An often-overlooked component of minimising catastrophic IT failure is redundancy. The majority of businesses don’t understand what redundancy means and have no idea how valuable it can be in avoiding downtime and protecting your bottom line. Operational redundancy involves not only IT redundancy but all aspects of the business.
For your server infrastructure, redundancy is a vital part of keeping everything working, despite the connotations of the word. So what does redundancy actually mean in an IT context and how does it differ to things like backup and disaster recovery?
Network redundancy is a process through which additional or alternate instances of network devices, equipment or communication mediums are installed within network infrastructure. It is a method that ensures network availability in the case of a network device or path failure and unavailability. As such, it provides a means of network failover. Network redundancy is primarily implemented in enterprise network infrastructure to provide a redundant source of network communications. This means it serves as a backup mechanism for quickly swapping network operations onto redundant infrastructure in the event of unplanned network outages.
Typically, network redundancy is achieved through the addition of alternate network paths. These are implemented through standby routers and switches. When the primary path is unavailable, the alternate path can be instantly deployed. This ensures minimal downtime and continuity of network services.
In the IT world, the term redundancy is a duplication of essential functions or components of a system that tries to increase the reliability of this system. Usually, it will appear in the form of a fail-safe or backup. Therefore, it is essential to have these so-called redundant servers in any business, as it forms a key part of a backup, maintenance or load balancing strategies.
In conclusion, building redundancy into your IT solution is an effective way of minimising downtime, and enables faster, more effective disaster recovery.
There is no one ‘right’ method or level of redundancy. Understanding the businesses budgets, needs and risks is key to providing the right levels of redundancy in a cost-effective way.