Virgin Media – An Important Lesson

Kindus explains how you can mitigate the effects of an Internet outage

Yet again we have seen another major technology meltdown. This time it was the turn of Virgin Media. West London suffered a major outage yesterday resulting in thousands of homes and businesses being unable to access the Internet. [1] Particularly for businesses whose Internet is supplied by Virgin, this will have had a major impact on their ability to operate normally. It potentially caused missed orders, delayed shipments, cancelled meetings – the list goes on. Is this a risk you just have to accept or can this be avoided?

Redundancy is a word that sounds expensive, and it is. Having two of something is more expensive than having one (unless it is buy one get one free). So, when do you need redundancy? That is a difficult question for any business to answer on the surface. To answer that question, you would need to perform some form of business impact analysis (BIA). A BIA should capture all of the critical information about a computer system i.e. how long can you operate without a system? How much data can you afford to lose? A BIA will also force you to look more in detail at your systems to identify Single Points of Failure (SPOF).

For most businesses a SPOF will be their Internet line. If Internet connectivity is lost, the whole business will stop. This SPOF can be eliminated, or at least mitigated, by introducing a second Internet line. Many businesses in West London will today be looking into this as an option following the outage, evaluating the cost of the outage vs a second Internet connection.

Redundancy can have day-to-day benefits, it does not have to be that piece of cable with nothing running through it, or a piece of metal gathering dust. Redundancy can be used on a day-to-day basis to increase the processing capacity or to balance load during peak periods (which should also in-turn improve the longevity of hardware). Business cases can clearly be made.

Disaster recovery (DR) for IT is always a difficult challenge to overcome; it is also a never ending one. But the benefits of a good DR plan and strategy will be worthwhile. Kindus has over fifteen years’ experience in developing DR strategies and plans for businesses. We can support you with any aspect of DR, from planning, testing, auditing your DR plans and much more. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you.



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