As more and more aspects of our business lives become dominated by the cloud and technology – from computer systems to voice calling – it undoubtedly adds to convenience. However, it also means that in the event of something going wrong, we have far more to lose. That adds focus on the need to have a disaster recovery plan in place.
What is disaster recovery?
Disaster recovery is aimed at protecting enterprises from the risks posed by events such as natural disasters, power outages and IT failures. This means more than just backing up data; it means planning to keep the business operating, even in the event of a worst case scenario.
A disaster plan, therefore, needs to look beyond the systems themselves, to the infrastructure that supports them including buildings, people and more. Let’s look in more detail at what this means for VoIP.
VoIP wholesale carrier recovery
If you are switching to VoIP for your business in order to gain flexibility and cut costs, you need to consider what would happen if you were to lose the service. What do you need to have and to do in order to get things up and running again? This is known as a recovery point objective (RPO).
An RPO will include all of the things you need to get back on track. In the case of VoIP, this will mean having internet access so that you can continue to make and receive calls. It will also mean having copies of items such as transaction and call logs, plus backups of any systems that handle voicemail, automated call handling and so forth.
If you are running your phone system in the cloud, it’s tempting to believe that there’s nothing to worry about. However, you need to understand what your service provider has in place to protect your information; for example here at IDT, we take resilience very seriously. You will also require a plan to ensure access to your cloud system. If you were forced to move to different premises, for example, what services and hardware would you need to have in place to maintain access to your as-a-service systems?
Of course, all the time you are without your phone system, you are potentially losing money. It is therefore essential that you define a recovery time objective (RTO), in addition to the RPO. This should detail the downtime you can afford to tolerate before your VoIP and other systems are back online.
In a situation where phones are absolutely critical to the business, you may want to consider having a fallback service in place. Whether this is in the form of an internet link to another provider, or a system using the mobile network, you need to understand the impact of switching over. Here again, you need to ask your service provider what measures it has in place to ensure resilience in its own networks – in the event of a power outage at a data centre, for example.