A third of businesses face a potentially serious problem maintaining network stability, because they fail to make copies of the settings of all devices on their network. 

After running a recent survey, we found that 33% of companies do not back up their network device configurations.

Here's why this is a major risk for business continuity: if a business should experience a failure of any device on the network, without a backup of the configuration the IT staff will not be able to easily get the device working smoothly once again. The more complex or advanced the device in question, the greater the problem can be. 

If key devices are are offline for some time, or are incorrectly reconfigured, it can severely hamper businesses’ basic ability to serve customers, operate internally and work with partners. 

Another alarming fact has emerged from the report. Out of those two thirds of companies that do maintain backups of all their network device configurations, 20% do so manually.

Running such a manual process creates a situation where businesses face extensive and time-consuming setup tasks, as well as the risk that they have do not take the time to update their documents when device settings are changed or upgraded.

In essence, this is one of those avoidable network risks but also one that does require a certain level of attention. Referring to the results of the report, Sam Marsh, product manager at Opsview, says: "If a network device fails, over 30% of the users won't have a copy of the configurations running on that network device, and the 20% of the users backing their configurations up manually may not have the latest copy." 

"This means any configuration changes will be lost,” he adds, “and network administrators will have to quickly reconfigure and guess the settings should the device need replacing."

Backing up network device configurations is an essential part of IT monitoring. As a whole process, IT monitoring allows you to know exactly what is going on around the network, to detect potential problems before they emerge, and to maintain the business continuity your customers, partners and staff expect.

The report, involving interviews with IT and network managers from around the world, found some other interesting results around key network operating issues. Around 77% of companies monitoring their network cite stability as the key reason for doing so. One fifth of companies cite performance as the key reason. Backing up network device configurations is essential to addressing both of these aims successfully.

Opsview itself offers a variety of network monitoring systems to suit different sizes of business, all available on a free trial. The autodiscovery feature in its systems enables businesses to instantly identify all of the items on the network and start backing up device configurations automatically, saving time and ensuring accurate copies are ready in the event of any problems.