Disaster Recovery Options for ShoreTel Systems

    Among other concerns, recent events in Japan have prompted many to re-evaluate the impact of a possible outage to their enterprise communication systems. Certainly the scale of disaster and loss that we have seen in the past week challenges fully the old adage, “Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.”

    While no system is ever fully “disaster-proof,” ShoreTel’s IP phone system does offer a number of options for ensuring business continuity.

    The first of these is ShoreTel’s architecture, with its unique N+1 redundancy option. This provides organizations with a very cost-effective way to maximize the availability of dial-tone. It can be achieved quite simply, as well, by deploying as little as a single spare voice switch off-site that can stand in for any voice switches that might be affected by an outage.

    ShoreTel also offers multiple options for backing up the headquarter server. This server is not critical to providing dial tone, but is typically used to manage the system and deliver a number of advanced features. Starting with ShoreTel 11, this HQ server can be virtualized under VMware VSphere, allowing customers to take advantage of VMWare’s High Availability (HA) and VMotion options.

    Virtualized deployments tend to be more centralized in nature, a situation that may not be ideal in all cases. Hence, for customers requiring a backup server in a different geography, ShoreTel continues to validate its solution in conjunction with Double-Take. This solution supports a backup server in an alternate geography of the customer’s choice, requiring only a WAN connection to the primary server. Double-Take supports both physical and virtual servers, so customers can even consider combining these two options.

    Even under the best of circumstances, the backbone of any successful communication system is a sound design. ShoreTel’s distributed architecture and applications, N+1 redundancy, and switch-based hardware platform go a long way toward building in availability.

    To learn more about ShoreTel’s disaster recovery capabilities, and other ways to protect your communications system in the event of an outage, contact your local ShoreTel reseller today.