Time to get physical with network reliability

Jason Reasor Jason Reasor May 27, 2019

19_global_webinars_network-reliabilityIn February 2017, a tech worker at a global cloud services provider inadvertently made a typo in a command line, taking several servers offline for four hours. This mistake cost S&P 500 companies approximately $150 million and U.S. financial-service companies $160 million in lost revenue.

CLICK TO TWEET: Jason Reasor provides you with four ways to help improve your overall network reliability.

Epic network failures like this make the headlines; however, the real damage is done by the smaller daily issues that consume the IT department’s time and resources. For example, the wireless network goes down for a few hours, taking productivity down with it. Another example is a bad server connection knocks the CRM off line, leading to a line of disgruntled marketing folks knocking on your door.

While none of these are catastrophic, you can’t ignore them. Each incident requires IT personnel and resources to locate, identify and resolve the issue. It’s like death by 1,000 cuts. The question is: how do you minimize the damage? You start with the physical layer infrastructure.

When it comes to diagnosing an outage, more times than not, the structured cabling network is ground zero. Given the rampant growth in the enterprise network, there’s little, if any, room for error. Any patching mistake or cable failure will cause a problem. The good news is I will provide you with four ways to help improve your overall network reliability and keep you out of hot water.

Streamline with structured cabling

Human error—like unplugging the wrong cable—still accounts for a disproportionally high number of unplanned outages. A structured cabling design streamlines the network, making it easier to identify, manage and scale the cabling infrastructure as it grows more congested and complex.

Switch to PoE where possible

As IoT deployment continues to ramp up, once-discrete power and data networks are merging into a single low-power platform featuring Power over Ethernet (PoE). A by-product of convergence is increased reliability. Because PoE is powered at the switch, which typically has UPS backup, your connected systems remain functional and online should you lose power.

Implement automated infrastructure management (AIM)

One of the most frustrating things about network or system outages is that you’re constantly on the defense, trying to diagnose and fix problems after the fact. AIM solutions monitor the status of every port, device and wired or wireless connection in real-time. It allows you to be proactive and get out ahead of issues before they cause problems.

Invest in ubiquitous mobility

The relationship between a complete in-building wireless system and network reliability may not seem obvious; however, this is something you should consider. As your network’s footprint expands, IT response teams have more ground to cover. Should an outage occur, a reliable mobile platform with blanket coverage enables techs—who may be working on the same problem but in different areas—to communicate and reduce the mean-time-to-repair.

These are just a few ways you can use your physical layer to transform network reliability from a constant concern into a competitive advantage. For a deeper dive into this issue, we recommend you take our “Realizing your building’s potential: A more reliable physical layer” webinar. Below is the schedule for each one:

The enterprise LAN has become the nerve center of today’s business. Making sure it is up and running—every minute of every day—is a priority. At times, you can feel like you’re walking a tightrope.

CommScope is dedicated to ensuring you never fall. Your network has virtually unlimited potential, and we stand ready to help you realize more of it every day. Let’s make the most of it.

About the Author

Jason Reasor

Jason Reasor

Jason Reasor is the director of Strategy and Technology for Enterprise Systems at CommScope. In this role, he is responsible for the strategic direction of Enterprise Solutions, including definition and development of the building, campus and enterprise data center networks as well as emerging and adjacent technologies. Previously, Jason was the director of Product Line Management for enterprise copper solutions. He has also held various other solution management roles, including strategic healthcare solutions. Prior to joining CommScope, Jason spent 12 years with Hewlett-Packard and Tango Networks in various product management, sales engineering, R&D management and R&D development positions. He holds a B.S. in Computer Engineering from Texas A&M University and an MBA from the University of Texas at Dallas.