During VMworld 2011 VMware announced a new set of integrations with Unified Communication vendors such as Mitel, Cisco and Avaya. The so called View Media Services for Unified Communications will deliver integrated UC + virtual desktop experience. UC partners will be able to leverage VMware View API’s and enable UC solutions to detect when they are running in a VMware View remote session.
Users will be able to seamlessly interact with softphones and CTI enabled applications within the VDI session but the actual RTP media processing (audio encoding and decoding) will happen on the client device and not within the virtual desktop. By integrating the softphone control within the VM session, end users will have a desktop and phone that follows them.
In a PCoIP centric deployment audio frames are encapsulated with video frames and then encrypted before sent to the client over the wire, and vice-versa from the client to the virtual desktop. VMware’s approach enables the Unified Communication media engine from the vendors to do the media processing maintaining a direct point to point call connection to avoid hair-pinning and increasing CPU server load.
By separating out the VoIP frames from the desktop, it is possible to maintain the QoS for VoIP separately from the desktop. 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.
The new feature announced at VMworld is still not supported by the UC providers, but it will be a joint integrated solution coming to market over the coming quarters. In the meantime I was able to use my iPhone to record the Mitel solution at the Silicon Valley VMware User Group (VMUG).
Mitel solution has Single Sign On integrated to VMware View. The idea is that when the user logs into a virtual desktop session the physical phone is also automatically logged with the user’s settings, preferences and voicemail. This solution can be very effective for call-centers, or coupled with one touch smartcard solutions. Very cool and I’m sorry for the wrong recording angle with the iPhone.