A leased line has many unique selling points that make it a top choice for UK businesses. There’s guaranteed speeds of up to 10Gbps, for example, symmetrical upload and download speeds, and ultra low latency which minimises delay, but one of the biggest advantages of a leased line is that it’s reliable. Leased line services usually come with a pretty impressive service level agreement (SLA) which means that the provider has targets to meet in terms of uptime. Often, uptime will need to be around 99%.
While this means that a business should receive the promised service 99 percent of the time, this does leave a 1 percent gap which is typically used to cover a provider should an issue occur which is out of their control. Fortunately, downtime with a leased line is incredibly rare, but it’s still something that we need to take into consideration. As a leased line is generally recommended for businesses that need an ‘always on’ connection, it’s important to ensure you have an adequate backup solution in place.
There are actually a number of different leased line backup options available depending upon the type of traffic a business anticipates needing to send and receive. Maintaining an ISDN line, for example, can be beneficial for businesses that rely heavily upon voice communications during day-to-day operations. However, the two most popular forms of backup are an ADSL connection, or a second leased line.
- Leased Line – In the UK, there are currently two main carriers for leased line networks: BT Openreach and Virgin Media Business. If a business has a BT leased line installed, they may also wish to install a Virgin Media leased line as a backup, or vice versa. The advantage of this is that a business will retain the symmetry of the connection, so it’s ideal for businesses who rely upon uploading large amount of data; file sharing, cloud computing, and video conferencing, for example. To minimise costs, it is recommended that a backup leased line have slightly slower speeds than a main leased line – just enough to ensure a business can continue to operate.
- ADSL Line – Having a backup ADSL connection is the quicker, easier, and more cost effective option. However, it isn’t as a good an option as a backup leased line as it will typically be less reliable and slower than a leased line, particularly as upload speeds will not match download speeds. For businesses that do opt for an ADSL backup line, and will have multiple connections within the same office, it is recommended they opt for a load balancing router that is capable of managing these mixed connections. In emergency situations when the backup is required, a load balancing router can help to prioritise certain traffic, such as voice traffic, for example.
Due to the high resilience of a leased line, faults are very unlikely. However, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. For businesses who rely heavily upon a connection for day-to-day operations, having a backup solution in place certainly isn’t a bad idea. A backup leased line and backup ADSL are both worth considering, giving you peace of mind that should the worst happen, your business will bounce back.