What do service providers offering unified communications (UC) service to their end-users absolutely need to get right? Try high availability, defined as the ability to communicate with anyone, anywhere, at any time. Get this wrong and, as a service provider, you are going to find yourself dealing with unhappy customers, a loss of reputation, and of course prospects that become much harder to close. So how do you achieve high availability? Through geo-redundancy.
In a previous blog, we noted that service providers keen on differentiating themselves need UCaaS vendors offering geo-redundant support systems. In this blog, we go into geo-redundancy in more depth. And subsequently demonstrating the top three reasons why it’s a key factor in assessing the total value of your chosen platform.
As a service provider, it’s important to remember the two key factors that contribute to high availability in a network on which communications applications are deployed: peak-load capacity and redundancy. Peak-load capacity refers to the number of simultaneous users and devices a network can handle. Redundancy measures the extra capacity that can be used in the event of an equipment, network, or application failure.
Ensuring that a network can properly handle targeted peak-load capacity while having the redundancy needed to run in case of unexpected issues is critical to ensuring high availability. The best way to achieve this, in short, is through geo-redundancy.
Watch this brief video on geo-redundancy for a visual illustration:
Geo-redundancy, as the name implies, refers to the practice of distributing mission-critical infrastructure like servers across multiple data centers in different geographic locations. For example, if one piece of equipment fails or downtime covers an entire data center, workloads can seamlessly fail over to different equipment and other locations. Without causing the service provider to lose high availability for their customers.
Finding a UCaaS provider that offers geo-redundant support is therefore a smart move for providers out to win customer trust.
We can classify the benefits of geo-redundancy into three main categories: Efficiency, Business Continuity, and Simple Scalability. Here’s what that means:
Deploying call-processing and other UCaaS systems in an active-active, geo-redundant configuration ensures that traffic is always actively forwarded to achieve maximum performance gains. In this situation, all nodes are online and pass call information, feature codes, voice mail, and other traffic simultaneously under normal conditions. So if one fails, the system shifts traffic over to the remaining nodes. With no down time or loss of network connections.
As you can see, seamless fail overs have significant benefits for business continuity. After all, the availability of multiple, geographically-dispersed high-capacity nodes means that there is no single point of failure. At least one alternative path for traffic flow is always available. Thus, in case of a natural disaster, human error, or even a DDoS attack, your users stay up and running. Helping you build a loyal customer base and potential referrals.
Geo-redundancy is also a plus when it comes to affordability and scalability. Using an active-active operation enables service providers to upgrade and patch hardware/software without planning for downtime. As a result, this empowers them to perform system maintenance and add new features without fear of adversely affecting an end-user’s experience. With the average cost of IT downtime roughly $9000 per minute, geo-redundancy can help reduce service provider risk of encountering unwelcome costs as they grow their operations.
At netsapiens, we are big believers in business continuity. Because of that, we help service providers share all the features of our SNAPsolution with their users in a geo-redundant fashion. Through our n-Share technology.
Gain peace of mind with n-Share. With n-Share, the data and processes from one Point of Presence (PoP) are being actively replicated and shared across all other PoPs in real time. Using an active-active deployment, n-Share nodes run separately from each other. So that an event that impacts a node on one network is unlikely to interrupt the nodes on other networks.
In other words, geo-redundancy through n-Share is the smart way for service providers to leverage the power of redundancy in ensuring high availability for end-users. To learn more, download our whitepaper on n-Share.