancy secures your business in the event of physical and cyber threats. In the data-driven era, it is a must-have for all businesses.