Email is the lifeblood of your business. Your sales team uses it every day to deliver quotes and keep in touch with your customers. Your customers use it to submit orders to you. Your supply chain depends upon it to process your orders and update you on status.

Internally, it’s the glue that holds your teams together. So what happens when you suffer an email outage? It can truly feel like the end of the world. So if your business depends upon mission critical email, you need to ensure it stays up 24x7x365. But since 100% uptime is a pipedream, you need to balance your need for availability with your budget. There are several areas you should focus on to ensure email is there when you need it, and when an email outage occurs, you can get back up and running as soon as possible.

Change Control

For starters, don’t underestimate the importance of solid change control processes. From review, to approval, to testing, and logging, having a solid change control process in place is critical. You need to ensure all changes and updates are tested, published, implemented, and confirmed during change windows. Any and all changes should follow proper procedures and vendor recommendations, and a complete change log should be maintained so that if something comes up an hour or a day after a change, you can either confirm the change is not the cause, or revert the change quickly and easily.

Patching

It’s the number one best way to keep your systems up and running. Bugs crop up, security vulnerabilities are discovered, and vendors release patches. If you don’t patch, you’re asking for trouble. That said, if you don’t test your patches, you’re tempting fate. Maintain a test environment and use it to test patches before deploying to production…just don’t waste any time getting those patches into production. Be thorough; be prompt!

Support

Maintain support. Whether you want to rely upon in-house expertise, or third-party consultants, or vendor support, have someone on speed dial you can contact in an emergency. During an email outage is the absolute worst time to try to figure out how your mail platform is supposed to work.

Backups

Bad things happen to good people, as well as to databases and servers. Backups are your assurance that if even the worst occurs, you can recover. Make sure you have good backups by restoring data on a regular basis, and keep backups in multiple locations to survive a site disaster. If you have multiple datacenters, ship backups back and forth. If you have a single location, use a third party service to store backups in an offsite, secure location. No, the trunk of your car does not suffice!

Redundancy

Redundancy means never having to explain to your CIO at 2:00 in the morning why email is down. Redundancy requires eliminating all single points of failure, which can be a costly proposition. Having redundant Internet connections won’t help if you have a single database and it fails. Having a DAG that doesn’t span two or more datacenters doesn’t help if it’s the datacenter that goes dark. If you don’t have the budget to provide full redundancy on your own, use a service that can provide that redundancy for you. That way, when the worst occurs, you have a viable plan B to get email moving again quickly and easily.

Enter GFI OneConnect

This is where GFI OneConnect, a cloud-based email security, archiving and continuity platform, comes to the rescue. It will keep inboxes spam and malware free, emails will be archived and best of all it will keep your users productive in the eventuality of an Exchange outage.

GFI OneConnect is your standby email system, activated at the flick of a virtual switch. Try it today, for 30 days, for free

Email is mission critical. Keeping it up and running for your users at all times is possible, even for the SMB customer. Taking care to administer your systems appropriately, and ensuring you have backups and redundancy, can ensure that even when disaster strikes, it doesn’t mean a protracted email outage is the result.