Traditionally running VOIP in VDI environments is not a scalable solution due server scalability issues, hairpinning of Real Time Protocol (RTP) media, bandwidth intensive sessions, and specially the lack of Quality-of-Service (QoS) support that guarantees traffic priority for the protocol. The reason being is that VOIP is essentially running encapsulated inside display protocol datagrams.
VMware View 5.0 is introducing a new set of features called View Media Services for Unified Communications. View Media Services for Unified Communications is a set of exposed API’s that can be leveraged by partners and allow integration of UC (Unified Communications) with virtual desktops. The API’s allow UC solutions to detect when they are running in a View session.
The user will seamlessly interact with softphones or Unified Communications application within the virtual desktop session but the actual encoding and decoding will happen on the client device and not within the VM session. By integrating the softphone control within the VM session, end users now have a desktop and phone that will follow them.
By separating out the VOIP from the desktop, it is possible to maintain the QoS for VOIP separately from the desktop. Additionally the desktop doesn’t become the bottleneck for the VOIP. Finally once calls are initiated, they are delivered point to point versus cycling through the virtual desktop and the datacenter to preserve call quality and performance.
VMware partnered with AVAYA, CISCO and MITEL to deliver follow me desktops that include VOIP communications and is promising scalable and high performing solutions.
I haven’t had the chance to test or see how this is going to work under the hood but as soon I do I will publish here.