This article describes various solutions how you may run your VoIP servers across different locations and to interconnect your VoIP solution with a service provider.
VoIP Server Strategies
One Server per Site
You may run your individual VoIP servers at each site. You logically interconnect your servers over an IP network.
The separation usually requires site-specific management tasks (configuration, user administration, etc.). Software may support integrated management as well, depending on the needs of the IT manager.
You may require a separate VoIP server and software licences for each site, all of which ends up to a more costly solution.
However, individual VoIP servers per site entail the risk of location-specific evolution leading to separated, isolated VoIP servers and only locally available features.
In this scenario you may need to run one or two main VoIP servers for all locations. These servers should be realized as high availability solution configured as one logical unit.
If you have different locations you may separate the two VoIP servers to run at two different locations in a fail-over configuration and offering all services required for all workplaces.
This solution provides location-independent feature sets and centralized management of VoIP systems and users.
Cost of such a solution is moderate.
Strategy for VoIP Provider Access
Today many corporations use analog or ISDN („Integrated Services Digital Network“) access lines to their IP telephony service provider. ISDN is a public service that will be replaced by public Voice over IP services within the next coming years.
In the long run you may change your provider access to a SIP trunk solution. This offers many advantages to you, e.g. multimedia gateways at your side are not required anymore, SIP („Session Initiation Protocol“) features and functions offered by public providers are available to the end user (e.g. presence state indication, instant messaging, video conferencing, document sharing, etc.).
A provider offers you a leased line network access including customer premises equipment, typically a router, to attach your network to the provider infrastructure.
Your advantage of this technology is the flexibility of the access (the physical attachment is decoupled from the logical). You are able to switch to a new provider only by reconfiguring the access technology. A switch to a new physical access line may not be necessary any more (but depends on the real situation).
Any questions or suggestions? Please leave me your comment.
About the Author
Ronald Schlager is independent trainer, consultant, author and blogger with main emphasis on communications technologies and their applications.