After recently participating in a Better Business Bureau® cybersecurity summit, our cloud guru drills deeper into a hot topic for small business owners.

Eliminating the management of hardware internally in favor of a cloud-first strategy is on the rise. With more intensity than ever, businesses are moving workload out of their local data centers and into cloud providers. From moving email and documents to code in cloud repositories and deploying solutions on cloud infrastructure, all aspects of business are becoming more and more dependent on a reliable Internet connection to access these assets.
This raises risks to an organization if its Internet connection goes down. If you’re a small business owner without a dedicated IT staff or resources, you may be particularly at risk. Those risks can blow up into large issues with instantaneous backlash – lost access to important documents, lost productivity, even loss of revenue.

To counteract these major (and growing) hazards, we recommend you look at solutions that aggregate multiple connections through multiple Internet Service Providers (ISP). How do you start this conversation about your business Internet up-time needs? Our suggested ISP requirements look something like this:

  • Ensure Internet traffic can flow and redirect around failed circuits.
  • Monitor and leverage the most stable circuits for business-critical communications [Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP), video, etc.].
  • Provide Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) capabilities across all ISP circuits for inbound addressing.
  • Ensure no single-point of failure in any of the hardware necessary to support Internet communication.

Look at several Internet aggregation companies, like Big Leaf Networks or Mushroom Networks, to combine the availability of multiple ISPs to maintain business continuity. Focus your research on finding a top-ranked, publicly peered, software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) provider within the United States closest to your corporate office.

Reputable Internet aggregation companies usually can get your services up and running in just a half-hour, and the support is fast and well informed. Intelligent service monitoring and rerouting capabilities result in increased uptime.

So, if your strategy is to leverage the cloud first, then it is highly advised to assess your Internet redundancy. Whether you are a software firm, an online retailer, or a restaurant that leverages cloud rewards registration, keeping the Internet always on and healthy is a must-do activity. It requires some planning and a good partner to keep you and your strategy alive.

What are you doing to ensure that the Internet is always available to meet the needs of your cloud-first strategy? Share your stories on our Facebook page.

Sven Akerman Jr. participated in the Northwest Better Business Bureau’s panel discussion on cybersecurity on April 26, 2017, as part of National Small Business Week. The group of highly regarded Seattle-area technology experts offered advice about how businesses can increase their information security. Watch it on our Facebook page. Alliance is a Microsoft Gold-certified partner with a Cloud Platform competency within the government sector.