Small Business Phone Systems and Virtualization

Jim Machi Photo
Chief Product & Marketing, Sangoma

There are multiple choices today for a small business when deploying a phone system. Among others, there is a choice of integrator or reseller, a choice of vendor, and a choice of how to deploy the system – cloud or premise. There are pros and cons for cloud versus premise. But if you choose premise as the way to go, then even with that there are options. You could just buy a box with the phone system / UC software installed on it and away you go.  But you don’t have to do that if you don’t feel it’s the right approach for you. Instead, you can go the virtualization route, which is a bit different.

Virtualization allows a company to deploy multiple IT applications on the same server. As the computing power of the servers has gone up, it has also increasingly meant that the computing power on the server would not entirely be used because the application did not need all those resources. In other words, some computing power was idle. And as the raw computing power grew year over year due to the microprocessor capability increasing, then depending on the year you bought your server(s), there could be idle computing resource per dedicated piece of hardware because the application running on that server still needs the same amount of resources. So, if you have an oversubscribed server from the perspective of computing resources, there would be idle resources. So, the idea of running multiple applications on the same server via partitioning the server to be able to run multiple applications was born.


As this became economically attractive, yet another deployment option was born – running multiple applications on the same physical server. Even for a small business, this can be economically attractive. If you purposely purchased a higher power server because you wanted to run multiple IT applications on it and installed virtualization software to control the different applications, then your overall expenses would go down because you wouldn’t have to purchase all the different dedicated hardware. It would be less expensive overall since even with the added expense of the virtualization software, such as VMWare, there would be fewer servers, and you’d be paying less cooling and electricity bills since you wouldn’t have all those servers.

What kinds of applications are we talking about? Think about typical IT applications, such as database, mail, CRM, and website, that run on traditional servers. But communications infrastructure has also been moving to traditional servers.  Media servers and session border controllers (SBCs) can be software, and, thus, can be virtualized as well. And so, obviously, can the communications phone systems. Sangoma PBXact and Switchvox phone systems run on typical Intel and Dell servers. We also offer them via the cloud or via a virtualized offering that can go onto the virtualized server and run on the same machine as other IT applications.

To read more about the other benefits of small business phone system virtualization, please download our whitepaper here.

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About the Author

Jim Machi - Senior VP of Product Management and Marketing for Sangoma
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