Network outages can cause a substantial amount of damage to a business. Because companies rely heavily on their network to communicate with customers, provide them with products, and access or deliver important information, even short durations of downtime could end up costing them a significant amount of money. As such, it is imperative to create strong, reliable networks. To learn about some of the most effective ways to enhance redundancy in a network, consult this guide.
Have Backup Switches and Routers Ready
To create a more redundant network, having backup switches, routers, and other important devices can prove highly effective. Although such devices generally prove reliable, they are not impervious to the occasional malfunction or failure. When such instances occur, having a standby device to form an alternate pathway and maintain communication within the network will help minimize downtime.
Implement a Redundant Network Topology
Another way to enhance redundancy in a network is to implement a redundant network topology. The topology of a network refers to the configuration of its links and nodes. One example of a redundant network topology is a ring topology. This configuration creates a circular data pathway in which every device connects to two other devices—one on each side. If a connection gets cut or a device fails, the ring topology will either have a counter-rotating ring that will immediately activate or a collapsed ring that will link every other device to each other to continue the flow of data.
While implementing backup devices in your network does help enhance redundancy, it can also increase the complexity of your system. Unfortunately, added complexity often has the unfortunate consequence of increasing the potential for human error and thus, network outages and downtime. Plus, when issues do occur, their sources will be harder to identify and resolve if the network architecture is extremely complex.
As such, it’s crucial to minimize complexity as much as possible. To do so while still maintaining redundancy, consider implementing systems that have the same model, run the same software, and have identical connections. In addition, you should keep pathways parallel when connecting consecutive layers of redundant devices.