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Which deployment model is right for you? A look at virtualized, hosted and cloud

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Companies are increasingly considering centralized deployment of their SIP-trunking and UC resources into a private cloud or data center to maximize their return on investment in computing and virtual infrastructure resources.

Many legacy systems were built with the premise that dedicated servers would always host and run software and associated workloads. But just because communication components are moved into a private cloud doesn’t mean that customers should have to compromise quality by displacing all existing equipment or sacrificing existing enterprise-grade features.

Some confusion can occur when people begin to discuss “virtual programs.” Virtualization, hosted services and cloud communications are three definitively unique deployment methods.

Virtualization
If you want the hardware on your home turf premises, you need physical or virtual servers.

Virtualization is essentially multiple computers in a single box. The technology takes underlying operating systems, loads VMWare into the aforementioned box to create multiple mini-servers (referred to as images).

Each image has a specific purpose or function. Only a few years ago this would have required a purpose-built hardware server for each server. Imagine one hardware server with purpose-driven images vs. a multitude of hardware boxes stored along racks and you can see where companies can realize a significant amount of capital cost savings.

When considering the cost of virtualization, examine your needs from an infrastructure perspective as well as all the other services necessary for your enterprise. While a VMWare box may seem extremely expensive, are you looking at one expensive box with a price tag of $50k compared to 10 individual boxes at $5k each?

Hosted
If you want a bespoke solution serviced offsite, you are looking for a hosted environment.

A hosted solution comprises either physical or virtualized boxes that live in a data center or other off-premises site that the customer accesses. This essentially serves as Infrastructure as a Service.

With a hosted deployment, an enterprise has more intimate access to their solution than they would with a full multi-tenant cloud set-up. Hosted solutions can be customized, and add incremental images, while a company doesn’t have to make any investment into the physical infrastructure.

Cloud
If you simply want the ability to rapidly deploy, you want cloud.

Cloud solutions are most often contained within a remote data center built specifically for resilience, reliability and availability. Third-party vendors take responsibility for owning, configuring and managing the infrastructure.

With a multitenant architecture, the customers’ service is virtually partitioned and each individual organization works with their own customized virtual application for data and configuration.

It ultimately comes down to a Cap-ex vs. Op-ex decision.