SOURCE: Atrion

February 01, 2007 14:15 ET

Create a Super-Reliable Computer Network: Atrion's Nault Shares the Secrets

WARWICK, RI -- (MARKET WIRE) -- February 1, 2007 -- What's the best way to invest in your computer network to avoid costly downtime despite a power or Internet outage?

Reliability expert Charles Nault, chairman of Atrion Networking Corp., lays out five building blocks for a super-reliable network, in an article in Mass High Tech, Jan. 26 issue.

1. Network-critical physical infrastructure. NCPI refers to the physical environment in which critical network components operate, beginning with power. Besides backup batteries, a generator fired by a large propane tank is a must. "Build your NCPI as if your company's life depended on it -- because it does," Nault writes.

2. Servers. "Standardize on one vendor with a solid product and on-site support. For all mission-critical applications, make sure there is a hot spare and a flawless backup."

3. Security. "Begin this one with patches and fixes. Infrastructure devices have become more sophisticated, and so have their operating systems. It is not unheard of for a router manufacturer like Cisco Systems Inc. to have to release an emergency upgrade for plugging up a newly discovered vulnerability."

4. Edge devices. "Standardization is critical. A common and usually adequate strategy is to keep a spare router, switch, or whatever the device may be, that can be installed in just about any location."

5. Monitoring and problem resolution. Constant monitoring prevents most problems and minimizes the time it takes to resolve problems that inevitably do occur. For companies that need to recover in minutes rather than hours, proactive monitoring is the only way to go.

"Building your super-reliable network is mostly a function of risk assessment and planning done upfront. You must establish firm policies providing for stability, standardization and security, as well as for maximum performance and availability," Nault concludes.

The article can be read at http://masshightech.bizjournals.com/masshightech/stories/2007/01/29/focus4.html.

Atrion Networking Corp. is a network integration firm in Warwick, R.I. For more information, visit www.atrion.net.

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