With all the talk of cloud computing and software as a service of late, many IT organizations are wondering how communications can be deployed realistically in these models. This discussion inevitably leads to the topic of virtualization.
Among the highest-impact issues in IT today, virtualization allows multiple applications to run on virtual machines within one or more physical host servers. A hypervisor – from vendors such as VMware, Microsoft or others – allocates server resources for all virtual machines running on it. Virtualization has long been used in data centers to consolidate the number of physical servers, better utilize existing hardware, and improve application availability.
Centralizing applications in data centers and leveraging virtualization technology to minimize associated costs and complexities has for several years been a trend among IT departments of both enterprises and mid-sized organizations. Adding communications to virtualized environments brings complexity and special requirements that not every enterprise communications provider can deliver today.
NEC has verified that UNIVERGE Sphericall, the pure software-based communications platform, runs in both VMware® ESXi and Microsoft® Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 virtualized environments to deliver voice and unified communications services in various cloud and hosted scenarios.
Some potential use cases for software-based communications in virtualization include:
- Customers with virtualization initiatives to reduce data center costs and server “sprawl”
- Disaster recovery scenarios running virtualized instances in carrier hosted environment, or private cloud infrastructure.
- Implementing additional media service resources such as voicemail, auto attendant, music-on-hold and/or call recording using Sphericall virtualization
- Hosted provider scaling a single, large server with multiple instances of Sphericall where each instance is tied to a particular customer site
- Small or remote offices desiring to hosted multiple applications on a single machine