When planning your clients’ Small Business Server networks, you need to give careful thought to their fax server software needs. Why? Because fax server software is a pretty tricky area that bridges the “Worlds” of Small Business Server, modems, device drivers, telephone lines, client software… and I almost forgot… stingy small business clients that want to remain in denial that their companies are still so “fax-dependent”.
In order to assess the number of modem ports required for the Small Business Server network’s Fax Server software, and whether or not modems can be shared across applications, consider the following Fax Server software planning tips:
If your clients are incurring a moderate to heavy daily fax use (over 50 faxes a day), don’t commingle Remote Access Server and Fax Server software hardware devices. (If your clients are serious about either application, Remote Access Server or Fax Server software, don’t let them “go cheap” on this.)
If your clients utilize analog dial-up to connect to their ISP, don’t mix Remote Access Server and Fax Server software hardware devices in the same modem pool.
If your clients are fax “power” users, they can use up to four phone lines and modems dedicated to nothing but Fax Server software (i.e. independent of Remote Access Server functions).
Look at inbound fax calls. How will the Small Business Server 4.5 system be able to tell the difference between inbound Remote Access Server and Fax Server software calls on the same analog line and modem? Unless the selected hardware supports adaptive answer, which can distinguish between inbound Remote Access Server and Fax Server software calls, dedicate one or more inbound modems for Fax Server software. Even if the modem supports adaptive answer, you can tremendously simplify installation and ongoing support by keeping Remote Access Server-allocated devices separate from Fax Server software-allocated devices.
Consider outbound Fax Server software calls. In the event your clients will be sending a large volume of both inbound and outbound faxes (over 50 faxes a day), consider having more than one fax modem. In this scenario, you could also allocate one modem for inbound Fax Server software and one for outbound Fax Server software traffic.
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