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I have a customer that is in need of a platform upgrade and has a specific use case that makes me think twice about consolidation.

They basically have two services in the network that are currently not even isolated from each other.

  1. They have a site in US and a site in Asia. The US site hosts a filesystem with thousands of files that is synced to Asia for "realtime" work on the files.

  2. They host a VoIP server for a small call center.

So in turn, the CPU hungry process of syncing was starving the VoIP services and degrading call quality and even dropping calls.

We were able to somehow limit the sync process to at least not starve the FS services but an upgrade and isolation is of tasks is required.

Both FreeSWITCH (VoIP) and rsync can be very parallellized and will benefit of more cores but the use of virtualization for the box seems not very advisable because of timing issues and audio quality.

In short, whats your opinion:

More cores and kernel level separation of the tasks? Two separate boxes?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Virtualization software typically implements the concept of resource quotas and reservations thus giving you isolation to some degree. Mostly, these isolation levels are more granular than what you get at the operating system level - especially if you are using Windows where resource management is rather simplistic.

Virtualization is not your friend if you need real-time applications, but neither VoIP nor rsync would fall into this category.

As the most important aspect virtualization would give you the ability of administrative isolation - a screwup or maintenance downtime on the file server should not affect the VoIP users. If you see any benefit in this, you should virtualize. If you don't, you could save the resources otherwise needed for the virtualization overhead and run a single OS on bare metal.

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