LTE Failover - Your Business, Always On, Always Safe, Always Mobile

Article by Atlas Gentech's Data Account Manager Benjamin Hall on November 17, 2015

Huawei Your Office in a Box

Connectivity, reliability, security and mobility in a single appliance

As more businesses move their IT infrastructure to the cloud; connectivity (access) becomes that much more important. The widespread availability of services like VDSL and UFB has resulted in faster and cheaper access services. These cost savings and increased productivity lead to higher profitability for businesses. But what happens during business hours, connectivity is lost?

It’s a scenario that no business wants to face, but with most NZ Retail Service Providers (RSP) offering 99% availability the question isn’t if your connectivity will go down, but when. DSL and UFB (Bitstream2) can be considered to be best efforts services which can lead to long disruptions of service with no compensation; this is reflected in the price.  Moving to a premium service (SHDSL, Bitstream4) should reduce risk as these typically have SLAs aligned to business (even then its only 4hr response time, not a restore) but at nearly ten times the price of a best efforts service and often with a very high installation cost; these services are cost prohibitive to many. Premium services are still at risk from a cable cut and if this does occur, all bets are off.

Other access services are advertised as business grade (Bitstream3) but without an underlying SLA they really can’t be considered as such. Yes you can call your service provider; yes they will log a ticket on your behalf but under the standard SLAs there is no ability to escalate a fault to the infrastructure provider so you may be left without service for hours, or even days. Access providers are working on reasonable SLAs for Bitstream3 but not forthcoming yet.

For those seeking business continuity there are two ways to increase network availability:

  1. Upgrade to a premium service
  2. Build service redundancy

For many UFB is not yet available (UFB is still being rolled out) so low cost fibre based services (Bitstream2/3) are off the cards. This only leaves premium services or ADSL/VDSL as wired alternatives. The cheaper of the premium services in its copper form (SHDSL) barely offer enough bandwidth to run today’s business-critical cloud based applications and premium fibre outside the main centres or “lit” buildings will often come with a premium installation charge as laying these services is extremely expensive for the local fibre company (LFC). Adding wired redundancy can be extremely cost prohibitive and in any case most wired access is laid in the same trench so the wired redundant access is subject to the same physical damage as the primary access. Those with deep enough pockets may opt for wired services with diversity from the same or different infrastructure providers.

On the other hand cost of mobile data has significantly dropped since its introduction becoming a cost effective form of access. Both 3G & LTE offer speeds fast enough to keep most business applications running effectively.  More importantly the upfront charges are fairly low resulting in a fairly quick ROI. Huawei AR Routers offer mobile failover with dual SIM support.

There are other forms of mobile broadband connectivity that should be considered (Vodafone Vodem, Spark T-Stick, 2degrees USB Modem, Mobile WiFi with most of these being manufactured by Huawei) but talk to any IT Manager, without an APN these are far from elegant.

Cloud infrastructure and applications represent enormous value to businesses, this is evident by the rapid uptake of these products. The inherent risks of geographical separation from the business to the Cloud service provider cannot be understated. Fortunately the Huawei AR Router solutions with built in LTE failover allows businesses to mitigate these access risks in a reliable and cost efficient way.

If you are interested securing a business continuity solution for your organisation please feel free to contact your Atlas Gentech account manager or view: