The AT&T outage, which began on Friday 12/25/2020, occurred as a result of a bombing in front of their Nashville Central Office. The outage impacted hospitals, airports, businesses, and residential services in at least three states, while also knocking out emergency 911 in parts of Tennessee. Downtime varied, but by Sunday afternoon AT&T reported they had restored 96% of its wireless mobile network, 60% of business services, and 86% of its consumer services. This was a quick response from AT&T, but it certainly showed some weaknesses in the network resiliency of one of the nation’s biggest telecom carriers, as well as that of their business customers.
Outages happen, and although they are usually not of this scale, they do happen more frequently than most realize. This is a universal truth all business should be prepared to face. A second painful truth is that network downtime means lost revenue. The good news is much of this risk can be mitigated through a resilient network design. This requires networks to be designed with intent, not just purchasing whatever connectivity may be available right off the bat. Ask us, we will let you know how your current design and available options will impact your resiliency.
Considerations for Resilient Network Design
Baseline considerations for a resilient businesses network should include achieving network redundancy and diversity, including underlying carriers and last mile. There may be wireless options available if there are any limitations to achieving these goals. For those businesses who cannot afford any downtime at all, ensure the network is being monitored. Monitoring can be done by the carrier, in-house, or through a 3rd party. There are different levels of network monitoring available and your business may require more than the basic up/down monitoring.
Another consideration should be a move to the cloud and use of colocation backup services to mitigate issues related to on-premises servers. Businesses can also look a bit deeper at underlying carriers to achieve diversity in SONET ring and Central Office geographies. Lastly, some businesses might consider an SD-WAN solution with redundant edge devices. SD-WAN provides greater visibility into any issues in the network, allowing for a quicker resolution, and these solutions can be designed to use all available connectivity for seamless operational continuity in the event one connection is lost.
We can help you design, procure, implement, and support the best resilient network solutions for your business, wherever you may be operating. If you’d like more information on our network design services or redundancy options, fill out the form on this page and one of our specialists will get back with you quickly.