Digitcom launched our Session Initiation Protocol or (SIP) trunk platform in late 2012 from our primary data center (DC1) at 151 Front Street. Since then we’ve grown to many thousands of SIP trunks. We handle millions of minutes of traffic per month. Needless to say, Digitcom’s SIP business has experienced tremendous growth over the last 5 years.
Our SIP trunk platform is fully redundant both at our switching and routing core, and at the soft switch platform level. We deploy multiple upstream internet circuits and multiple connections with inbound and outbound voice carriers across Canada, America, and worldwide. We also have multiple redundant application and database servers.
In late 2015 Digitcom introduced geo-redundancy, and opened a second data center (DC2) in North York. DC2 provides redundancy in the event of a problem at 151 Front Street (DC1). Fortunately, between October 2015 and June 2017 we experienced only one outage. Unfortunately since then we have suffered 3 outages. Each outage has lasted approximately 30 to 90 minutes.
As a result, we convened an emergency internal Digitcom task force in early August to investigate the outages and identify ways to provide better redundancy for all of our customers.
And here’s our plan … we’ve come up with something that will provide a better level of service than any other SIP provider we’ve come across in Canada: Double Authentication.
Double Authentication Explained:
For every SIP trunk customer we will authenticate traffic from the PBX (Avaya IP Office or NEC SL1100 or SV9100) to our primary DC (DC1) and secondary DC (DC2). DC2 in North York will provide a live, always-on authentication back-up. If for any reason a signal is not available from DC1, the phone system will automatically revert to DC2 for outbound traffic. As for inbound traffic, if our upstream carrier doesn’t receive a signal or receives an error code from DC1, the inbound calls will revert automatically to DC2. Customers with 2 Internet circuits can run authentication across both circuits for even better service and resiliency.
The Digitcom provisioning department has been in touch with, and has double authenticated approximately 25% of our SIP Trunk client base. We expect to complete all SIP Trunk customers within the next 4 to 6 weeks. And the best part … we’re not charging for any of these double authentication services, for both new and current clients.
We clearly understand downtime is not acceptable. Although we can’t guarantee we’ll never experience another problem, we’ve upgraded our uptime from 99.95% to 99.999%, a five nine level of reliability. We’ve also taken more proactive steps toward mitigating system issues.