Data Center Outages, Vol. 2: Connectivity

Ken Hill

Another cause of service outages is network connectivity. A loss of connectivity resulting in downtime can lead to a number of negative business impacting events.

What causes a loss of connectivity?

  • Equipment failure
  • Software crash
  • Human error
  • Denial of service (DoS) attacks
  • Fiber cuts

Companies that manage network connectivity in-house to support mission critical applications are more susceptible to experiencing downtime due to loss of connectivity, as it is cost prohibitive to design the same level of redundancy that a commercial data center provider would implement. Typically, the capital cost and monthly operating costs of establishing a fully redundant and resilient network in addition to supporting such a network is prohibitive. As such, these companies will make use of one Internet carrier, creating a single point of failure.

Furthermore, companies that manage network connectivity in-house:

  • Will not have access to the number of different carriers that a data center provider does
  • May not be multi-homed
  • May not utilize BGP (Border Gateway Protocol)
  • Are probably only able to use a single network provider; if using more than one, they’re relegated to one physical fiber entrance.

All data center providers should offer a redundant network setup—this is common to the industry, and a standard benefit to utilizing a data center partner.

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