System Failure? How Adding Network Diversity Can Keep Enterprises Online

Network Diversity

It goes without saying that in today’s highly connected world, internet connectivity is vital. And today, the key to running a successful business lies in ensuring the reliability of that connection with network diversity. 

Without a reliable connection, business can come to a standstill. To make sure they stay online, many businesses will look to establish a redundant connection that is physically diverse from the other. Adding network diversity is one of the most effective ways to stay online under almost any circumstance. This reliability offers peace of mind for IT and network managers whose job it is to ensure maximum uptime. 

What is Network Diversity?

True network diversity occurs when a telecom carrier or fiber provider, like Bandwidth IG, provides more than one route into a building from an exchange point. In our case, an exchange point is typically at a data center. And because data generated from office headquarters, the growing number of IoT devices, artificial intelligence-based applications and more, all travel through a data center, a reliable route to the exchange point is critical for enterprises. 

There are many examples of the lengths enterprises have gone to, especially immediately following the COVID-19 pandemic when the need for connectivity skyrocketed, to accommodate the demands for more bandwidth. The global head of data center strategy and operations for Bank of America said they saw a significant shift to their online and mobile banking platforms. In the beginning of the pandemic, they experienced the same number of online users per day as they had previously experienced per month. Because of these demands, the financial institution extended its digital platforms to better accommodate customers. No doubt, they also examined their internal infrastructure and ability to meet demands in the event of an outage. 

How Does Route Diversity Work?

Like other utilities (power, water, etc.) fiber infrastructure enters data centers and commercial buildings through existing pathways from the street. Locations with only one pathway create a single point of failure; Bandwidth IG is capable of constructing additional paths into a building to avoid this vulnerability. Because of our reliance on technology and the financial impact of downtime has created zero tolerance for outages, it is not uncommon for some enterprises to require a third and fourth path into a facility. Bandwidth IG understands these demands and commonly provides custom solutions to address these needs.

Why Does Route Diversity Matter?

Accidental fiber cuts are a frequent cause of outages that can render your network inaccessible for employees and customers. Ensuring your fiber provider offers a truly diverse path can keep your business operational in the event of a cut line or similar situation affecting major lines.  

Network downtime in general can be extremely costly. From a financial standpoint, Gartner estimates network downtime on average costs businesses $5,600 per minute. Considering network outages from fiber line cuts can last a minimum of 1-2 hours, the financial loss can be substantial. Ongoing outages can also lead to loss of trust from customers, and eventually, the loss of customers.   

Having access to a secondary – diverse route – provides enterprises with an alternate way to access the network, meaning you can stay online and keep your business moving.

A Bandwidth IG team examines a collection of conduits that were placed in a common trench. Several of the cables in those conduits were cut by a boring rig being run by another telecom provider. The conduits and their respective cables are owned/operated by multiple telecom providers.

But how do you know if you’re working with a provider that offers TRUE route diversity? 

Determining this can be tricky. It’s a common practice for telecom providers to lease cables from other communication companies, which can create a number of issues. When diversity is assumed in a carrier diversity approach (using two different providers for connectivity between locations), you run the risk of leasing fiber from two providers in the same path. This presents the potential of a 100% outage in the event of a cable cut. When a network is provided via subleased fiber, you are also likely to lose visibility to critical diversity details.

The best way to determine if your provider offers a diverse route is to consider whether they own and operate their network. Providers that own and operate their network can offer a very specific route and building entrances details. When entrusting your critical digital infrastructure with a provider, their inability to provide this level of information should certainly be a cause of concern.

Bandwidth IG’s Approach to Network Diversity

At Bandwidth IG, we pride ourselves on operating the newest fiber networks. Because we 100% own and operate our newly built networks, we maintain the freedom to strategically place cables in a way that ensures diverse routing in our own backbone and minimal overlap with competitor networks. Because our networks are not dependent on existing fiber routes already in the ground, we offer true overall network diversity. The diverse routes Bandwidth IG can customize for individual enterprises paired with our overall diverse network offers flexibility on a fiber network that offers the highest level of quality. 

In addition, our networks take the most direct route possible, which decreases latency. Many existing networks were built to connect to Bell Central Offices, wireless towers, residential areas, etc., and may not take the most direct route. In a time when seconds count, lag time caused by longer routes can be a deal breaker for many enterprises. 

To learn more about how our robust dark fiber networks can help you, contact us anytime! 

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