Communities

Writing
Writing
Codidact Meta
Codidact Meta
The Great Outdoors
The Great Outdoors
Photography & Video
Photography & Video
Scientific Speculation
Scientific Speculation
Cooking
Cooking
Electrical Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Judaism
Judaism
Languages & Linguistics
Languages & Linguistics
Software Development
Software Development
Mathematics
Mathematics
Christianity
Christianity
Code Golf
Code Golf
Music
Music
Physics
Physics
Linux Systems
Linux Systems
Power Users
Power Users
Tabletop RPGs
Tabletop RPGs
Community Proposals
Community Proposals
tag:snake search within a tag
answers:0 unanswered questions
user:xxxx search by author id
score:0.5 posts with 0.5+ score
"snake oil" exact phrase
votes:4 posts with 4+ votes
created:<1w created < 1 week ago
post_type:xxxx type of post
Search help
Notifications
Mark all as read See all your notifications »
Q&A

Welcome to the Power Users community on Codidact!

Power Users is a Q&A site for questions about the usage of computer software and hardware. We are still a small site and would like to grow, so please consider joining our community. We are looking forward to your questions and answers; they are the building blocks of a repository of knowledge we are building together.

Post History

71%
+3 −0
Q&A Best practices for small, internet-critical company's ISP for maximal uptime

[Comcast] said normally small businesses get a plan from a second internet provider, for example AT&T, to reduce the chances of the internet going down. I am wondering if that is actually the...

posted 4mo ago by Canina‭  ·  edited 4mo ago by Canina‭

Answer
#3: Post edited by user avatar Canina‭ · 2024-02-24T19:09:17Z (4 months ago)
  • > [Comcast] said normally small businesses get a plan from a second internet provider, for example AT&T, to reduce the chances of the internet going down. I am wondering if that is actually the best solution, or if it is an inefficient use of money.
  • **The *typical* solution to a situation where you cannot afford downtime is *some* kind of redundancy.** Depending on exactly what you're doing with it, that redundancy can either carry you through an outage or allow you to plan repairs to the primary system for when those repairs are less disruptive to typical operations.
  • **Redundancy of any kind is always an inefficiency. However,** you have to weigh the cost of the redundancy against the cost of a failure; and then consider the probability of a failure.
  • If you "cannot accept" downtime that presumably you even are notified of or can find out about in advance (as tends to be the case with scheduled maintenance), then the only two remaining options for you would seem to be:
  • * Negotiate an agreement with the provider where they agree to not have downtime that impacts you. This appears unlikely to succeed and won't help you while the provider still does have an outage.
  • * Have an alternative means of accomplishing the goal (for example, Internet connectivity for VoIP routing) which is unlikely to suffer from any common-mode failure, to provide you with redundant service.
  • Starlink has already been mentioned. It looks like their service in the US currently starts at $120/month, which isn't even pennies on the dollar compared to the cost of having 20 employees (as a crude example, 20 employees working 22 8-hour days per month at only $10/hour is $35K/month). It seems likely that you're using VoIP, maybe even some kind of locally-terminated VoIP trunking, in which case the routing of the IP traffic shouldn't matter much, although you would need to check with your VoIP telephony provider to be certain.
  • Terrestrial mobile broadband can also be an option, but seems quite likely to be relatively saturated in a situation where there is a large outage for any reason. I also strongly suspect that by the time you have a large enough data allotment to carry you through a significant outage, the cost for that data plan will rival satellite service with relatively little to speak for it in practice.
  • Once you have a redundant means of connecting to the Internet, the issue becomes failure switch-over (can be automated, but is likely to disconnect any calls currently in progress; still less disruptive than being knocked offline completely) and how to keep *that* hardware from becoming a single point of failure (which is entirely doable at a cost in money and/or complexity). It *is* entirely possible to set things up such that a single-uplink disruption is effectively invisible to network users, but to fully benefit from that takes significant effort *well* past simply signing up for Internet service over a second medium from a second company.
  • As an aside, you really owe it to everyone involved to draft some kind of business continuity plan. One part of such a plan is to identify and ideally rectify any single points of failure that can negatively impact the ability of the company to conduct normal operations. If typical business operation is completely dependent on Internet connectivity, then anything which might disrupt Internet connectivity belongs there: everything from an accidentally-cut fiber bundle during public services repair work to your Internet provider messing up BGP configuration.
  • Incidentally, again, most of which are typically solved using, you guessed it, **redundancy and minimizing common-mode failures.**
  • > [Comcast] said normally small businesses get a plan from a second internet provider, for example AT&T, to reduce the chances of the internet going down. I am wondering if that is actually the best solution, or if it is an inefficient use of money.
  • **The *typical* solution to a situation where you cannot afford downtime is *some* kind of redundancy.** Depending on exactly what you're doing with it, that redundancy can either carry you through an outage or allow you to plan repairs to the primary system for when those repairs are less disruptive to typical operations.
  • **Redundancy of any kind is always an inefficiency. However,** you have to weigh the cost of the redundancy against the cost of a failure; and then consider the probability of a failure.
  • If you "cannot accept" downtime that presumably you even are notified of or can find out about in advance (as tends to be the case with scheduled maintenance), then the only two remaining options for you would seem to be:
  • * Negotiate an agreement with the provider where they agree to not have downtime that impacts you. This appears unlikely to succeed and won't help you while the provider still does have an outage.
  • * Have an alternative means of accomplishing the goal (for example, Internet connectivity for VoIP routing) which is unlikely to suffer from any common-mode failure, to provide you with redundant service.
  • Starlink has already been mentioned. It looks like their service in the US currently starts at $120/month, which isn't even pennies on the dollar compared to the cost of having 20 employees (as a crude example, 20 employees working 22 8-hour days per month at only $10/hour is $35K/month). It seems likely that you're using VoIP, maybe even some kind of locally-terminated VoIP trunking, in which case the routing of the IP traffic shouldn't matter much, although you would need to check with your VoIP telephony provider to be certain.
  • Terrestrial mobile broadband can also be an option, but seems quite likely to be relatively saturated in a situation where there is a large outage for any reason. I also strongly suspect that by the time you have a large enough data allotment to carry you through a significant outage, the cost for that data plan will rival satellite service with relatively little to speak for it in practice.
  • Once you have a redundant means of connecting to the Internet, the issue becomes failure switch-over (can be automated, but is likely to disconnect any calls currently in progress; still less disruptive than being knocked offline completely) and how to keep *that* hardware from becoming a single point of failure (which is entirely doable at a cost in money and/or complexity). It *is* entirely possible to set things up such that a single-uplink disruption is effectively invisible to network users, but to fully benefit from that takes significant effort *well* past simply signing up for Internet service over a second medium from a second company.
  • As an aside, you really owe it to everyone involved to draft some kind of business continuity plan. One part of such a plan is to identify and ideally rectify any single points of failure that can negatively impact the ability of the company to conduct normal operations. If typical business operation is completely dependent on Internet connectivity, then anything which might disrupt Internet connectivity belongs there: everything from an accidentally-cut fiber bundle during public services repair work to your Internet provider messing up their core network routing configuration.
  • Incidentally, again, most of which are typically solved using, you guessed it, **redundancy and minimizing common-mode failures.**
#2: Post edited by user avatar Canina‭ · 2024-02-24T19:04:47Z (4 months ago)
  • > [Comcast] said normally small businesses get a plan from a second internet provider, for example AT&T, to reduce the chances of the internet going down. I am wondering if that is actually the best solution, or if it is an inefficient use of money.
  • **The *typical* solution to a situation where you cannot afford downtime is *some* kind of redundancy.** Depending on exactly what you're doing with it, that redundancy can either carry you through an outage or allow you to plan repairs to the primary system.
  • **Redundancy of any kind is always an inefficiency. However,** you have to weigh the cost of the redundancy against the cost of a failure; and then consider the probability of a failure.
  • If you "cannot accept" downtime that presumably you even are notified of or can find out about in advance (as tends to be the case with scheduled maintenance), then the only two remaining options for you would seem to be:
  • * Negotiate an agreement with the provider where they agree to not have downtime that impacts you. This appears unlikely to succeed and won't help you while the provider still does have an outage.
  • * Have an alternative means of accomplishing the goal (for example, Internet connectivity for VoIP routing) which is unlikely to suffer from any common-mode failure, to provide you with redundant service.
  • Starlink has already been mentioned. It looks like their service in the US currently starts at $120/month, which isn't even pennies on the dollar compared to the cost of having 20 employees (as a crude example, 20 employees working 22 8-hour days per month at only $10/hour is $35K/month). It seems likely that you're using VoIP, maybe even some kind of locally-terminated VoIP trunking, in which case the routing of the IP traffic shouldn't matter much, although you would need to check with your VoIP telephony provider to be certain.
  • Terrestrial mobile broadband can also be an option, but seems quite likely to be relatively saturated in a situation where there is a large outage for any reason. I also strongly suspect that by the time you have a large enough data allotment to carry you through a significant outage, the cost for that data plan will rival satellite service with relatively little to speak for it in practice.
  • Once you have a redundant means of connecting to the Internet, the issue becomes failure switch-over (can be automated, but is likely to disconnect any calls currently in progress; still less disruptive than being knocked offline completely) and how to keep *that* hardware from becoming a single point of failure (which is entirely doable at a cost in money and/or complexity).
  • > [Comcast] said normally small businesses get a plan from a second internet provider, for example AT&T, to reduce the chances of the internet going down. I am wondering if that is actually the best solution, or if it is an inefficient use of money.
  • **The *typical* solution to a situation where you cannot afford downtime is *some* kind of redundancy.** Depending on exactly what you're doing with it, that redundancy can either carry you through an outage or allow you to plan repairs to the primary system for when those repairs are less disruptive to typical operations.
  • **Redundancy of any kind is always an inefficiency. However,** you have to weigh the cost of the redundancy against the cost of a failure; and then consider the probability of a failure.
  • If you "cannot accept" downtime that presumably you even are notified of or can find out about in advance (as tends to be the case with scheduled maintenance), then the only two remaining options for you would seem to be:
  • * Negotiate an agreement with the provider where they agree to not have downtime that impacts you. This appears unlikely to succeed and won't help you while the provider still does have an outage.
  • * Have an alternative means of accomplishing the goal (for example, Internet connectivity for VoIP routing) which is unlikely to suffer from any common-mode failure, to provide you with redundant service.
  • Starlink has already been mentioned. It looks like their service in the US currently starts at $120/month, which isn't even pennies on the dollar compared to the cost of having 20 employees (as a crude example, 20 employees working 22 8-hour days per month at only $10/hour is $35K/month). It seems likely that you're using VoIP, maybe even some kind of locally-terminated VoIP trunking, in which case the routing of the IP traffic shouldn't matter much, although you would need to check with your VoIP telephony provider to be certain.
  • Terrestrial mobile broadband can also be an option, but seems quite likely to be relatively saturated in a situation where there is a large outage for any reason. I also strongly suspect that by the time you have a large enough data allotment to carry you through a significant outage, the cost for that data plan will rival satellite service with relatively little to speak for it in practice.
  • Once you have a redundant means of connecting to the Internet, the issue becomes failure switch-over (can be automated, but is likely to disconnect any calls currently in progress; still less disruptive than being knocked offline completely) and how to keep *that* hardware from becoming a single point of failure (which is entirely doable at a cost in money and/or complexity). It *is* entirely possible to set things up such that a single-uplink disruption is effectively invisible to network users, but to fully benefit from that takes significant effort *well* past simply signing up for Internet service over a second medium from a second company.
  • As an aside, you really owe it to everyone involved to draft some kind of business continuity plan. One part of such a plan is to identify and ideally rectify any single points of failure that can negatively impact the ability of the company to conduct normal operations. If typical business operation is completely dependent on Internet connectivity, then anything which might disrupt Internet connectivity belongs there: everything from an accidentally-cut fiber bundle during public services repair work to your Internet provider messing up BGP configuration.
  • Incidentally, again, most of which are typically solved using, you guessed it, **redundancy and minimizing common-mode failures.**
#1: Initial revision by user avatar Canina‭ · 2024-02-24T14:07:33Z (4 months ago)
> [Comcast] said normally small businesses get a plan from a second internet provider, for example AT&T, to reduce the chances of the internet going down. I am wondering if that is actually the best solution, or if it is an inefficient use of money.

**The *typical* solution to a situation where you cannot afford downtime is *some* kind of redundancy.** Depending on exactly what you're doing with it, that redundancy can either carry you through an outage or allow you to plan repairs to the primary system.

**Redundancy of any kind is always an inefficiency. However,** you have to weigh the cost of the redundancy against the cost of a failure; and then consider the probability of a failure.

If you "cannot accept" downtime that presumably you even are notified of or can find out about in advance (as tends to be the case with scheduled maintenance), then the only two remaining options for you would seem to be:

 * Negotiate an agreement with the provider where they agree to not have downtime that impacts you. This appears unlikely to succeed and won't help you while the provider still does have an outage.
 * Have an alternative means of accomplishing the goal (for example, Internet connectivity for VoIP routing) which is unlikely to suffer from any common-mode failure, to provide you with redundant service.

Starlink has already been mentioned. It looks like their service in the US currently starts at $120/month, which isn't even pennies on the dollar compared to the cost of having 20 employees (as a crude example, 20 employees working 22 8-hour days per month at only $10/hour is $35K/month). It seems likely that you're using VoIP, maybe even some kind of locally-terminated VoIP trunking, in which case the routing of the IP traffic shouldn't matter much, although you would need to check with your VoIP telephony provider to be certain.

Terrestrial mobile broadband can also be an option, but seems quite likely to be relatively saturated in a situation where there is a large outage for any reason. I also strongly suspect that by the time you have a large enough data allotment to carry you through a significant outage, the cost for that data plan will rival satellite service with relatively little to speak for it in practice.

Once you have a redundant means of connecting to the Internet, the issue becomes failure switch-over (can be automated, but is likely to disconnect any calls currently in progress; still less disruptive than being knocked offline completely) and how to keep *that* hardware from becoming a single point of failure (which is entirely doable at a cost in money and/or complexity).