Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Verizon's New Mobile Internet Backup: Smart Enough

With companies looking toward cloud computing to replace essential business operations, stable network access is more important than ever. Verizon Enterprise Business is trying to address that need with a low-cost wireless backup solution, Verizon Internet Dedicated Access (IDA) with T1 line priced at $480 per month. Verizon IDA with Mobile Broadband automatically routes business traffic to the Verizon Wireless 3G EV-DO broadband wireless network in the event of a service disruption. The move should serve customers with highly distributed locations who primarily use IDA for outbound critical traffic, web research or point-of-sale transactions, protecting against many accidents in the local loop, such as accidental line cuts or disasters. However, the service will do little to protect against more subtle network problems. They will be adding mobile broadband, running approximately $59 - $99 per month.

With IDA with Mobile Backup, Verizon locates two ADTRAN NetVanta 3200 routers at the customer premises. One router connects to the primary T1 access source and the other is equipped with a 3G wireless Network Interface Module designed for use with the Verizon Wireless network. The NetVantas monitor network activity cut over when a failure is detected.

Market demand for integrated backup solutions has been on the rise over the past year, and Verizon reports the number of customers requesting backup solutions has jumped from 20 percent to roughly 50 percent of new customers, says Patrick Sullivan, director of SMB solutions marketing for Verizon Enterprise Business. In the past, users bend on redundant backup solution were left doubling their access costs as they duplicated the infrastructure. Often this is done by purchasing access circuits from multiple providers to ensure network resiliency. Still, those redundant solutions typically used wired access, leaving them susceptible to failures caused by common physical attacks, such as a backhoe cutting through cable or natural catastrophes.

IDA with Mobile Backup gives these users a more affordable solution, and let's Verizon capture a bigger part of the business continuity pie. By relying on wireless as backup, customers are now immune to the nefarious backhoe or earthquake, and they pay just 12 to 21 percent more for redundant T1 Internet access. "This new integrated solution gives small- and medium-sized business customers robust and reliable Internet access along with the peace of mind that comes with having a wireless backup plan in place," said Carrie Gray, Verizon Business executive director of SMB solutions marketing.  

IDA with Mobile Broadband addresses an important niche for most users, but customers bent on true fault tolerance might think twice. There is a five second switchover time, so connections will be lost during the transition. Most software should be able to recover within that timeframe, however. The other item to watch out for is that switchover only occurs on a hard failure. Gradual line deterioration does not cause the NetVanta to switch between networks. Customers then will find themselves protected from outages, but not from worn cables, poor connectors and the like that could significantly impact line integrity without causing an outright failure.