snom ONE xxx, what does that all mean?
There are a lot of confusing names in the snom ONE space: snom ONE mini, snom ONE plus, snom ONE blue, snom ONE yellow, snom ONE free, snom ONE green and now snom ONE ten, twenty, forty, eighty. At least all those names started with snom ONE. With version 5 out of the door, it is time to clarify this.
The first dimension here is hardware. There we have the snom ONE mini, which is a small, ARM-based computer with 512 MB RAM, 512 MB Flash memory and a PoE-enabled Ethernet port which is a great solution for small offices. And there is the snom ONE plus, which is essentially a PC in a nice housing and with a preinstalled Sangoma card and software inside.
We have repeatedly made statements that the spinoff is about dealing with software, and only software. That’s why the snom ONE mini remained in snom and is sold through the snom distribution channel. If customers are purchasing hardware phones through this channel, it makes a lot of sense to do the same for the snom ONE mini hardware appliance.
The snom ONE plus is different in that it is essentially PC-based server hardware. You can go today to dell.com, ibm.com, hp.com or other server manufacturers and get your server hardware delivered to your door in matter of days, which great hardware and even replacement plans. The idea to come up with a snom ONE plus was to simply that process by pre-installing everything, so that the reseller only has to power up the device. However multiple markups have to be done during this multiple stage process, which can make the snom ONE expensive. Because in the new company we want to stay out of the hardware business, we just defer snom ONE plus requests to our partner who actually assembles these devices. This keeps us out of the loop, which does not only help to keep the prices competitive; it also makes it faster to actually get the devices.
The second dimension is the software. A lot has already been said about the new licensing structure. From a naming perspective, we went away from colors as they are catchy, but have only very limited meaning. Instead we just picked the number of extensions that comes with the bundle. The number of extensions is still the primary factor in installations, and while this is less catchy, it explains the purpose of the bundle quite well. The only exception is the snom ONE free. Here the key point is that this is a perfect way to get onto the snom ONE train at no financial risk.
So in essence, in order to get snom ONE working in your office, you need a hardware platform, and operating system and the snom ONE software running on it. As for the hardware and operating system, you can choose from this:
- Standard PC servers executing i386-compatible code. This is the mainstream server market. You can purchase them from the manufacturer directly or through other distribution channel. There are plenty of choices. You may run Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008, 2012 on it or Debian or CentOS Linux, all preferably 64 bit editions.
- If you want to run Apple computers instead, that is also an option. Just make sure that it is an i386-based model, for example the Mac mini is a great candidate to operate your PBX service in the office. Contact Apple if you want to go this path. On the Apple, you want to Run MacOS X on it, probably snow leopard or something later. More about this when we finally have the version 5 image ready for the Mac.
- The snom ONE mini is another great platform, based on ARM. There are similar devices available that are able to run ARM-based Linux , like the GuruPlug or the SheevaPlug (a.k.a. snom ONE SoHo). snom ONE mini comes with a snom ONE version 4 software on it preinstalled, while on other platforms you would have to do that on your own. And on the snom ONE mini you get a license which is somewhere between the snom ONE free and the snom ONE yellow (version 4).
- The snom ONE plus is a server with snom ONE software preinstalled, a Sangoma NetBorder Express software preinstalled and a Sangoma PSTN gateway card preinstalled. You may decide to run Windows or Linux on it.