VoIP For Business: Stability vs. Savings

2017-07-27T00:01:12+00:00 January 21st, 2010|Uncategorized|

 

How can VoIP save your business money?Digium Whitepaper

You want to or already have deployed a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) capable phone system for your business, but where are the monthly cost savings, VoIP? You’ve seen some savings by reusing your existing company infrastructure, like network wiring, and you’ve seen a boost in productivity because of all the features that can come with VoIP, and specifically an IP PBX, but do you really need to entrust your voice to the wild west of the Internet to see any real impact on your monthly bill? We’ll explore ways to get the most out of an IP PBX (Internet Protocol Private Branch eXchange) deployment so that your calls are as cheap and as reliable as you are willing to make them. And we’ll look at ways to help you decide how much risk your company can tolerate in the name of slashing phone bills.

Wait, but isn’t VoIP free?

Not exactly, no. If you make a call using VoIP to another user of the same VoIP network, then yes, this call could potentially be free. This is really dependent on what the owner of that network has decided for their policy. If the owner of the network is you, as in the case of multiple IP PBX systems joined together, then yes, those calls are free.

So what are you paying for then?

If you’re not calling another VoIP user, like in the case where a VoIP call is made to a cell phone, somewhere, somehow, that call needs to jump out of the VoIP network and “terminate” into the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network). That’s the service you’re paying for when you’re paying for VoIP service (Fig 1).

The main reason that your phone calls are less expensive when using a VoIP provider is because they’re sending your call as far as they can with VoIP, and only sending it as short a distance as they can out on the PSTN. In other words, they’re saving by not sending the call long distance either.

An ITSP (Internet Telephony Service Provider) with many termination points all around the world can have rates well below a traditional carrier for this reason. Take, for example, a call you want to make from Los Angeles to someone’s regular home phone in Paris. If the VoIP carrier you’re using has a termination point in Paris, you’re in luck and the call will travel across the distance just like any other internet traffic (like if you sent an e-mail to someone in Paris), and then when it needs to go from that termination point in a data center out to the PSTN network in Paris, its just a local call, and therefore, cheap!

 Fig1

But all this goes out the window when you consider that most ITSPs are actually just reselling a larger, wholesale carrier’s minutes. So shopping for an ITSP can just come down to shopping for the lowest
rates. But buyer beware! Just like anything else, you tend to get what you pay for. There are definitely bargains to be had, but it’s important to know if the carrier you’re researching is reselling someone else’s minutes or if they actually have their own network. It may be better if they’re reselling a larger carrier’s minutes because that large company has a lot of infrastructure, presence worldwide, and support staff. On the other hand, you will get some frustrating answers from ITSPs that don’t own their own network if they’re experiencing an outage. Basically, there’s not much they can do about it. So if you are going to choose to go with a provider that resells rather than owns their own network, the best bet is to choose a carrier that resells several larger carriers’ minutes, instead of depending on just one.

Big Impact: Routing Calls Wisely

The whole goal here is to explore how routing your business calls through the right channels can impact your bottom line, without forcing you to jump into VoIP “head first” at the outset. VoIP may be cheap, but it’s typically no more reliable than the internet, so balancing with PSTN calls would be the wise deployment, due to the government regulations placed on our old telephone network.

Scenario One: Use VoIP to Just Call Between Offices

So easy, it should actually be difficult to NOT implement an IP PBX this way. From remote employees, to entire remote offices, by deploying IP handsets and IP PBXs at each location, all of your devices can just talk to each other without intervention by an outside agency. That is, they all speak the same language, no translation is necessary, so there’s nothing to pay for in that case but bandwidth. Presuming you’ve moved from a traditional PBX to an IP PBX, and have simply unplugged your old analog lines from the old system and plugged them in to the new system, you could still see some pretty decent savings by deploying this way. You could consider this to be the “safest” way to roll out an IP PBX, but unless your company does a lot of branch to branch calling or has a lot of employees working from home, you could probably aim a little higher.

Scenario Two: Add in VoIP for Select Outbound Calls

By adding in a VoIP provider to the mix, you can pick and choose through the Switchvox interface which calls should be handled by which route. Imagine your phone system, but instead of just having those old analog lines plugged in, you’ve also chosen to sign up for service with a VoIP service provider. In the Switchvox GUI interface, you can actually specify that for 911 calls, the system should send the call over the analog lines, but when you call New York, to use the VoIP service provider’s route. See what we did there? We used VoIP because it’s cheaper to call long distance using VoIP, but we used the analog lines when we didn’t care about cost and just wanted the most reliable call possible.

With Switchvox you can get as specific as you want with defining types of calls (any long distance call, any call to Los Angeles, any call to 858-234-9090) so that you can route them the way that makes sense for your business. And by using several VoIP providers, you can boost the cost savings even more. If you have multiple providers, you can set the Switchvox to use the provider that gives you the best rate for the call, e.g., use VoIPro to call China, but Vongo to call Dallas.

To balance a little reliability back in there, Switchvox can be set up with fail-over, or fallback routes for the calls that you specify. E.g., use Vongo to call Dallas, but if that fails, place the call using the good old PSTN lines. If you have multiple providers, you can get really fancy and stack the routes up as much as you like: use Vongo to call Dallas, but if that fails, use VoIPro, and if that fails too, use the PSTN. These fail-over routes can be put into place wherever it makes sense for your business. Would you like to fail over to the PSTN when your employees are trying to call China? It’s up to you! Do you want to spend$30 on a five minute phone call, or would you rather your employee give it another shot in 5 minutes when the outage has (hopefully) passed?

An even more granular level of control is to define the routes that should be used not just by the number your employee is dialing, but by whom the employee is. Maybe you don’t want your tech support team to call out using the analog lines unless its a 911 call and maybe they shouldn’t be allowed to dial 1-900 numbers at all. Maybe the CEO should be able to use the PSTN fail-over route when she’s trying to call China but the VoIP connection is unavailable. All of these options are open to you with Switchvox.

This deployment scenario is the most common way that Digium’s Switchvox IP PBX systems are deployed in the real world because they offer the most flexibility for balancing cost savings with reliability. If you find that your VoIP providers aren’t as reliable as your business demands, you can ratchet up the use of the PSTN lines for many of your calls. If you find your VoIP lines have never been a problem, you can start scaling up their use and really see the savings add up.

Scenario 3: VoIP Inbound

In the previous scenarios, we’ve been discussing outbound calls but it is possible to use VoIP for inbound calls as well. A phone number (or as many as you need) can be procured from many VoIP service providers. These are often called “DIDs.” It is often cheaper to get a DID than a PSTN phone line (that by nature comes with a phone number) and so it is an attractive option for many businesses trying to squeeze out the most cost savings possible with their new IP PBX. What many businesses fail to consider, however, is that they will often pay for outbound and inbound calls with this new number. With your old analog lines though, you probably didn’t pay for inbound calls. E.g., if John calls Jane using a regular phone line, he pays for the call based on how long he’s on the phone and Jane doesn’t pay a dime. With VoIP, unless you’re signed up for a plan that is a flat fee for both outbound and inbound, you’d pay both ways.

Another point to consider when evaluating moving your numbers to VoIP DIDs is number portability. Unless your VoIP service provider can transfer your numbers, there are generally some costs associated with changing your businesses phone numbers: printing new business cards, informing your clients, updating advertisements or websites, etc.

And the last reason that using VoIP for inbound calls is unusual in a business IP PBX is the reliability factor. If that call can’t reach the IP PBX, it’s a far worse thing for most businesses than if an outbound call fails. Think of it this way, if you’re sitting at your desk and try to call your customer in China and the call route rules don’t fail over to the PSTN so your call simply fails, you’re going to hang up the phone and try again in 5 minutes. If your customer, on the other hand, tries to call you and it doesn’t work, who’s to say they’re ever going to call back again? Ouch. And there’s nothing the IP PBX can do about this to fail-over, because the call isn’t getting to it. It can’t re-route a call that it doesn’t have.

The bottom line is to be cautious when assuming you need to switch all of your numbers to DIDs. A far more common way to deploy VoIP DIDs is to use them as back up numbers in case all of your analog phone lines are full. Making sure you’ve got enough PSTN lines to handle your inbound call volume is important, but if you find that one day your company has been covered in the New York Times and your phone is ringing off the hook, you can at least roll over to your DIDs. And if those happen to be down at that very instant, I’d say you were both having very good luck and very bad luck on the same day. In other words, this is probably a reasonable risk for most businesses.

So how does one implement this scenario? Your PSTN provider probably has an option available that you can add to your plan that will forward inbound calls to another number if all of your phone lines are busy. Just give them your VoIP DID and tell them that’s the number they should forward to. They don’t even have to know it’s a VoIP line, it looks just like a telephone number to them. If you are going to deploy this way, it is a good idea to look for a provider that will allow multiple inbound calls over the same DID, that way you’re pretty much guaranteed not to “ring busy” when your customers call on the busiest day.

Scenario 4: All VoIP, All the Time

Sometimes Switchvox IP PBXs are deployed as an office phone system that strictly use VoIP and they don’t have any analog lines plugged into them. One way that this happens is when a VoIP service provider actually doesn’t route your business’s calls over the Internet, but instead uses a private network. These types of providers can therefore offer data as well as VoIP service and can provide SLAs (Service Level Agreements) that other VoIP providers can not. They are actually in charge of what happens to your calls, rather than trusting them to the Internet. These types of providers can also offer QoS (Quality of Service) which prioritize your voice packets over your data packets, ensuring that your phone calls sound perfect. An often misunderstood aspect of VoIP is that it sounds bad- not true! It actually sounds better because its digital. What can sound bad is the network the call is on. Calls that travel over the Internet can often take on a robot-y sound or be choppy because they’re sharing that “information superhighway” with a lot of other traffic. QoS ensures a clear path from start to finish.

The other, more risky, but cheapest way to do an all VoIP system is to get a regular VoIP service provider account and a DID or two. You will want to make sure you have a plan for dialing 911 (some VoIP providers support this, others do not). This is, of course, both the cheapest (probably) way to deploy and fraught with the most risk (also probably). You may have great luck with this, and you may curse the day you ever tried it. For this reason, it’s recommended that you work up to this gradually, rather than jumping in feet first and having to scale back and make adjustments to cope with trouble.

Failures? Outages? What gives?

With all of this talk about failures and outages, you might be asking yourself just what you’re getting into! As I hope I’ve shown, VoIP can be deployed in such a way as to improve your call’s sound quality, be cheaper and just plain better, but there can be bumps in the road, which is why I’ve outlined these different deployment scenarios. These bumps can be caused by a lot of different things, like outages of your ISP, big Internet backbone style outages (fairly rare, but they happen), and outages at your VoIP service provider. The important thing to remember is that if your IP PBX cannot navigate the route from its location to your service provider, your calls will fail. The regular analog lines that we’ve come to depend on are essentially an old, proven dedicated network that’s regulated by our government to be up with “five nines” of reliability. The Internet is not such a beast, but it’s still pretty darn good.

Balancing Act: The Best of Both Worlds

This straightforward assessment of the situation hopefully gives you the tools to evaluate for yourself how you’d like to deploy VoIP in your network. You can deploy something very simple that almost emulates a traditional PBX to a system with least cost routing implemented with fail-over rules that keep your company’s communication running smoothly. There should be no reason to hesitate when it comes to deploying a next-generation phone system in your business!

 

To find out more about Digium, Switchvox, or the Open Source Asterisk Project, visit www.digium.com/switchvox or call 1-877-4-CORETEK.

Digium Switchvox Releases New Version 4.5

2017-07-27T00:01:12+00:00 January 21st, 2010|Uncategorized|

Digium Switchvox system  – new 4.5 version features greater handset support

Switchvox 4.5 Release

Switchvox SMB 4.5 Extends the Power of the Web Interface to Phone Handsets

Digium’s Switchvox® SMB 4.5 is a powerful, full-featured and cost-effective VoIP Unified Communications (UC) solution designed for small- to mid-sized businesses. Switchvox SMB 4.5 delivers greater flexibility for your office communications, extending control of mission-critical applications traditionally accessed through the web interface directly to phone handsets.

Based on Digium’s Asterisk, the world’s most popular open source telephony engine, Switchvox SMB is a powerful IP PBX that integrates an easy-to-use web interface with innovative UC features such as fax, chat and video calling.

Call or email us today for an onsite demo!

Phone Feature Packs extend the power of Switchvox to Polycom phone handsets

The new Phone Feature Packs extend the power of the Switchvox to Polycom phone handsets for maximum control of the communications system.  Features that were previously only available through the web interface are now made available through Phone Feature Packs to these phone handset displays. Users can easily access powerful features from their phone handsets, such as call recording, visual voicemail, a searchable company directory and call parking lots. New options for more fundamental phone functions, such as hands free click-to-call dialing, distinctive ringtones for different types of calls, extension failover to a backup Switchvox SMB server, and support for multiple extensions on a single handset, are also available in version 4.5. 

Check out these other powerful Switchvox SMB 4.5 features!

·      User profiles— Caller profile information such as photo, extension, title and location.  This appears on the Switchboard and on the display of Polycom phones with Phone Feature Packs on internal calls.

·      Flexible language support— The Switchvox 4.5 GUI, manual, and inline help are available in English, UK English, Italian, Castilian Spanish, and Latin American Spanish. Sound packs, which include all the audio prompts used in the system, are available for these languages, as well as Australian English, French, and French Canadian. For businesses with international offices, users can customize their language settings to best complement their location and language preference.

·      Comprehensive monitoring—Digium has implemented the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) for Switchvox 4.5, which gives administrators the ability to collect real time data about the status and health of their systems. For a comprehensive description of features, please contact us.

Citrix – HDX Ready Thin Clients

2017-07-27T00:01:12+00:00 January 18th, 2010|Uncategorized|

The most frequent question IT managers ask Citrix regarding Thin Clients is: “Which devices do you recommend with XenDesktop and XenApp?”  Citrix established the Citrix Ready framework to answer this question.  Citrix Ready is a verification program for partners to demonstrate interoperability between their products and Citrix products. The Thin Client category of Citrix Ready allows partners the option to test their devices to achieve basic Citrix Ready status or the more stringent HDX Ready status. These options are designed to address market needs based on end user segments and useHDX_right_131x100r experience requirements.

What is an HDX Ready Thin Client?
The HDX Ready designation is reserved for thin client devices that have been verified to work with all of the XenDesktop and XenApp HDX features.  HDX refers to High Definition User eXperience – a term coined by Citrix to describe capabilities in XenDesktop that optimize the user experience when accessing hosted virtual desktops and applications. The HDX Ready category assists IT managers to easily identify thin client devices that deliver the best possible high definition user experience with XenDesktop and XenApp.  

What is a Citrix Ready Thin Client?
There is a trade-off between a thin client’s cost and its capabilities. Not all users require the functionality of all of HDX features of XenDesktop or XenApp.  Devices that are not deemed HDX Ready may still be useful for certain user types and use cases, generally at a lower price point than HDX Ready devices.  The Citrix Ready thin client designation exists for those devices that support connectivity to XenDesktop or XenApp but only a subset of HDX functionality.  Information regarding HDX feature coverage by a particular thin client device is available on the Citrix Ready website.

Feature Thin Clients HDX Ready
Thin Clients
HDX Broadcast
Out of the box Integration  
HDX Plug-n-Play:USB 2.0  
HDX Plug-n-Play:printing  
HDX Plug-n-Play:True Multi Monitor Support  
HDX Plug-n-Play:Smartcard Support  
HDX Plug-n-Play:Isochronous USB 2.0 (Webcam)  
HDX RealTime:VOIP on LAN  
HDX RealTime:Client Audio Recording  
HDX MediaStream:CD Quality Audio on LAN (Server Rendered)  
HDX MediaStream: 480×360 Quality Windows, Flash, QuickTime & Silverlight video on LAN (Server-Rendered)  
HDX MediaStream: 480×360 Quality Windows, Flash, QuickTime & Silverlight video on LAN (Client-Rendered)  
HDX MediaStream: 1280*720 Quality Windows, Flash, QuickTime & Silverlight video on LAN (Client-Rendered) – Optional

Citrix Dazzle 1.1 – Empowering Users

2017-07-27T00:01:12+00:00 January 18th, 2010|Uncategorized|

 

 Citrix Dazzle — the first self-service “storefront” for enterprise applications gives corporate employees 24×7 self-service access to the applications they need to work. Dazzle offers a rich, intuitive user experience that requires no training. If you’ve used DirecTV or Apple iTunes, you already know how to use Dazzle. Dazzle makes self-service IT a reality for the first time ever, giving users simple access to apps and IT services, and bringing the economics of the web to enterprise IT.

Empowering Users with an Enterprise App Store
It’s easy to choose exactly what you need, when you need it – apps, your desktop, or any IT delivered service. Simply browse or search for the app or IT service you need. Subscribe or unsubscribe with one click. Organizing selected apps into user-defined “playlists” is easy and intuitive. Users decide the folders that appear in their Start menu (or, in the future OSX Dock). Simply click to create, then drag and drop any app or IT service.

Self-Service Storefront for XenApp
For the more than 200,000 enterprise customers already using Citrix Delivery Center products like XenApp and XenDesktop, Dazzle effectively acts as a storefront to their existing delivery infrastructure. IT is in control, instantly and easily advertising the existing offline and online Windows applications and Web applications with XenApp’s “app publishing” interface. Adding, updating and removing apps and IT services takes minutes – not days, weeks or months.

Zero-touch install and configuration
Dazzle is fully integrated with Citrix Receiver, so getting users started is easy. IT just loads the Receiver plug-in for Dazzle into Merchandising Server, schedules it for delivery, and it’s silently pushed to every PC or Mac that has Receiver installed. When users launch Dazzle, the store will be fully stocked with all the apps IT has to offer. It’s that easy.

565x322_ReceiverDazzle

One-click live help
Users get one click to talk to a service agent that can remotely assist them with any enterprise IT service question allowing IT to provide a “first call resolution” service at low cost that keeps users productive and satisfied. GoToAssist – the industry’s gold standard for remote support – can be fully integrated with third party trouble ticketing systems such as Remedy.

Source: Citrix

Endpoint Virtualization for Healthcare Providers

2017-07-27T00:01:12+00:00 January 15th, 2010|Uncategorized|

It’s one of the more vexing challenges in healthcare.CB051669
Every day, doctors, nurses, case managers, and other hospital workers need quick and reliable access to key applications. And because they’re continually on the move, they need to be able to go to any workstation or kiosk to call up a particular application. But all too often they can’t get access because of problems inherent in the delivery of specific and proprietary healthcare applications and complexities managing the client system environment.
What if applications, and even the entire desktop, were able to follow these roaming users and be accessed from virtually any device? What if there was a much easier way for users to work in an increasingly digital environment, where Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) and Electronic Medical Records (EMR) are becoming commonplace?
This article looks at how centralized data management and endpoint virtualization can help physicians and clinicians, as well as IT staff, work more productively and securely.

The frustration factor

The access challenges that physicians and clinicians routinely face today can be daunting, to say the least.

  • Password problems: It’s easy to forget which passwords to use for which applications, and when to reset passwords. Calling the helpdesk for assistance can take up valuable time.
  • Application access and printing confusion: When using another workstation, or returning to the kiosk they were using earlier in the day, doctors and other users have to find the right application and navigate back to the place where they left off. This can be frustrating and time-consuming, particularly if the user moved to a different workstation that has a different user interface. Printing can also turn into a hassle for roaming users. They may not know which printer is used by a particular workstation. Or a printer may not be located nearby.
  • Remote access issues: When working remotely, users may not be able to reliably connect to the network and access the applications they need. And when they connect, the desktop may be different from what it is at the hospital. Even more frustrating, remote connections are often unreliable, dropping users in mid-session.
  • Inability to use computing resources: Some guest users, such as candy stripers and vendors, can’t use computing resources for basic functions because they aren’t authorized for the corporate network.

The IT challenges

Now let’s look at access from the point of view of the IT department. Since hospitals never close, IT has to ensure continual, reliable access every hour of every day. And there’s no shortage of challenges in making that happen:

  • Desktop management: Clinicians often share workstations in a kiosk-like fashion, and it’s not unusual for a single workstation to be used by dozens of people in a single day. Many times, hospital workers also need to access applications and patient data from different client devices. To enable device-to-device roaming and kiosk capabilities, IT must apply the highest-common denominator to every workstation. This means setting up and maintaining each workstation with all of the applications users might need, and making sure each workstation has the computing power to handle all of these applications. That’s not an efficient use of resources.
  • An inundated help desk: When a user doesn’t know how to find the local printer, it means another call to the help desk. And when users can’t remember their passwords or haven’t reset them, the help desk has to walk them through the process. To save time, people end up using other workers’ passwords instead of contacting the helpdesk. Shared passwords not only violate HIPAA mandates, they also hinder identity management initiatives.
  • Remote access issues: Enabling remote access is a must for most healthcare facilities, but addressing VPN connectivity issues can become a time-consuming chore for the IT staff.

The promise of centralized management

Symantec believes that many of these challenges can be addressed by taking a centralized approach to the management of data, which makes information more easily accessible to both healthcare providers and IT personnel. With a centralized management approach, care providers in different geographical locations can access the same applications and information simultaneously no matter where they are. This increases efficiency and productivity, while enabling providers to respond more quickly and improve quality of care.

By employing centralized management, hospitals can reduce IT costs and response times while increasing user satisfaction and security. Password management is easier, and password security is actually increased, for example, as is reporting and auditing for regulatory compliance issues. Access to patient information does not rely on the availability of a single workstation. When a particular endpoint becomes unavailable, the information remains accessible elsewhere.
Centralization also strengthens data security procedures for healthcare providers and networks. Hospitals typically use an open architecture in which users who are not employed by the hospital are constantly entering and leaving the environment. Although each endpoint may have security measures installed, the responsibility for updating and maintaining those measures today lies with the owner of the endpoint. Central management of data and applications strengthens this model by ensuring protection regardless of any security measures implemented on endpoints.

The promise of endpoint virtualization

There is an additional technology solution that can streamline the way healthcare organizations provide access to key applications: endpoint virtualization. While many organizations are already familiar with server virtualization, endpoint virtualization may be a new concept for them.

Endpoint virtualization in this context refers to the ability to provide a portable computing experience across a broad range of computing environments. The promise of endpoint virtualization lies in improving the end-user experience while helping to lower the cost of managing endpoint devices.
For clinicians, endpoint virtualization offers access to the user’s personalized workspace (desktop and applications) from any device (networked or remote) via a single authentication method. If physicians are able to authenticate to a network with a single sign on, rather than authenticating from each endpoint they use throughout the day, they can access applications from any networked or remote device.
Endpoint virtualization supports a clinical work environment by allowing the shared use of devices through rapid desktop switching and the ability to roam from one device to another while maintaining the active state of the desktop. Users can print locally even when roaming, eliminating the hassle of tracking down printers. And for physicians working remotely, their personalized workspace looks and acts exactly as it does when they’re in the hospital.
For IT professionals, endpoint virtualization enables IT to centrally manage all users, workstations, and applications, simplifying IT efforts to provision applications and updates to users. By intelligently allocating computing resources based on user class profiles, IT can optimize these resources. IT staff no longer need to apply the “highest common denominator” to every workstation.
In addition, by centralizing control of password management and enabling single sign on, IT can more quickly and easily resolve password issues when they arise.
The bottom line: IT can reduce costs and response times while maintaining a high level of user satisfaction and security.

Symantec and endpoint virtualization

Thanks to its extensive portfolio for managing virtual workspaces and providing a portable computing experience, Symantec can help organizations better secure and manage their endpoint data and applications. Symantec’s strategy is to help enable a truly dynamic endpoint, where applications and information are delivered to any computing environment in a seamless manner.

As hospitals continue to automate and add applications, providing convenient access to these applications for physicians and clinicians while maintaining security and patient data privacy will prove to be a challenge. But increasingly, hospitals will discover that centralized data management and endpoint virtualization can help address these issues.

Microsoft Application Virtualization for Terminal Services

2010-01-04T12:06:03+00:00 January 4th, 2010|Uncategorized|

Microsoft Application Virtualization for Terminal Services now included as part of Windows Server 2008 RDS CAL
As of September 1, 2009, all users or devices connecting to Windows Server 2008 R2 Remote Desktop Session Host Server or Windows Server 2008 Terminal Server managed with Microsoft Application Virtualization for Terminal Services no longer need to acquire a separate Microsoft Application Virtualization CAL for Terminal Services. See more details.

Server growth is a costly issue for organizations that rely on Terminal Services. To avoid application conflicts, applications must undergo significant testing to determine which applications will collide and, therefore, must be separated and run on different Terminal Server silos-a time-consuming and costly process.

Running multiple separate terminal servers for each application routinely results in servers being underutilized because each one is locked into a specific configuration, capable of serving only a limited set of non-conflicting applications, typically using just 25 percent of capacity. Often, 20 servers are required to support 1,000 users. Microsoft App-V for Terminal Services completely changes this situation. Microsoft Application Virtualization for Terminal Services offers the following features and benefits:

Consolidate servers and end server siloing, increasing server farm ROI: App-V’s application virtualization allows any application to run alongside any other—even applications that normally conflict, multiple versions of the same application, and many applications that previously could not run under Terminal Services. This eliminates the need for server silos and significantly improves server utilization. As a result, the number of servers needed is much lower, operational costs for managing the remaining servers are reduced, and the server farm ROI is increased. For instance, it has enabled Russell Investment Group and Fidelity National Financial to shrink their application server farms by 33 to 40 percent.

End application conflicts and regression testing: By eliminating the need to permanently install applications on servers, and shielding the operating system and applications from changes created when installed applications run, Microsoft App-V for Terminal Services prevents problems that hinder deployments. The need to perform lengthy regression testing is also significantly reduced.

Accelerate application deployment: Applications that use App-V only need to be packaged once for desktop or terminal services platforms. This reduces the need for “double packaging” or creating two different processes and packages when providing the choice for running an application on a desktop or via a terminal server.

Reduce Deployment Risk: Installing a new application on a terminal server was traditionally a risky process; first you had to ensure all users were logged off, then you had to change the mode of terminal server, followed often by reboots. Software updates and uninstalls provide even great complexity and risk. With Microsoft App-V applications can be deployed and updated on demand to users without having to reboot or log users off.

Simplify Profile Management: Microsoft App-V allows application settings and data to be stored in a single network location. This ensures a user’s application settings are available no matter what terminal server is used—without the need for roaming profiles. Additionally this feature makes mandatory profiles a viable option for TS scenarios—OS settings remain locked within the mandatory profile while per application settings can still be modified by the user. This dramatically simplifies the complexities of managing profile data.

Terminal Services

Source: Microsoft