Messaging Pipeline | Analysis: Avaya's Peer-to-Peer Toothache
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March 13, 2006

Analysis: Avaya's Peer-To-Peer Toothache

A Look At Quick Edition

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But it was Avaya's one-X Quick Edition that grabbed most of the attention. The P2P SIP technology was acquired last year in the Nimcat Networks deal and allows consumers to purchase specially equipped Avaya phones through e-tailors, plug up to 20 of them into their Ethernet switches, and have the phones locate and configure themselves, providing an easy-to-install telephony network. Call control and voicemail are distributed across the Avaya telephones, with the only other hardware requirement being a small gateway to access the PSTN. Should a phone fail, the user can recover voicemail and other features from backed up images distributed across the other phones in the network. Growth is possible by using the same phones with Communication Manager. Phones are currently available through retail channels and list for $485 to $585.

One-X Quick Edition is currently limited to a single site, but according to Jorge Blanco, vice president of strategic marketing at Avaya, customers can expect Avaya to provide those capabilities across sites.


Yet while Quick Edition may make smart business sense for Avaya, it may not make as much sense for its target audience. While IT will appropriately configure QoS and VLAN settings for VoIP on their networks, that's not likely to be the case with small-business owners. For one thing, they're bound to have networks without either technology deployed. And although most QoS problems will be addressed by the sheer capacity of the 100Mbps switched LAN, given voice's importance to a company, neither SMBs nor Avaya would be wise to rely on sheer bandwidth alone to ensure voice quality and continuity. It's too simple for a combination of file transfers, P2P applications, or other technologies to consume enough bandwidth to compromise VoIP's sound quality. Appropriate measures must be taken to ensure the network's suitability for VoIP, whether through technology or, more likely, through documentation, which would work against Quick Edition's message of easy deployment.

What's more, 3Com product manager Greg Zweig suggests that by updating one another, the Quick Edition phones may propagate software errors across the P2P transactions. This might just be the usual vendor FUD, but Tom Petsche, senior product manager in Avaya's converged appliances division, does say all system parameters are shared amongst the phones, not just media files. He was unable to comment at the time as to the security measures Avaya is taking to prevent the corruption of software files.

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