No Network is an Island

As John Donne famously wrote, “no man is an island.” The same can be said of an IT network. When a network – its servers or its cloud infrastructure – go down, it’s not just the network that is impacted. An organization’s employees, customers, partners, vendors, etc., are all affected when serious issues create slowdowns or downtime on a single network. 

It sounds like a simple concept. However, consider the increased amount of connectivity that our technology innovations over the past few decades have afforded us. Even small mom and pop shops have the ability to work with global contractors or suppliers, receive orders online, ship from anywhere, and connect to their customers, no matter the location. When downtime hits an organization, even for a short period of time, there could be disastrous results that ultimately eat away at the dollars and cents on the profit and loss sheets.

Consider the impact of when Amazon Web Services have gone down – whether due to natural disasters or technical issues. Any time that occurs, large groups of customers find their own ability to do business comes to a standstill. For organizations that may have a hybrid environment, cloud downtime may not be as detrimental – and even on-premises server issues could be of minimal impact to a business that has the right tools in place.

So what can an organization do to minimize the risks associated with downtime?

When it comes to managed file transfer solutions, it’s all about looking for the right tools that will work with your own IT environment and have automated capabilities to help you transfer MFT operations in the event of downtime. For example, some MFT tools have an active-active configuration that will allow the solution to move over to an alternate server when one becomes overloaded or goes down. This is possible when the servers communicate with the same database, use a load balancer and a message queue that create a seamless exchange – despite server issues. Also in an active-active configuration, automated workflows and events can be coordinated between the nodes, which help create a highly available automation process that is set up by an administrator.

Even those networks that are virtualized, and already may be minimizing downtime through a virtual environment set up, are not immune to MFT downtime. Often, in the case of virtual networks, administrators still need to configure their networks and put event policies in place to assign failover tasks in potential downtime scenarios. Most of these can be implemented in advance but it’s also important to look at MFT solutions that might come with features which could either facilitate this or have support services to assist in the configuration at the outset.

Downtime is one of those IT issues that is always looming as a potential problem, but the ultimate impact can be significantly reduced, not only saving your IT team a series of headaches but saving your organization’s bottom line from feeling it.

If downtime is something that your organization is planning for or struggling with, let Globalscape help. Contact a Globalscape Solution Specialist to learn more about EFT Enterprise with High Availability and how our solution can help you maintain the optimal uptime and protect your mission critical resources and processes.