Toll free number redundancy is described as highly-reliable, highly-available VoIP-based phone service. The best VoIP service providers deliver toll free number redundancy by using fully redundant routing, redundant network hardware, multiple data centers, and automatic call failover provisions. Enterprise customers who need high reliability and who want protection from network failures rely on service providers who offer fully redundant routing.
Virtual toll free and local numbers are used by businesses around the world because they provide instant connectivity to markets near and far. They’re able to provide this key benefit because they use VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), which isn’t limited by the physical hardware and equipment needed for traditional telephony.
But because toll free numbers run over the Internet, they’re only as good as the quality of your connection and your provider. And if you frequently experience downtime on the Internet, or even the public switched telephone network (PSTN), your company will soon feel the effects.
When your customers can’t reach you on your toll free or local number, you’ll lose sales, productivity, and even credibility. In short, you’ll lose customers – and that’s why it’s so important to make sure that your toll free number provider offers toll free number redundancy and failover for your virtual phone numbers.
What is Redundant Routing?
The term “fully redundant routing” describes a network topology that features several reliable, and independent, paths between the person who places a call, and the person who receives that call.
If any link in the network fails, other links can be used to deliver the call.
VoIP service providers who offer toll free numbers and local numbers that are highly reliable and highly available use fully redundant routing. This means that the service providers have arranged direct carrier interfaces with multiple carriers all around the globe.
The VoIP service providers who can offer toll free number redundancy use network management tools detect failures in the network, and route traffic around it. These same providers have also built redundancy into their own servers, storage systems, and network interfaces. Often the service providers deploy their gear in multiple data centers to prevent any single failure from stopping service. These servers and equipment work together to manage the calls placed over the network so that no single point of failure in the networks can interrupt service.
What is Failover?
In general terms, failover occurs when any primary network or system automatically switches to a redundant network or system in the event of failure or any other interruption. This practice ensures higher availability and reliability, especially when it comes to telecommunications.
But in order for toll free number failover, or redundant routing, to work as it is intended, you have to do a little prep work. For example, in the event of a power outage or a network failure, where would you direct calls to your toll free numbers? To another SIP device, the PSTN, or a combination of both?
In a perfect world, you would really want to ensure that you had multiple points of failure. In other words, you would ideally choose to direct incoming calls to multiple alternate numbers, devices, or even networks in the event of an emergency. That way, you can be sure that you won’t miss an important call.
Types of Failover for Toll Free Numbers
Today’s toll free providers understand how important it is for your business to be online 24/7/365. Most of them, including AVOXI, offer number of options for toll free number redundancy and failover, including:
SIP to SIP Failover
If your IP PBX (hosted phone system) or SIP endpoints (such as an IP phone) are unable to receive calls, your provider can use SIP to SIP failover to reroute the call to the backup SIP destination of your choice.
SIP with PSTN Failover
If Internet downtime causes your SIP device to miss an incoming toll free or local call, your SIP provider’s network can forward the call to a PSTN phone number of your choice.
PSTN to PSTN Failover
Having problems receiving calls through the PSTN? Ask your provider to automatically forward those missed calls to alternate PSTN numbers.
Failover to SIP and PSTN
This option is for those who believe that it’s always better to be safe than sorry. If you are worried about missing toll free calls, your provider can configure a variety of failover options to both SIP devices and PSTN phone numbers.
Looking for more information on failover and redundant routing? We think you might like these articles:
- Toll Free Number Failover and Redundant Routing
- Toll Free Numbers Ensure a Disaster Recovery Plan
- Implementing a Disaster Recovery Plan