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The Most Common Network Nightmares — And How to Avoid Them

It’s been said a thousand times: The network is the heart of digital business capabilities. But what happens when the network malfunctions and the mission-critical solutions you utilize it for get interrupted?

Network mishaps are an unfortunate part of our digital world, but that doesn’t mean that your business has to be at their mercy. In order to get a better understanding of how network disruptions can be avoided, let’s take a look at what those instances look like and how they occur.

Network Downtime 

Downtime has become one of the most notorious network and IT afflictions, and that’s for good reason. Downtime occurs when the network or other IT systems are completely inaccessible, rendering them unusable and the business that needs them totally in the dark.

Network downtime is no small issue — it can cost a business thousands per minute in lost service capability, not to mention the damaging impact it can have on customer trust and market sentiment. Of course, the impacts all depend on the business’s size and services, but downtime is a ubiquitously bad occurrence no matter the situation.

This kind of disruption can happen for several reasons, both man-made and natural. Storms can bring down power and natural disasters can damage network components or cables needed for connectivity to function. Plus, those in charge of managing the network are human — they’re fallible. As a result, sometimes mistakes are made and the network malfunctions as a result. Cyberattacks can also mean that nefarious actors are bringing down the network by exploiting a gap in security. Not to mention, to upgrade services utilizing the network or the infrastructure itself, sometimes network components must be turned off to be replaced or manually updated.

So, how do businesses do their best to avoid instances of downtime? There are a few ways. For instance, switching to fiber optics (specifically dark fiber) adds extra protection against cyberattacks, weather-related outages and electrical interference, keeping it safeguarded against unexpected downtime. Also, cloud-based services (like our hosted voice solution) also help reduce network downtime by allowing teams to update software on an ongoing basis without depending on individual hardware components.

Lag, Latency and Jitter 

Of course, the network being totally unavailable isn’t the only major issue to overcome. Performance across the network is also key for ensuring success and business viability — and if performance suffers, that can quickly become an issue for customer experiences and organizational functionality.

Lag and jitter (meaning delays in communications over the network) or high levels of latency (meaning your data takes more time to reach its destination) can render applications and services ineffective or lackluster. Even though it’s not a total disruption of the network and the services that run across it, it’s certainly an interruption to the day-to-day speed of digital business that all organizations expect.

Outdated network technologies, network congestion from other users and a host of other factors can cause lag or latency, so protecting your network against any unpredictable outside forces is key. This can be accomplished with Ethernet solutions, which include physical connections across a smaller footprint as opposed to wireless ones, can offer more insulation against this kind of interference and provide better speed. DIA (Dedicated Internet Access) is also a leading solution for protecting against interference from shared network connections. With a private DIA connection, businesses aren’t at the mercy of peak traffic times or network neighbors that hog all the bandwidth.

Where’s the Support? 

Nothing is worse than procuring a service and then getting no help when you have a question or a challenge. Customer service isn’t something that network procurers want to worry about, so it should be top of mind for network providers too. The network is a complicated thing to wrangle, and even the most tech-savvy and digitally advanced organizations need to be able to trust that they have help waiting in the wings when they need it.

Having the right support from your network provider means that your business can focus on your core competencies without having to compromise on network function and effectiveness. That’s why Horizon puts a priority on providing excellent customer service — because we know that we don’t live in a perfect world, and everyone needs fast and efficient help sometimes.

As a local network specialist and trusted partner, we offer a consultative approach to architecting a network that works for unique needs with the most advanced technology available, and then we back that up with reliable, expert 24/7/365 monitored support from our local team. That means you’re always able to get the help you need to resolve issues quicker — so you can keep moving at the speed of digital business.

To learn more, check out our range of high-performance network solutions.

 

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