Saturday, December 5, 2009

Virtualization and stuff

This week was quite crappy from a technical point of view.
The VXML Interpreter we have been developing for some time now has to discuss with Nuance software for TTS/ASR.
The problem with Nuance is that it runs on x86 hardware. Our baseline is HP DL380 G6 running RHEL 5 which is purely x64. I had to make lots of tricks and combinations between Realspeak, Recognizer, SpeechServer and some compatibility libraries in order to have a working setup.
The backup solution was to create a RHEL4 + Nuance virtual machine and force the RHEL5 host to boot it and present it to the TTS+ASR client. Management was very reluctant to it. However this solution would have bring other advantages - the developers could have used the virtual machines for unitary testing.
In the meanwhile my SS7 simulator ceased to work. It was not a big issue - a DHCP conflict in the network - bu this determined me to have a look on the system. I have discovered that the whole simulator is in fact a system having two ATCA blades. One is a DHCP/BOOTP/TFTP server (hence the conflict) ant the other is a diskless blade with SS7 and SIGTRAN interfaces. Again both machines could be virtualized - so I could replicate the expensive simulation setup on every PC on my team. And all this at 0 costs.

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