Tuesday, 20 December 2011

More choice in this period of giving

Season’s Greetings!

Cloud must be the great buzzword of the year, with virtually everyone getting on the bandwagon. There probably hasn’t been a technology article written in the last twelve months that didn’t have the word ‘cloud’ in it. Here at Aculab, we’re just as guilty; at least in terms of drawing down on our bag of cloud words. However, since the introduction of Aculab Cloud, we feel kind of justified. I’m sure you’d agree.

Nevertheless, cloudy references aside, it is virtualisation and associated technology advances that have been the true enabler. The ‘pay-as-you-go’ and ‘pay-for-what-you-use’ kinds of cloud-based services wouldn’t work so well without the benefits of server virtualisation, upon which they’re founded. The idea of being able to ramp up resources in times of need and throttle back in fallow periods is intrinsically linked to the concept of virtual servers. And what a good thing that is. Aculab Cloud depends upon it. It wouldn’t be a true cloud telephony platform without it.

At Aculab, we’ve always been keen to offer our customers a choice and our cloud-based service platform (PaaS) is yet another option for telephony-based application developers. That said, the more traditional options of boards and software remain. However, those development models have also evolved to take advantage of advancements in technology.

If ‘the cloud’ is not for you, then the approach of using ‘software and a gateway’ can be the answer – if not to life, the universe and everything, then to your IP-based telephony server needs. Assuming connection to the PSTN is needed, then a gateway is essential if you don’t have an ‘in the skins’ solution with T1 or E1 trunk interfaces built in. If you have an IP-PBX or a SIP-based service delivery platform, there really is no sensible alternative to a gateway for when you need to connect to a legacy TDM network. So, there’s your option; Prosody S and ApplianX – what a combination!

A similar model comes to mind when you need to connect to an ISDN (or SS7) network, without the need, specifically, for gateway functionality. Where your application is desirably software-only, with a need for trunks, though not SIP per se, the concept of remotely controlling telecommunications hardware is attractive. It is an especially attractive alternative in this era of virtualisation.

If you can package up your software to produce a highly portable virtual image, and in turn simultaneously control multiple hardware resources from several application instances, how good is that? No longer do you need to worry about integrating hardware and software in a server. Immediately, you are protected from what can be a volatile (certainly in terms of repeatable configurations) server market.

If all you had to do was plug in and configure a 1U chassis by connecting your software application, wouldn’t that be a load off your mind? Your software would be much simpler to manage and maintain, for two things, and its distribution, installation and operation as divorced from hardware considerations as it’s possible to be.

The idea of media processing resources in a 1U ‘box’ isn’t new, however, most options present an ‘application ready’ platform, which sort of negates the benefits of software virtualisation – your application can only run in the box that’s provided. It is surely far better to have a separate chassis running your ‘voice board’ functionality and, at the same time, to get the maximum benefit out of having a software-only product.

Will do just that for you.”

See our Season’s Greetings video and check out the latest option from Aculab – a new, in-box Pro-so-dy!

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