There’s a difference between business-grade applications and consumer applications, and businesses would be wise to keep this difference in mind when selecting the software they use for mission-critical tasks.
No developer wants an app that fails, of course, but business-grade apps require a level of reliability above and beyond consumer or hobby applications. With business use, an app that fails can cost money. With apps used by consumers or hobbyists, an app that fails is just an annoyance.
VoIP service is a good example. Most consumers will survive if the call to their mom cuts out, but during a crucial sales pitch, a bad VoIP connection can potentially cost real money in terms of lost sales. The business VoIP solution must be more reliable.
That’s why companies that support business-grade VoIP services take extra care to ensure their mobile applications are reliable. Skype’s (News - Alert) quality of service just doesn’t cut it.
Business has adopted VoIP, and “this is in part due to all the well-known advances in Internet communications reliability and quality, but is also being fueled by a new generation of more reliable and more robust cloud system design patterns and best practices,” noted Jonathan Alexander in a blog post, chief technology officer for VoIP provider, Vocalocity (News - Alert).
To bring business-grade reliability to not just VoIP but also other cloud services, the architectural best practice of clustering servers into units of service has developed. Instead of machines serving several purposes, cloud systems are now designed where each server has only one purpose, say as a registration server to check the credentials of the person wanting to make a call. This server will then be combined with other dedicated servers that handle other parts of the process such as call-control and monitoring servers, and together this cluster of servers will act as a unit.
“Specialized servers configured into a clustered unit can then be deployed repeatedly, providing unit-level horizontal scalability and redundancy,” wrote Alexander. “Deployment and updating of these clusters can also be automated.”
Where services become business-grade is largely in the capacity to throttle these clusters and the decision to ensure they are throttled at the right time to ensure they never overload. A cluster may be able to handle 5,000 concurrent VoIP calls without problem, for instance, so it is incumbent that the VoIP service provider set a limit not to exceed that 5,000 calls—and that it has another cluster ready to take the calls beyond the throttle limit.
There are several business VoIP providers worth looking at. Some that have robust services include 8x8, RingCentral (News - Alert), VoIP.com, VoIPDito.com and, of course, Vocalocity. These companies ensure that their cloud infrastructure is ready to handle business-critical calling, making them solid choices for business VoIP. To learn about these and other business VoIP providers, be sure to visit online resource GetVoIP.com for reviews, comparisons and more.
Edited by Rachel Ramsey