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Mitel's Virtual MCD Consolidates Voice and Data Using VMware vSphere 4

July 01, 2010

Takeaway: Mitel is an early leader in the voice virtualization market, announcing the general availability of the Virtual Mitel Communications Director (Virtual MCD), a real-time call control application designed for the VMware vSphere 4 platform. Mitel and VMware have certified and tested Mitel's MCD real-time call control application to run side-by-side with non-voice (data) business applications on the VMware vSphere 4 platform for true integration in the data center, an advantage over other vendors that are consolidating only their own applications to a single server. For Virtual MCD (or vMCD), a specific hardware vendor or specific server is not required, so the physical server can be any server that meets the specifications and supports the Intel Nehalem chip set. Common IT management tools, such as VMware's VMotion, can be used to manage Mitel applications in the data center environment. Virtualization means simpler installation and maintenance with fewer hardware components, freeing IT resources and reducing costs. Mitel also announced the availability of virtualized solutions for its Mitel Enterprise Manager, Customer Interaction Suite and UC Advanced server software. Read more about Virtual MCD below and visit for more on the enterprise telephony market.

adds yet another platform option for its flagship call control software, Mitel Communications Director or MCD, now taking advantage of the growing popularity of virtualization technology for real-time voice communications. Mitel and VMware have certified and tested Mitel's MCD real-time call control application to run side-by-side with non-voice (data) business applications on the VMware vSphere 4 server in the data center. Virtualization frees IT resources, reduces hardware (cost savings), saves operating costs (reduces power and server provisioning costs) and makes the data center more efficient for improved business continuity and business agility.

Last year, Mitel launched a marketing campaign, called Series X, in which the company highlighted their Mitel Communications Director (MCD) call control software as a single software package that can run on a selection of hardware platforms, per the customer's choice, either the Mitel 3300 Communications Platform (ICP) hardware or on an industry-standard server from Sun, HP or IBM. More recently (December 2009), Mitel announced another software version, the Multi-Instance Communications Director (MiCD), in which multiple instances of MCD call control software can run on an industry standard server. This targets Service Providers with multiple customers or private cloud environments where multiple locations or departments of an organization can be independently serviced from a centralized communications system. The latest virtualized solution, Virtual MCD (vMCD), consolidates voice and non-voice (data) applications on one server for even more efficiencies.

Current MCD platform options include:
User Capacity
MCD / 3300 ICP
Up to 5,000 per controller (65,000 per cluster)
MCD / Sun, HP, IBM
Up to 5,000 users per server (65,000 per cluster)
MiCD / Sun, HP, IBM
Up to 5,000 users per instance (no architectural limit on the number of instances)
Virtual MCD / VMware vSphere 4
Up to 65,000 users (multiple vMCDs on the same server)
Several joint customers are already deploying Virtual MCD, including the U.S.-based Gallagher, Flynn and Company accounting firm, Spalding University and Ashford Borough Council in the UK, to name a few. Mitel is also announcing virtualized solutions for its Mitel Applications Suite (MAS) and Border Gateway applications in 2010. In addition, Mitel has a migration path for existing 3300 ICP systems to move over to the VMware platform; all pre-existing licenses provisioned on the MCD/3300 can be transferred to vMCD, and all 3300 gateways, analog devices, branch office nodes and MCD-certified Mitel applications are fully supported by the vMCD.

Sandra M. Gustavsen, senior analyst for T3i Group, contributes her TelecomTactics column to ContactCenterSolutions. To read more of Sandra's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Patrick Barnard