Honest opinion ?

#1
I've had a single connection to Voipfone for a couple of months and experienced it being down a few times.

I was hoping to connect all of my offices phones as the features look worthwhile. The problem I have is the insecurity of the reliability.

What would you do? What do the other users do for resilience when lines go down, especially in this kind of environment. We rely on phones heavily, a recruitment agency, and any downtime could cost us money.

I'd hope that admin/mods will allow for free speach with the replies.

Thanks
Martin

#2
Of course, we never censor (except for abuse and spam)

fyi

Redbus Interhouse (our main Network Operating Centre in London) has had three power outages this morning. Their back-up generators and and UPS didn't seem to contain the problem and all 3 floors have been without power. Our UPS kept us alive for a while. Some parts of the services had brownouts.

All Teir 1 connectivity providers in the UK enter this building (Level 3, Telia, Tiscali, Pipex etc http://interhouse.net/datacentre/connect/connect.htm )

They are all now experiencing knock-on problems - our failover network is coping well - if you do a trace route you will see you route through different service providers every so often as we route away automatically from the providers that are still off line. There is complete mayhem in the data centre as the main operators are rebooting routers and connectivity returns or fails.

Under the circumstances our failover systems are working very well indeed.

More info as we get it
Regards,

Voipfone Customer Services

iNet Telecoms Ltd (Voipfone)
Sovereign House
227 Marsh Wall
London
E14 9SD
United Kingdom

Registered number: 05168033
Vat Registration Number 858850966

Telephone: 020 7043 5555
Fax: 020 7043 5556

Web: http://www.voipfone.co.uk
Blog: http://www.voipfoneblog.co.uk
Forum: http://www.voipfoneuserforum.co.uk
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/voipfone

#3
We currently run all of our phones in our head office using voipfone 18 ish extensions (single BT line in case of emergency) I must admit the service is improving by the day but putting all of your eggs in one basket probably isn't the most sensible option, especially if you rely heavily on the phone system like we do. It has caused us a few problems, not only if the providers service goes down but also if we have any trouble with our internet connection or networking devices.

I think we're looking at trying a second voip provider gradwell looks quite promising, a little more expensive than voipfone but I'm hoping the reliability is increased. At least this way all of our eggs don't get broken if the service goes down (unless it's the sdsl). A few more BT lines wouldn't go a miss when the unexpected inevitably does happen.

T

#4
We have 16 in-house extensions and a further 6 users out of the office. What we do for resilience currently, is to keep our old key-system PBX and have two phones on each desk (one old, one VoIP).

At present, we use VoIP for all outgoing and have some non-time-critical inbound stuff on VoIP too.

We're planning to implement a solution that will integrate our old BT lines (4 of them) with Voipfone so that we can go to a single phone (VoIP) on each desk. This solution will also allow automatic failover to using BT lines for outgoing calls in the case of not being able to route via Voipfone. It's not a trivial solution, and requires a bit of help from Voipfone, but it should be pretty comprehensive.

The only major niggle I still have is that PSTN failover divert isn't reliable. The last post from Voipfone Support seems to suggest that this went out when Voipfone's UPS's expired.

This needs attention ... we need PSTN failover divert to be reliable across power failures as well as across network failures.

#5
To sum things up in a nut shell we are furious especially when you consider that a multi million pound back up power system failed so miserably

this is how its supposed to work

Our policy guarantees all our customers a redundant high-capacity, stable and reliable power supply, with easy scalable expansion in the future. A minimum of 1Kw per square metre secure power is available, with power isolated between customer and maintained indefinitely, plus on-site generation which can deal with both customer and plant load whilst recharging the UPS.

All our facilities are built to at least an N+1 standard; put simply, this means that if two generators are required to provide non-stop power, then there'll be three installed.

so the question is where were these generators when they were required we have launched a full investigation and will be posting more information here as soon as we have it
Regards,

Voipfone Customer Services

iNet Telecoms Ltd (Voipfone)
Sovereign House
227 Marsh Wall
London
E14 9SD
United Kingdom

Registered number: 05168033
Vat Registration Number 858850966

Telephone: 020 7043 5555
Fax: 020 7043 5556

Web: http://www.voipfone.co.uk
Blog: http://www.voipfoneblog.co.uk
Forum: http://www.voipfoneuserforum.co.uk
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/voipfone

#6
davidgu wrote:The only major niggle I still have is that PSTN failover divert isn't reliable. The last post from Voipfone Support seems to suggest that this went out when Voipfone's UPS's expired.

This needs attention ... we need PSTN failover divert to be reliable across power failures as well as across network failures.
I would have to agree, I think this does need attention. It's bad enough when any voip providers service goes down but to have your customers call your inbound number and have it indicated it is not in service or that it no longer exists just look un professional.
For everything VoIP
www.ukvoipforums.com

#7
Isn't there any way that a divert-on-failure could be implemented at the PSTN provider's end, such that if they can't contact Voipfone's servers then they divert it to a failover PSTN number?

Clearly they'd have to charge Voipfone for this call ... but if the only scenario when this can happen is if the NOC company's generators have failed, then Voipfone should be able to recover these costs from the NOC company.

The only other alternative I can see is for Voipfone to set up a mirrored installation in a totally separate location. Shouldn't take too long or cost too much ... ouch, Lee, Colin, stop hitting me!

#8
I've used BT's VoIP for two years, not once has a incoming call not connected.

It rings the hardware, or if their networks down, it rings divert on busy (my mobile) There diverts must be very connected to the PSTN network, with them owning it i guess it's easy! Either this, or there divert servers have never gone down

#9
Unfortunately this has been completely outside of our control the problem was with the power in the actual building and 2 complete data floors were wiped out as i explained previously their backups failed miserably our own power backups did keep us alive for a short time but unfortunately eventually batteries will run out.

We will now be installing additional power backups of our own to ensure that this cant and wont happen again.

With regards to the pstn fail-over this does work perfectly but unfortunately not without power.
Regards,

Voipfone Customer Services

iNet Telecoms Ltd (Voipfone)
Sovereign House
227 Marsh Wall
London
E14 9SD
United Kingdom

Registered number: 05168033
Vat Registration Number 858850966

Telephone: 020 7043 5555
Fax: 020 7043 5556

Web: http://www.voipfone.co.uk
Blog: http://www.voipfoneblog.co.uk
Forum: http://www.voipfoneuserforum.co.uk
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/voipfone

DATA CENTER UPDATE

#10
Please see the latest update from RedBus Interhouse with regards to today's power outages

Further to our email earlier today, preliminary investigations indicate the problem was caused by a communications error between the UPS systems that supply the North side compounded by a general fault on one of the 3 systems. This made the 2 remaining UPS systems lose communications to each other. As a result these 2 UPS systems were unable to 'synchronize' with the mains supply. When power supplies are 'out of sync' major damage can be the result.

Therefore, in order to protect itself from such a major fault (and potential subsequent major physical damage to the UPS systems and LV panels which can cause prolonged problems) the 2 remaining UPS systems went into bypass with a break in the power supply. We are currently still running on 'raw mains' pending the investigation.

This sequence of events shows that a return to UPS power, as and when we will do this, will NOT cause another break in the supply of power to the floors.

We confirm again this incident is isolated to the North side of the floors and has not affected the South side.

We are currently further investigating the nature of the communications problem. As soon as we have a further update we will inform you.
Regards,

Voipfone Customer Services

iNet Telecoms Ltd (Voipfone)
Sovereign House
227 Marsh Wall
London
E14 9SD
United Kingdom

Registered number: 05168033
Vat Registration Number 858850966

Telephone: 020 7043 5555
Fax: 020 7043 5556

Web: http://www.voipfone.co.uk
Blog: http://www.voipfoneblog.co.uk
Forum: http://www.voipfoneuserforum.co.uk
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/voipfone

#11
We also run normal BT lines along with Voip. Apart from regular outages, virtually most days, the biggest problem is dropping calls after about 2 minutes. We then have to call back using the BT lines for reliability.

The facilities offered by Voipfone are excellent but are simply not reliable enough commit fully to the service and reduce the reliance on BT.

#12
Just for reference, we've not had call drops as a regular occurence - apart from when there's a significant outage, Voipfone is now exceedingly reliable for us.

This doesn't help you directly other than to say it should be achievable for you also.

#13
Voipfone Support wrote:......our own power backups did keep us alive for a short time but unfortunately eventually batteries will run out.
Did I miss something here? Yes, the batteries would have eventually run out, but surely they lived long enough to allow fallback to a diesel generator?

(You do have a diesel generator, don't you ....?)

Ian

#14
As Lee said to me earlier today, "Redbus wouldn't look too favuorably on us putting a diesel generator in our rack ...".

Part of Voipfone's SLA with Redbus is 100% power availability, provided by an array of diesel generators and an f-ing big flywheel. Somehow, all that failed to kick in.

It's not just Voipfone affected ... we've seen internet throughput all over the place today in connectivity with our clients.

There's a lot of brown stuff hitting fans at Redbus right now ...

#15
davidgu wrote: The only other alternative I can see is for Voipfone to set up a mirrored installation in a totally separate location. Shouldn't take too long or cost too much ... ouch, Lee, Colin, stop hitting me!
This is the the way we will be going. Essentially you set up a Voipfone clone somewhere else and have enough capacity in both locations to fail over.

However, despite your optimism David, it will be both expensive and take a while!
Colin Duffy, CEO, Voipfone

#16
davidgu wrote:Just for reference, we've not had call drops as a regular occurence - apart from when there's a significant outage, Voipfone is now exceedingly reliable for us.

This doesn't help you directly other than to say it should be achievable for you also.
It's difficult to know where to go from here. We have a dedicated broad band connection for voip phones. The problem is that it is intermittent. Some calls stay connected, others don't. More frustratingly, there is no pattern to this problem. It happens most days at different times but not all calls.

The other major problem is simply the overall reliability. Part of our business is internet sales and we rely heavily on the phone, Yesterday (friday) we had lengthy outages in the afternoon and now this morning, everything is dead!. Not ideal when we have a warehouse full of stock and the phones don't work!

When it works Viopfone is exellent but it is simply not reliable enough as a standalone system or as a serious business tool.

#17
Having arrived at the office on Monday and my phone down AGAIN, I have now registered with Gradwell. It's been solid as a rock and I'm sure call quality is better. The techies on the phone were wicked in setting up the pbx and they have IVR, as well as selecting your own music. They really seem to be far infront of Voipfone.

I was really impressed with the initial idea of a virtual pbx and had really hoped Vopifone would do the damage for me. However when we spend £1700 a quarter on phones, we need reliability.

I emailed CustServ at 9.45 and finally got a call around 3pm after threatening then requesting to cancel. COME ON GUYS - sort it out. You'll lose more than one customer if you dont.

I bet this post doesnt stay on the forum - freedom of speech.

#18
Route2 wrote:Having arrived at the office on Monday and my phone down AGAIN, I have now registered with Gradwell. It's been solid as a rock and I'm sure call quality is better. The techies on the phone were wicked in setting up the pbx and they have IVR, as well as selecting your own music. They really seem to be far infront of Voipfone.

I was really impressed with the initial idea of a virtual pbx and had really hoped Vopifone would do the damage for me. However when we spend £1700 a quarter on phones, we need reliability.

I emailed CustServ at 9.45 and finally got a call around 3pm after threatening then requesting to cancel. COME ON GUYS - sort it out. You'll lose more than one customer if you dont.

I bet this post doesnt stay on the forum - freedom of speech.
I did the same as you, and have not had a single disconnection since moving 7 days ago. They dealt with a technical query I had and called me back when they said they would. They also have BT number porting for the whole country.

I know Voipfone is rapidly developing new technology and features, but some of the fundamental issues need to be addressed first, business cannot rely on such a temperamental service - and before anyone shouts my expectations have never been anywhere near 100% uptime for VOIP.

#19
I agree with you.

I get the impression that Voipfone is a much smaller outfit which is therfore unable to meet the demands of the users at the same speed as the likes of Gradwell. I know this is a chicken and egg type scenarion. Need the staff, cant pay staff unless the users/income can justify it, but wont get the prblems sorted without them and users will leave. However, not being harsh but honest, thats not our problem.

Full marks to admin for not removing these comments though. Perhaps this will be aired at a board meeting if they're not already aware of it.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

Copyright 2004 - 2017, iNet Telecoms® Ltd. All rights reserved.


cron