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Network Downtime: What Causes it and How to Avoid It?

November 25th, 2022 | 4 min. read

By Jordan Pioth

Troubled woman sitting in front of computer

Network downtime can negatively impact an organization resulting in lost customers, lost revenue, and various effects on stored data.

According to Gartner, the average cost of network downtime is $5,600 per minute; something your company would incur if you’re impacted by network downtime.

If you don’t understand network downtime or how to avoid it, your organization may spend time and money.

Being able to educate yourself on network downtime will help you protect your network and avoid the costs related to network downtime.

Coeo has helped thousands of customers with network downtime and knows how important it is to avoid it.

We want to provide you with all of the information about network downtime so you can avoid the consequences caused by it.

By the end of this article, you will know what network downtime is, what causes it, and how to avoid it.

What is network downtime?

Network downtime is the inability to access part or all of a network due to the failure of a system, application, or entire network of a company.

It can also be the result of software or hardware failure and can involve internal failure or a connection to the external network.

There are two types of network downtime that a company and its customers can experience; planned and unplanned downtime.

Planned downtime

Planned downtime is when network downtime is scheduled in advance with prior warning giving users a chance to prepare.

Network upgrades or maintenance are examples of planned downtime so these upgrades and maintenance can take place.

It is usually done outside of office hours so the network is not down while employees are working.

Planned network downtime usually has a specific timeline so that the network is back up and running in time for employees to resume their work.

Unplanned downtime

Unplanned downtime is the opposite of planned downtime where downtime is not scheduled. It strikes with no warning and can occur at any time and offers no recovery timeline.

Because unplanned downtime is not scheduled, there can be many reasons why unplanned downtime can take place.

Some of the main reasons could be human error, understaffed IT departments, and equipment failure.

What causes network downtime?

Planned downtime is determined by whoever plans the downtime such as the IT team or a managed service provider while unplanned downtime can be caused by a variety of different reasons.

Human error

Human error is the most common reason for unplanned network downtime. This can come in the form of a typo, pulling the wrong plugs, and entering incorrect information.

Understaffed IT departments

If your IT department is understaffed, it can create problems within your network.

Your network may miss upgrades or required maintenance due to the IT department being understaffed which as a result, can cause unplanned network downtime.

Equipment failure

Another cause for network downtime could be equipment failure. If your equipment is outdated, has viruses or malware, or overheating and cooling failure, you may experience network downtime.

Power outage

One of the more obvious causes of network downtime is a power outage. Without power or sufficient power backup, your network can collapse resulting in downtime.

Not only can power outages cause network downtime but they can also result in the loss of data or even permanent damage to a network. This makes having a sufficient power backup critically important.

Security attacks

Malicious attacks such as hacks and denial of service attacks can slow down a network and cause network downtime.

Making sure you have security tools in place to prevent security attacks can help prevent downtime as well as other consequences such as data leaks.

Click the link below to use this free tool to learn how you stack up against your peers and learn how to stop poor network performance, reduce outages, and learn best practices for maintaining a resilient network. Free Network Assessment

How to prevent network downtime

Network downtime can cause plenty of problems for an organization. Angry customers, lost sales opportunities and revenue, and even lost customers can all be consequences of frequent network downtime.

There are several ways that your company can prevent network downtime such as monitoring tools and network facility maintenance.

Monitoring tools

Network monitoring software from third-party vendors can proactively monitor your network and detect hardware and software issues.

Network facility maintenance

One of the most common reasons for network downtime is the neglect of facility maintenance.

Making sure the facility is properly dusted and cleaned will allow for the equipment to perform to the best of its ability avoiding frequent network downtime.

Better equipment and software

Making sure your equipment is not out of date is important. It’s hard to keep a network up and running in the 2020s if you are using equipment from the 2000s.

Making sure your hardware can handle your network is important in avoiding network downtime. The same is true for software equipment.

Keeping your software up to date and investing in the best software solutions will help you avoid network downtime.

SD-WAN and SASE solutions can help make sure your network is up and running for as long as possible.

Perform backups frequently

Performing frequent backups will not completely prevent network downtime but will make things easier should downtime occur.

While backups do use up storage space, they also ensure quick network restoration following a network failure.

On-site and cloud backups help ensure maximum coverage in the event of a failure, help avoid lost data after network downtime, and will help your network get back up and running quicker.

Next steps to avoid network downtime

Now you know what network downtime is, what causes it, and how to avoid it. This can help you ensure that your network experiences as little downtime as possible.

Learning about network downtime will allow your network to stay up and running as long as possible.

This information will allow you to avoid downtime, therefore, avoiding the consequences that come with it such as lost customers and revenue.

Coeo has helped thousands of customers with their network downtime. We know how important it is to keep your network up and running and want to make sure you have all of the information you need to make that happen.

If you would like to speak with our team to learn more about how SD-WAN can help with network downtime or ask any questions you may have you can schedule an appointment.TALK TO AN EXPERT

Now you know what network downtime is and how to avoid it. Read this article to learn about network uptime and how SD-WAN can address it:

Jordan Pioth

When he's not creating content for Coeo, Jordan loves to watch sports, hang out with friends and family, and anything sneaker-related.