E911 Applications in a Virtual Environment

E911 Watch

E911 Applications in a Virtual Environment

By TMCnet Special Guest
Nick Maier
  |  November 01, 2011

This article originally appeared in the Nov. 2011 issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY.

Enterprises are rapidly adopting virtualization strategies for their data centers, and we are often asked these days if E911 applications can run successfully in these environments. 

Virtualization allows enterprises to maximize the efficiency of their data centers by spreading applications and their associated workloads across multiple servers, rather than having each application with a dedicated server. With virtualization, server efficiency increases, and the overall number of servers is dramatically reduced, saving both capital and operating expense costs.  

In response to this trend, voice platform providers including Avaya (News - Alert) and Cisco have adopted a virtual strategy for their unified communications platforms, allowing multiple applications to run on or across multiple servers for scalability, redundancy and performance. The next logical question for workplace safety-focused organizations is: Can an E911 application work in a virtualized environment?

A virtualized E911 application can live very well within this environment, providing phone location tracking across multiple call servers and connecting to NENA i2 cloud-based applications for national 911 call routing.

Here are three things to consider when evaluating the merits of running an E911 application in your virtual environment:

  •       Has the E911 application been built with virtualization in mind? It can be difficult to adapt legacy enterprise applications to run in virtual environments.
  •       Is adequate memory, processing power and storage available? Review the application’s virtualization spec sheet to determine the amount of CPU, virtual  memory and storage the application requires.
  •      What about backup? Review the redundancy and scalability strategy for the E911 application in the virtual environment. Like any other mission-critical application, you’ll want to plan for uninterrupted operations.

Virtualization is a great story and delivers real bottom-line results. That’s why enterprises are moving their voice platforms and their associated voice applications into virtualized data centers. The good news? By applying the same planning discipline you employ with your other enterprise applications, your E911 solution can run efficiently in a virtual environment to protect your employees and visitors.

Nick Maier is senior vice president of RedSky (News - Alert) Technologies (www.redskyE911.com).

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Edited by Stefania Viscusi