A phone system enhanced by Virtualization
Now, more than ever, small and midsized businesses (SMB) face similar challenges including shrinking budgets, limited IT personnel, and a lack of overall time and resources. To combat these challenges, companies are turning to virtualization. These businesses are rewarded with cost savings and simplicity by utilizing solutions that are optimized using virtualization. And today’s phone systems are now perfect candidates for virtualization. Phone systems have evolved from complex, hardware-focused infrastructures, to sophisticated software-based solutions. Even for companies with minimal or no existing virtualization today, Switchvox for VMware is an ideal candidate to begin your virtualization journey.
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Improved Uptime and Disaster Recovery
Unified Communications solutions (UC solutions), today’s enhanced version of yesterdays’ PBXes, are mission-critical and downtime can lead to lost revenue. With legacy solutions, creating a highly redundant environment was complex and extremely costly. Companies that could not afford for downtime in their communications platforms needed to purchase expensive redundant servers and additional licenses.
Virtualization platforms include features such as live migration, high-availability, and storage migration to keep applications running even in the event of a hardware failure. Utilizing multiple servers, it is now possible to create an environment where multiple servers act as one, allowing applications to remain online automatically and seamlessly during hardware outages.
Virtualization also provides companies with a method to create a private infrastructure for disaster recovery. Redundant virtual servers can be placed off-site, allowing systems to be accessed even in the event of a weather-related outage, power outage, or any other unforeseen event that occurs at the main office.
A virtualized phone system solves scalability issues by placing the control of system resources in the hands of the business and away from the PBX vendor. IT may now determine what resources (CPU, RAM, storage) to allocate to the phone system, and they have the ability to adjust these resources on-the-fly to support business growth or retraction.
Digium provides recommended guidelines to ensure resources are properly established in order to meet performance needs, however the actual resources allocated may be set by your organization. No longer do companies need to worry that they’ll outgrow their phone system equipment.
Financially, virtualization has significant advantages over traditional deployment methods. One-for-one physical servers are often underutilized, likely using only a small fraction of their resources to deliver a particular application or need. Despite this, companies are still willing to pay a premium by using a single-server-per-application methodology. Virtualization consolidates multiple applications into a fewer number of servers, each running more efficiently. Using less physical servers, as well as less specific and often-times limited vendor-specific appliances, allows businesses to maximize physical resource utilization and minimize capital spending.
Power Savings and Going Green
In a world with rising utility costs, managing a server room’s power, cooling, and capacity is vital. And as businesses look to lower their overall environmental impact, using separate servers for each application is viewed as wasteful. In order to reduce the carbon footprint of your server or data room, it is essential to combine as many assets as possible. The ability to consolidate a Unified Communications solution onto shared hardware helps companies work towards “Going Green”.
Simplicity and Flexibility for IT
Deploying and maintaining separate hardware for every application is time consuming and creates a constant struggle for IT to keep up to date. Systems that are virtualized can be deployed faster and maintained more easily, freeing up IT resources and reducing technology management headaches. Phone systems that require separate servers for individual voice applications complicate installation and maintenance tasks. Virtualized phone systems consolidate applications into fewer physical servers and virtualization platforms provide tools and features that give IT the flexibility they need to successfully manage their communications network.