Monday, March 29, 2010

BoxedUC Appliance – Part I

As you probably know me I’m a internet warrior while searching the internet for nice “Unified Communications” solutions. Find some nice stuff over here “BoxedUC”. BoxedUC is an “appliance as a service” solution in which is deployed a complete UC environment with a core technology based on Microsoft products for Unified Communications: Exchange 2010, OCS R2, Sharepoint 2010 plus integrated servers for telephony integration, mobile office and a strategic self-administration console.

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boxedUC is the first product of fabbricadigitale of the “boxedSeries” (next product will be announced in may 2010, stay tuned!).

The key technical points of boxedUC are:

  • Virtualized Microsoft Hyper-V environment running up to 15 virtual hosts
  • Exchange 2010
  • Full “OCS R2” (intranet, internet, federation, …)
  • Sharepoint 2010 portal
  • Integrated Self-Administration tool
  • BlackBerry Enterprise Server
  • Local gateway for voice integration (ex.SIP)
  • Active Directory
  • Local firewall
  • Local monitoring tool
  • High availability appliance
  • External audio gateway for voice integration
  • External backup appliance

boxedUC is running on last-generation powerful “R series” Dell servers which guarantee the best performances, availability and support for the hardware.

The possible configurations of boxedUC (different hw and different sw modules) has been tested through stress-generation softwares in order to guarantee that the system could provide high-performances and could not affect the quality of services (especially audio/video).

The Self-Administration and provisioning tool is a unique feature of boxedUC completely developed by fabbricadigitale for the management of the appliance. The software, developed in .NET, works directly through PowerShell services with Active Directory, Exchange and OCS and allows the administrator of the customer to manage smartly day-by-day operations such as the creation of pre-profiled mailboxes, activation of access protocols, activation of OCS users providing meanwhile basic statistic information about the environment.

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boxedUC has a model in which the provider manages completely the system from a remote structure and in this way the customer cannot access in any way to the systems as administrator or power user to prevent any problem and to permit the provider to guarantee a service level.

The installation (less than 2 hours to be up and running), after the plug operations for power and network, is done through a local web console, installed on the basic Windows 2008 operating system which permits to set-up the IPs to switch on and make visible the virtual hosts to the public internet; contextually the provider staff sets-up a VPN allowing to access securely the system and finish the set-up (DNS, etc).

From this moment, the system management is completely in charge of fabbricadigitale which will:

  • Monitor H24x365 the system (host, virtual hosts, services)
  • Patch the system (WSUS distribution of pre-tested patches)
  • Tune services if needed
  • - …

Finally the customer could access to a specialistic support desk, available via phone or e-mail, to fix problems or follow any issue regarding the system.

In the next articles we will go deeper to all technical aspects, from security to scalability, meanwhile please check www.boxeduc.com