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Call and Network Reliability with MIX Networks

When evaluating hosted phone system providers, there are two questions that end up at the top of the list: network reliability and voice quality.  In this blog post, I’ll explain how MIX Networks achieves 99.99 up-time. There will be another post in the near future to explain voice quality.

Here is the “simple explanation” of how we achieve network reliability.

Geographic Distribution

We use a graphically distributed network with nodes in three cities; New York, Dallas, and Las Vegas.  You can find our network map here (www.mixnetworks.com/our-network/).  By placing nodes in three geographically diverse locations, they are far enough apart that weather events, or other natural or manmade disasters, will never impact more than one node.

Active-Active Architecture

This means that all services are provided simultaneously from multiple locations. This is different than the n+1 architecture that many service providers use.  In an n+1 architecture, the “back-up” node is only brought into service once the primary node has failed.  This means that information (such as call records, voice mail messages, etc.) may be unavailable as the back-up service is brought on-line.

In the active-active architecture, everything is duplicated across multiple nodes and synchronized in real-time.  If one node fails, the failover to another node is completely seamless and transparent.

Dual Registration End Points

All of the phones that we use have a dual registration feature. Every phone has a primary service node, this is done to help us keep the load on our network balanced. In the unlikely event that the network failover architecture does not perform as designed, and the primary service node is unreachable, the phone will then try to connect to its secondary service node. This offers a second layer of defense against network or node failure.

4G Network Failover

In addition to placing phones at your location, we also place a special QoS router. This router serves several purposes. It helps us to diagnose issues within your network or with your ISP that may be impacting call reliability and voice quality, and it can provide an additional level of failover protection via a 4G network interface. I’ll explain the diagnostic and quality features of that router in a future blog post.  The 4G interface is the key feature that impacts reliability.  In the event that your primary ISP fails (either a network level failure or something like a cable cut that prevents you from reaching their network), the router can detect these problems and connect to the internet through a wireless data plan, so your calls still make it to our network.

Conclusion

This is an admittedly over-simplified explanation of the MIX Networks architecture.

These four key technologies, Geographic Distribution, Active-Active Architecture, Dual Registration End Points, and 4G Network Failure all combine to give you the reliability and confidence you need when selecting a hosted phone system from MIX Networks.  If you want a more in-depth review of our network, feel free to contact us and schedule a call.

This Post Has One Comment
  1. […] MIX will also be adding capacity to the Secaucus and Dallas POPs in the near future. The Active-Active architecture used by MIX will enable these expansions with no impact on existing traffic. Services are distributed and replicated across all existing points-of-presence. When new servers become available, MIX immediately begins distributing load to the new servers. In the event of an outage, the process simply works in reverse to continue offering uninterrupted service to callers. You can read more about the Active-Active architecture and other methods that MIX uses to ensure network uptime in this blog post, http://mixnetworks.com/telecom/call-reliability-mix-networks/ […]

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