Network Infrastructure

How To Prevent Network Failure at Your Business

How To Prevent Network Failure at Your Business

Network interruptions and downtime can lead to huge losses of time and money. An outage can cost thousands per minute and even more per hour. For any business, it’s important to prevent network interruptions and these potentially catastrophic losses of revenue and productivity, along with an influx of customer complaints.

Unfortunately, network outages occur more frequently than many business owners realize. There are many types of network failures and potential causes of interruptions, ranging from power outages to equipment failures. This is why a business owner needs to understand the common causes and how to avoid these issues.

If your business is dealing with network interruptions or issues, contact us online to talk with an expert!

Prevent Network Failures With Kirbtech

What Is Network Failure?

Network failure refers to the partial or total failure of a component or multiple components in a network. A component refers to an individual element of communications and computing systems that have specific functions and interfaces, including software and hardware. This failure can be caused by a human-made or natural disaster or by a malfunction, which is when something fails to function or functions incorrectly.

Partial failures in a network include degradation, which is the deterioration of a functional unit’s standard level or quality of performance. Graceful degradation can be especially insidious, as the system will continue to operate, but rather than failing completely, the system demonstrates a reduced level of service.

Network failures can lead to reputational damage or tarnish your business’s image and cost you time and money to recover. Getting your network running can also put significant pressure on your team and cause backlogs in work.

Common Causes of Network Failure: Understanding the Disruptions

When network problems lead to downtime, this can have a significant impact on your business. Be aware of the common network problems to safeguard your operations.

1. Human Error

Human error may be the most common cause of network interruptions and outages. Users can make simple mistakes like pulling out the wrong plug or not following the proper procedure.

Pressure, interrupted sleep and stress can take a toll on the team’s physical and mental health, leading to network failures. Not having enough resources and being understaffed can also cause failures, as these issues make monitoring the network at all times challenging.

Other issues like poorly configured network devices, cable damage or accidental hardware damage can also lead to downtime in your network. You can avoid these errors with proper documentation, staff training and labels on all devices.

2. Power Failure

Power failures can be caused by natural disasters like massive lightning storms, tornados, fires and floods that destroy your building or cause a power surge. Experiencing unplanned power failures, especially during the work day, means you could lose valuable, unsaved work hours. The likelihood of recovering it is slim.

To avoid a power outage that could cause a major disruption to your business, ensure you have backup power supplies. Connect any redundant devices to a different power circuit so that an outage in a single circuit doesn’t entirely shut down a service.

3. Misconfiguration

Misconfiguration is the most significant cause of many unplanned outages, which can last for extended periods. In most instances, misconfiguration accounts are generally due to router outages.

Fortunately, you can reduce the risk of making mistakes. Rather than depend on manual methods to set parameters, you should utilize automation for deploying changes. Test every configuration before you make changes to your production devices.

4. Natural Disasters

Natural disasters can also cause network disruptions. To ensure that your equipment is well-protected, you need a disaster plan. Proper planning helps limit the damage a natural disaster causes and decreases your recovery time after the disaster.

To create a good disaster plan, follow these steps:

  • Analyze the common natural disasters in your area.
  • List the network systems a disaster will affect so you can send technicians with the right equipment when the disaster strikes.
  • Create procedures for how you will repair critical systems when there is a disaster.
  • Have an inventory list with spare equipment and parts you will need to get the network back online.
  • Include a list of people you must contact to get back online when you have a network outage.

5. Hardware Failure

Hardware failures can lead to a network disruption. A hardware failure occurs when parts of your company’s IT infrastructure fail to work properly. Examples of hardware failure causes include water damage, lack of maintenance and voltage spikes. If you don’t plan for these potential hardware failures, your business could face devastating consequences.

Apply patches and perform maintenance as necessary to keep your business’s devices updated and reduce the risk of a hardware failure. Additionally, you can reduce the effect of hardware failures by building redundancy that prevents disruption to the entire network due to one point of failure.

6. Outdated Equipment

Balancing technology improvements and cost-effective computer infrastructure can be tricky. Some businesses delay upgrading their technology due to the expense, but each unsupported, obsolete device within your business is a potential threat to your network’s operations. Outdated equipment is one of the biggest causes of network downtime for server and application crashes.

When outdated equipment is incompatible with newer software, it can lead to slower response times or crashes. To avoid network failures and interruptions due to aging equipment, replace out-of-date equipment and plan for upgrades.

7. Security Breaches and Cyber Attacks

Security failures can lead to breaches and cyber attacks. Attacks, such as trojans, spoofing and denial of services, are commonly used when your network infrastructure is compromised. Attackers will try to gain information and use it to crash or corrupt your network. Unauthorized traffic can also cause a network failure due to the excess load. To prevent a security breach or cyber attack, update your application software, operating systems and malware and virus applications.

Employee security awareness training is also crucial, and you should conduct it often. Ideally, have a training session each quarter. Lastly, develop a cyber breach response plan to ensure you are better prepared if you experience an attack.

How to Prevent Network Downtime

Your business can avoid many of these common causes of network failure symptoms by reducing manual work with automation and keeping good records. Additional ways to prevent network issues include:

1. Switch to Cloud Services

Network outages can occur due to circumstances outside of control, such as a flood, tornado, fire or other natural disasters. The result of these issues can cause a lot of damage, like data losses. The odds of recovering the data lost can be zero to none. Fortunately, cloud services are the best solution for these network problems.

Switching to cloud services is crucial for avoiding data loss due to an outage. Your business’s physical location should not be the primary storage for your key documents. Instead, use a cloud server, which is more reliable, convenient and accessible. Cloud solutions provide you with access to your data both in the office and on the go.

Contact Us for Cloud Management Solutions

2. Back up Servers

If there are network problems, you need to be ahead of the issues. Conducting server backups is essential to avoid network downtime, as they prevent data losses. A good server backup practice is the 3-2-1 rule:

  • Three copies of your data
  • Two backups copied on different storage media
  • One copy stored offsite

Take the time to check and verify that you can recover the server in a disaster recovery scenario. Part of that requires frequent testing, which guarantees backups save properly and that you can restore backups after a disaster.

3. Use a Redundant Network Connection

Another option to consider for how to reduce network downtime is a redundant network connection. Though some businesses may be able to continue operating for a few hours after a loss of network connection, many businesses rely on constant internet access. In this case, a redundant network connection is a wise investment. A redundant connection uses different network carriers and providers, so if one network has difficulties, another network can carry the load.

4. Invest in High-Quality Network Infrastructure

Though choosing lower-grade hardware can save your business money, it can put your organization at greater risk. The cost savings are minimal compared to the losses your business could face from a network interruption. Higher-grade hardware is more reliable and will prevent the loss of productivity caused by a slow connection.

5. Audit Your System for Potential Weaknesses or Threats

When your business experiences an outage or downtime, the first step is determining the origin. For example, if your office suddenly lacks internet, you must determine whether the outage is due to a blown fuse or carrier outages. Understanding the origin of the network failure will also save you resources and time.

To prevent downtime in your system, consider both internal and external threats and take steps to protect your organization against them.

Contact Us for Help With Network Failure and Solutions

At Kirbtech, we empower businesses to realize their potential through technology solutions. Our solutions include managed IT support services, cloud solutions, camera systems, phone systems, networking, servers, free onboarding and unlimited helpdesk for our full support contracts.

Hundreds of organizations trust us with their technology needs. While we are based in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, we service the entire south-central Pennsylvania area as a leader in network and computer support, along with clients in other states like New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Connecticut and Arkansas. To learn more about how to solve network problems, contact us at Kirbtech for a free consultation.

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