No internet = Loss productivity & sales
As part of any company’s disaster recovery plan, there is a need to ensure backup internet connections are available. A 4G backup solution is an ‘always-on’ connection which allows your router to have two internet connections, the primary internet services (ie NBN, fibre), and a secondary internet service which utilises the cellular (mobile phone) network. In the event of your primary internet connection going down, your router should immediately and seamlessly fail you over to the 4G connection, maintaining your internet connectivity. Please note that the primary internet service is always preferred, and when it is active all traffic is routed over it to both ensure maximum performance, and also to minimise any data charges on the 4G network.
Not all 4G backups will maintain all your critical business services!
Using a regular mobile internet service is not an ideal backup solutions for many businesses, because mobile providers only supply dynamic IP addresses. Dynamic IP addresses are the standard mechanism used in setups like a home network or on mobile phones – where it doesn’t matter what IP address the device is assigned with, and each time a device connects to the Internet it will be assigned a different address. However, in the business world a static IP address (i.e. an unchanging IP address that is publically assigned to your business and its devices) can be required to support businesses services, which are configured to utilise this static IP address. Examples include:
• Online banking: Banks may run security checks on IP addresses to verify they are the same each time a customer/device conducts a transaction.
• Email functionality: Email providers may run security checks on an email senders IP address, to verify that it is the same IP address that this sender has been assigned. Sending email from a different IP address to the one you have been assigned may lead to your emails being tagged as spam and discarded. These checks are one way to detect spam, as such IP address ‘spoofing’ is a tactic which spammers use (an email says it is from @example.com, but the IP address it was used to send from is not the one assigned to @example.com).
• Website: The company’s web server needs to have an unchanging IP address, so your customers can find your website on the internet.
While existing solutions like VPNs can provide the function of transferring existing static IP addresses, this technology is mainly optimised to provide geo-blocking services (a system used to limit access to content on the internet based on your location), or to provide a mechanism through which data can be sent, securely encrypted. They are not a complete, reliable internet connection backup technology.
The backup solution should automatically transfer from the primary link to the backup link when the primary connection fails, and then automatically restore your connectivity to the primary link when it comes back online. This should happen immediately and transparently without the need to reboot the router, or contact your service provider.
Issues to consider include:
- Reliability of fault detection and clearance – whether the system will reliably detect that the primary link is compromised, and initiate immediate switchover to the backup and vice versa.
- Timeliness of the swap in both directions – if the system is able to conduct the switchover within an agreed timeframes.
- Integrity – is the backup solutions performance adequate when compared to the primary? A single 4G connection might not satisfy your business requirements if you require a very fast internet connection. Or perhaps poor 4G reception in the routers location may negatively impact its performance, and render it unfit for purpose? Another consideration may relate to other networking metrics such as packet loss (how reliably is the sent data received by the recipients system), or latency (how long it takes the data to traverse to the recipient). Some content is very sensitive to packet loss or high latency, and its impact on the content being transferred, as well as the reliability in detection of any packet loss or high latency needs to be carefully considered.
- Bandwidth management – how will the solution deal with a VPN solutions’ overhead, when managing the bandwidth it needs to serve the various applications that need to run off the connection?
- Flapping – how tolerant is the system to a repeated cycle of failing and recovering?
- Compatibility with a wide range of protocols and devices – will the backup solution be able to perform and meet the same metrics across a range of identified protocols and devices over its connection?
For more information on how we can implement a backup solution tailored to your business requirements, talk to Buroserv about its innovative ‘static IP 4G backup solution’. It will maintain your static IP address, immediately fail you over between your primary and backup connections without any user intervention, and can be installed with the 4G antenna up to 100m away from the router to take advantage of any location which will maximise the available 4G signal strength. The solution designed to keep your business online when your internet is off-line.