Quadrant Launches New Fax Appliance
August 20, 2013 Alex Woodie
Quadrant Software went virtual with last year’s launch of QuadraDocV, which was designed to provide IBM i shops and other companies with fax over IP (FoIP) serving within the portable confines of a VMware shell. While the virtual application approach is still important to Quadrant, the company gave the physical appliance approach a new shot in the arm with the recent launch of its new QuadrAppliance.
Quadrant CEO Steve Woodard made a good case for going virtual with fax software during last year’s launch of QuadraDocV. While Quadrant had historically done very well selling “black box” fax appliances as part of its FastFax offering, the time had come to adopt the new era of FoIP services, and say goodbye to physical fax cards, rat’s nest cabling, and dedicated analog phone lines, he said.
According to Woodard, 30 to 40 percent of Quadrant’s customers wanted to go virtual with their fax and document routing needs. “They’ve made it clear that they don’t want another hardware appliance in their data center,” Woodard told IT Jungle during the roll-out of QuadraDocV in March 2012.
Apparently, the lure of the appliance was too great to resist, for both Quadrant and its customers, because the company came out with a new line of fax appliances in early July.
However, the QuadrAppliance isn’t like the old FastFax appliances that Quadrant no longer sells (but continues to support). That’s because the new appliance uses virtual fax cards from Dialogic, as opposed to physical Dialogic fax cards that plug into the PC system’s bus on the one end and the public phone network on the other. It’s also running QuadraDocV, the fax and email server and document routing software.
QuadrAppliance is a 1U, rack-mountable Hewlett-Packard ProLiant DL 360e server equipped with a 1.8 GHz quad-core Xeon processor, 8 GB of memory, and twin 600 GB hard drives. On the software side, the appliance runs Windows Server 2012, the QuadraDocV software, and virtual fax card software from Dialogic.
The appliance features up to 60 fax channels, and supports a range of fax formats and transmission standards, including automatic inbound and outbound fax routing via DID, DNIS, ANI, and TSI. The QuadraDocV software enables customers to initiate broadcast faxes with a single click on the Web-based interface. It also supports features like partial fax resend, batch faxing, automatic indexing of faxes, automatic purge of old faxes, and fax queue management. The software can also send emails, perform document-routing tasks, and integrate with ERP systems commonly used in the IBM i world, just as the old FastFax software can do.
The biggest differences between the approaches Quadrant is taking with QuadrAppliance and its QuadraDocV product are systems management and mobility. The QuadraDocV software installs under a VMware or Microsoft hypervisor, which can be used to move the QuadraDocV to any X86 server by simply moving the hypervisor.
Similarly, the care and feeding of the virtual appliance was supposed to be kept to a minimum, because the FOIP environment would blend into the customer’s virtualized environment. Assuming the customer already had a successful monitoring and management system in place, the addition of one more virtual appliance wouldn’t add much work. The QuadrAppliance, on the other hand, comes with HP OnSystem Management iLO Management Engine and HP Insight Management utilities.