When natural disasters make headlines, we’re all reminded of the inherent weaknesses that are part of our everyday technology infrastructure.
No system is ever disaster-proof. That’s why every organization should have a disaster management plan that includes specific steps to support its phone system, data system and facilities. Key among these are unified communication solutions. Without communications between employees and offices, a difficult situation can become impossible and frightening or even life-threatening. That’s why disaster recovery for your phone system should be a priority.
If the power is out for long enough, most phone systems go down. But there are steps you can take to ensure your business’ unified communications solution remains operational, even under challenging circumstances:
- Redundancy. Most phone systems claim some kind of redundancy, but not all redundancy is equal. For example, ShoreTel’s architecture provides redundancy at a much lower cost than typical UC solutions. Most phone systems require a server at each physical location. In contrast, ShoreTel needs only a switch at each location. A single extra switch (known as N+1) can serve as a backup to any switch that fails across the entire network.
- Server backup. Although ShoreTel phones don’t require a server to be operational for users to get a dial tone, they do rely upon a “headquarters” server for system management and advanced features. Like any other server, it should be backed up and virtualized. ShoreTel offers several options to provide this redundancy, including WMware VSphere.
- Off-site support. Some organizations need a backup server in a different location, with a WAN connection to the primary server. For ShoreTel customers, Double-Take supports both physical and virtual servers.