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Cellular HardwarePhysical vs Virtual Cellular Infrastructure: The Pros and Cons

Cellular hardware comes in three varieties: cellular modem, router and gateway.

Cellular modems are physical devices that typically connect to a system through USB or RS-232. These devices aren't virtualized by default but can be virtualized with the aid of a COM port virtualizer. Cellular routers and gateways can natively be accessed by IP.

So, in theory, you can use any piece of cellular hardware in a virtual environment but what are the benefits and drawbacks?

Virtualizing servers makes them easier to manage and also removes the requirement of having a physical server present for the system to function. This can reduce operating costs and can make server management much easier to maintain; however, virtual servers are just that: virtual. This makes them entirely reliant on the network in which the system is operating. If that network ever experiences disruptive issues, your virtual server will suffer as a result. The benefit is that you never really have to 'move' a virtual server, the most you'll have to do is reconfigure an IP address or machine name. This also means that you won't have to move any virtually connected hardware that the system is using, again you would just need to reconfigure the IP or virtual port assigned to the device.

On the other hand, using a physical server with physically connected hardware is the most reliable setup you can use. Maintaining a physical server with physically connected hardware removes any network reliance for message delivery. So, the internet and your entire internal network could go down and you would still have the ability to send messages from the PageGate server as it wouldn't be relying on any part of the internal network or internet connection. The drawback is that it is a physical server. If you ever want to move it, it must be physically moved and you must maintain its hardware.

more on using Cellular Hardware


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