The Case for Voice Virtualization

Without doubt one of the biggest trends in IT is virtualization. This post will, I hope, answer: what it is, why it is meaningful and why it should be on the radar of anyone with responsibility for voice platforms and services.

Exactly what is virtualization?

Virtualization, in computing, is the creation of a virtual version of something, such as a hardware platform, operating system, a storage device or network resources. The goal of virtualization is to centralize administrative tasks while improving scalability, efficiency and availability of these computing resources.

Why does it matter?

Virtualization, done correctly, achieves important two of the “holy grails” for any enterprise: increasing efficiency of assets and resources while decreasing costs and risk.

Why should it be on my radar?

If your competitors are doing it, and every piece of research on the adoption rate of virtualization says that the majority are, then you risk being lapped by your competition. To carry the racing analogy a little further: think of it as a race where your competition is driving a Formula One car that is faster, more durable, easier to drive, less prone to crashing, costs less, is easier to fix and takes up less space in the garage (and of course looks better) while you jump into a vintage stock car.

Okay. Now let’s discuss voice virtualization. Voice is different from other applications in its sensitivity to latency. In other words, if you have latency with voice, users are going to notice. If those users happen to be on a trading floor then the likelihood that they will not tolerate latency is, in my experience, nearly 100%.

Virtualization has the potential to introduce latency. This is why, until now, many have not considered the idea of virtualizing their voice platforms, especially in trading environments. Two years ago, two leading companies in their respective fields, VMware in virtualization software, and Mitel in IP communications, set out to solve the latency issue with voice. After 18 months of hard labor, it was mission accomplished.

What this means is that now customers have the option of deploying their entire voice infrastructure as a virtualized software application on industry standard hardware with VMware hypervisors. This could include trading turrets, enterprise voice and unified communications.

The result is that what previously was a proprietary, multi-vendor hardware/software environment that required ongoing integration and multiple support partners is now a single, normalized software application that can be managed, for the most part, by in-house IT staff.

The outcome, of course, being lower costs, improved scalability, system management and availability. And when the bonus check has arrived for all of this performance could that Ferrari be far off?

To see more on virtualizing voice in a financial trading enterprise please go to:

or for an in-depth white paper on voice virtualization please go to:

Date: Friday, 11. February 2011 9:49
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