While fibre optic cable is still the fastest and most cost-effective method of moving data, fibre breaks inevitably occur from time to time. Civil works, lightning strikes, floods and even road accidents can result in fibre breaks. A single point of failure can be avoided with network diversity.
As a matter of course, more and more schools are moving their backups, disaster recovery and even production services into private or public cloud infrastructure at scale in data centres. Core services such as email, school information systems, learning and content management systems need to stay up and running, or school business suffers. School leaders need to ask themselves: what is the school’s tolerance for losing connectivity to these key services during term time?
Risk of losing connectivity for schools manifests in myriad ways: adverse impact on teaching and learning, lost productivity, reputational risk, communication systems failure and missed deadlines. Schools today have mission-critical services running 24X7 into and out of their schools that rely on uninterrupted connections. Network diversity greatly reduces the risk of interruption for core and supplementary services.
There is a widely-held notion that by using different carriers for redundant or diverse links lowers risk. This is an assumption that does not take into consideration the degree of infrastructure sharing which occurs between carriers in Australia. It could be the case that alternate provider’s fibre shares the same or a similar path with the primary provider, with the customer none the wiser and at risk of paying for a separate service at increased cost with no actual diversity.
By planning your network diversity with AARNet, schools can be assured that network diversity is guaranteed to be truly diverse, with routing to separate network access points at diverse data centres, AARNet ensures that if there is a service interruption in one part of the network, your services stay uninterrupted, online and at full performance at all times.
While some schools have a redundancy strategy for network connectivity, how many are prepared to keep school running smoothly if the redundant service is only a fraction of the capacity of the primary connection? A 12Mbps ADSL link or 50Mbps microwave connection could keep email flowing, but in the event of an extended primary service interruption, there is a real risk that the school’s business will be hobbled by insufficient bandwidth while waiting for repairs.
AARNet understands the mission-critical nature of uninterrupted high-speed fibre optic connections for schools, and offers a variety of cost-effective network diversity configurations to increase resilience for customers in many areas.
If this topic strikes a chord with you, please get in touch if you would like to discuss possibilities for your school.
Author: Jason Arruzza, AARNet’s Education Outreach Manager
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