What is Network Redundancy in IoT?
Network redundancy in IoT involves creating backup network resources to minimize or prevent downtime in the face of power outages, hardware malfunctions, human errors, system failures, or cyber-attacks. By running alternative instances of core network services and building duplicate network infrastructure, data transmissions in the network can have multiple pathways to follow, ensuring continuity and reliability.
Why Network Redundancy and Network Downtime
In the Internet of Things, where devices need continuous internet connectivity to function efficiently, network downtime can lead to significant financial losses, damage to brand reputation, and customer frustration. By implementing network redundancy, enterprises can minimize the impact of failures, maximize service availability, and reduce the risk of network-related problems.
Types of Network Redundancy
Geographic Redundancy. Using multiple data centers distributed across different locations to avoid single points of failure. Each availability zone can contain multiple data centers, and the network resources can be shared across zones, ensuring service continuity even if one location faces problems.
Software Redundancy. Employing multiple redundant microservices to perform critical network functions. In cloud-native development, microservices can ensure that there are always backup functions available, allowing seamless updates and preventing service interruptions.
Network Operator Redundancy. Using IoT SIM cards with Multi-IMSI technology to connect to multiple Mobile Network Operators, providing flexibility and ensuring optimal connectivity wherever the devices are deployed.
Network Type Redundancy. Deploying IoT devices capable of connecting to multiple network types (e.g., 2G, 3G, 4G, LTE-M, NB-IoT) to maintain connectivity in areas where specific network coverage is unavailable.
Telecommunications Interconnection Redundancy. Using multiple carriers for SS7 and GRX/IPX connections to roaming partners, ensuring continued connectivity even if one carrier experiences issues.
Network Redundancy Models
Several redundancy models can be implemented based on the level of complexity and required redundancy:
Active/Active. Using two instances with the same functionality to distribute data across both instances. If one instance fails, the system automatically switches to the other instance, ensuring uninterrupted service.
Active/Passive. Similar to Active/Active, but one instance remains passive and only becomes active if the primary instance fails. This model uses fewer resources but may involve service disruption during failover.
Dual Ring Network. Creating an additional loop in a ring network to allow transmissions to "turn around" and reach the intended destination even if a node is unavailable.
Diverse Trunking. Implementing a secondary trunk as a backup in case the primary trunk fails, ensuring continuous network services.