Matt Brunk
Matt Brunk has worked in past roles as director of IT for a multisite health care firm; president of Telecomworx,...
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Matt Brunk | September 17, 2009 |


SIP Trunking: Diverse Routing

SIP Trunking: Diverse Routing As companies migrate their traffic to one pipe or set of pipes, the old risks inherently remaining are security, QoS and reliability.

As companies migrate their traffic to one pipe or set of pipes, the old risks inherently remaining are security, QoS and reliability.

When enabling SIP trunk services, it's not enough to have a great plan with a well-executed implementation. In the contrasting world of business it's easy to say SIP trunks are the answer to the call of lowered prices. What eludes some business adopters is reliability. The Internet is still, well--the Internet. There's still risk, chances and the unknown.Large enterprise and SMB/E that have multiple access pipes for their Internet traffic at each location have a huge advantage over the many, and I mean many, businesses that don't. L-enterprise network managers also know it's still not enough to have multiple pipes (Alternative Routing) serving the company, but they also know they need to have pipes coming in from different wire centers (Diverse Routing) which isn't always possible or practical from a cost standpoint.

Are you prepared to accept and deal with the new telephony model? I can't say that I or my customers are at that same comfort level, because we see technology ever changing and not hanging on long enough to improve itself but instead bringing about too many cycles of moving and changing of last generation hardware with new generation problems. The comfort of the old TDM world may be "static" and proven to be "old reliable," but it also may conceal a love-hate relationship. Maybe Verizon is right in saying that, "the public switched network (PSTN) is far superior in quality and reliability to VoIP." In the old days you didn't install only T1s and/or PRIs without some sort of POTS backup. In the days ahead the PSTN is "the backup."

As companies migrate their traffic to one pipe or set of pipes, the old risks inherently remaining are security, QoS and reliability. These old risks compound the problems and further the complexity of the network. More complexity adds to the burden of being able to resolve issues end to end, and to do so with one person isn't real likely.

The chances I'm referring to are the ITSPs (Internet Telephone Service Providers). The ITSPs need careful evaluation of not just where they provide service but how well they provide it and what metrics are in place to substantiate their claims to service levels. Recently I wrote about our experience in SIP Trunking: When Disaster Strikes. According to the ITSP, "less than 5% of our customer base was affected. More than 95% of our nationwide network was up and running, completely unaware that anything had happened." I've thought long and hard about this statement issued by the ITSP and maybe it's true, but I don't understand why a NOC in one region of the U.S. knocks out my service that is another NOC in a completely different region of the U.S. My NOC's air conditioning isn't run out of the other NOC. Air conditioning? There's more to that story. My concern is whenever there is a service affecting outage experienced by the ITSPs, then what is the reporting and accountability process? Had the FAA or Homeland Security folks been impacted by a PSTN outage, would the process had been treated the same way?

In recent weeks we've all heard about the Internet attacks on the White House, government agencies, small countries, utility companies and targeted enterprises. The attacks seem now to be geopolitical, malicious or motivated by money. The musings of the PSTN being gone or ancient history are still a bit far out. There's no question that folks are migrating telephony services to the Internet but what the Internet hasn't done is remove the risk, marginalize the chances and soften the fears of the unknown. Will the government do this?As companies migrate their traffic to one pipe or set of pipes, the old risks inherently remaining are security, QoS and reliability.


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