What are Single Point of Failures and What you Can do to Prevent Them
A Single Point of Failure (SPF), in an IT network, is/are the area(s) within your infrastructure (cloud or local), that if they failed, would cause you to lose access to your network. A clear example would be if your internet line went down would you lose your connection to the internet or network? If yes, that line would be considered an SPF.
Your Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO) will set the single point of failure strategy. RTO and RPO, in plain language, stand for how long can your network be down for and how much data you can lose before your business function stops or is critically impacted.
Two things you can do to reduce SPFs and their impact are to build redundancy and implement monitoring into your network.
An example of redundancy in your network would be putting in dual internet connections. This provides redundancy in the scenario of one of them failing. If one were to fail the other could take over, with little to no interruption to your business. Having dual redundant routers, switches, servers and dual redundant network cards in the servers and workstations are all examples of building redundancy in a network. All this equipment can be calibrated so if one fails the other takes over, or they can be used simultaneously to improve performance. This may be overkill for some types of business but again knowing how much data (and what kind) combined with how long your network can be down will establish how much redundancy your network needs. Often having dual power supply and dual switches can be enough but in other businesses, every aspect of the network needs to have redundancy. Working with your IT department or provider can help you understand how much redundancy you need.
Implementing monitoring will help you identify issues if something is about to fail, and alerts you in the event something actually does fail. Common monitoring tools will send notifications to email or dashboards when something has exceeded a tolerance or has gone down. Even if you have redundancy built-in you still want to be monitoring so that you are aware of failures that have taken a redundant system back to an SPF. More robust programs have a suite of tools that show you the health of the system at all times.
Redundancy and monitoring can help protect your network and we can help you set it up. Feel free to contact us below!