How to Choose a Virtualization Platform

My Post (5)How to choose a Virtualization Platform
Understanding what a virtualization platform is can be difficult, then having to choose the best platform for your business can be exhausting. Even though it has been around for a while, the virtualization concept is relatively new for some small-medium sized businesses and the big ones are still considering making the switch.

Below you’ll find 5 basics questions that will help you jump on the virtualization band wagon! Keep reading if you want some tips on How to Choose a Virtualization Platform.

To start,
What is a Virtualization Platform?
It is a virtual (not actual, not real, not tangible) machine that acts like a real computer with an operating system. So, instead of owning a physical server, you have a virtual one that can be hosted online. Cool right? It has virtual computer hardware platforms, storage devices and computer network resources. Everything you need in one place minus all the extra hardware.

Why should your business go Virtual?
We all know the old saying, ‘why fix it if it isn’t broke’ right? Although that may be common, the truth is that businesses have to stay innovative for their customers and clients! Going virtual has so many benefits such as:

–        Reducing IT Expenses
–        Boosting Efficiency
–        Better Disaster Recovery
–        Simplified Data Management
–        Reduction of Physical Servers (Goodbye to the days of ‘server rooms’)
–        Cooling and Power Costs are Reduced
–        Increasing Productivity

The list goes on…

Now we know the ‘what’ and ‘why’, but let’s focus on the ‘how’. (The real reason you clicked on this post).

How do you choose and switch to a Virtualization Platform?
Some companies may offer services you may not need and some may offer services you never thought existed.The trick is, to figure out what you need or want to get from your Virtualization Platform and find a company that does just that. When researching ask yourself the following:

–        Is their software user friendly?
–        Do they offer a free trial?
–        Will they be present at a trade show near you? That way you can meet their team!
–        Will they be compatible with the equipment your office already has?
–        How much is this going to cost?

And remember, ‘popular’ brands aren’t your only option. There are many fish in the sea of vendors and there will be the perfect one out there for you!

Although there are many options, in our unbiased opinion – we believe Bicom Systems to be one of the better choices. Which brings me to my next topic, the ‘who’.

Who do you choose?
Bicom Systems of course! The Virtualization Platform that Bicom Systems offers is called SERVERware. It is the only Virtualization Platform dedicated to Hosting Telephony & Unified Communications in the Cloud. Bicom Systems offers three different editions, so companies can choose what works best for their operations. If you want to learn more about SERVERware check out our website!

Ok maybe you don’t choose Bicom Systems. We won’t be that sad. But you may need to choose someone, which leaves this blog post to its final ‘w’ the ‘when’.

When do you choose a Virtualization Platform?
NOW! There is no time to waste in the virtual world.
You are in luck – Bicom Systems is having a sale for Black Friday!

black-friday-18Find out more on the Black Friday Sale here.

Top Features You Should Look for in Hosted Telephony

Top Features You Should Look for in Hosted Telephony

Hosted Telephony, also known as Cloud telephony or hosted VoIP, is where the provider hosts and manages the business phone system in a private data center. It gives the re-seller access to lower costs, free IP calling, and features like voicemail to email, on-hold music, call parking etc.

A private branch exchange (PBX) is a private telephone network within a company or organization. Hosted Telephony is run on a PBX and can be used over a Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), over the Internet (Hosted IP PBX via Internet Telephony also known as VOIP), or both.

There are many benefits to having hosted customers rather than on-premise ones. When a company chooses the hosted deployment, they are relieved of the burden of purchasing and maintaining the hardware.

The future is in Hosted – let’s explore the Top Features You Should Look for in Hosted Telephony:

Women using a smartphone in the display and technology advances in stores. Take your screen to put on advertising.

Time
By switching to Hosted Telephony, you and your customers are ultimately saving a great deal of time.

How Do You Ask?
With Hosted Telephony, desktop and mobile communication apps make it possible to work from anywhere with internet. Your customers will love that when they aren’t in the office they won’t be unavailable or miss calls. But – unified communications mean so much more than just staying in contact.

You are also going to save time with installation. Installation can be done remotely in a matter of days or even hours. There is no hardware to install or set up and no physical problems that could arise. It all can be installed by clicks of your keyboard and mouse.

Customization
You can customize! Some companies who offer hosted telephony offer customization. The customization makes it easier for your customers to add/remove features at any point. Maybe they want to start out with the basics and get their feet wet. Then after experiencing rapid growth, they are ready to go all in. This feature is also possible with the click of a few buttons.

By offering customization, you can meet more customer requirements with less hassle and customers get what they want, when they want it, how they want it. This moves us into our next topic.

Expanding Your Target Market
By offering different features and customization packages you can reach an array of different types of customers. If you have hosted, you can gain different customers who have different budgets. It allows them to pick the features they want without taking a hit to their wallets. It is a win for them and you.

Month-to-Month Hosted Partnerships
Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is the key to your company’s profit, growth, and sustainability. Vendors who sell on-premise software sell to their customers one time. Although it is a big one-time check, they are back to square one looking for more customers. If you offer hosted to your customers, you will still receive ‘one-time’ checks and they will be smaller, BUT they will come every month! This long-term commitment from customers will result in continuance profit for your business.

Not to mention the relationship you will build from a month to month hosted partnership. Your company will help its customers grow by supporting and working with them and you will grow with them offering upgrades, add-ons, etc. If you give your customer all the pieces they need to be successful, like staying innovative, offering updates and being supportive they will stick with you for the long haul. Your customer’s commitment to your company will guarantee financial security for your bottom line.

Ultimately, Hosted Telephony is just more convenient. By switching to Hosted, it removes the burden of IT maintenance and extra support from your customer. You don’t have to purchase any servers, it frees up physical space and gives you and your customers a piece of mind that in an emergency they are protected.

Bicom Systems product PBXware is an example of a product that has all these features and more. PBXware was the world’s first and is the most mature Open Standards Turnkey Telephony Platform. If you want to learn more about Hosted Telephony, download our book on ‘7 Reasons You and Your Customers Should Switch to Hosted’.

hosted-cover-350-192x300

If you want to learn more about Bicom Systems, visit our website or email us at: sales@bicomsystems.com.

The Benefits of Multi-Tenancy for Resellers & Users

multi-tenancyAs our industry continues its ongoing shift to the Cloud, one decision that many vendors are facing is whether to continue selling a dedicated solution or upgrade to multi-tenancy.

Multi-tenancy is a type of architecture where one single instance of your software and its infrastructure supports multiple customers (tenants). True MT solutions are only available in the Cloud.

Similar to housing, a dedicated solution is like owning a home – the whole thing is yours to occupy, finance, and maintain. A multi-tenant solution is like an apartment or townhouse that has a rented space in a shared structure.

Both scenarios have benefits and drawbacks. Owning a home may seem ideal, unless you are tired of being responsible when things inevitably break, are concerned about intruders, and wish you did not have to shovel your driveway on those cold winter mornings. In the same way, real-estate agents may crave the consistency of collecting monthly rent checks rather than always chasing the next big sale.

Getting back to technology, the benefits of multi-tenancy can be summarized in three big categories:

1. LOWER COSTS

Multi-tenant architecture is more cost-effective for both the vendor and the customer.

For the reseller:  On your end, you need only to develop, maintain, and support one solution to serve all of your customers. This will be less expensive than selling and supporting multiple dedicated servers and solutions.

For the user: Consumers like the multi-tenant pricing model of paying a set monthly subscription rather than a hefty up-front investment and unexpected bills down the line. There are no hardware or maintenance costs and they do not require IT expertise on-site.

Sharing the financial burden is a benefit to all parties involved.

2. MORE FLEXIBILITY

Despite the lower costs, multi-tenant architecture actually opens up more possibilities than a dedicated solution.

For the reseller: As a vendor, having all of your users on one instance makes it easy to customize individual preferences. Your MT interface will put all users in one place so it is quick and easy to add or remove customers, select the features one individual wants, or change the number of seats for another. Experience has shown us that selling dedicated platforms can lead to growth, but the work involved will become too much to manage. The scalability of multi-tenancy is the key to sustainable growth.

For the user: Your customers will love the flexibility offered to them as well. Rather than buying a one-size-fits-all solution with some features they do not really need and missing others that they want, they can pick and choose what to include in their solution and pay accordingly.

3. LESS WORK

Cutting out busywork and saving time is a top priority in our busy industry. Multi-tenant architecture does both.

For the reseller: Selling multi-tenancy is extremely easy. On-boarding new customers is quick and simple. Once you have your software instance and first customer set-up, adding new users will be mostly automated. The process will be the same for each customer and takes little more than a few clicks of your mouse. In the same way, software updates and upgrades can be done one time for all users. Forget the days of lengthy set-ups and updates for each and every user. Leave that headache in the past.

For the user: Your multi-tenant customers will enjoy less busywork as well. They do not have to worry about any: installations, maintenance, support, upgrades, or security. You will take care of all of those things, so they are free to focus on running their business.

Ready to upgrade to a multi-tenant solution?

Our Multi-Tenant PBX gives Telecom Service Providers a powerful platform to serve the IP PBX market in the cloud as a VoIP switch. Unlimited Hosted IP PBX Multi-Tenants, Unlimited resellers, user/company self-portal, and LCR are just some of the advanced features included with desktop applications to support. The system may be used as a Class 4 or Class 5 softswitch/voipswitch with multi-tenancy architecture. Learn more about Multi-Tenant PBX here or contact us today.

The Benefits of a White Label Provider

white-label

Offering White Label products is very important to us here at Bicom Systems. Why? Because we want to help grow YOUR brand and YOUR business

In the absence of White Label, service providers are left with two options: develop their own platform or sell someone else’s. The first requires an investment of time and finance plus enough staff to develop and support the product. The second robs you of the ability to grow your own business and secure a future for yourself.

White label products, on the other hand, give you the best of both worlds. The platform will be fully developed and supported so you can take it to market immediately without much technical work. But it will be free of any branding so you can sell it as your own product. Your own platform without the work or stress – what could be better?

Benefits to partnering with a white label provider include:

You advance your name, brand, and logo
A white label product allows you to put your brand onto a pre-developed product. You get all of the glory and can build your empire on a firm foundation.

You have complete control of your customers
Your name and business is the only one customers will know. There is no risk of losing them to your provider or being forced to share details and control.

You set your own prices and margins
In the same way, your customers will not know the base price so you can set your margin however you wish. As far as they know, it is your product and your price.

You can market it however you want
White label products free you to not only use your own brand, but also your own marketing messages. After all, who knows your audience and prospects better than you?

You get a solid product without the work
Developing a a full communications suite takes a significant amount of resources: time, money, staff, expertise, etc. Save yourself the headache and dive right into selling.

Your product is backed by someone else
In the same way, a white label platform gives you the support and backing of a third party. If something goes wrong, there is someone else to fix it.

You will get upgrades without the work
Finally, your white label provider will take care of upgrades so you do not have to. This includes not only bug fixes and improvements, but keeping up with trends and new technology that your customers will surely want.

This is all great, but we know some SMBs will still have doubts. If marketing and supporting a product that is not your own sounds daunting, don’t worry, we are here to help. The product is yours to brand and sell as you wish, but that does not mean we disappear altogether. We will be behind-the-scenes supporting you with marketing materials, support for installations and upgrades, and whatever else you may need.

We have said it before and we will continue to say it: your success is our success. We want nothing more than to see our partners grow and thrive.

Learn more about Bicom Systems and our products at www.bicomsystems.com/products.

 

Needed Hardware for 2600 Extensions

Hardware compatability

Requirements for the project are to find a possible server configuration that should be able to cope with 2600 extensions usage. We must take into account that each extension will use gloCOM and have a deskphone as well.

Since time was a limited resource and the fastest server that we had was the HP DL360 G7, we decided to use that server as a quick testing scenario where we would try to come as close as possible to the technical setup needed for the project. Once we had the minimum needed result numbers, we could now compare to some use cases with our servers and the performance of servers that are new on the market.

G7 specs are as follows:

  • CPU: 2x Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU L5630 @ 2.13GHz (4 core/8 threads)
  • RAM: 24GB DDR3
  • DISKS: Combined 500GB of space SAS drives
  • OS: Serverware 3.0 with 1 PBXware 5 VPS instance

This server managed to run approximately 750 extensions with a  total of 230 calls, 750 gloCOM connections, 15 SIP registrations per second, and 375 OPTION packets per second. This was all done on one VPS.

Bicom Systems has a production server with about 3700 extensions split between 24 VPSs with maximum number of extensions per VPS at 750. Keeping in mind this server is running older versions of Serverware and PBXware, with much less features than our newly available versions. The configuration of said server is:

  • CPU: 1x Xeon D-1541 with 8 cores
  • RAM: 32GB
  • DISK: 1x 1.6TB SSD
  • OS: Serverware 1.9 with 24 PBXware 4 instances

Now, taking into account the new Xeon CPUs, which perform much better than servers such as the G9 and G10, we came to a possible configuration that will satisfy project needs:

  • CPU: 2x Xeon E5 with 8 cores each
  • RAM: 32GB DDR4
  • Disks: if we consider recording considering you do not go under 1TB, the number of disks would depend on the type of Serverware. We would also recommend a solution with call recordings being stored on a Hard Disk Drive (HDD), while the system and all else that accompanies it be stored on a Solid-State Drive (SSD).

One thing that needs to be mentioned is that we can’t be sure if all of 2600 extensions would be able to coexist on a single PBXware VPS, so it is recommended to start out with one VPS and if you run into issues, split them into other VPSs. This should resolve those issues.

For more information, visit our wiki

Creator Bio:

Eldar Avdic,

UADs & Appliances Manager and Developer. Maintains Bicom Systems’ UAD support and keeping appliances up to date.

Dino Mesic,

UADs & Appliances Engineer and Developer. Develops support for UADs, maintain technical documentation and test new UADs and appliances.