OfficeSuite UC Local Survivability

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edited September 27 in Guides And How To's

OfficeSuite Local Survivability – Limited, Critical Communications during a complete WAN failure

The OfficeSuite Local Survivability Gateway, LSG, enables limited communications in the event of a complete Wide Area Network (WAN) failure. A new device, Ribbon EdgeMarc 2900A, sits at the customer premises between the customer’s LAN and gateway router and/or firewall. It continually monitors its connection to the OfficeSuite platform in the cloud. If it detects loss of connectivity, then after 30 seconds it switches to Local Mode and enables extension to extension calling among the phones on premises, paging among the phones on prem and via overhead paging interface, and allows two outbound calls to the PSTN for 911.

Available for new OfficeSuite customer proposals only. No option to retrofit to an existing customer location. OfficeSuite Local Survivability works only with Poly VVX phones and other SIP phones such as cordless phones and ATA’s used with Analog Extensions of OfficeSuite. It does NOT work with Mitel phones.

Benefits of OfficeSuite LSG

OfficeSuite UC customers will maintain a minimal level of on-site communications in the wake of a total WAN failure. Customers equipped with OS Local Survivability Gateway, LSG, and OfficeSuite Poly VVX and other SIP phones and devices will be able to dial extension to extension, page phones within the site, access the overhead paging interface, and make and receive calls to the PSTN for 911 dialing in the event of a failure of WAN connectivity to OfficeSuite services in the cloud. The customer is responsible for all back-up power, UPS, for critical communications components to protect against services failure stemming from power outage.

In the event of WAN failure, OfficeSuite LSG provides three primary benefits: peace of mind for life safety communications to/from 911, communications within the premises to maintain productivity, and the ability to broadcast announcements by paging the phones or via OHP system to inform users of status updates regarding the repair and restoration of normal services.

How it works

Local Survivability is defined as a limited set of functions that will continue to operate in the event of a complete WAN failure at the premises.

It requires the purchase or rental of the OfficeSuite Local Survivability Gateway, LSG, which is the Ribbon EdgeMarc 2900A gateway with licensing to support local survivability, SD-WAN, and 50 concurrent calls.

The LSG operates in Normal Mode continually until such time as it detects a failure of the WAN at which time it switches to Local Mode operation.

In Normal Mode, all calls in/out of the premises and among callers within and external to the OfficeSuite tenant are processed by the OfficeSuite call processor server in the cloud. In Normal mode, the LSG acts as a complete pass through of VoIP traffic to/from the OfficeSuite server.

The LSG continually monitors the status of its Wide Area connection via SIP Registration to the OfficeSuite SBC in the cloud. Should it lose SIP registration, then 30 seconds after WAN failure the LSG switches into Local Mode. When in Local Mode, the LSG has no contact to the OfficeSuite call processor and instead manages extension-to-extension calls locally among the phones on-site, which it has learned via SIP registration to the LSG. The only external calls permitted in Local Mode are calls to/from 911. All other PSTN calls, in and out, do not function.

Upon restoral of WAN services and resumption of SIP registration to the SBC, the LSG will automatically revert to Normal Mode operation after 60 seconds. 

The timers of when the LSG fails over to Local Mode and when it reverts to Normal Mode are automatic and not adjustable by the customer, nor by Windstream.

Which functions operate in Local Mode

When in Local Mode, customers can dial extension-to-extension calls to/from the extensions on premises; including VVX to VVX calls and extension-dialed calls to/from analog extensions of OfficeSuite and other SIP phones (e.g. SIP cordless phones and Poly Trio conference phones) on premises. Dialing extensions off premises does not work.

Paging of phones, VVX to VVX, will work in Local Mode. Also, paging to an overhead paging system via the Algo 8301 OHP interface will work.

Outbound dialing to 911 will work in Local Mode. All other outbound dialing will not. Inbound calls from the PSTN will not work, except return calls from Emergency Services.

Which functions do not operate in Local Mode

While in Local Mode, there is no connectivity from the premises to the OfficeSuite IP call processor in the cloud, so although the phones on premises can make extension-to-extension calls to other phones on premises, certain functions that require intervention by the OfficeSuite call server will not work. For example, extension calls to extensions logged in at other off-premises sites will not work.

Also, Call Groups will not work because the group is defined in the cloud, and although some of the extensions that are members in that group are still dialable in Local Mode, the group extension itself is not dialable. The same holds true for auto-attendants, call coverage, call forwarding, call twinning, intercom, etc.

All outbound dialing, except to 911, will not work. Inbound calls from the PSTN will not work except return calls from Emergency Services.

IMPORTANT: Customer responsibilities

In all cases of OfficeSuite Local Survivability the customer is responsible to provide a robust WAN solution with backup. Windstream recommends customers of OfficeSuite UC Local Survivability purchase Windstream SD-WAN and utilize multiple, diverse IP connections to ensure the best chance of WAN continuity regardless of any Local Survivability Gateway on premises.

To allow necessary traffic to/from the Ribbon EdgeMarc 2900A (LSG device), the local firewall must not block ports 443: HTTPS; 5671:TCP; 8022:TCP, and 8443:HTTPS

Only VOIP traffic can pass through the OfficeSuite Local Survivability Gateway. The customer must send all data traffic through a separate switch port. Combined data and voice traffic cannot traverse the LSG.   

To ensure continuity of service, you must notify Windstream at least two weeks in advance if you plan to change your ISP and/or public, routable IP addresses from those used at initial configuration.

Notify Windstream if you want to change the extensions identified as the target 911 call-back numbers from those defined at initial configuration.

Customer is responsible for all protected power (UPS) on premises, especially for those components in the critical path for communications, including, but not limited to: OfficeSuite IP phones, routers, LAN switches (PoE preferred), the LSG itself, OHP interfaces and amplifiers, SD-WAN boxes, ATA’s for analog extensions, etc. Confer with your Windstream Sales Representative to engage Windstream Professional Services for UPS needs.

Customer is responsible to provide two (2) POTS lines for outbound 911 dialing while the LSG is in Local Mode. Traditional POTS which will withstand failure of power and IP network connectivity are required but Windstream DVL with UPS and 4G/5G wireless backup is a satisfactory replacement. Ensure any components required to operate DVL are connected to back-up power.

Target Customers

OfficeSuite customers in healthcare and education verticals often seek a Local Survivability solution to ensure that communications within the premises and calls to/from Emergency Services will still function in the event of a Wide Area Network or Internet access failure, but the target verticals are not limited to those segments. Any new OS UC customer can opt for the solution to ensure internal communications in the event of WAN failure.

Only new customers/prospects are candidates for the solution. OS LSG requires the deployment of Poly VVX phones on premises. The great majority (about 80%) of OS UC customers use Mitel phones on prem, which are incompatible with the OS LSG and thus cannot be retrofitted with LSG. Therefore, OS LSG is offered to new prospects only who select Poly VVX phones for their on-site IP desk phone needs. For this specific reason, OS LSG is not available in WE Connect for existing customers to add-on.

Client size will be medium to large locations; 25 to 200 users per site. At very small locations, internal communications’ survivability is not critical because of the close confines of small work locations. At very large locations, the limit of concurrent outbound calls during normal mode may have to be increased beyond the default of 50 to accommodate larger sites. It’s possible but will require an ICB process and incur additional fees.

Each site that requires Local Survivability needs an LSG on-prem. It is not required that every site in the OfficeSuite tenant be so equipped, so the customer can opt to deploy an LSG at only their most critical sites within their enterprise.

Customers with SD-WAN are prime candidates because they already know the value of multiple diverse paths for WAN connectivity and thus will appreciate the value of protecting communications on-prem in the event of WAN failure. 

Customers without SD-WAN are candidates because they don’t already protect their WAN connection from failure mechanisms and thus will benefit from having a communications survivability plan. Such customers should also employ SD-WAN. If you are willing to spend money on OS LSG to protect against WAN failure, then first deploy SD-WAN with multiple, diverse WAN connections.

Key takeaways

OfficeSuite Local Survivability is supported with Poly VVX phones only, no Mitel phones. Also SIP phones such as cordless or Poly Trio are supported as well as SIP devices like ATA’s for Analog Extensions of OfficeSuite and the SIP Algo 8301 OHP interface.

No multi-desking. One unique extension per phone at the premises. Therefore, no sharing an extension across multiple phones such as desk phone and cordless handset at the same site. This does not affect a multi-desked extension at two different locations, e.g. primary office and home office.

Limited communications when in Local Mode: Extension-to-Extension calling among phones on site. Paging to phones on site (and also via OHP if Algo 8301 deployed). Outbound dialing (2 FXO ports) for 911. Customers are advised to disallow all outbound calling except 911. Customers should not advertise those TN’s because Emergency Services will want to call them back on that line and they wouldn’t want the line busy with non-emergency calls.