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AdvantageNov 21, 2019 12:00:00 AM1 min read

Network Redundancy & Network Diversity. What's the Difference?

Often times when businesses, or even network service providers, discuss disaster recovery and business continuity planning, they use the terms ‘diversity’ and ‘redundancy’ interchangeably.  But in reality, they are two very different things.

In its outline of best practices, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) defines both terms:

  • Redundancy - having two independent means of connecting to the Internet.

  • Diversity – having two independent Internet connections that route between the same two locations without sharing any common points.

Whether a company needs diversity or just redundancy in their network infrastructure will depend on their tolerance for risk and their strategy for each of those will lead to very different conversations.

When a business wants to provision redundant connections, they generally look towards alternate service types (maybe an Ethernet circuit, or even DSK if their primary connection is a T1), services provisioned on different infrastructure (copper vs. fiber), or alternate providers (such as a cable company when the primary is a telco provider) to use as backup.  

However, utilizing different services, carriers and even infrastructure does not guarantee diversity.  In fact the vast majority of these connections are not are not truly diverse from the primary carrier– especially in the last mile and the cable entrance to the building.  Often, customers discover this fact after it’s too late. 

Advantage works with over 150 service providers – from traditional telcos and CLECs to cable companies to fixed wireless providers.  We can conduct detailed analysis on all of the providers and service offerings that are available at your service address, and make recommendations based on your redundancy and diversity requirements.  And if you go forward with our recommendations we will project manage all the implementations to ensure that your business continuity solution is truly disaster-proof.