As previously stated, enterprise-class organizations are jumping onto the private cloud at much higher rates than the public cloud. Why are they doing this, and will this choice of private-over-public really spell the doom of a whole generation of Chief Information Officers, as some public-cloud boosters argue?
Public vs Private: Defined
The public cloud is the cloud we’ve all heard about, a space of shared storage, of software-as-service, a place where your organization doesn’t have to own any hardware of its own. In fact, the public cloud is sold as a place where your organization doesn’t need to hold any software of its own either, or really much of anything other than a few shipments of smartphones and tablets.
By contrast, the private cloud is a remote-hosted network solution that offers just about all of the streamlined benefits of the public cloud, but with a lot more control and security. In the public cloud the infrastructure hosting your network is shared with a bunch of other organizations. In fact, the infrastructure is shared with as many other organizations as your service provider thinks they can cram on theirs. By contrast, in the private cloud your organization’s data and applications are stored and managed through infrastructure that’s used exclusively by your own organization.
When you hear about virtualized business environments, remote-hosted network solutions and IP telephony services, you might think that all of these terms represent a single monolithic technology. While it’s clear the qualities of these services vary from vendor to vendor, not everyone is aware of the fact there are plenty of different deployment methods for each of these. In fact, the differences between one remote-hosted network deployment and another can be rather dramatic.
One of the biggest divides in the world remote-hosted networks lies between private and public cloud deployment. And while public clouds may be getting all the press, private clouds appear to be the deployment method the enterprise market is jumping to.
The promise of UC is great for the future of business, but what features do businesses, their employees and their managers, actually want from this communications advancement? A new survey conducted and released by a top UC provider offers some clues to what elements of modern communications technologies businesses find most frustrating, and what they want to take advantage of when they decide to make the change over to a UC solution.
Some industry participants argued that modern telephony technologies have made communications hardware obsolete. These individuals believe that due to big jumps in hosted services, and due to the increase in telephony software options, the
In fact, incoming data indicates the demand for telephony hardware may be growing in line with increasing demand for telephony software. average business will jettison their telephony hardware and opt for entirely soft and remote systems. We’ve argued this isn’t the case for some time now, and an increasing amount of data and recent industry projections seem to prove us right.
How could this be? What’s driving this trend? Unified communications.
So how can an IP PBX, an Internet-based communication system, possibly be more reliable than a traditional TDM phone system?
Well, it really can not be for a number of reasons, mainly because it is designed to run on multiple layers of technology that were not exclusively designed for voice. But it can be made reliable.
The truth is – any system is only as reliable as its weakest component. Here are some tips on making a reliable VoIP system:
- Recognize Your Systems Weakest Link. When it came to TDM trunks or POTS lines, as long as your “last mile” connection was good, you would get highly reliable service. In the world of Voice over IP your “last mile” connection often serves dual purpose of transporting your voice and data. While this may give you economies of scale it certainly does not add a lot in terms of reliability. If your business can afford it – utilize dedicated Internet connection for Voice over IP with a backup from another provider. Securing multiple low cost providers is relatively easy in most metro areas.
- Avoid using point-to-multipoint terrestrial wireless connections as your means of last mile Internet connectivity. While these connections may offer speeds at reasonable price they also carry a full range of RF related issues which can make your network connection bad.
- Use a hosted PBX provider. Hosted PBX is likely to run in a secure datacenter environment with backup power source, cooling, redundant Internet feeds and under constant monitoring and supervision. You are not likely to do this “at home” and even if you do – your recovery time in the event of failure is almost certain to be longer. Account for the geographic mobility factor which may not add to overall system redundancy but will certainly allow your staff answer phone calls from home in the event your office gets stricken by a meteor. Of course your provider may get hit too but they typically prepare for every eventuality.
- Keep it simple. Should you choose to have your IP PBX hosted locally, go for the simplest solution. Redundant systems will not always pay off as anticipated because they add to systems complexity which in turn makes troubleshooting more challenging.
- Secure your network. As a software-driven solution, IP telephony is naturally open to digital attacks. Just like any other piece of software, if compromised an IP telephony solution will be vulnerable to everything from privacy leaks or phreaking to a full system-wide shutdown, both of which (needless to say) are huge concerns as far as reliability goes.
Internet access redundancy and network security measures are two major elements built into every high-quality IP telephony system out there, ensuring these systems are nearly as reliable as any traditional TDM or POTS connections. While it’s perfectly natural to worry about reliability with a new communications system, and while there are definitely some areas of concerns worth asking about due to the online-nature of IP telephony, when it comes down to it the numerous benefits of VoIP offer remarkable opportunities while reliability concerns can be minimized with proper planning.