Preparing for the Worst: SIP Trunking and Disaster Recovery
Like it or not, technology fails. At some point, your SIP trunking services will be interrupted by a network failure, a hardware problem, or some sort of natural disaster. One of the biggest benefits of SIP trunking is that disaster recovery is much simpler than legacy phone systems, but it’s important for you to have a disaster recovery plan in place and to help your customers enact a disaster recovery plan of their own so their communications are doubly protected.
Your Disaster Recovery Plan
Before you sign on a new customer, explain to them your disaster recovery capabilities. At the very least, you should have geographic redundancy and the ability to route calls to different locations or data centers in case of a failure at your main location. Your network operating centers should be geographically dispersed so that one location’s natural disaster or weather emergency doesn’t affect your customer’s communications.
As you work with your customer to bring them on board, carefully go over your ability to protect their data and their calls. Provide them with a carefully worded service level agreement (SLA) that includes all your disaster recovery specifications. Your disaster recovery plan will not only protect them but will also help build trust between you both.
Your Customer’s Disaster Recovery Plan
The next step in the process of providing effective disaster recovery is to help your customer create and enact a disaster recovery solution of their own so that any network failure on their end does not disrupt their communications.
Routing calls to a predetermined number
Setting up predetermined call protocols that route their calls in case of a failure to a predetermined number will help ensure that they will still be able to receive calls in case of an emergency. This solution is by far the simplest and probably the most inexpensive.
Using a backup SIP trunk provider
This disaster recovery solution can be costly, because the customer will be paying for a channel they don’t often use. However, in some cases, it may be a good option, especially for businesses that depend heavily on making and receiving calls. With this solution, should your entire disaster recovery plan fail, their calls would automatically failover to another provider.
Using different types of systems for backup
In some cases, your customers may wish to use one system, such as VoIP, for their main communications system but then set up another, like cloud or a legacy system for a backup system. This type of solution can get bulky and costly, but it may be an effective approach for some.
Ultimately, a robust disaster recovery plan depends on your disaster recovery plan working with your customer’s disaster recovery plan. Hopefully, you’ll never have to use either of them, but in some cases one or both may be necessary. Coaching your customer to build their own unique and customized disaster recovery will help them, and you, make sure they never miss a call.