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VoIP and Disaster Management

Updated on November 1, 2012
VoIP with multiple data centers
VoIP with multiple data centers

How Will Your Business Survive a Disaster?

As I write this, hurricane Sandy has just finished ravaging the East Coast. It is the biggest Atlantic hurricane the US has ever seen. The devastation to New York is obvious. Millions without power, dozens of people dead, and network connectivity is intermittent. Fortunately there was plenty of warning and people were able to take precautionary measures before the worst hit.

But what you do if your business is based in New York or New Jersey and acts as the hub for the rest of your infrastructure globally? Suppose your website is hosted on data centers based locally? Even though these buildings are designed to withstand natural disasters and have redundant connections, many websites such as the Huffington Post were unavailable yesterday. Just imagine what would happen if your PBX system that powers your telecommunications worldwide were to be taken down in a disaster of this sort. You would lose business even in those areas which were completely unaffected.

The PSTN system is of course susceptible to these kinds of problems. So is the Internet. The advantage the latter has over the former however is that the Internet routes around damage. So if your VoIP system is powered by a hosted PBX provider who has datacenters residing in multiple locations throughout the country, no single natural disaster would be enough to knock out your communication system. This highlights the need not only for robust VoIP systems themselves, but also for well invested SIP providers who are able to maintain the infrastructure necessary to survive all kinds of calamities.

Emergency Services Turning to Hosted VoIP

One fine example of the resilience of the Internet and VoIP is the ability of emergency 911 services to quickly locate their offices when a disaster strikes. It is vital that they are able to keep the same telephone number so that individuals who are in distress can fall back on the behavior that they have been programmed to follow. Shifting to another location and maintaining the same telephone number isn't easy to do quickly. This is an inherent restriction of the PSTN phone system.

With VoIP however, setting up temporary and even multiple locations using the same number becomes exponentially easier. Like the Internet, emergency services are expected to route around damage in order to minimize disruption to their services. Ensure that your Boston VoIP network is as resilient as these emergency services. Contact an SIP provider with the proper infrastructure who can provide you with the VoIP reliability that your business needs.

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