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tr0910

join:2006-01-03
MI/USA
reply to Davesnothere

Re: Back to worst-case-scenario to start with!

said by Davesnothere:

Yes, and I would be more than willing to put my name on a petition to help them make that happen, whether or not I am still a customer at the time.

They were just down again briefly. Line went dead, and website went dead.

I blame myself for trusting them, but it was based on recommendations from you all here. However I only trusted them with 1/2 our lines, so we were not completely shut down. Still, I think a healthy discussion is warranted, and they need to have a asterisk next to their name until they can prove they really have a disaster recovery plan, and have tested it out.

Does anybody have a fly swatter handy? We need to get rid of that that (buzz, buzz, buzz) that keeps flying around our ears....

royrogers

join:2012-10-17
reply to Davesnothere
So the NYSE is still running on generators, and has no connectivity on the floor. That was just reported on Squawk on the Street as I type this.

Where is the juice for Callcentric coming from?

My theory is this: Callcentric is located in a building full of ISP's. ConEd and NYSE and everyone else recognized that the first priority is getting power to that building, even before the NYSE.

Iscream, how far off am I?


Davesnothere
No-BHELL-ity DOES have its Advantages
Premium
join:2009-06-15
START Today!
kudos:7
said by royrogers:

So the NYSE is still running on battery backup, and has no connectivity on the floor. That was just reported on Squawk on the Street as I type this.

Where is the juice for Callcentric coming from?

 
One Word :

RATS

They have them running on wheels to operate power generators.

Letterman told me so.

NYC bylaws say nothing against doing THAT !

madjeff

join:2005-04-30
united state
kudos:1
reply to royrogers

Re: CallCentric tech issues today?

said by royrogers:

said by madjeff:

I call bullshit...I've managed networks from small startups with 10 people up to large financial institutions spanning most of the US, and they all had one thing in common. Redundant, geographically dispersed hotsites that can be switched to with a minimum of disruption.

10-person networks with "redundant, geographically dispersed hotsites that can be switch to with a minimum of disruption?"

That is pretty impressive.

I gotta tell you, I don't know (m)any companies with ten employees that have their chit that together.

So I'm calling BS on you.

This particular startup was an SaaS venture with about 250,000+ users. No service to users, no money coming in. So we had to be damn sure we were fast and reliable as we were gaining userbase.


golek

@bhn.net
reply to VexorgTR
Don't put all your eggs in one basket with VoIP provider. Use a hosted PBX service that allows you to set up multiple SIP trunks from different providers and use at least 2 or 3 different ones. Don't use a hosted PBX that only allows you to user their own call termination service. That way if one goes service goes down, you can just route calls through another provider. One example of an inexpensive hosted PBX is pbxes.org.

Think carefully about where you get your DIDs and don't get them all from a single provider. Also don't forget to have a plan of action in case your hosted PBX service goes down.


golek

@bhn.net
reply to VexorgTR
Now I hope most of you, while you weren't venting on this forum, were looking at YOUR OWN disaster recovery plan and ensuring you have the pieces in place to avoid being without service if a provider or piece of equipment goes down.

Look at each step required for delivering your service (in this case, voice) and consider what you would do if this went down. If the consequences would bring down critical services, you'd better have a contingency plan. Write it down!


Josh2

@charter.com
reply to VexorgTR
Some people in this thread have argued that it's unreasonable to expect a company like Callcentric to have redundant, geographically dispersed servers.

Can someone explain to me why a VoIP company couldn't supplement dedicated servers with AWS, Rackspace Cloud, etc.?

Thanks.


golek

@bhn.net
reply to Bladzalot
said by Bladzalot :

My wife is pissed as hell and taking it out on me

Join the club

royrogers

join:2012-10-17
reply to madjeff
said by madjeff:

This particular startup was an SaaS venture with about 250,000+ users. No service to users, no money coming in. So we had to be damn sure we were fast and reliable as we were gaining userbase.

So ten people were able to accomodate all the billing/customer service/technical support issues from a 250k user base?

I find that highly unlikely. Still calling BS on you.

mmclaren

join:2005-12-30
Richboro, PA

2 recommendations

reply to VexorgTR
So when I get to CallCentric's website, I see a little banner saying "New Features (5)"

Before I clicked on it, I wanted to make a bet that one of them was: "Dial tone"


SinkOrSwim

@anonymouse.org
reply to Iscream

Re: Back to worst-case-scenario to start with!

said by Iscream:

Callcentric is 100% redundant locally... but is NOT multi-site'd - it doesn't have geographical redundancy.

It's NOT clear [to me] that "there are hardly any plans.." - this is incorrect to say the least....

So you do not have anything against keeping redundant servers geogrphically remote from the main ones, and there may be plans to do that, but it isn't yet in the budget.

So why should someone, especially a business, keep DIDs with Callcentric, which has a second-rate disaster recovery setup, and doesn't have the budget to improve it, when they can get a first-rate setup with people like Anveo and Voip.ms?


Davesnothere
No-BHELL-ity DOES have its Advantages
Premium
join:2009-06-15
START Today!
kudos:7
reply to mmclaren

Re: CallCentric tech issues today?

said by mmclaren:

So when I get to CallCentric's website, I see a little banner saying "New Features (5)"

Before I clicked on it, I wanted to make a bet that one of them was: "Dial tone"

 


Davesnothere
No-BHELL-ity DOES have its Advantages
Premium
join:2009-06-15
START Today!
kudos:7

1 recommendation

reply to SinkOrSwim

Re: Back to worst-case-scenario to start with!

 
You are asking :
said by SinkOrSwim :

....So why should someone, especially a business, keep DIDs with Callcentric, which has a second-rate disaster recovery setup, and doesn't have the budget to improve it, when they can get a first-rate setup with people like Anveo and Voip.ms?

 
Good Question.


fukitol
Solon for President
Premium
join:2001-06-11
PonziWorld
Good question indeed, SinkOrSwim, and one that I would love to see Iscream See Profile answer.


airwavz
Always the green wire

join:2011-09-11
Mount Juliet, TN
kudos:1

1 recommendation

reply to verix
said by verix:

I'm happy they restored service. I'm not happy this occurred in the first place. Happy?

I just HAVE to respond here - I'm pretty sure the 'so-far' verified 75+ people who have died as a result of this storm aren't "happy" either.... I'm pretty sure the millions still without power aren't "happy" that this storm "occurred in the first place".... I'd bet that the thousands who have lost everything they owned aren't "happy" about that either....

If you expect 100% uptime on your VOIP service, and you didn't have a backup provider and plan already in place, then kick your OWN butt for being at LEAST as poorly prepared as CC, and quit whining about your budget phone service failing. 100% uptime IS available; just whip out that check book and start writing!

nonymous
Premium
join:2003-09-08
Glendale, AZ
reply to Davesnothere
said by Davesnothere:

 
You are asking :

said by SinkOrSwim :

....So why should someone, especially a business, keep DIDs with Callcentric, which has a second-rate disaster recovery setup, and doesn't have the budget to improve it, when they can get a first-rate setup with people like Anveo and Voip.ms?

 
Good Question.

Their setup may be closer to a telco setup. Redundancy by geographic location may require a more expensive setup than say their competitors because of this?

madjeff

join:2005-04-30
united state
kudos:1

1 edit

5 recommendations

reply to rblizz
said by rblizz:

You know, I really don't give a flying fuck about what you don't give a flying fuck about. The narrow-minded, self contentedness here is beginning to piss me off. CallCentric never claimed to have geographic redundancy. Not once. Not ever.

You know, it's great that you are a die-hard CC fan. I get it. Good for you, I've been one as well. If you are happy with them, no one is forcing you to change.

However, there are those of us that use CC for more than a 1-line hobby for their home phone. Some of us also recommend it to clients that need their phones to conduct business. We have reputations to keep with clients. Luckily in my case most of my clients have backup POTS or redundant VOIP providers, because that's the way I set them up if they cannot afford to have downtime. Some don't need the redundancy, so while this outage was irritating, it was not something that was going to put them out of business.

No one (at least not me) is saying that what happened with Sandy was not a huge uncontrollable issue. Most disasters are. That's why companies have disaster recovery plans in the first place, to mitigate the impact of these sort of uncontrollable events. Is it my fault I didn't dig further on the claims of redundancy? Absolutely, and I take full responsibility of that. I (and others) have learned that Callcentric has a different definition of redundant than a lot of us. I know for me that is a lesson learned, and in the future I will be a lot more skeptical of the claim of redundancy in the future.

I'm not going to sit here and debate with the die-hard apologists any more, it's a moot point. Nothing I or anyone else says is going to change your point of view, and that's fine. The only people I really want to hear from is Callcentric. Once things calm down and they've had a chance to take a deep breath, as a paying customer and someone that has recommended their service to many others in my line of work I want some explanations if I am going to continue to be a customer. Ignoring the dead horse issue that is the redundancy, I want to hear more on the following:

- Why was there little notice that service was going down? A simple email to all customers prior to the server shutdowns explaining that power was lost and service would be disrupted? Luckily I have systems in place to monitor up/down status, otherwise my only notification would have been clients calling about not having phones.

- Why no continuing updates? A twitter post from anyone sitting in a starbucks outside the affected area would have been helpful. No updates to customers for 10-12 hours at a time really left us in the dark. No pun intended. A simple website thrown up anywhere with a simple status update page would have taken less than an hour to setup. The lack of communications was extremely disappointing.

I have a feeling the next few days are really going to make or break Callcentric. I can only speak for me, but the way they communicate to their customers over the next few days is going to decide if they are a company I trust, use and recommend in the future.

royrogers

join:2012-10-17
reply to SinkOrSwim
said by SinkOrSwim :

So why should someone, especially a business, keep DIDs with Callcentric, which has a second-rate disaster recovery setup, and doesn't have the budget to improve it, when they can get a first-rate setup with people like Anveo and Voip.ms?

Are you asking a question, or grandstanding?

Let's see, Anveo and Voip.ms (which one do you work for, BTW?).

»VOIP.ms vs Anveo

Look around. Lots of people with voip.ms with "mostly good" call quality. And they haven't even had their mettle tested with a good DDoS attack.

Anveo has been around since 2006. They're pretty young. Also quoting this: "People that I called sounded 'distant'. Also, the audio quality was not as good (The difference was like going from a good voip line to a cell phone). I also experienced a call disconnect. When I tried to call the number back, it would not go through (I finally had to call back on my cell phone)."

You want to jump ship, don't let us stop you. Just stop wizzing all over the deck on your way overboard.


fukitol
Solon for President
Premium
join:2001-06-11
PonziWorld
reply to madjeff
Hear hear, madjeff See Profile.

royrogers

join:2012-10-17
reply to airwavz
said by airwavz:

I just HAVE to respond here - I'm pretty sure the 'so-far' verified 75+ people who have died as a result of this storm aren't "happy" either.... I'm pretty sure the millions still without power aren't "happy" that this storm "occurred in the first place".... I'd bet that the thousands who have lost everything they owned aren't "happy" about that either....

If you expect 100% uptime on your VOIP service, and you didn't have a backup provider and plan already in place, then kick your OWN butt for being at LEAST as poorly prepared as CC, and quit whining about your budget phone service failing. 100% uptime IS available; just whip out that check book and start writing!

BINGO!

ThomasFox
Premium
join:2007-03-28
Monroe, MI
reply to nonymous
Ok, now that CallCentric is back up, I'm wondering about next steps for my business. I have our primary business telephone number with Callcentric (we like the call treatment feature that lets us block inbound calls with a wildcard - all 800 numbers, for example, really cuts down the telemarketing calls.

We have multiple ways to make outbound calls (PRI and a POTS line), and multiple inbound numbers, so we we were able to notify clients to reach us on an alternate number, but I'm sure we missed some calls.

I believe our company is as redundant as is possible (multiple inbound and outbound channels across three providers, spare phone system control box in the closet, etc.) but I can't figure out how to make a single number redundant across providers?

Which leaves me in a "better the devil you know than the devil you don't " scenario. We've been happily using Callcentric since 2008 or 2009, and the denial of service issue was the first real problem we had, which seemed to be resolved by just forwarding our main office number to one of the DIDs hosted on our PRI. Then of course, this issue, where the forwarding didn't work.

Is there a way to make a number redundant across two providers? If not, what's the best way to ensure our primary number always is available? Port it to a multiple-channel RCF with AT&T and then point it where ever we need to?

Thanks for any thoughts you have!

skytom

join:2012-10-18
Northampton, MA

1 recommendation

reply to madjeff
Spot on madjeff. Wished what Iscream recently posted to this board, was posted on Twitter and their non-functioning website. Callcentric must provide a comprehensive plan. We are still awaiting an email with regard to the DDoS attacks; fluid posts on their website's dashboard fails to provide the same. They promised greater transparency, but have yet to act on it.

This is not budget-constrained, but ideology-based.

JoeSchmoe007
Premium
join:2003-01-19
Brooklyn, NY
Reviews:
·Optimum Online
reply to tr0910

Re: CallCentric tech issues today?

said by tr0910:

said by JoeSchmoe007:

Can you describe your setup in more details? Who is hosting your 800 number? How is redirection implemented?

Telcan has our 800 number and it costs us $2 per month plus $.04 per minute. For us this isn't a large user as most come in via our normal lines. Redirection is just via did to one of our lines.

Do you use their (Telcan's) virtual PBX as well?

nitzan
Premium,VIP
join:2008-02-27
kudos:8
reply to ThomasFox

Re: Back to worst-case-scenario to start with!

said by ThomasFox:

Is there a way to make a number redundant across two providers? If not, what's the best way to ensure our primary number always is available? Port it to a multiple-channel RCF with AT&T and then point it where ever we need to?

No, this is not possible unless the two providers have an agreement and the carrier supports this - but I doubt any providers will be willing to do this. The closest you could get is a single provider with multiple geo locations and a disaster recovery plan to fail over your phone number to another geo location if the first one dies.

bigpapae35

join:2002-10-25
united state
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Callcentric
reply to VexorgTR

Re: CallCentric tech issues today?

Is there a way to know when the free DID's come back online, I just registered for a per minute DID, and that is working.

On my main pstn line (from verizon) i set up call forwarding on busy to the free DID. But right now to bypass that call treatment, I am directly fowarding all my calls to the CC per minute DID

madjeff

join:2005-04-30
united state
kudos:1
reply to nitzan

Re: Back to worst-case-scenario to start with!

said by nitzan:

said by ThomasFox:

Is there a way to make a number redundant across two providers? If not, what's the best way to ensure our primary number always is available? Port it to a multiple-channel RCF with AT&T and then point it where ever we need to?

No, this is not possible unless the two providers have an agreement and the carrier supports this - but I doubt any providers will be willing to do this. The closest you could get is a single provider with multiple geo locations and a disaster recovery plan to fail over your phone number to another geo location if the first one dies.

Thank you for bringing that up Nitzan! It's not about having other Voip providers as backups, but the DID issue that causes problems. It's next to impossible to make DID's redundant in this case.


VexorgTR

join:2012-08-27
Sheffield Lake, OH
kudos:1
Reviews:
·voip.ms
reply to royrogers
Hmm... well I was hoping that by Morning everything would be gold... but not quite. it could be much worse however.

Neither of my DID's worked by midnight last night. one did by 9:30 AM, and both did by 10:30 AM EST.... my 3CX box isn't registering with CC just yet, however the forward to another DID when not registered rule works... so calls arrive at my phone system again.

If you're not up totally yet, I suggest posting a ticket for help, but it's coming up a little at a time. I've been following this for several clients. It's MOSTLY up.

madjeff

join:2005-04-30
united state
kudos:1

1 recommendation

reply to royrogers

Re: CallCentric tech issues today?

said by royrogers:

said by madjeff:

This particular startup was an SaaS venture with about 250,000+ users. No service to users, no money coming in. So we had to be damn sure we were fast and reliable as we were gaining userbase.

So ten people were able to accomodate all the billing/customer service/technical support issues from a 250k user base?

I find that highly unlikely. Still calling BS on you.

Well, now that I think of it, we did actually have 14 employees. Billing was done via 3rd party and support was 2 people.

14 people is not really even that impressive. I've personally known people running much larger userbase companies with half that amount of people. Anyone with experience in internet startups is familiar with this type of scenario. Believe me or not, I couldn't care less...

nitzan
Premium,VIP
join:2008-02-27
kudos:8
reply to madjeff

Re: Back to worst-case-scenario to start with!

said by madjeff:

Thank you for bringing that up Nitzan! It's not about having other Voip providers as backups, but the DID issue that causes problems. It's next to impossible to make DID's redundant in this case.

Best advice I can give here is:
1) Get two DIDs from separate providers so if one goes down clients can still reach you on the other. Just print both on your business card/website/etc.
2) Make sure your providers have adequate disaster recovery plans in place.


Tom
Premium
join:2000-09-10
Chicago, IL

2 recommendations

reply to VexorgTR

Re: CallCentric tech issues today?

I will reiterate comments above about communication being an issue. Setting aside whether or not CC should have had some kind of redundant facility (which I think they should have), there was NO communication other than the occasional tweet and the post on the customer portal (which was inaccessible) about any of the outages this month. If I'm a customer and the website is down, how am I supposed to automatically know to check their twitter feed? Not a single email about either ordeal (DDoS or Sandy) is pretty sloppy, IMHO.

I don't know if the goal was to prevent people from noticing, but when your service is out for days at a time, you're not fooling anyone.

For the apologists who used the NYSE and NASDAQ as an example of other firms that weren't ready -- they were ready for trading Monday morning. No one except for CNBC cares about the physical trading floors anymore, banks and hedge funds simply used it as an excuse to convince them to stay closed because THEY weren't ready to execute the electronic backup plan. I will agree with the analogy above -- just because someone else was stupid enough to jump off a bridge, doesn't mean you should too.

I've been a defender of CC for a while based on the quality of their customer service, but they've really let me down this month.
--
"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw