Time is the most important thing for every business. This is especially true for the IT side of your company. Network downtime can result in revenue loss. Your business can lose thousands of dollars due to network outages and failures. Network downtime can be very frustrating for your employees and your business. Your IT department will waste a lot of money on fixing your network. In this article, we are going to talk about network downtime and how you can avoid it.
Definition of network downtime:
Network downtime refers to the time period when you can’t use your systems. Your system might be temporarily unavailable for some time. Sometimes your systems can break and you need to replace them with systems. Downtime can refer to a single application, server, computer, or even your entire network. If some important part of your network is down, then it will eventually lead to network downtime.
Network downtime can vary according to the nature of your business. It might lead to your POS terminals not working or your phone systems might go down. Thus, your business can’t make sales until your network is working. This is a nightmare for service provider companies as they can’t provide their services. Network downtime will always result in a massive loss of service.
What is planned and unplanned network downtime?
Network downtime is of two different types- unplanned and planned downtime. Planned downtime happens when your IT department takes down your network intentionally. They will take down your network for scheduled upgrade and maintenance. Your network will be down during this time. However, it will ensure that the network is functioning properly.
Unplanned downtime is the biggest nightmare for businesses. It simply means that your network is down due to some unforeseen failures. There can be various reasons behind unplanned network downtime like cyberattacks, operator mistakes, software malfunctions, and hardware malfunctions. Some of the main reasons behind unplanned downtime are:
- Human Error: Computer programs will never make any mistakes. However, humans can still make many mistakes. Sometimes your employees can accidentally unplug your important hardware. They might be following some old procedures for doing their work. Therefore, human error is the biggest reason for unplanned downtime.
- Hardware failure: Hardware has improved with time but it can still break down. Outdated hardware is vulnerable to failures. However, hardware problems can occur even if you are using new systems. You can use built-in redundancies for dealing with this problem. But, most of the small businesses don’t have enough IT budget to build a redundant network.
- Outdated software: If you are using old network components, then they can trigger a system outage. Thus, it is important to regularly update your software and hardware. It will help you in avoiding system crashes.
- Power outages: Power failures can occur at any time and it will affect all the systems in your network. You can mitigate these outages by using generator systems and UPS. However, it is important to test your backup systems regularly.
- Server vulnerabilities: Server bugs can reduce your network performance. Your IT professionals should ensure that all your servers are updated. If they are not applying a patch quickly, then your system will remain vulnerable. The best way to deal with this problem is by testing and updating security patches immediately.
- Natural disasters: These actually represent a very small subset of network downtime. However, natural disasters can affect your entire business network. Natural disasters like tornadoes, earthquakes, and storms can take down your communication and power services. It can even destroy your expensive systems and hardware.
- Incorrect device configuration: Sometimes incorrect device configuration can cause network downtime. According to a report from the University of Michigan, more than 36% of router problems lead to network downtime. Your network components are very important for your network. If one of your components is misconfigured, then your network will go down. Therefore, you should ensure that all your devices are configured properly.
How to prevent unplanned network downtime?
You should focus on maintaining your network and implementing redundancies. Make sure that your IT systems are prepared for the worst. This can help you in minimizing network downtime. Here are some steps that you can take for avoiding network downtime:
- Scheduled maintenance and updates regularly: You should ensure that your network team is updating your network regularly. Your team should plan for the off-hours. This will ensure the security and stability of your general systems, hardware, and software. Sometimes network maintenance will require planned downtime. Thus, your IT team should first talk with all the departments.
- Server testing: Your IT team should regularly test your servers. This will ensure that your servers are working properly. These tests will ensure that all your backup servers are working.
- Network monitoring: You should implement systems that can empower both your employees and the IT team. Network monitoring tools will help you in controlling your network. It will regularly check the health of your network component.
- Perform facility tests: You should also regularly check your facilities. First, you should test your software and hardware. After that, you should test your facilities. Make sure that you have access to power backup systems.
These steps will help you in reducing the chance of network downtime. However, it can be very difficult to monitor your network manually. Thus, you should consider working with a good MSP. Experienced MSPs like Bleuwire can help you in monitoring your network regularly. They can monitor your network 24/7 from a remote location. Thus, you don’t need to worry about monitoring your network. Your IT team can focus on other important tasks. Bleuwire can help you in fixing your network vulnerabilities. They can also help you in creating a disaster recovery plan. This will ensure that you can recover your network and systems during network downtime. If you need more information regarding network management services, then you can contact Bleuwire.