Internet as backup
If you can’t imagine ever sending data over the Internet – than this post isn’t for you. However, if you are looking for ways to cheaply and efficiently provide redundancy for your data communication environment than this post is for you.
In Ongoing Operations experience, connectivity outages are the most common failures that occur. For many Credit Unions telecommunications connectivity is crucial to doing business on a daily basis. From email communications to online banking to Wide Area Network (WAN) communications connectivity is crucial to keeping things humming. With that in mind WAN connectivity backup is also crucial in keeping services available to your internal users and you me be asking yourself if you can use your Internet connection as a backup circuit.
The basic answer is, yes, but there are a number of considerations to keep in mind when you look to use your Internet connection as a backup. Some of those considerations include the following:
- Speed or slowness
- Capacity or bandwidth
- Security or public access
Internet connections will most likely not provide the full bandwidth or quality that you have with your internal network connectivity as it is shared with services such as email, online banking, VPNs and other Internet based services. This along with all other traffic that is passing across the Internet can cause latency and slow response to internal network services. There also may be no guaranteed bandwidth available to you between your offices.
As with all traffic that transits the Internet your traffic will be open to the public. This must be mitigated by using some type of encryption. A VPN tunnel will encrypt your traffic and keep your data secure from outside entities. It may fall on your shoulders to take the necessary steps to configure both your VPN and other terminating equipment. If this is not configured correctly you could expose your network and data to the world. In addition – because of having internet connectivity – the NCUA will require Firewalls, IDS and IPS at each internet entry point into your network.
When properly thought out and configured correctly to protect your network using your Internet connection can and does provide a cost effective backup for your WAN connectivity for very temporary usage but there are other options that you may want to consider as well. Wireless carriers are now offering 3G and 4G WAN backup services that also provide a cost effective backup alternative.
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