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Virtual unified communications changing the data center

By Donna Donnowitz
May 4, 2011
Virtual infrastructure has a dramatic impact on the data center's infrastructure, especially on networking systems that need to adjust to the growing amount of bandwidth created by multiple virtual machines on a single physical device.

The trend toward server and desktop virtualization is already changing the data center network infrastructure sector and the market could experience even more challenges as companies begin to virtualize other systems. Virtual applications, such as unified communications, are becoming more popular in many enterprise settings. As a result, new data center infrastructure needs are rapidly emerging, CRN reports.

According to the report, more businesses are deciding to deploy virtualized unified communications systems that depend heavily on advanced network infrastructure. Furthermore, the changes mandated by the virtualization process need to be handled perfectly because unified communications are so critical in nature. This is creating an environment for upgrades, expansion and innovation in data center environments.

Steve Kaplan, vice president of data center virtualization at INX, told the news source the growing trend toward virtual unified communications is not only impacting major companies, but is becoming a common part of all UC deployments. He said convergence within a unified communications platform was once about uniting data and voice capabilities. Now, it is about making virtualization and voice work together to improve collaboration.

The report said virtual unified communications are also becoming popular because they make economic sense. By virtualizing unified communications servers, businesses can improve utilization rates and reduce the amount of energy they waste in the data center. It also lets them develop the unified communications platform into a system that is more flexible and capable of scaling to changing enterprise needs, the report said. All of this is further enhanced by separating the unified communications system from the physical server. This not only improves backup and maintenance strategies, but can also make it easier to reinstate unified communications within disaster recovery strategies.

Virtualization is becoming a key technology in many data center systems. A recent TechTarget report said many companies are using virtual appliances to expand the capabilities of their networking infrastructure. A virtual appliance can support server and desktop virtualization by adapting the networking hardware and unified communications systems to support the virtual infrastructure. This is becoming especially critical as data centers work to meet the growing bandwidth needs created by efforts toward virtualization and consolidation.


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