❓Did you Know? How to Build Reliable Last Miles using SD-WAN with Less Reliable Parts using Engineering Resilience 🚴

❓Did you Know? How to Build Reliable Last Miles using SD-WAN with Less Reliable Parts using Engineering Resilience 🚴

In the world of networking, reliability is key! But did you know that you don't always need super-reliable components to achieve it?


3 min read

In the world of networking, reliability is paramount. The common belief is that to achieve reliability, one must invest in super-reliable components. While using reliable components certainly helps, it's not the only factor at play. The true mark of a skilled engineer lies in building a reliable network out of less reliable parts—a feat that can outshine networks built with more reliable components. This not only saves costs but also enhances overall performance.

Let's delve deeper into this concept.

  1. Understanding Reliability: Every engineer knows that devices and cables, whether power or network cables, will eventually fail. It's a fact of life in the realm of technology. The key lies in understanding that the reliability of the entire network is only as strong as its weakest link.

  2. The Uptime Conundrum: Consider a network comprising 20 components, each with an uptime of 99.9%. While this may seem impressive, it still translates to one component being down 2% of the time, resulting in a week of downtime per year. Investing in components ten times more reliable can reduce this downtime to 0.2%, but that's still half a day per year.

  3. Redundancy: An alternative approach is to incorporate redundant components that can step in when the primary component fails. With 40 components at 99.9% reliability, the chance of one being down is 4%. However, the likelihood of both primary and secondary components failing simultaneously is only 0.01%, equating to just half a minute of downtime per year.

  4. The Complexity of Redundancy: While redundancy sounds promising, implementing it is no easy feat, especially with legacy equipment and solutions. Automatic switching from primary to secondary components during failures requires sophisticated systems and protocols.

  5. Enter SD-WAN: This is where SD-WAN solutions like Fusion Broadband South Africa's shine. With its "Look Ma, No Hands!" approach, SD-WAN seamlessly manages circuit switching, even with inexpensive components. Using less expensive broadband circuits as opposed to the higher priced MPLS circuits becomes viable. It meets the demands of automatic fail-over, ensuring uninterrupted connectivity without the need for manual intervention.

The Last Mile Chain

In the typical last mile chain deployment as let us assume each component has an uptime of 99.9% and each interconnection has an uptime of 99%. The uptime of the site associated with the last mile is thus 87%.

Two Last Mile Chains aggregated by Fusion SD-WAN

In a deployment where we use multiple paths for the last mile as depicted above and we are using typical last mile chains then the uptime of the site associated with the last mile becomes 98%. Which solution should a business deploy?

Wrapping up, engineering reliability in networks goes beyond using super-reliable components. It involves smart design, redundancy, and leveraging innovative solutions like SD-WAN from Fusion Broadband South Africa. By embracing this approach, engineers can build resilient networks that withstand the test of time, all while optimizing costs and performance. It's a testament to the ingenuity and skill of the modern network engineer.

Ronald Bartels ensures that Internet inhabiting things are connected reliably online at Fusion Broadband South Africa - the leading specialized SD-WAN provider in South Africa. 👉 Contact Fusion

Originally published on LinkedIn by Ronald Bartels: