Enterprise WANs augmented with LTE or 5G wireless links enable higher levels of network reliability
Wide area network downtime costs enterprises an average of $301,000 - $400,000 per hour in 2019, according to a 2020 survey by ITIC. Businesses and services alike depend on reliable WAN connectivity — a reality that will only grow as applications, essential services, and data move to the cloud.
Fortunately, highly flexible and automatic failover solutions enable the highest levels of network reliability — the strongest of which are built to include wireless broadband links.
When a construction accident or natural disaster damages a wire and disrupts an office network, a hybrid WAN router can execute a set of instructions to automatically switch, or fail over, to a secondary backup link, which is designed to keep the network and business online.
Traditionally, many organizations have used wired links for backup. However, since wires often come into the building through the same trench, the original risk isn’t totally eliminated.
A higher level of network reliability can be achieved by adding an LTE or 5G wireless link to enable automatic failover.
In addition to improved backup capabilities, there are other ways a cellular broadband link boosts network resilience.
First, wireless failover improves link diversity. As discussed, using both a wired and wireless connection reduces the risk of downtime, but some organizations add a third link or introduce hardware redundancy by using multiple routers.
Second, automatic failover capabilities can be expanded to include another cellular link from a different carrier. This not only introduces network diversity, but with two wireless connections coming from separate infrastructures, the chances of both failing at the same time is very low.
Third, in addition to the standard backup configuration, policies can be set to augment bandwidth by using both links in concert. This can be especially beneficial for handling spikes in traffic and, with automatic execution, occurs without customers and staff even noticing it.
Fourth, a wireless link provides a secure alternative line into locations for network and IT operations, enabling Out-of-Band Management, maintenance and troubleshooting of networking equipment.
Organizations can’t foresee outages caused by construction accidents, faulty hardware, or configuration errors, but eliminating downtime is possible with an LTE or 5G automatic failover solution.