Considering faxing over your integrated access T1? Let me provide a cautionary note and a little history before you do. Fifteen years ago customers would purchase a T1 for voice and perhaps some 56K tie lines between facilities for Voice/Modems. If an organization was really large they would buy a T1 between sites. With the widespread adoption of the internet and increased functionality of data networks, customers began to purchase a single T1 for Voice and a second T1 for Data. Enterprising CLEC’s got into the action by dividing up a T1 for Voice and Internet, usually 50/50 for smaller companies. Approximately 5 years ago CLEC’s began to allow the T1 usage to be dependent upon the amount and type of traffic going over it. For example, if you had 2 calls, your Internet access dropped from 1.544Mbps to about 1416K. Once those 2 calls dropped, you had full access to the 1.544Mbps. The technology that made this advancement possible was VoIP; otherwise known as an Integrated Access T1. VoIP can provide T1, ISDN PRI or a POT’s dial tone connection plus Internet. The main problem with this technology is it does not handle faxing very well or in many cases not at all. The cautionary note is do not fax over an integrated access circuit. It might work 30% of the time. For now, keep all fax and modem on analog POT’s or TDM interfaces until the protocol T.38 becomes more prevalent.
A new age has dawned within the enterprise telephony marketplace. Over the past 10 years customers have been putting pressure on telephony manufactures to allow PBX software the ability to run on standards based x86, SUN platforms and even standard Ethernet Switches. In many cases the overworked network administrators requested this in order to ease their maintenance needs. Many manufactures have accomplished this today.
During the same period of time a company by the name of VMWare has been working on reducing management, increasing uptime, and making disaster recovery a snap within the data centers. The short story with VMWare is it will allow 32 different operating systems (Windows, Linux, Unix etc.) to run on the same hardware platform with no interoperating issues between dissimilar operating systems and applications whatsoever, provide for easy off site disaster recovery options, and moving of applications from one hardware platform to another with no interruption of service to the end user. Don’t worry if none of that made sense to you, its old information to your Network Admin. The game changer here the Virtual Mitel Communications Director (vMCD) software from Mitel will run in your data center with any other application on the VMWare platform. What that means to you and I is that the day of proprietary hardware, poor reliability, and a lack of features are over. You may never purchase another telephone system again.
If you would like to hear more about vMCD please contact me.