Use client/server technology to send faxes

When considering fax server solutions, your have limited options. Castelle's FaxPress 5.0 is an enterprise-level fax server solution that frees your NT server resources, and you can install it easily.

FaxPress leverages client-server technology and delivers a robust, dependable fax product to employees. The product includes two components: a server component and a client component. The server component is standalone hardware you install on your network. The client component is the software product you install on workstations you will send faxes from. This innovative approach means you don't have to tie up your NT servers with mundane tasks such as receiving and sending faxes.

The System
FaxPress 3500 can support two or four telephone lines. The interior of the unit consists of a series of stacked daughterboards, which makes expansion easy. The main system board contains a 20MHz MC68030 microprocessor and has 12MB of RAM in addition to the serial, parallel, and network ports. Each fax daughterboard supports two fax lines with Rockwell 144EFX chipsets, supporting maximum fax throughput of 14.4Kbps with ITU-T Group III, T.4, and T.30 standards compatibility. Units are also available with a Token-Ring interface to connect to token ring networks.

FaxPress contains all the advanced features you expect to see in an enterprise-level fax product. You can send a fax three ways from Microsoft Exchange Server: through your favorite application via a special print driver, or send a fax through the client component. You can automatically deliver inbound faxes with Direct Inward Dialing (DID) or dual-tone multifrequency (DTMF) routing. Cover pages and personalized phone books let you customize how you send your faxes. Load sharing lets you distribute faxes among FaxPress servers. Internet faxing lets you distribute long-distance faxes to a remote FaxPress server over the Internet. Bill-back codes let you track which departments use the fax the most within your environment.

Installing the FaxPress solution on my network was simple. However, setup might take longer in large environments because of the software's numerous features. You must have space on an NT file server to store the product's database and other system files, and you must run TCP/IP for the product to work correctly.

I connected the FaxPress unit to my network. Then, I connected a telephone line to one of the four jacks in the rear of the unit. I connected the unit's BNC connector to my network via a thin-net cable, plugged the unit in, and powered it up. Shortly after I powered up the unit, a blinking red LED on the front panel signaled that I hadn't configured the unit. I inserted the FaxPress software CD-ROM into my Micronics-based NT Server 4.0 machine. I launched the installation program, which gave me the option of performing a server installation or a client install. I opted for the server installation.

The server installation has several components. The server software consists of the FaxPress database and system files. You can opt to install the client installation files, so that users can install the client software directly from your server, rather than you installing the clients manually at each workstation. I installed both options. After selecting the components to install, the product installation asks for the FaxPress serial number, which is on the bottom of the hardware unit. The software let me install load-sharing support, HP network-scanner support, and Castelle-Ibex fax-on-demand support. The remainder of the installation was smooth. I had to supply information about the FaxPress server—mainly the server's IP address on my network (the install process automatically sets it to the hardware) and a share name for the client files.

You configure FaxPress operation by installing the FaxPress client component with the Admin Tools option. During installation you can opt to install the Exchange Server component so you can send and receive faxes through Exchange.

Fair Price
FaxPress is a professional fax server product. Although the price sounds high, it isn't—there are no per-user or per-seat license fees. The unit is an excellent alternative to purchasing a special fax board and supporting software separately.

FaxPress 5.0
Contact:
Castelle * 408-496-0474
Web: http://www.castelle.com
Price: $4695
System Requirements:
Windows NT Server 4.0 with Service Pack 3, TCP/IP, 30MB of hard disk space