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IP Telephony Appliances
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July 02, 2008

IP Telephony Appliances

By Jeff Hudgins, VP of Engineering, NEI, Inc.

Appliance servers have long been seen as ideal for the security solutions market. Independent software vendors (ISVs) competing in the IP telephony space can use the same appliance strategy to reduce the solutions complexity and cost. Appliance servers are typically defined as a network enabled device that is exclusively designed to provide a predefined set of services. For the IP telephony vendor it’s an ideal deployment method to increase the number of enterprise customers they can reach.

According to Gartner (News - Alert) Group, integrated appliances have been around for the past 10 years and provide the benefit of a locked environment. The appliance server is hardened through a tight integration of the application image and the operating system and hardware interfaces.
Tech Score: Integrated Appliances
The NEI approach to the appliance server is a continuous lifecycle of the appliance including deployment, support and maintenance, and upgrades/patch management. The NEI ACE element manager can help the telephony ISV by providing three key features.
1. OS hardening that reduces vulnerability
2. Image restore that reduces support incidents and troubleshooting expense.
3. Alarm notification to proactively notify the ISV or end user of an alarm to maximize uptime.
Final Score. The IP Telephony ISV can significantly expand their markets through the use of appliance servers. By creating a solution that reduces the up front implementation costs and maintenance burden, they create a very compelling deployment strategy. Even vendors who are using a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS (News - Alert)) model can still benefit from an on-premise appliance server to reduce latency and increase the level of back-office integration that is required.
Jeff Hudgins, Vice President of Engineering at NEI, writes the Tech Score column for TMCnet. To read more of Jeff’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

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A computing entity that delivers predefined service(s) through an application-specific interface with no accessible operating software
Definition of an Appliance
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