ViaSat, BEC 4G, Fortigate & Spectrotel - Emergency WAN/VPN & Internet for Serious Weather & Power Outages

If you have business locations in the middle of the country you already know you need to plan for power outages caused by some serious weather.

Following is a cellphone screenshot sent to me last night by a client in Oklahoma City letting me know their power was out due to serious local lightning.

As I marveled at the awesome graphic of the lighting strike area that looks like a bullseye I was pretty happy that I had the client connected to three internet connections...

1. an in-ground AT&T 10meg fiber connection which I know wouldn't be working without local power,

2. an AT&T 4G data connection through a BEC MX 200e appliance provided by Spectrotel, and

3. a satellite based ViaSat internet connection

The client primarily needs local internet to support telemetry for remote access appliance control & corporate VPN connectivity.

So even though there are 85,000 homes & businesses without power all around him, until the general power comes back up, with a small generator to provide minimal AC power he can get the core of his businesses network location back up via the ViaSat internet & the AT&T 4G.

This of course would not be possible without planning ahead which we have.

The key appliance in the "weather-proof" business network design is making sure the managed firewall and managed switch that connects the Oklahoma location to all the other corporate locations via managed VPN is setup in advance and tested daily & weekly in various ways.

The managed service provider we use is Spectrotel and they use Fortigate firewalls & Cisco switches. This particular location has a Fortigate 60E managed firwall & a Cisco SG350 10pp managed switch.

Long story short?

Anyone can buy & deploy Fortigate firewalls & Cisco switches but when you're needing a multi-location WAN (wide area network) and VPN (virtual private network) to be up all the time in any sort of weather, it's nice to be working with an MSP like Spectrotel who 1) provides the appliances, 2) provides the network connections, and 3) provides the network engineers to ensure they are all programmed to meet specific application requirements. 

All on one bill and one phone number to call.

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