An iPBX in an Amazon Cloud? A disaster recovery story!

June 1st, 2012

Did you every think that your company would be physically unavailable, the building not accessible and the phone system unmanned? The issue of business continuity and disaster recovery is on your ‘to do’ list and hopefully you can get to it before it gets to you. Recently, we had the experience of having to resuscitate a client from near death when their physical facility became unavailable. Clearly, the phone system was very high on the list of “must have” operational now.

Here is the solution we employed with amazing results. First, we signed in and created a brand new account at the Amazon EC2 cloud offering. This itself was an amazing experience. Once your account is open, which can take a couple of hours if you do not already have an Amazon account (is that possible?), you can create and access a server with the OS of your choice within minutes. We already had an Amazon account so adding the AWS functionality took less than 30 minutes. We then created a Microsoft 2008 SP2 32 Bit Server and provision RDP access in less time than it is taking to tell this story. The AWS service provisions and assigns a DNS public IP address, creates a security instance (‘firewall”) and candidly, that took more time to make operational then it took to build an “instance” of our Windows based HQ server!

Once the sever was provisioned, we were able to make “firewall” changes to meet our security requirements. This is all accomplished through the AWS management console. Then the fun started, we downloaded our favorite PBX system! All of this is taking place in the cloud and under a time constraint, but we were able to provision our PBX and get in a configuration mode very quickly. Using our preexisting ITSP SIP account we were able to provision a multi-channel SIP “peer”, obtain a DID number and have dial tone in and out of the system within 15 minutes!

From then on it became near Childs play and basically the same as any other deployment. We brought up the most urgent User profiles first, established remote call forwarding and even enabled several SIP softphones. We were able to get the phone company to call forward the clients main BTN to the newly provisioned DID number and we had this client back to worrying about business issues that had nothing to do with phone service pronto quick. The entire process from account setup, to first phone call took two and a half hours to commission!

Clearly, not the carefully conceived business continuity and disaster recovery plan that should have been in place, but a success story none the less. We keep a pre-paid ITSP account available at all times which enables us to bring up 4 channel SIP peers in a heart beat. It seems we never know when we are going to need a new DID and Peer. The Amazon AWS is mind boggling in terms of what you can do and you are billed on a metered basis. Currently they have a program that bundles some 750 hours of usage a month for free. They also have some canned AMI’s (Amazon Machine Images) that cost literally penny’s an hour to operate.

Not that we needed another reason to have a software based VOIP iPBX but this is an example of just how powerful these tools can be to create and deliver viable telecommunications solutions on demand! AskDrVoIP and we will provide you the list of software solutions we used to accomplish this emergency deployment and we are planning to recreate the entire experience for a another DrVoIP video cheat sheet.

One response to “An iPBX in an Amazon Cloud? A disaster recovery story!”

  1. DrVoIP says:

    The question was asked, did I do this with a ShoreTel iPBX. The Answer is yes. I opened an AMI (Amazon Machine Instance) or virtual machine for a Windows 2008 Server and also for a Linux machine. I installed the ShoreTel server and then installed Asterisk on the Linus machine. SIP trunks were established using my favorite quick time solution, LES.Net, on the Asterisk box. A Sip tie line was established between the ShoreTel and the Asterisk box using a configuration which is available in your member portal under the download tab. The two servers sit on the same virtual IP address in the AWS cloud. This provided SIP trunks on the ShoreTel and emergency operational support for a client who would otherwise be out of service. The challenge with ShoreTel was building a VPN tunnel to a ShoreGear Switch to host the SIP Proxies. The goal for business continuity has to be a software only solution and SIP trunks to cut all dependency on hardware. With AWS, for example, you can move the configuration between AWS data centers and really cover your bases. This would be more challenging, if you plant SG switches in the data center. There are other configurations but the goal here was to start from scratch and establish a base line for emergency services. – Peter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

VoIP Directory

drvoip directory

Ask DrVoIP

ask drvoip

Network Readiness Assessment

drvoip readiness checklist

Is your network Ready?

Complimentary free download - DrVoIP VoIP Network Readiness Assessment Checklist (pdf)

Download Now ›

DrVoIP Planning Guide

voip planning guide

DrVoIP Planning Guide

A plain language VoIP guide for the business professional. (pdf)

Download Now ›

DrVoIP ShoreTel ECC Planning Guide

ecc planning guide

DrVoIP ShoreTel ECC Planning Guide

Complimentary free download - DrVoIP VoIP Network Readiness Assessment Checklist (pdf)

Download Now ›

Training Videos

shoretel ipbx cisco cusm
shoretel ecc audio voice prompts
cisco uccx call back option
generic call queue cc admin
   

statcounter



free
web stats


© Copyright DrVoIP.com 2017
Follow DrVoIP