Net Access Blog

You're Only as Redundant as Your Weakest Link - Part 2

Posted by Net Access Marketing on May 29, 2013 3:34:00 PM

You're only as redundant as your weakest link.

Don't let that link be how your server is plugged in.

This post is part 2 of a two part series that talks about plugging in your servers properly for redundancy. This post will discuss network connectivity, and our previous post was about power.

 

  • There are several different ways to plug in network connectivity with varying degrees of redundancy, from a single connection to a single switch to multiple connections to multiple switches. To start, you will want to make sure that every server you deploy has redundant network interface cards (nic's).
  • With redundant nic's connected to redundant switches, one can go offline and your server will still maintain connectivity.

 

 

During the sales and implementation process, we always recommend that customers buy as much redundancy as they can justify financially. To that end, in many cases customers choose to have two (or more) connections to our network distribution switches for redundancy.

This works, but only if plugged in and configured correctly.


When network connectivity is delivered to a customer's cabinet in the data center, they will typically plug that into a firewall or layer 3 switch and then their servers would plug into that switch or a separate distribution switch. This setup can work great, but what happens if there is a hardware failure from either the data center's switch or the customer's firewall or switch? In a single connection implementation, the customer would experience a network outage.

How do we engineer a better solution? Redundant connections from diverse switches, connected via BGP to redundant firewalls or layer 3 switches in the customer's cabinet.

Logical diagram of Net Access infrastructure involved in this configuration:

Net Access - Connectivity

 

Once the connectivity reaches the customer's infrastructure, we recommend dual HA firewalls linked to dual switches, with servers dual-connected to both switches, as depicted below.

 

customer connection resized 600

Look complicated? No problem, our network engineers are happy to provide guidance to our customers to make sure they are connecting everything with the highest level of redundancy possible.

For a free consultation with our technical team, feel free to click the button below and we will setup a time to discuss this further with you.

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Topics: data center, plugging in your servers, redundancy, redundant network connections