Geo Redundancy: How to Keep a Remote Team Connected

If there is one thing that 2020 taught us, it was the importance of a backup plan. 

Even businesses that were able to nimbly move towards a remote working model found their networks and communications systems placed under an immense amount of stress. 

At the height of the crisis… 

Surviving vs thriving

While many organisations managed to hang on and survive despite continual network and communications issues, these problems served to highlight the importance of communications infrastructure and business continuity practices. 

Now, businesses find themselves in a more certain position.  
 
Globally, remote working looks set to stay, albeit with employees wanting more of a mix of days from home and days at the office each week. 

This means demands for internet and telephone connectivity will remain high. Having survived the move to remote working, businesses now have an opportunity to seize. 
 
By applying what they learned in 2020 and preparing for the hybrid models of the future, teams can thrive as well as survive.  

 

What every communications infrastructure needs

Now is the opportune moment for organisations to invest in more robust communications. The right infrastructure should provide: - 
 

  1. More reliable performance, even when networks are under pressure

  2. And a robust failsafe to keep communications up and running when outages and other disruptions inevitably occur. 

Not having reliable connectivity and resilient systems failsafes will at best result in severe costs for your business, and at worst can lead to lasting reputational damage. 

The key to achieving this is having a telephony system supported by geo-redundant architecture. 

 

What is geo redundancy? 

You might have seen us mention geo redundancy and geo-redundant architecture in some of our other content. 

Traditionally, business telecommunications would be powered by a number of on-site servers. Many of you reading this will probably be picturing big, bulky hardware tucked away in the office basement. 

Geo redundancy refers to having those physical servers stored off site. More specifically, across a number of data centres in different geographical locations. 

The main benefits of a geo-redundant infrastructure are twofold: it load balances traffic, allowing for better performance, and it prevents a highly resilient failsafe in the event of unexpected issues, ensuring your communications continue to operate seamlessly. 

 

Why is geo redundancy better?

To explain why you would want to store your servers at an off-site data centre rather than on premise, we often use the same analogy. 

If you wanted to keep your money as safe as possible, would you choose to store it in a secure bank vault, or stuff it under your mattress at home? 

Storing your systems in a remote location overseen by a dedicated team of data security professionals keeps them safer from any and all risks. 
 
 

How geo redundancy improves performance 

High traffic is high traffic.  

Even if it’s being directed towards an off-site data centre, this can still impact the quality of experience received by the user, and increase the risk of outages. 
 
Storing your servers across more than one data centre allows you to leverage additional power supplies and systems, to bear the load evenly and maintain optimal connection and call quality. 

 

But what if something does happen at the data centre operating your communications? 

Having physically separate servers stored in a number of data centres provides a highly effective failsafe, even in the worst case scenario. 
 
If one centre goes down altogether, the data and service you receive can simply failover and connect to your secondary data centre. 

This is how geo redundancy safeguards your connection and performance against the vast majority of risks. 

Critical applications and data will remain available even in catastrophic events, including fires, earthquakes, tornados – the list goes on. 

 

Conclusions 

Even in normal circumstances, systems fail, and the risk of downtime is always present. 
 
So having resilient systems built on strong processes of business continuity and disaster recovery has always been vital. 

But as the global workforce settles into a more hybrid mode of existence, and more teams begin to leverage remote working on a permanent basis, the stresses on connection bandwidth will remain consistently higher than before. 

By opting for communications systems supported by geo-redundant architecture, businesses can ensure they have consistent, reliable connectivity, and high levels of resiliency during instances of crisis. 

Read more about remote working in our comprehensive guide


Takeaways
 

  • The height of the pandemic in 2020 saw an unprecedented surge in network bandwidth issues and outages, highlighting the importance of robust communications infrastructure.
  • Reliable communications systems provide consistent performance at all times, and effective failsafes to keep communications up and running throughout even the worst disasters.
  • Geo redundancy means operating your communications servers from geographically dispersed data centres; this means they
     
    • Remain physically secure off site
     
    • Maintain a high quality of experience by sharing power and bandwidth demands
     
    • And can keep communications up and running no matter what, allowing them to failover to a secondary data centre in the event of a catastrophe. 
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