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Smoothstone Adds Disaster Survivability, Permit Maintenance for Cisco UC

April 09, 2010

With weird weather appearing to stay, and with the summer storm and hurricane season just on the horizon, organizations need to think hard about their business continuity/disaster survivability strategies, and look at and deploy solutions to at best maintain operations or at worst allows for orderly shutdowns.

At the same time even the best-built-and-installed systems need to be maintained and upgraded. Firms need to have means put in place to keep communications traffic flowing while this work is being undertaken.

To enable those owning or considering buying Cisco unified communications (UC) products to survive such events and/or for maintenance Smoothstone has just come out with the Disaster Recovery and Survivability (DRS) services for these product environments. The announcement follows on a launch last month of DRS for Avaya SIP Trunking clients, which it says is "the first Disaster Recovery solution built exclusively for Avaya Unified Communications environments."

Smoothstone DRS is an integrated suite of cloud-based call control and unified communications tools designed to allow an enterprise to define the policies and procedures by which voice traffic will be handled during any form of outage. These can range from a temporary disruption of calls due to a local carrier, circuit or power outage, to a LAN or network failure, or a full-scale catastrophic event or natural disaster.

Based on predetermined policies, with DRS calls to a company's main inbound numbers can be routed to alternate office locations, directed by an automated attendant or queued for processing by available personnel. Calls to individual extensions or direct inward dial numbers can be forwarded to a user's mobile phone or home phone, or sent to voice mail.

DRS for Cisco enables enterprises to deliver "five nines" availability regardless of their Cisco IP communications infrastructure. When integrated with Smoothstone's PSTN/SS7 call routing infrastructure, DRS is capable of delivering, the firm says "an unparalleled level of redundancy and survivability."

Smoothstone provides other cloud-based enterprise-targeted communications services. These include MPLS-based application networking, enterprise voice, unified threat management, advanced contact center solutions, unified messaging and collaboration tools. Smoothstone´s applications and services can be integrated with existing network and telecommunications infrastructure, operational processes and employee activities, enabling a firm to migrate to unified IP communications as their business requirements dictate.

"We see many Cisco Unified Communications environments that significantly lack resiliency, being based around a single publisher (database) or using media gateways that, in most cases, have no redundancy," observed Jeff Wellemeyer, Smoothstone Chief Technology Officer. "It is clear that enterprises struggle with the cost and complexity of providing a full disaster recovery plan for their Cisco IP communications infrastructure. Smoothstone DRS can help them achieve this with cloud-based tools that ensure survivability, regardless of the source of interruption."

"DRS is available to customers using our SIP Trunking services to their Cisco Unified Communications platforms," said James Whitemore, Smoothstone Chief Marketing Officer. "The benefits of DRS go way beyond the handling of unexpected outages. Many customers use DRS primarily as a tool to ensure calls are dealt with appropriately during routine system upgrades and maintenance."

Brendan B. Read is unified communications's Senior Contributing Editor. To read more of Brendan's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Patrick Barnard

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