But lets be real for a moment. Most small business can’t afford the cost or justify standby generators and even if you could, most systems wait up to several minutes to cut on to see if the outage is just a small “blip” or a sustained outage. What is recommend or required for most electronic equipment is the use of an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS). Without getting into UPS design and protection requirements in this forum topic, you need enough UPS units to protect and power your “essential” communications for a reasonable but short period of time.
Face it, how long do you really expect to conduct business as usual in the dark, without heat or AC. What you want is enough time to finish the calls in progress, make a few calls (i.e. Power Utility Supplier) and shut down your computers before they crash!
As far as your inbound calls go, most good hosted PBX service providers will have fail-over routes for your calls in the event your VoIP phones are un-registered (off-line). Make sure you have planned for this event (it will happen) with your provider ahead of time and your issues during a sustained outage are less painful.
Remember that most (all) of your VoIP phones are more than likely using the same LAN as your computers and the first questions you need to ask yourself are:
- Can my LAN router(s) and switch(es) function during a power interruption?
- Will my ISP premise equipment function during an interruption too?
- How does the operating power get to my VoIP phone?
As far as your VoIP phones go, most small deployment usually opt to use plug-in power supplies. One for each telephone. You guessed it! An UPS is needed for each essential location you want to function during the outage.
There are options for many types of VoIP phones where Power Over Ethernet (POE) can be used to supply the telephone’s power to them from a central location. With a little more luck, this location could be where all the other network equipment is located. A special type of network switch and the addition of a common POE power supply is required. Both could also be supported by the same UPS as the other network equipment.
I welcome your questions and comments.