This depends again on your goals. Is this a VoIP network for a service provider or for a business? If it is for a service provider, do you want to offer basic IP trunking or do you want to offer advanced services for businesses? If it is for a business, do you want to have an IP PBX solution on the premises or do you want to look at an IP Centrex solution? The first step is having a clear understanding of what kind of network you want to set up and what services you want to offer. This will then dictate the type of equipment to look for.
This depends on the level of disaster recovery you are looking for. You may just have backup systems that sit on a shelf which are powered up and configured manually in the event of a disaster. The other extreme is a real-time hot standby solution that has all features of your active solution which likely costs a lot more money. You basically need to look at what level of features you want to provide in case of a disaster and in what timeframe. This will help you to decide how to proceed. If you are using connections from other service providers you also have to look at what it will take to get those switched over to your backup system in the event of a disaster.
This was first published in March 2006