Sonus Evolving the SBC
The Session Border Controller (SBC) can be a puzzling device. There’s just no equivalent to it in traditional telephony. It is the unique characteristics of VoIP and the Internet that make implementing SBCs a modern best practice. SBCs protect and simplify voice communications, and now with its latest release Sonus takes the SBC further with multimedia services.
Today Sonus Networks updated its SBC 5000 series to facilitate broader UC streams. SBCs have always been tightly associated with SIP, and since SIP is increasingly used for all kinds of UC traffic, this evolution makes a lot of sense. These new services should attract the interest of network and UC managers supporting video and BYOD implementations.
The Sonus Networks 5000 line includes the SBC 5110 and SBC 5210. The company and its SBC products are getting increased recognition. Gartner placed Sonus in the Leaders quadrant of its 2013 SBC research, and InformationWeek includes Sonus on its list of Top Technology Innovators both this year and last. With release 4, the story gets better.
According to Sonus, this newest release includes over a 100 new updates and the products are now “Qualified” for Microsoft Lync 2013 (see the Sonus e-book Lync for Dummies). Another big feature is SIPREC to enable centralized call recording in enterprises and contact centers. Sonus also expanded its IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) support so the SBCs can bridge endpoints into a providers’ IMS/core.
The biggest aspect of the update is support for multimedia streams. Video interoperability and scalability are the bane of the UC industry. Most solutions are expensive and complex. Adding video support to the SBC provides an interesting and compelling twist, and makes the SBC a more versatile device.
Video technologies are undergoing rapid change, and usage is growing. BYOD devices are creating exponential growth in video-capable endpoints and a significant challenge in terms of interoperability. MCU pricing remains relatively high, so the stage is set for a new approach. Sonus took a page out of its voice handbook and added video capabilities to the 5000 series SBCs.
This approach offers an offloaded, scalable solution for video interoperability. The Sonus 5000 series facilitate interoperability by normalizing video streams (SIP and H.323) between endpoints. The SBC also enables interoperability between endpoints regardless if they are internal, external, desktop, mobile, or room systems. It offers a video solution at lower SBC audio price levels.
David Tipping, Vice President and General Manager of the SBC Business at Sonus said: “Sonus multimedia SBCs with embedded policy features fuel a rich Unified Communications experience for customers, within or beyond the enterprise and regardless of device type. Our customers can be confident that their voice, video and collaboration are fully featured and Sonus secure.”
Because SBCs are on the boundary of the enterprise network, they can also facilitate secure BYOD implementations. The Sonus SBCs include a routing and policy engine, so broader media support enables security for voice, video, and collaboration within a single, carrier-grade solution.
Other enhancements with this release include support and tools for FECC content sharing, call admission control, QoS, firewall traversal, and high availability. Release 4 will be generally available later this year.
This paper is sponsored by Sonus.