Session border controls necessary to extend VoIP to connect to other networks

* Views of SBC and VoIP from NextPoint Networks

Following our recent newsletter on the need for session border controllers (SBC) capability with VoIP and unified communications applications, we heard back from Matt Edic, director, Enterprise Sales and Product Management at NextPoint Networks. NextPoint is the result of a merger between NexTone Communications, a software-centric SBC and session management provider, and Reef Point Systems, a mobile access universal convergence gateway provider. Edic concurred with our opinion that where an SBC resides is not an issue but that an SBC is necessary for VoIP and unified communications solutions that extend to other locations and connect to other networks.

Edic also shared this opinion: “What is perhaps most critical is the availability of a 'back-to-back' user agent . . . [because by] providing necessary security and interoperability functionality for unified communications applications, an SBC must also be able to apply intelligence within a session path.” Consequently, he concludes that: “An SBC must be able to accept and hold an incoming session to the network; initiate an outgoing session; and bridge the two sessions. This requires that sophisticated intelligence or logic – session routing and dynamic policy control – be inserted within the session path for processing and interconnection.”

Edic also noted: “In an enterprise unified communications environment, this also means that the SBC must support both H.323 as well as SIP-based IP PBXs.” He correctly observes that: “In the past 10 years, VoIP/IP PBX deployments within enterprises have been H.323-based primarily (counting SCCP [Skinny Client Control Protocol] as a derivative) and only recently has SIP been more fully deployed within enterprises.”He said that at NextPoint, “to keep up with our evolving customer demands, we find a software-based approach gives us both the flexibility to adapt to their application-specific requirements and the ability to leverage different performance and platform characteristics.”

Our thanks to Edic for his observations and feedback. If you’d like share your thoughts (either agreeing or disagreeing), please feel free to contact us via e-mail or through the public comment section below, and we’ll be happy to share your reaction with other readers.

Learn more about this topic

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.