Additionally, cyber attacks constitute another increasing source of critical network outages. Forty-eight percent of information technology executives within critical-infrastructure organizations believe that a cyber attack has the potential to result in the loss of human life . Quite simply, mission-critical networks must remain available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year with limited or no downtime. This demanding availability requires maintaining constant, acceptable levels of capacity and coverage, as well as availability during normal maintenance and upgrades.
The key to avoiding the threat to life and major disruption of mission-critical services is to proactively prepare to address the inevitable network issues that will arise.
ANALYZING CRITICAL NETWORK EVENTS FOR THE PREVENTABLE AND UNPREDICTABLE
For public safety agencies, mission-critical networks must:
- Remain reliable without delays or issues such as poor voice quality or lack of coverage
- Be secure in order to protect sensitive transmission of data
- Support increased capacity for planned and unforeseen events, such as a natural disaster
- Allow for seamless interoperability among agencies
The first step in maintaining uptime for mission-critical networks is understanding the types of failures that can adversely impact performance:
CONDUCTING A ROOT CAUSE ANALYSIS CAN PREVENT THE SAME FAILURE FROM REOCCURRING
- Preventable failures occur when known measures and proactive maintenance are not taken
- Unpredictable failures occur regardless of how well the system is maintained
- Graceful failures occur during a state in which the system maintains limited functionality even with the loss of multiple components. Operating efficiency or speed may decline, but basic operations are maintained
After a failure is corrected, network operations staff should determine if the issue will impact other areas or if it has occurred multiple times. If either case exists, further investigation and analysis will reveal a root cause that can be systematically corrected to improve response and restoration time or avoid future failures.
To improve uptime, the physical and environmental aspects of a mission-critical network should be reviewed. This includes:
Power outage risks at remote facilities
Unlocked, unsecured remote facilities
Damage to physical site infrastructure
Remote monitoring and restoration along with onsite maintenance provisions for these items should also be part of your overall network performance management plan.