Why Multiple Data Centers are Important for VoIP Providers

Posted on: 2017-07-07 | Categories:SIP

Cloud technology has permeated many aspects of technology over the last decade. As consumers, we use the cloud for many things like gaming, storing data, sharing information with others etc. Businesses rely on the cloud to deliver services and products to the market. Using the cloud makes it easier to focus on your core business without having to worry about the underlying infrastructure supporting it.

The cloud is the biggest reason for the dizzying growth of hosted VoIP services. Although on premise SIP deployments can be more cost-effective over the long-term, not many organizations can afford it initially. Maintaining your own phones also requires technical expertise which means hiring more people. Small and medium enterprises rarely have the resources to implement SIP on their own, hence the preference for cloud VoIP.

How Does the Cloud Help VoIP Providers and Clients?

Hosted VoIP vendors rely on the cloud to deliver phone services for clients. The provider purchases the equipment, sets up the infrastructure and creates a portfolio of services. Business clients can then access phone services and features through their data connections. Traditionally organizations had a physical PBX box located somewhere in the office to route and manage calls. Thanks to the cloud, this PBX box can be located anywhere in the world and the organization can still access all the required phone features.

This business model offers several advantages for both clients and providers. Clients don’t have to purchase or maintain their own equipment. Providers enjoy economies of scale which means that the more clients they get, the less it costs to provide services for each customer. Hosted VoIP services bypass the PSTN network for the most part. Thus allowing vendors to charge a fraction of the usual price (especially for long-distance and international calls).

Calls between employees are basically free for companies using hosted VoIP. This is because such calls do not touch the analog network at all, instead traveling over the Internet or the company’s internal data network. It doesn’t matter where the employees are located. Whether your staff members are sitting across from each other, in the same building or in different countries, the calls still remain free.

The Relationship between Data Centers and the Cloud

The core component of any cloud-based business model is the data center. Before high-speed Internet connections, each organization had to maintain their own internal data center to provide any services. Now vendors and external contractors maintain huge data centers from where services can be delivered to clients.

It is no different for hosted VoIP providers. Although there are many vendors who merely resell VoIP services from others, most providers do run their own data centers. The data center is the backbone for their business. It houses most of the hardware required for providing hosted VoIP services. Apart from scheduled maintenance and other downtime issues, most data centers operate 24×7. It allows vendors to provide phone services to clients scattered across the globe, straddling different time zones.

Why Are Multiple Data Centers Important?

Before you select any provider for your business, you might want to ask if they have multiple data centers. Why is this important? If your vendor has only the single data center that manages phone systems for all their customers, you have a single point of failure within the system. It means if something were to happen to the data center, you would be left without phone services until the provider can solve the problem.

Having more than one data centers is crucial for redundancy, disaster recovery and business continuity. Any business can run into a number of problems during operations. They can be something as simple as a software glitch which takes a few minutes to solve. Or it can be a huge natural disaster such as an earthquake. So what happens if your vendor relies on a single data site? They have no backup or alternative for clients when something was wrong.

Since your business relies on the phones to keep functioning throughout the day, you must take certain precautions in terms of backup. For instance, connect the phones to a backup generator in case of power failure. You may even want to separate voice traffic from other types of data to minimize the potential risk of issues. Some organizations prefer to have two Internet connections from different ISPs to provide a further layer of backup.

For a hosted VoIP provider, having two or more data centers in different locations is crucial for business continuity and resilience. It is important to locate the data centers as far apart as possible since some natural disasters can cover a wide geographic area. VoIPstudio has data centers in different countries to ensure that clients still have access to their phones in case of an emergency. So it is not enough for your business to have backup options, you need to ensure that your provider has them as well.