Over the summer of 2013 we moved our telephone platform onto new hardware in London’s Telehouse West datacenter, which was the first phase of a major upgrade programme.
This November and December, we then completed an upgrade of our inbound huntgroup functionality onto Asterisk 11, the new generation of our voice server platform.
A huntgroup is the logic that controls how a call is routed inbound – e.g. which phone the call rings and at what time of day etc.
We now have over 11,500 huntgroups – the number goes up every day, and customers use them in many different and unique ways. Moving them with minimal interruption was therefore a complex challenge and we’re really proud of the new methodology we used in the migration.
Firstly, within our engineering team we’re using Atlassian software tools, including Bamboo, which runs automated tests on our software – in our case by making calls, to simulate the different user scenarios.
Secondly, we broke down the many different ways a huntgroup call can be processed and built an automated system that identified candidates for migration for each phase, worked out when the huntgroup was not in use and then completed the migration. We also had a set of speed controls – to decide how quickly to move huntgroups and of course the system could move people back very quickly in case we spotted a problem.
Finally, we installed a large monitor in the office with a dashboard on it to show us all progress which was really helpful in communicating the status of the project to staff in support and sales.
We’re really proud of this new approach – it kept the risk to customers low, gave a complex migration structure and provided great visibility. We’ll be moving on to other areas of functionality in the new year and will continue to evolve the approach taken.