In February 2017, a tech employee at a global cloud services provider unwittingly created a typographical error in a command line, taking many servers offline for four hours. This error cost S&P 500 companies more or less $150 million and U.S. financial-service companies $160 million in lost revenue.
Epic network failures like this build the headlines; but, the real harm is done by the smaller daily problems that consume the IT department’s time and resources. for instance, the wireless network goes down for a couple of hours, taking productivity down with it. Another example could be a bad server connection knocks the CRM offline, resulting in a line of discontented marketing people knocking on your door.
While none of these are catastrophic, you can’t ignore them. Every incident requires IT personnel and resources to find, determine and resolve the problem. It’s like death by 1,000 cuts. The question is: however does one minimize the damage? You begin with the physical layer infrastructure.
When it involves diagnosing an outage, a lot of times than not, the structured cabling network is ground zero. Given the rampant growth within the enterprise network, there’s very little, if any, space for error. Any patching mistake or cable failure can cause a problem. The great news is I will provide you with four ways to help improve your overall network reliability and keep you out of the quandary.
Streamline with structured cabling
Human error—like unplugging the incorrect cable—still accounts for a disproportionally high number of unplanned outages. A structured cabling design streamlines the network, making it easier to spot, manage and scale the cabling infrastructure because it grows a lot of congested and complicated.
Switch to PoE where possible
As IoT deployment continues to increase, once-discrete power and data networks are merging into one low-power platform that includes Power over Ethernet (PoE). A by-product of convergence is magnified reliability. Because PoE is high-powered at the switch, which usually has UPS backup, your connected systems stay functional and online should you lose power.
Implement automated infrastructure management (AIM)
One of the foremost frustrating things about network or system outages is that you’re perpetually on the defense, attempting to diagnose and fix issues after the fact. AIM solutions monitor the status of each port, device and wired or wireless connection in real-time. It permits you to be proactive and get out ahead of problems before they cause issues.
Invest in ubiquitous mobility
The relationship between a complete in-building wireless system and network reliability might not appear obvious; but, this is something you ought to consider. As your network’s footprint expands, IT response teams have more ground to cover. should an outage occur, a reliable mobile platform with blanket coverage allows techs—who may be acting on an equivalent problem but in different areas—to communicate and scale back the mean-time-to-repair.
These are simply a couple of ways in which you can use your physical layer to transform network reliability from a constant concern into a competitive advantage.
CommScope is devoted to ensuring you never fall. Your network has virtually unlimited potential, and we stand ready to help you realize more of it each day. Let’s make the most of it.
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