Rethinking the Survivable Branch Office

Where once I might have been cookie-cutter in my approach to branch survivability, I now present companies with choices.

Facts are funny things. Consider the egg. It wasn't that long ago when all the so-called nutritional experts told everyone to limit their consumption out of fear of raising cholesterol levels. Lo and behold, it turns out they were wrong and eating eggs actually helps lower the amount of bad cholesterol the body produces. Go figure.

Of course, you didn't come here to read about dietary guidelines. You came here to read about trends in communications. Well, facts can be pretty malleable there, too. Case in point is the notion of branch office survivability.

The survivable branch office

Since the early to mid-2000s, I have been consistent in how I designed a survivable branch office. My best-practices solution consisted of one or more gateway, a call processor, and some local trunks. During normal operations, the branch office relied on the enterprise's main processor for all call processing activity and the remote processor would sit idle until the primary system died or the WAN connection went down. The gateways would then attach themselves to the local processor and calls would resume.

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