By Kai Chang, Global Product Manager, HP Networking
“I don’t understand some of the requirements you wanted. Can you e-mail the slides and we can review it together on an Office Communicator call?” asked my colleague in another department one morning.
This is a typical way we do works nowadays. Our colleagues are spread out over different buildings, cities, or even countries. To complete a project, people need to collaborate regularly using e-mail, screen-share, and voice over IP.
On this day, however, there is problem with email that means my colleague does not get the slides, I can’t explain the details of my requirements, and we can’t make any progress on the project. Other co-workers also are facing the same issue.
This just makes me reflect on how much we depend on the enterprise network to support email, messaging, voice and video applications. For an average S&P 500 company that has $1.3 million in employee cost and generates $8 million in revenue per hour, major network glitches can severely impact both productivity and revenue.
Know your network infrastructure availability options
There are many ways to build network infrastructure to be highly available and minimize disruptions:
- One way is to have redundancies built into each network switch. Some switches have redundant hardware components such as power supply and fan. These components can be “hot-swapped” when they fail without affecting the network traffic. Advanced chassis switches offer redundant fabric and management modules that provide nonstop switching/routing if one of the modules fails. Advanced features such as In-Service Software Upgrade (ISSU) are typically deployed in the network distribution and core devices to minimize downtime.
- Another way to minimize disruption is to use features that provide redundant and resilient network connections. Technologies such as Distributed Trunking, Link Aggregation Control Protocol
(LACP) and Uplink Failure Detect (UFD) provide redundant connections without a lot of complexity. Advanced fixed-port switches have stacking capabilities which allows the network to continue operating even if a switch connected in a stack stops working. Advanced features such as Intelligent Resilient Framework (IRF) create virtual devices that can be deployed in campus and data center networks to provide additional protection.
The key point here is that there are many options you can use to build a highly available network. With your company’s increased reliance on the network to deliver mission-critical and revenue-generating applications, it is more important than ever to take advantage of these technologies. If you are not familiar with them, we here at HP Networking can help you sort out your options. Just ask!
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