By Ron Breault
According to Wikipedia, one of the first uses in the tech industry of the term “Eating your own dog food” was at Microsoft, circa 1988. Today in the industry, we’ve taken the concept and have evolved it into a new verb –“Dogfooding”! Regardless of how you refer to it, the idea of a great company using its own products internally is a well-accepted, mainstream practice. At Wind River, our Titanium Cloud team has been actively dogfooding all year, and we’ve recently expanded the program, now serving up some truly Big Dogs in the company by migrating their voice services to Titanium Cloud!
Here at Wind River, as with most large software companies, there is a wide range of tools and services in use; tool to build, test, maintain and backup our products and related artifacts. These systems form an integral part of our day to day business operations, and are critical to our success. However, maintaining many diverse, and sometimes siloed systems, can be costly and may result in unnecessary effort.
For these reasons, our Titanium Cloud development team chose to deploy an internal Titanium Cloud instance over a year ago to provide highly reliable VM hosting services for use by our own developer community. This activity has been highly successful, both for end users who have improved access to the applications and services they need, as well as to the system administrators whose lives have been simplified though server consolidation, improved management tools and ease of administration.
Early in the summer of 2017, based on the success of our development teams’ leadership, a second Titanium Cloud instance was deployed – this time for desktop voice services for our Ottawa based business and Executive Leadership teams! This project involved sourcing a software version of our 3rd party commercial hardware PBX solution, then deploying it as a VNF onto Titanium Cloud. The VNF in question was advertised as being supported on a proprietary, IT-type hypervisor platform, but we were able to quickly get it running on our open standards based solution without any change.
After some typical call-server configuration and logistics work (PBX dial plan updates, voice line internetworking, phone-set reconfigurations, voice mail set-up), we were able to successfully place & receive calls internally and externally as expected. Users who weren’t in the office when the change was made didn’t even notice the difference.
Just to be clear, this wasn’t a “second phone” type of solution – we completely replaced peoples’ primary, business critical phones with one providing service though a virtualized PBX running on our Titanium Cloud product!
Since many of us spend a lot of time on the phone, especially in conference calls, having a reliable, dependable phone system is imperative to our business. At Wind River we pride ourselves on the quality of our systems – “If it matters, it runs on Wind River.” We ask our customers to put their trust in us, and we provide critical infrastructure for their businesses. It’s only logical that we do the same ourselves. Besides, I love talking to customers and telling them we’re actually using Titanium Cloud night now!
By the way, it’s worth noting that since we’ve cut-over to our soft PBX, we haven’t had a single voice incident. Audio quality has been outstanding too. Dogfooding? No, this is fine cuisine we’re serving up!