I’ve spent the last few days at VMworld in Copenhagen as I’ve had a speaker slot there. Beside loads of customer and partners meetings I had the time to visit the Solution Exchnage, where loads of VMware partners presented their solutions. My first stop here was the VMware booth as I was interested in the End User Computing topic. I had seen View 5 already and also layed with it but I hadn’t the chance to work with the Unified Communication interafce so far. On the booth there was a installation with Mitel VoIP phones, hardware and software. To say it in Tedd Fox’s words: AWESOME! The Mitel phones were connected to the LAN and there was a softphone client running in the virtual desktop. You could either use the phone to make a call or use the softphone to initiate a call on the hardware device. If you don’t want to use the hardware phones it’s no problem. Just use a headset and the soft client.
The VMware View 5 VoIP implementation is unique in the virtual desktop market. VMware does not use the remote display protocol to tunnel VoIP. They’ve added an API to the View Client and Agent, to enable VoIP vendors to use their solution with View. The communication between the phone and the soft client does go over the remote protocol, but the VoIP traffic is directly sent from the end user device. It was really impressive that the phone calls I made there did not affect the VM’s CPU utilization at all.
To have a complete solution for VMware, Mitel also added a Zimlet for VMware’s E-Mail and Collaboration suite Zimbra. With this add-on you can directly start phone calls out of the Zimbra addressbook or even from a email signature.