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Optimize Unified Communication Networks with the Paging Relay

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Technology plays an essential role in running a successful organization. Institutions both large and small often use a mishmash of communication systems to keep their daily operations running smoothly and efficiently. Further, technology is a critical tool that we rely on every day to keep people safe and informed during emergency situations. Therefore, it’s imperative to have reliable communication throughout an entire facility or across multiple sites.

Take an active shooter situation for example: If a hostile intruder enters a building, the facility needs to put all locations on lockdown. But what happens when resources are limited, and network infrastructure creates a barrier preventing cross-WAN (wide area network) connectivity to rapidly put the other sites on lockdown mode?

This is a common challenge that many customers face when searching for a unified notification solution that’s capable of meeting business requirements and still fits within their environments network parameters. If this is the reality in your business, you may be looking for solutions to make your notification systems more scalable and effective.

In this blog article, we’ll address how Syn-Apps’ patented Paging Relay appliance helps customers overcome their WAN barriers and identify the circumstances in which they would need to utilize this device in conjunction with their Revolution notification software.

Networking Overview

Before we begin, we’ll start with a quick overview of two important networking terms that will be used throughout this article – unicast and multicast.

What is unicast?

Unicast is an industry-standard transmission method of sending data packets to a single network destination identified by a unique IP address.

Above: Each endpoint is sent the same set of data.

What is multicast?

Multicast is another transmission method that sends one data stream to multiple endpoints simultaneously. Multicast is considered by most to be the preferred method because it optimizes network performance by controlling network traffic and reducing the bandwidth load on network devices.

Multicast Traffic Flow
Above: Multicast data is sent to designated endpoints

How does this impact notification delivery for customers with a unicast network?

Unlike most vendors, Syn-Apps’ notification software can run on either a unicast or multicast network. However, multicast is the preferred method because it is designed to support larger data loads and scales better across the WAN.

Customers running a unicast network often encounter choppy audio and delayed deliveries due to bandwidth constraints when transmitting data to a large number of endpoints. These issues are magnified when customers need to deliver notifications to endpoints across their WAN. Timely delivery and intelligible audio are critical components to ensuring the safety of your people and assets during an emergency situation.

Syn-Apps’ Paging Relay is a small, patented PoE network appliance that optimizes communication networks by providing customers with a number of communication solutions.

Helping customers deliver alerts even when resources are constrained

The Paging Relay’s most notable feature is its ability to significantly reduce bandwidth consumption by converting incoming unicast audio streams into multicast to destination sites across the WAN.

By converting a single unicast stream into multicast before delivering a notification, this patented technology helps customers decrease network bandwidth consumption to provide crisp, intelligible audio announcements to their designated endpoints — like IP phones, IP speakers, or traditional PA systems.

Above: One Unicast stream is sent from the server to the Paging Relay. The Relay converts the stream to Multicast and sends individual streams to the endpoints.
Above: One Unicast stream is sent from the Revolution server to the Paging Relay. The Relay converts the stream to Multicast and sends individual streams to the endpoints.

Watch this quick video to see how simple it can be to connect a Paging Relay to your Revolution notification server:

Optimize Your Network

The Paging Relay goes beyond reducing bandwidth; in fact, there’s many other features bundled into this small device that help customers optimize their network when used in conjunction with Revolution or as a standalone device! For example, the Paging Relay can integrate with analog overhead speakers, GPIO contact closures, fire panels, security alarms, and more.

The device can also be used to configure remote site failover for live paging in the event of a WAN outage, broadcast background music, play music on hold, and alert staff of incoming calls after business hours with the night-ringer functionality.

Ask yourself this: Could your organization benefit from taking additional measures to optimize your network – such as reducing bandwidth consumption or broadcasting intelligible audio notifications?

Contact us to discuss your environment and determine how Syn-Apps’ Paging Relay can help your organization.