Unsurprisingly, building a resilient business is top of mind these days for a lot of enterprises. MIT Sloan School of Business, for example, recently published a guide from Brian Eastwood for business leaders looking to balance short-term, mission critical business needs with long-term investments into technological modernization efforts.
Similarly, a central focus at NS1 this year has been helping companies leverage cutting-edge technology to build more resilient IT infrastructure. We’ve found that companies best prepared to meet the demands of this crisis, as well as any future ones, have application delivery networks that are:
Keep reading for some insights into how you can put these fundamentals into practice at your company.
Your internal and external applications need to provide high availability, even in the face of changing demands and unforeseen challenges. To ensure this, your underlying, critical network infrastructure needs to be reliable.
There are a few key areas to focus on when building a more reliable IT infrastructure. To improve the reliability of your external applications, focus on implementing redundancy and failover mechanisms within your DNS to avoid outages. This can be accomplished with a redundant and secondary DNS solution, which mitigates the risk of downtime due to outages. Similarly, global traffic management policies that automatically steer traffic to the healthiest endpoint can improve the end-user experience.
It’s equally important for your internal network to be highly reliable and available, considering most of your workforce now depends upon VPN access to get their work done. Implementing automated VPN routing enables you to send your remote users to the optimal, healthy VPN site. This in turn reduces the likelihood that your employees will run into issues connecting and get frustrated.
Cyber attacks have become both more frequent and more sophisticated in nature, resulting in outages, downtime, data breaches, and more. While this is a concern across your digital properties, your first line of defense as an organization is your underlying network infrastructure, especially your DNS. Securing the DNS layer is therefore essential to protecting users, revenue, and brand reputation.
To protect against emerging and evolving DNS-layer cyberthreats and in turn provide secure application access, consider implementing:
- Prevent downtime and disruption caused by DDoS attacks with a redundant and flexible DNS architecture that can absorb the traffic volume from a typical attack
- Upgrade your DNSSEC to protect against attacks targeting your DNS resolvers, while still ensuring high user performance. DNS providers that offer “online signing”, for example, allow for the use of next-generation traffic management features and stringent security measures.
Businesses with agile processes were likely best prepared to manage the uncertainty of this year and the constraints of a remote workforce. Eastwood highlights some tips that improve business agility in his guide, including:
- Empower cross-functional teams to work together, rather than traditional product silos
- Build openness into your digital ecosystem by integrating with APIs
Both pieces of advice apply to your network infrastructure as well. As your IT infrastructure grows in size and complexity, so does the work required to manage your infrastructure. Without agile infrastructure (particularly your DNS), your IT teams rely upon manual processes, which is time consuming, error prone, and impedes your team from focusing on more strategic projects.
To make your application delivery network more agile, consider implementing the following technologies:
- API-first, platform-based DNS that integrates with the rest of your stack to handle maintenance and improvements more efficiently
- Automated, intelligent traffic steering tool that uses real user monitoring (RUM) to steer users to the healthiest endpoint. NS1’s Pulsar, for example, goes one step further with Pulsar Stabilize, which can automatically edit set traffic steering policies live to ensure high performance.
Building resiliency at your company is crucial to operating throughout this crisis, as well as any future ones. As we depend upon digital connections more than ever these days, building resiliency within your IT infrastructure is an urgent priority.