Tape backup in a fire-proof safe moved off-site is the way most businesses used to handle disaster recovery (DR). When it came to their business phone system, battery backup units were the typical best practice of the day. But now, as more services move across data networks to the cloud, disaster recovery, especially for business telephony, isn’t what it once was.
What is Disaster Recovery for Voice?
In its simplest definition, voice disaster recovery means calls keep flowing during or after a local disaster.
As more and more traditional business phone systems migrate to IP-based systems, new measures are needed to ensure uptime in the event of a disaster.
With the proliferation of SIP-based calling, creating options for DR is more viable now than ever.
DR For Voice Considerations
While there are several architectures an MSP might deploy, there are a few considerations that need to be made ahead of the actual deployment.
- DID’s (Phone Numbers)
If you’ve never dealt with the joy of porting a phone number, know that it takes time and planning. If, say, AT&T provides phone service to your client, the phone numbers your client uses will be attached to that service.
While it’s possible to set up remote call forwarding, it isn’t going to happen immediately.
- Mission Critical Applications
It’s unlikely that during an actual disaster all of the company’s extensions and phone numbers need to be online and active. Determine ahead of time which numbers and which extensions need to be online and available prior to building out a DR system.
- The System Itself
A DR HPBX functions to serve in the event of a disaster. It’s not the primary system. That means reduced functionality and reduced features. If your client is using an Avaya Call Center, consider which features must be enabled during a disaster for that company to survive. The primary goal of a DR platform should be to keep the calls flowing and keep your client from losing money during a disaster.
How HPBX Disaster Recovery Works
Here at N2Net, we’ve architected many DR installations for our voice clients. In a typical DR scenario, the client is already using us for service, has their DID’s with us, and most often, has a SIP trunk established to their primary IP system.
Behind the scenes, we construct a Hosted PBX installation for that client which mirrors that of their primary system. We upload an auto-attendant greeting and have the extensions built and ready to go with find me/follow me enabled.
The soft switch works in much the same way primary/secondary DNS works. The system routes traffic from the DID to the primary IP. If a disaster strikes and the primary IP can’t be reached, the soft switch fails over to a secondary SIP trunk which is pointed to the Hosted PBX installation. When a caller tries to reach an extension, they are (unknowingly) forwarded to that individual’s cell phone, other land line, or other external number as defined by the system.
When it comes to DR for voice, N2Net can help. With over 23 years in business, N2Net can offer its MSP partners HPBX solutions that work for their clients. N2Net is one of the few VoIP carriers who can offer dedicated internet connections to your clients, and disaster recovery solutions for voice applications. Contact a VoIP specialist today and find out how N2Net can make you look great to your clients.