When to Use a Paging Gateway vs. the InformaCast® Fusion Server Appliance

InformaCast Paging Gateway and InformaCase Fusion Server
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Getting the Message Out When Resources are Limited

In January 2018, Singlewire Software released the InformaCast Fusion Server appliance in conjunction with the High Availability release of InformaCast Fusion. This tool helps organizations that have remote sites run InformaCast Fusion even if their virtual computing resources are limited. However, this raised the question, “when would I use an InformaCast Fusion Server appliance at a remote site vs. a paging gateway?”

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the differences between the two tools and the best circumstances to utilize each one.

Using a Paging Gateway

A paging gateway does one thing: it converts the audio stream of an InformaCast broadcast from unicast to multicast. Some environments make it difficult to use multicast audio streaming across the WAN (wide area network), due to routing or bandwidth limitations. Organizations using the Singlewire Paging Gateway can send audio across the WAN without needing to route multicast across the WAN. This is helpful for sending audio broadcasts across a wide-area network to Cisco phones, IP speakers and computers running the InformaCast Desktop Notifier.

Using the InformaCast Fusion Server Appliance

In an InformaCast Fusion architecture, an InformaCast Fusion Server appliance can be placed at the remote site, and, because it is sourcing multicast to the devices it serves, there is no need to route multicast across the WAN. This ability to work around the lack of multicast routing on a WAN is the one big similarity between the InformaCast Fusion Server appliance and the paging gateway. However, the InformaCast Fusion Server appliance can also perform Distributed Activation and Survivable Remote Site Notification, which means it will likely be the better choice in most deployments of InformaCast Fusion.

Things to Consider

Now that we’ve explained how each tool functions, here are a few additional points to consider:

  1. The InformaCast Fusion Server and the InformaCast Paging Gateway are available as either a VMware OVA (virtual appliance) or as a physical appliance.
  2. When running InformaCast Fusion, at least one Fusion server appliance (virtual or physical) is required.
  3. The Paging Gateway and the InformaCast Fusion Server can coexist in the same customer network. For example, several larger remote sites may have an InformaCast Fusion Server, while smaller branch sites may be better served by a Paging Gateway.
  4. The InformaCast Fusion Server requires slightly more configuration than a Paging Gateway. If a customer is deploying a large number of sites, this may be a deciding factor.

Still have questions? Contact us to discuss which tool would work best in your organization.