10 Things On Your Checklist for Business Continuity
As technology continues to advance, so do the needs of the mobile workforce. From video calls in hotel rooms, to streaming presentations in conference rooms and booking tickets in the lobby, the real-time demands of a hotel network are continuously being tasked. The guest experience is paramount to the hotel industry and can make or break your bottom line. High Speed Internet Access (HSIA) now ranks among the most important things to travellers, for both business and leisure- Investing in your network doesn’t always have to be costly in both hardware and maintenance. This blueprint is your best way to deal with the pain points that are vital for hospitality.
Check off these 10 things to keep your business up and running smoothly:
LAN Failsafe - Keep your HSIA running even during power outages
In a 24/7 hotel industry, anything can happen at any time. From power outages related to weather or technical difficulties on the grid, to hardware malfunctions at the hotel, your network can take time to restore once it loses power. Using link balancing ensures that bandwidth is available at all times and manages the failover process. Make sure to select a solution with fail-to-wire mechanisms, ensuring that, even if the link balancer itself lose power, normal operations can still continue.
3G/4G/LTE Mobile Carrier Support - A lifeline to the outside when the cables are cut
Link balancers have the capability of adding 3G, 4G and LTE mobile carrier links which can deliver significant value and internet connectivity insurance to a hotel property. 3G, 4G and LTE connections have now become fast, mature and reliable sources of network access. Along with the configuration, the link balancer can be setup to only transfer specific types of traffic or only traffic from certain users or groups, which means that admins can still be connected even when the wired network is out.
Time of Day Conditions - Allocate bandwidth where it’s needed, when it’s needed
A network on a hotel property is not a one-size-fits-all scenario. When you operate a 24/7, 365 day a year business, you need to be able to adjust for different types of situations. With needs shifting from guestrooms, to the conference center, depending on the time of day, you need to be utilizing your bandwidth efficiently by not having one specific area being overused, while other areas have little to no traffic. Being able to adjust automatically the configuration based on time-based conditions is very important to having network success.
Quality of Service - Ensure the right type of traffic receives the bandwidth it needs
As a hotel property, you want to be able to manage the bandwidth that is allocated to services and applications to ensure that key elements like email, VoIP and VPN have the required amount of resources to run. Once set up, a link balancer can promote, demote or block certain traffic types, or send it over different links, to ensure the quality of service on critical applications.
Layer-7 Traffic Shaping - Block or limit undesirable application traffic, prioritize business applications
With the continuous overwhelming growth of demands, a hotel property faces an uphill battle providing bandwidth to satisfy the needs of their business and the guests. This battle leaves the hotel with two possible options, either provide additional bandwidth to satisfy the need, at a significant cost to the property, or take control of the existing bandwidth and fully saturate its effectiveness in your organization. Deep Packet Inspection solutions such as Martello’s App Optimizer can provide the hotel with this control and bring order to the bandwidth chaos, allowing the property to control what is made a priority.
Tiered WIFI - Guarantee higher performance for VIP guests
One challenge in hospitality is being able to offer and deliver tiered guest internet services. Offering guests different internet options, possibly for purchase, requires an immediate need for reliable, secured bandwidth. Today, the majority of tiered internet services are being controlled and delivered wholly within the guest internet gateway by increasing and decreasing the Quality of Service limits. Although this increases the cap of how much bandwidth a guest can access at the time, if the internet link is fully saturated, a guest who purchased higher bandwidth tier is not going to get any more bandwidth or higher priority of bandwidth than a guest who selected a lower tier such as the free guest option. This leaves the guest with a negative experience. Solutions such as Martello’s PrioMap can mark IP packets can override configuration including load balancing algorithms, link selection and the Quality of Service queue.
Traffic Segmentation - Send key application traffic on dedicated links to ensure delivery
Whether it’s admin data or paid guest Internet traffic, when you need key application traffic to be sent, traffic segmentation will help to ensure your delivery. Hotels can use multiple ISPs for outbound traffic to the Internet so the load will be distributed. Using a link balancer that will continue to monitor the health of each ISP and react appropriately should a link fail in the process.
High Availability - link balancing products can be deployed in high availability and failover mode to ensure maximum uptime to increase business continuity.
Keep your business running smoothly by deploying link balancing products in high availability or failover mode. When used in this mode, the device is designated as the “active” or “master” unit, and the secondary is designed as the “passive” or “slave” unit. Both units are constantly communicating information and metrics. Should the “active” unit stop responding, the “passive” unit takes over traffic management and continues operating normally while alerting the IT department.
Keep Private Traffic Secure – Separate your guest HSIA traffic from your corporate traffic to avoid unpleasant surprises
Forward traffic between two or more interfaces while providing a fast packet interception service. By logically segmenting your device into multiple virtual balancers, you can create the opportunity for multiple infrastructures to be managed while keeping your Internet connection strong and your costs down.
Intelligent Condition Verification - Set rules and thresholds to optimize your bandwidth usage.
Hotel properties have a lot to worry about, so if you can optimize your bandwidth usage through rules and thresholds, you will not have to service your network frequently. You can set it to take actions when specific conditions happen, such as link failure or saturation. This will ensure that you have a plan for when something unexpected happens on your network.
These solutions can help hotel property managers to outline a clear and efficient strategy for HSIA access while keeping guest satisfaction scores high and costs under control all while having in-house business continuity options.
Bandwidth is now a key amenity in a hotel, and HSIA needs will continue to grow as the Internet becomes more media-rich every day and guests bring more connected devices while expecting “at home” connectivity performance. Martello’s solutions can help organizations to outline a clear and efficient strategy for HSIA access while keeping guest satisfaction scores high and costs under control and having in-house business continuity options.
Download our Infographic to find out how we’ve helped the hospitality industry to stay connected.
“Hospitality is a 24/7 business, and Martello’s software-as-a-service has been keeping Firmdale ahead of UC network performance problems for more than four years, improving our guest experience. Martello is always improving and augmenting its offering, solving more of our network performance challenges from a single pane of glass,” Mark Rupert Read of Firmdale Hotels
Want to meet us in person to discuss how you can get the most out of your bandwidth and better serve your guests? Catch us at HITEC in Minneapolis, Minnesota from June 17-20 at Booth #1413.
Our hospitality specialists will be on site to discuss the variety of options that Martello has to offer to better serve your guests and your business. Book a meeting with us to learn more. We hope to see you there!