Home » Blog » Network Resilience vs Redundancy vs Backups
An illustration of redundant data systems for network resilience
Network resilience is an organization’s ability to continue delivering critical business services during adverse events, service degradation, and complete outages. Resilience is vitally important to a company’s revenue and reputation, and failure has serious consequences. For example, a popular file transfer appliance was recently hit with CL0P ransomware, resulting in the theft of more than 4 million healthcare patients’ sensitive data. SolarWinds’ high-profile breach resulted in legal action from the SEC due to a potential lack of resilience infrastructure and practices.

Many organizations already use redundant and backup systems for disaster recovery and assume this makes them resilient. However, these measures aren’t able to withstand many major events like ransomware attacks, supply chain failures, and WAN outages. This article compares network resilience vs. redundancy and backups and describes some of the tools and best practices for ensuring resilience.

Network resilience vs. redundancy vs. backups


Copies of data, configurations, and application code used in a hot or cold restore of a failed production system.


The duplication of critical systems, services, and applications so organizations can “failover” during an outage.

Network Resilience

The ability to continue delivering critical business services during adverse events, service degradation, and complete outages.

What are backups?

Backups are extra copies of critical data, configurations, and application code that are made in case the originals are lost or compromised. Backups are usually stored off-site so that they’ll be available if the primary data center or business location suffers an outage. The backup site communicates with the primary systems to download data on a scheduled or continuous basis to maintain a secondary copy of data at its most current state. This connection, while necessary, also allows ransomware and other malware to infect backups, which limits their usefulness in recovery operations. Additionally, if that connection is interrupted by an outage or configuration error, backups may be incomplete or inaccessible.

What is redundancy?

Redundancy involves duplicating the most critical systems, services, and applications so organizations can “failover” to them if the primary systems go down or become inaccessible. Typically, a company will have redundant systems in one or more disaster recovery sites in different locations to prevent a regional ISP outage or weather event from affecting them all at the same time. If one site goes down, teams reroute traffic to a redundant site to continue delivering services. However, each redundant site is susceptible to the same risks as the primary site, and cybercriminals and malware could potentially jump from one site to another.

What is network resilience?

Network resilience is the ability to continue operating and delivering core services – if in a degraded state – during adverse events. Backups and redundancy contribute to resilience, but there are additional pieces to the puzzle. Teams also need the ability to recover data, rebuild systems, and perform security testing without worrying about ransomware reinfection or access disruption. Additionally, organizations must be able to protect management interfaces from cybercriminals on the network, or they could become completely cut off from vital systems and services.

The best way to improve resilience is by building a resilience system containing all the infrastructure, tools, and services needed to continue delivering services and recover failed or compromised systems. It must be isolated from the production network using isolated management infrastructure (IMI) to prevent malicious actors from compromising it and ensure teams have continuous remote access even if the primary network goes down.

Read more about ransomware resilience with IMI:

Resilience systems use the following tools, technologies, and best practices to provide network resilience.


Network Resilience Tools, Technologies, and Best Practices

Alternative Networking

Routing, switching, Wi-Fi, VoIP, virtualization, and software-defined network overlays for SDN & SD-WAN

Alternative Compute

CPU/GPU compute, containers, virtual machines, and any other resources needed to run applications and deliver services during an outage

Storage & Storage Recovery

Enough storage to recover systems and applications, rebuild new systems, and support content delivery


Tools like zero-touch provisioning (ZTP) to facilitate speedy recovery while minimizing human error

Out-of-Band (OOB) Management

A separate, isolated management plane that ensures continuous remote access to troubleshoot and recover infrastructure during production network outages and attacks

Redundancy and backups are crucial for disaster recovery and contribute to your ability to continue operating during adverse events. But, because these rely on the underlying infrastructure, achieving network resilience requires a more comprehensive strategy. A resilience system using IMI allows you to continuously deliver critical services and provides teams with everything they need to safely recover.
A diagram showing how to use ZPE to follow Gartner’s best practices for an isolated management infrastructure.
The Nodegrid platform from ZPE Systems streamlines network resilience by providing a vendor-neutral foundation for a resilience system. Nodegrid’s out-of-band management solutions enable redundancy while creating an isolated management plane capable of running your choice of third-party tools for troubleshooting, recovery, security validation, and more. You can even use Nodegrid’s powerful x86 compute architecture to host and deliver services while your primary systems are down.

Network resilience with ZPE Systems

Want to learn more about using Nodegrid to build network resilience vs. redundancy and backups? Our Network Automation Blueprint provides a step-by-step guide to building an IMI resilience system.

Download the Network Automation Blueprint