Voice and Data Redundancy & Reliability
Voice communications have always been critical for businesses. Remember the time that voice was the only method of communication other than a face-to-face meeting? While there are now many methods of communications, business telephone calls are a bit less critical, but still quite important.
Somewhat the opposite, early Internet services were not reliable, nor was the business need very crucial. If the Internet was down for a few hours, business was still conducted. Today, Internet uptime is as important or more important than voice uptime.
So, we have two very critical business services in voice and data. One would think that much management attention would be given to the reliability of these services but unfortunately, most companies utilize “hope” as their strategy when it comes to reliability.
Resiliency & Reliability: The Twins of Quality Voice & Data
Resilient Voice and Reliability are two distinct aspects of “always on” services, explained as follows:
Resiliency in the voice and data world is the ability for service to be delivered under compromised conditions.
Reliability comes down to the quality of the circuit, router, and provider. Does it perform at 100% of capacity? How often does it fail?
How to Improve Reliability
First, choose a quality company. Like all things in business, there are cheap ones and expensive ones. Bad carriers and good carriers. Bargain providers and gold-plated services. TeleDynamic has 20+ years of experience with carriers and can help businesses analyze the best choices.
Second, the type of circuit will determine its quality. DSL and cable have poor reliability and great pricing, Ethernet over Copper has better reliability while fiber is amongst the best choices for a reliable connection.
Service Level Agreements (SLA): Circuits that have guaranteed uptime or credits have better reliability than circuits that are provided by the carrier on a “best efforts” basis.
Gosh, we’re giving away all of our secrets here, so we hope that you show your appreciation by picking up the phone and dialing 510-342-4200. Okay, just teasing, but this is some high-quality information.
How to Improve Resiliency
Creating a resilient voice & data network, in theory, is pretty simple to accomplish. Simply implement two circuits that can both carry voice and data traffic. When one circuit fails, the other circuit picks up the slack until the defective circuit is repaired.
There are many factors that go into making this happen, including the types of circuits and how to create separate physical paths to the Internet. Keep in mind that your favorite voice and data carrier is not qualified to provide this service. Yes, you will have to call to get the real scoop.
Lastly, resiliency requires some special hardware but consider the alternative of having no backup and no disaster recovery plan, leaving your organization’s well-being to the whims of a single Internet provider. We can help engineer an affordable communications solution to insure your business against internet failure.
The Next Earthquake and Your Business
As we all sit on the same fault line, we are very aware of the impact of a major earthquake. Does your business have a continuity plan for dealing with a natural disaster?
In the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, businesses were out of phone service for days. If that same earthquake happened today, your business would be out of phone service AND data service for days. Some say, “Oh, that’s okay because now we have smartphones that provide both voice and data, so we’ll be crippled, but can still conduct business.” Wrong! In the last earthquake and the more recent natural disasters on the East Coast, local providers were completely overwhelmed, and the local voice and data infrastructure went to its knees.
There are strategies and technologies to address this challenge. Phone systems can be virtual. Services can be provided by cloud providers. Employees can work from anywhere. All it takes is proper planning and the right application of today’s technologies.
View from Third Base
Well, we are darned close to scoring a run. So, it’s time in our Technology Grand Slam to protect what you’ve got, and doing the right things to make sure you are around for the home run, even if something goes wrong. Fortunately, the technology is available today to create a robust, resilient and redundant voice and data network. Don’t leave your business without it.
In a final note, while creating a redundant network costs money, many times the savings a business can achieve by moving to VoIP and more efficient data circuits can cover much of this cost. How about that!
This blog is our third in a series of posts called Bases Loaded: A Technology Grand Slam for small business. We will address four distinct technology challenges that, when addressed together can provide your company a smooth and fast gateway to the future. We’ll present the business case of finding a total solution that encompasses these vital business services:
- Business telephone system
- Monthly phone and data costs
- Voice & data reliability and redundancy
- Creation of a cloud-ready network
Tune in for our next blog in the series:
A Home Run: Creating a Cloud-Ready Network