Tips for Running Voice Elements Platform in a Virtual Machine
Voice Elements Platform (HMP Elements SIP stack) is capable of running inside of Virtual Machines, and when configured properly, can run a high number of ports.
The Audio traffic in HMP Elements (RTP) is sensitive to timing (if your packet get’s delayed 60ms, you will notice a delay in the audio). For this reason, there are several items that should be considered to prevent jitter.
There are a few different things to consider when setting up a virtual machine with Voice Elements. With a properly configured Virtual Machine, you can achieve a high port density. We were able to run two systems back to back each running 500 ports without any degradation in audio quality.
Bare Metal Mode
The most important factor is whether or not the VM is running in bare metal mode or not. You will be disappointed with the performance of HMP Elements inside of a VMWare Player environment; this is because there is a great deal of latency introduced when running it at this level. When not running in Bare Metal mode, the delay caused by the Host OS can be significant enough to add jitter, when the system would otherwise run fine.
When NICs are shared between virtual machines, the timing of SIP packets can be greatly impacted .To get higher performance, you will want to consider using a NIC in dedicated mode. Many host machines have multiple NIC cards, and dedicating a NIC to the environment will go a long way towards improving the port density and minimizing the appearance of jitter.
It’s important to make sure that your underlying hardware is powerful enough to handle Hmp Elements and it’s expected load, along with the overhead of the VM environment, and any other Virtual Machines that may be running alongside it.
Other Virtual Machine Considerations
If there are other Virtual Machines running on the host machine, you should consider how the resources are allocated, and which VM to give priority to. You should be aware of anything that could be running that could potentially affect the performance of HMP Elements (for example – if you perform bandwidth intensive backups on a VM on the same host machine, without a dedicated NIC, you could see a considerable slowdown in your RTP traffic).