Things to Consider when Using VMware with Mitel MiVoice Connect

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Things to Consider when Using VMware with Mitel MiVoice Connect

By Chris Mitchell

 

Mitel supports the deployment of MiVoice Connect (Previously ShoreTel Connect) using the VMware® vSphere (ESXi) virtual machines platform versions 6.0 & 6.5 (we do expect 6.7 support in the near future). When deploying MiVoice Connect in VMware there are a few important things to consider.

Features And Capabilities Of VMware

Redundancy is the largest benefit that customers seek when deploying VMware. Having your VMware cluster running on a Storage Area Network with multiple virtual hosts is a perfect example where this is a more robust solution than just running your phone system on a single server. If you want to take your redundancy to the next level High Availability Clusters are supported so you can add multiple servers to a cluster and allow VMware to monitor each server via a heartbeat every second. The key advantage being if a server stops responding for 5 seconds that server is placed in a failed state and another server in the cluster takes over responsibilities automatically.

If you aren’t quite ready for High Availability clusters you could use VMotion to move virtual images between servers for maintenance or manual load balancing. This can serve as a solid solution before moving towards the more robust capabilities provided with High Availability clusters.  

VMware Features Mitel Is Working On

Currently, there are 2 features not supported by Mitel MiVoice Connect however they are being worked on to further the customer experience. The first is Fault Tolerance, which is a step up from High Availability as it doesn’t require the virtual server to be restarted when it is moved to the new host. In its current state, this causes potential issues with the MYSQL databases on the phone system. Mitel is working on a resolution so that this feature can be supported.

The other feature being worked on for implementation is Snapshots which have been around since the early days of VMware.  Snapshots are a popular feature however due to the amount of CPU and Memory they consume when a snapshot is taken they have been found to cause system impacting issues. Mitel continues to work on those issues as System Integrity is of the highest importance in everything they do.

What Can We Virtualize With Mitel MiVoice Connect?  

There are a lot of options when it comes to virtualization with different combinations that lead to success. For successful implementation here are the most widely used configurations to implement on your network.

  • The Headquarters Server can be virtualized using Windows Server 2008 R2 64 bit, Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows Server 2016.
  • Distributed Voice Servers can be virtualized using Windows Server 2008 R2 64 bit, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016 or Linux.
  • Contact Center Servers (Primary and Redundant) can be virtualized using Windows Server 2008 R2 64 bit, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016
  • Service Appliance (SA-100 or SA-400 replacement) is virtualized using an .ISO image from Mitel
  • Primary and Spare Phone Switches which are used in place of physical switches for phones to register to and to handle call routing
  • Virtual Trunk Switches handle SIP trunking capabilities to allow dial tone to be connected to the system
  • Edge Gateway handles Remote Phone and Desktop client authentication
  • Mobility Router allows IOS and Android phones to run the Mitel Mobile app to place calls, receive calls, check VM, Instant Message and manage a users extension

Lessons Learned For Common Mitel MiVoice Issues

Working through issues is what we do here at Inflow! So through our hard work, I thought it appropriate to share the lessons we have learned along the way when it comes to remedying common VMware issues with Mitel Mivoice Connect. Here is what will be most helpful for successful implementation and save your team a lot of time and frustration:

  • The most common issue we run into with customers is caused by the network adapter selected inside of VMware. VMXNET3 adapter type is recommended by for all Mitel MiVoice Connect images. Make sure you have installed VMware tools on all servers to assist in troubleshooting and system stability.
  • A 10 gigabit NIC is preferred so multiple virtual servers can share it but if 1 gigabit NICs are only available then consider assigning the HQ server it’s own NIC.
  • To ensure voice quality isn’t affected verify the virtual hosts CPU utilization is less than 50% during normal operation and the Memory utilization is less than 80% during normal operation. This will allow the virtual hosts to accommodate spikes in CPU or Memory without affecting voice quality.
  • If you have the storage space Thick Provisioning of the server hard drives is recommended so minimize performance issues related to Thin Provisioning when new data blocks are allocated.
  • Don’t only rely on your SAN/Virtual hosts in case of system issues you need to be doing nightly backups of your HQ and DVS servers in case of a server or O/S issue you can restore the backup to a new server.

Below are a few screenshots of the resource requirements for virtual servers and virtual switches.

Servers

Server Size Max Users per System Max Users per Server (Phones Managed by Switches Managed by Server) Max System BHCC Max BHCC per Server (Reports run outside of business hours) Max BHCC per Server (Reports run during business hours) Processor Virtual Cores RAM per VM Disk Space Network
Small (including when used with SBE or SBE 100 system license) 500 (100 for SBE) 500 (100 with SBE 100 license SBE 100, 50 with SBE license) 5,000 1,000 Not recommended Intel Xeon E3-1275 v5 3.60 GHz 4 4 GB 200 GB
100 Base-T or Gigabit Ethernet
Medium 2,500 1,000 25,000 5,000 1,000 Intel Xeon CPU E5-2630 v4 2.2 GHz 4 8 GB 200 GB
100 Base-T or Gigabit Ethernet
Large 10,000 1,000 50,000 10,000 5,000 Intel Xeon CPU E5-2630 v4 2.2 GHz 8 8 GB 300 GB Gigabit Ethernet
Very Large 20,000 1,000 100,000 10,000 5,000 Intel Xeon CPU E5-2630 v4 2.2 GHz 10 16 GB 500 GB Gigabit Ethernet

Server Appliance

VMware or Hyper-V Capacity and Server Requirements for Virtual Service Appliance

Server Size G711 G729 Secure Web Sessions IM Processor Virtual Cores RAM per VM Disk Space Network
Small 50 15 50 500 Intel Xeon E3-1275 v5 3.60 GHz 4 2 GB 100 GB
100 Base-T or Gigabit Ethernet
Large 200 60 200 2,000 Intel Xeon CPU E5-2630 v4 2.2 GHz 8 6 GB 100 GB Gigabit Ethernet
IM-only 0 0 0 2,000 Intel Xeon E3-1275 v5 3.60 GHz 2 2 GB 20 GB Gigabit Ethernet

Mobility Router

VMware or Hyper-V Mobility Router

Max Num of Users Max Number of local Wi-Fi clients Max Num of local Wi-Fi calls (not bridged through SMR) Max Num of Remote Tunnels Max Num of Secure Remote Voice Calls using Default Encryption Max Num of Remote calls that require transcoding Virtual Cores RAM per VM Disk Space Network
Network Interfaces
100 100 100 100 100 50 2 2 GB 100 GB 100 Base-T or Gigabit Ethernet 2
1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000 300 150 4 4 GB 100 GB 100 Base-T or Gigabit Ethernet 2

Virtual SIP Switches

VMware or Hyper-V Virtual SIP Trunk Switch (G.711 Signaling)

Max SIP Trunks managed by Switch without Advanced Features Total Num of Streams Virtual Cores Processor RAM per VM Disk Space Network
50 100 1 Intel Xeon E3-1275 v5 3.60 GHz 2 GB 20 GB
100 Base-T or Gigabit Ethernet
100 200 2 Intel Xeon E3-1275 v5 3.60 GHz 2 GB 20 GB
100 Base-T or Gigabit Ethernet
200 400 4 Intel Xeon CPU E5-2630 v4 2.2 GHz 2 GB 20 GB Gigabit Ethernet
400 800 7 Intel Xeon CPU E5-2630 v4 2.2 GHz 2 GB 20 GB Gigabit Ethernet

Virtual Phone Switch

Max phones managed by switch RAM per VM Disk space Network
1,000 2GB 20GB 100 Base-T or Gigabit Ethernet
Processor Intel Xeon E3-1275 v5 3.60 GHz

Edge Gateway

VMware or Hyper-V Edge Gateway

Server Size RAST Connections Active RAST Calls Clients Concurrent Softphone Voice Calls Processor Virtual Cores RAM per VM Disk Space Network
Small 100 50 50 50 Intel Xeon E3-1275 v5 3.60 GHz 2 2 GB 100 GB
100 Base-T or Gigabit Ethernet
Medium 500 100 400 100 Intel Xeon CPU E5-2630 v4 2.2 GHz 4 4 GB 100 GB Gigabit Ethernet
Large 2,000 200 800 200 Intel Xeon CPU E5-2630 v4 2.2 GHz 8 8 GB 100 GB Gigabit Ethernet

Inflow VMware And Mitel MiVoice Connect

This is what we do here at Inflow, and our trained team of skilled technicians is a phone call away if you need help in getting the most out of your system. At Inflow we are always finding ways to help the community with their contact center and communications needs. Check out our upcoming webinars page which are always free and always packed full of great information!   

About Inflow

Strategy. Execution. Optimization. In that repeated sequence Inflow elevates your customer experience and makes you a disruptive force in your industry through your unified communications and contact center technologies. We provide this advantage for our 800+ customers; will you join us in obliterating mediocrity and guiding your organization bravely into the age of the customer?

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