Today’s highly complex networks must remain operational and highly available at all times in order to support critical operations and processes that enable business. Large enterprises design their networks and equipment to achieve 99.999 (“five nines”) percent availability, but few actually achieve that goal in large-scale production environments.

The Cisco IT LAN team builds and manages hundreds of switches and routers at Cisco corporate headquarters in San Jose, California. Over time, Cisco IT has achieved almost 99.999 percent availability on its network.

This technical white paper describes in detail how the Cisco IT LAN team worked to achieve high availability, including:

  • Measuring availability and using outage alerts and change management to track progress
  • Designing the physical and logical network for optimal availability
  • Providing redundancy and uninterruptible power supply (UPS) on critical devices to increase reliability
  • Selecting the most reliable Cisco IOS Software release