The Virtualization Option for Unified Communications

Jim Machi
VP of Marketing, Sangoma

Most of us understand the on-prem or cloud options when considering a new UC solution. But what about a virtualization option for on-prem solutions? That is, taking the UC software and running it on an already existing high-powered server that is running other of your business applications as well. This would save you money because you wouldn’t necessarily have to buy another piece of hardware to go with your new UC software.

First of all, let’s examine why this might be possible in the first place.

One reason is pure advances in computing power. The COTS (commercial off the shelf) server you buy today clearly has a lot more computing power than the server you bought 5 years ago or even 18 months ago. I learned all about Moore’s law when I worked for Intel. As such, you don’t need discrete hardware to run each business application. It’s a bit hard to wrap your head around if you haven’t thought about it, but it makes sense. If the server has more computing power, then for any given application there will be “wasted” computing power on such as server. So why not use up that computing power by having it applied to multiple tasks or applications?

Another reason is that, as the computing power has increased, software that allowed discrete applications to be run concurrently, yet separate from each other, on that same server came to the forefront. The initial virtualization technology that ushered in the cloud era was geared more toward transactional computing and not really suitable for VoIP applications that are sensitive to latency and dropped packets. However, today the virtualization technology can handle real-time communication applications as well.

The virtualization technology also comes with the added benefit of not only scheduling multiple applications on the same server but also enables two different physical servers to work together, bringing the benefit of increased reliability and uptime.

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