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7 top tips for a strategic and proactive failover plan

Mon, 22nd May 2017
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Every business, in every industry and every country needs a strategic and proactive plan for network failover.

What happens when your connectivity goes down?

Point-of-Sale (POS) services, business operations, profits, and even customer satisfaction all suffer.

When your primary components fail, what's your back up plan?

It's in your best interests to be ready and ensure the back-up plan is competent. To get you started, here are seven key factors to consider when prepping your failover strategy:

1. Overlay Failover

Organisations that don't have the resources to overhaul their new network architecture can implement overlay failover with their existing infrastructure as a simple, cost-effective solution.

And they can do it with Cradlepoint's ARC CBA850 bridge. The bridge converts LTE broadband to Ethernet by providing the existing wire-line router with a second “wired” WAN connection.

Take the uncertainty out of your network connectivity's reliability by deploying overlay failover. Overlay failover increases reliability without relying on last-mile connectivity via the same trench.

And what's better, it's easy to set up; IT staff can simply plug in the router and configure remotely with Enterprise Cloud Manager (ECM), the network management service within Cradlepoint NetCloud.

Your planning doesn't stop here though, multiple parts of a network can fail, so it's important to deploy different types of redundancy.

2. Redundancy

When your wired WAN connection goes down, you can failover to LTE. When your router goes offline, you have a second, parallel router using Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol (VRRP).

With VRRP, a layer 3 protocol, businesses take failover to a higher level by allowing Internet failover and router failover simultaneously.

When the primary router fails, a backup hardware solution can take over as the primary router. For this, many organisations utilise the Cradlepoint AER1600 Series.

The entire network automatically fails over to the Cradlepoint router — with the LAN and WAN uninterrupted.

3. Out-of-Band Management (OOBM)

OOBM is another important element of network failover. Traditionally, a truck roll — requiring expensive equipment and labor — is needed if something goes wrong with a primary router's configuration.

Through OOBM with ECM, IT staff can use LTE connectivity to remotely access the router and all LAN-connected devices sitting behind Cradlepoint's ARC CBA850.

It's like having an engineer sitting at a laptop plugged into the console port of the primary router - from anywhere in the world. Who wouldn't want that?

These robust OOBM services are available through ECM without the primary Internet connection, inbound SSH, or a static IP address.

4. Bandwidth

At any one time, many businesses are simultaneously exchanging multiple types of data, such as sales information, voice and video data, and inventory. And this is often at peak times.

LTE failover is ideal if your primary WAN connection goes down, but why not utilise the extra bandwidth all the time?

LTE is incredibly powerful because it supports high bandwidth, which your business can benefit from by utilising LTE failover for load balancing.

Critical traffic is sent across LTE while public traffic is routed through a land-based connection.

If there's an outage, public WiFi can be shut off to preserve critical services; ensuring failover when you need it and expanding bandwidth when you don't.

5. Multi-WAN Management

99.5% uptime sounds impressive — right?

Well, that's until it's up against 99.99%. Where's that missing 0.5% that equates to four hours of downtime each month?

If your business has multiple locations, that 0.5% is going to add up and become very expensive, very quickly.

You need a multi-WAN solution to boost that uptime to “four-nines” uptime, or 99.99% solution.

And Cradlepoint can do exactly that - with multi-WAN failover and several failure detection and decision agorithms, Cradlepoint provides flexible and robust failover and failback.

Cradlepoint offers best-in-class mechanisms that allow you to pick which WAN source to use and handles advanced multi-WAN management with ease.

6. Wireless-to-Wireless Failover

In vehicles, wired lines aren't an option and LTE is the primary connection. Does that mean failover isn't available?

Not with Cradlepoint - the Cradlepoint COR IBR900 and COR IBR1100 both support multiple LTE connections as well as WiFi as WAN.

WiFi offloading of video DVRs via station WiFi for busses or police is common so it won't use the LTE connection while in the field. IT managers can select WiFi to automatically attach and trigger video offloading whenever available and LTE to activate while on the road.

IT teams that deploy the COR IBR1100 together with the Dual-Modem Dock get true wireless-to-wireless failover, going back and forth as needed between two LTE connections and WiFi.

7. Future-Proofing

Be smart, future-proof your network. It's a smart investment now and later. Ensuring that what you buy today is adaptable to what is released tomorrow is a crucial — and financially responsible — element of your network failover solution.

Cradlepoint connects into the CBA850 and other Cradlepoint routers, offering a turnkey networking solution for best-in-class 3G/4G/LTE.

And with Cradlepoint, technology upgrades are cost-efficient, making obsolete technology a thing of the past. With Cradlepoint, you get what you want when you need it.

When the next generation of LTE modems is released, take advantage by only upgrading the MC400 modem portion of the product instead of the entire router.

Remove the uncertainties and future-proof your network. Ensure your failover strategy is up to par by getting on board with Cradlepoint.

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