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What are the indicators that would help you in deciding whether outsourcing network services should be an option considered?

Network services and operations are a given in todays business environment. There are a commodity, like electricity, gas and water. As long there is not interruption to supply nobody thinks about it. It is just there . . . until . . . it’s gone. And then everybody gets upset and wonders why no back-up plan has been put in place.

Like … what just happened and now ?!

Would you consider driving you car without liability insurance?

Would you consider being without health insurance for you or your family?

Would you consider doing business without the proper business liability insurance in place?

Why then would you not want to protect your network infrastructure, which has become the life line fo your business?

Today many responsible businesses have put some form of protection in place, in form of uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) redundant network infrastructure components and maybe even redundant Internet Service Providers. But how many business can afford a generator to keep a data center up and running for a day or two or maybe even longer. Uninterruptible Power Supplies will usually only to keep your networking equipment and attached nodes (servers, pcs, laptops, etc) up and running for a very limited time and will allow for a graceful shutdown, in order not to lose any data or encounter any data corruption.  Most of the times there is nothing in place to keep your network up and running for extended periods of times.

Some organizations are even going that far to put in redundant Internet access connections (T1, DSL, etc.), but often it is forgotten that even redundant lines may be coming from the same Central Office (CO) and are fed through the same main line that feeds into the area of business. Most internet access outages today occur either at the CO or with-in the last mile (the distance from the CO to a defined business location). It could be networking equipment failure at the CO or line/fiber cuts at the last mile.

In order to avoid such situations you have to request to have your redundant lines being serviced from a different CO. Depending on the size of your business some providers may be hesitant to do so or only at a drastically increased rate.

Some organizations allow their staff to connect from home offices and other remote locations, but what good does it do if the lines to your place of business are down.

Here is where outsourcing network services can make sense.  An option is to set up a redundant network infrastructure at a remote location that sort-of replicates your in-house data center environment.  This would allow, in case your data center equipment is not accessible for whatever reason, to connect to the remote off-site redundant data center location. Settings and data volumes would be replicated between the sites regularly.

The remote outsourced data centers also have external network redundancy put in place either through multiple access lines from various COs or through so-called SONET rings.

Many of these outsourcing providers also offer services that will monitor your internal network infrastructure and there for be able to react accordingly at any given time.

Your argument may now be, my network has never been down ever. Why should I do it. Consider it insurance. Just because you have not been ill in a long time does not mean you will never be ill and need a doctor. The question is not, whether you will have considerable network downtime that will seriously impact you business, BUT WHEN!!!. It is just a matter of time.

Another scenario that would justify network outsourcing could be rising IT expenses. Networks today grow organically. A piece is added here and another piece there and over time your network has grown to a proportion a size as it had not been intended in the first place. A the same time your cost for upkeep and maintenance have grown. The personnel infrastructure to support such a network may not be in place anymore or has grown to such an extend that the cost is hardly justified anymore. It may lead to budget restrictions, leading for some of the network infrastructure to become obsolete or outdated and there for not supporting or negatively impacting your overall business.

With outsourcing some or all of your network services & operations, expenses and personnel cost can be brought in line with the overall business requirements.

Having performed many network services, network operations and data center outsourcing projects I have the experience to work with you on a solution that fits your needs, requirements and budget.

by Oliver Schmid


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