Does the combination of fixed and mobile networks deliver ultimate site connectivity?

Harnessing the benefits of the cloud can be a risky business. How can enterprises guard against fiber breaks or other failures in cloud access network? Mobile backup is a promising approach but extra complexity needs to be avoided. Let’s explore a customer case to see if the best of both worlds can be achieved.
Ulrich Kohn
Fist bump

Resilient cloud connectivity – a customer case

The IT infrastructure is the Achilles’ heel of modern enterprises. As business operations have moved into the cloud, connectivity to data and applications has become key to an efficient, continuous and secure business. Of course, loss of that connectivity can have serious consequences.

Imagine a corporate site with fiber access becoming disconnected by a fiber break. With the complete site suddenly cut off from mission critical data, the impact can be tremendous. So, should this enterprise forget about trying to benefit from cloud-based hosting and services?

There is a cleverer solution and resilient infrastructures are key to it. However, if there is only one fiber duct, what other media can be used? Mobile networks are a very promising candidate, as modern mobile technologies provide high bandwidth and are ubiquitously available – this is especially true for industrial areas and business parks. Hence, a combination of fixed and mobile networks offers a way to connect enterprise sites with high levels of resilience. The picture below shows how the mobile network can be used as a backup path in case of any disturbance in the fixed network, such as one caused by a fiber break in the access line.

 A combination of fixed and mobile networks offers a way to connect enterprise sites with high levels of resilience.

What’s more, the combination of fiber and mobile also enables business services to be rolled out much more quickly. A customer might move into a new office with fiber planned but not installed yet. In this case, the mobile network can provide immediate high-bandwidth connectivity, which will later be backed up by the fixed network when the fiber is installed.

Diagram

This approach, however, does come with its downside. It creates additional complexity as there needs to be a demarcation device on the customer premises, which is configured for the fixed and mobile network. This additional work with service activation might negatively impact the value of such a combined fixed-mobile business access solution.

This is why we at ADVA have developed a demarcation device combining fixed and mobile networks and featuring zero-touch provisioning. Once this network element is installed on the customer premises and powered up, everything from boot-loading to firmware-updates, configuration to activation, is fully automated. If no fiber is available, the mobile network is used for providing high-bandwidth connectivity. And it also provides a backup path in case of any problems on the fiber network.

Let one of our customers explain just how easily this device can be installed and commissioned at the customer premises.

Ulrich Kohn

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