Audio Conference Server on a Plug Server?

The Sheevaplug computer is an amazing appliance! Think of the applications you could create on this 3 watt PC often confused as a wall transformer by the uninitiated. In fact I have a bunch of "wall warts" under foot for a variety of electronic devices on my desk that need stepped down AC power and the Sheevaplug server is smaller than any of them! A Plug Computer is designed to draw so little power that it can be left on all the time. Unlike other embedded devices, it contains a gigahertz- class processor designed to offer PC- class performance, Ethernet interface, USB port and a SD Flash Card. OMG! Geek Heaven!

As a technical support organization, we needed a network monitoring tool to help us diagnose WAN QOS issues for our ShoreTel and CISCO VoIP clients. How do you get an appliance on a clients network that can connect to the mother ship, capture network performance statistics and be left on all the time with no large power consumption? We also needed something that was "plug and play" and dirt cheap as we give them to our ShoreTel multi-site clients who are under contract as part of our normal support service! With this little plug computer we can put a full network monitoring appliance on the network and try to stay ahead of the QOS issues that result from bandwidth, latency and jitter fluctuations. With the network monitoring solution solved, we started looking for other useful VoIP applications we might stuff into this plug computer. Sometime back we created a fully featured audio conference server in software. The goal was to make it possible for clients to create multi party fully managed, audio conferences without having to spend tens of thousands of dollars. Thanks to SIP we were able to do just that and the results were exceptional. (Click here for full specifications ShoreTel Compantible Audio Conference Server ). The marketing challenge was the fact that the server hardware and OS cost more than the application software!

marvell_sheevaplug_computer2.jpg
 
So that became the next project to take over in our wonderful world of VoIP! We have now achieved what would have been unthinkable only a year ago! We can now provide the same audio conference solution including the hardware at the same price we charged for the application software! Thanks to the wonderful engineers at Marvel we have been able to realize a fully feature, SIP based audio conference server on an appliance that draws less than 3 watts of power! How green can you get? Now the problem is how to keep people from stepping on it!

I know it is crazy to get excited about a hunk of hardware, but next to my iPad this is a must have and I have a long list of applications that would make the world of VoIP more exciting! How about a turn key telephone system for a remote office that cost less than an SG30 and interfaces to ShoreTel and CISCO as a SIP tie line? Let me know your thoughts!  

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1 Comment

Hi DrVoip,

What software/apps did you use on the host to monitor the network, qos, performance etc?

Thanks,

Evan

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This page contains a single entry by Peter Buswell published on June 26, 2010 4:03 PM.

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