ShoreTel enables deployment of communications system in a virtual environment

ShoreTel has launched ShoreTel 14.2 which allows companies of all sizes to deploy a ShoreTel communications system in a virtual environment.

ShoreTel 14.2 gives users the ability to mix and match hardware-based and virtual appliances in a single network, all managed using a single web-based management interface.

With ShoreTel 14.2, customers may now select the UC-deployment model that best suits their business and infrastructure needs – virtual, physical or any combination of both.

ShoreTel 14.2 enables all ShoreTel UC components, including call control, SIP trunks, and collaboration applications, to be virtualized and implemented on industry-standard servers.

In addition, virtualization allows customers to take advantage of features for higher availability, such as VMware vSphere High Availability, and zero-downtime live migration of running virtual machines with VMware vSphere vMotion, to improve applications availability and enable disaster-recovery practices companies already have in place. 

The new ShoreTel software also allows easy scalability for enterprise-grade customers by quadrupling the port capacity per appliance. ShoreTel virtual switches support up to 1,000 phones and 500 SIP trunks. This increased capacity simplifies deployment and eliminates the need to manage multiple appliances, especially for customers that choose a centralized UC deployment.

The ShoreTel solution can be implemented on industry-standard virtualised servers; thus, consolidating the server hardware across multiple applications, reducing energy requirements and minimizing hardware footprint. 

Communication systems requirements vary widely from company to company, and the availability of virtualization technology is changing how UC is deployed in small- and medium-sized companies, as well as large enterprises.

Virtualization technology can deliver a number of benefits to customers, depending on customer uses and needs. According to VMware, most physical servers operate at less than 15 per cent of capacity – not only is this highly inefficient, it also introduces server sprawl and complexity.

VMware also reports that server virtualization delivers 80 per cent greater utilization of server resources, up to 50 per cent savings in capital and operating costs, and a 10:1 or better server-consolidation ratio.

“The time is now to take advantage of virtualization for UC – the infrastructure is in place, the market is ready, the channel is knowledgeable, and customers are clamouring to virtualize their PBX and entire communications platform,” said Pej Roshan, Vice President of Product Management at ShoreTel. “Virtualization complements our distributed architecture and allows customers to benefit from virtualization features and ShoreTel’s inherent N+1 redundancy to deliver high availability at the lowest cost. In addition, virtualization sets the foundation for customers to consume VoIP services via on-premises, hybrid, and cloud-deployment models.”

ShoreTel enables customers to choose the unique deployment model that best suits their needs. This allows customers to leverage virtual servers they already own and operate.