• United States
by Steve Taylor and Larry Hettick

Ingate does two kinds of convergence

Apr 07, 20032 mins

* Ingate Systems' gear combines multiple convergence capabilities

As we’ve often discussed, convergence has many meanings – and a new set of products from Ingate Systems actually fits into more than one definition of convergence.

In fact, based on our recent briefing by Ingate President Steven Johnson, the most troublesome part of the story was having a good name to accurately describe what Ingate does.

Clearly, Ingate is in the convergence marketplace because its product is designed for converged data and voice applications. But the product is also intriguing because, so far as we know, it’s the first in the market to converge the functions of a firewall, a performance management appliance, a Session Initiation Protocol proxy, and a SIP registrar into a single device.

Starting with a low-end product designed for the small office/home office (SOHO) marketplace, Ingate combines a standard router/firewall with a SIP proxy and SIP registrar. This raises the bar from the garden-variety SOHO router by adding voice-over-IP functions that normally would not be present in the consumer-oriented varieties of this product from companies like Linksys and D-Link. The Intertex Data product, like its SOHO competitors, has options for including an ADSL modem and/or 802.11b wireless capabilities. And while the addition of the SIP capabilities adds to the price tag, it also alleviates the need for separate products.

For enterprise companies, Ingate offers other products that add both capacity and features. On the feature side, it’s especially interesting that traffic shaping may be integrated into the product. This is attractive since traffic shaping is most critical when VoIP is used, and the devices are specifically designed for VoIP.

The result? Products that combine three critical functions that might otherwise require separate pieces of equipment – a firewall, a SIP appliance, and a traffic shaping appliance – into a single box for significantly less money than would be required on an a la carte basis.