The enterprise session border controller market is growing in parallel with the SIP trunking and unified communications markets, as TMC’s (News - Alert) Erik Linask noted in the November issue of this magazine. Top-tier players in this product category include AudioCodes, Cisco, Edgewater, Ingate, Oracle (News - Alert), and Sonus.
“In fact, the market has grown steadily not only in terms of customers, but also vendors, with well more than a dozen players in a space that not long ago held only a small handful,” Linask wrote.
The E-SBC market is poised to be worth $1.6 billion by 2018, according to Infonetics Research (News - Alert), which reported that the market reached $65 million in the second quarter of 2014.
Here’s a selection of what some vendors offer on the E-SBC front.
The ADTRAN Enterprise Session Border Controller portfolio provides VoIP interoperability to both service providers and enterprises as the shift to IP communications progresses. As more service providers deliver IP services to the enterprise edge, more businesses are adopting IP technologies for the premises. ADTRAN provides a migration path to various services, from business trunking, hosted VoIP, and onto native SIP trunking. ADTRAN E-SBCs provide the tools necessary to normalize, secure, and troubleshoot communications between a service provider's SIP trunk and a customer's SIP compliant equipment.
AudioCodes' Mediant family of E-SBC products provide businesses with the interoperability, survivability, security, and quality assurance required to connect their IP-based communications platforms with branch offices and service provider networks. Based at the business premises, the E-SBC acts as the demarcation point between the enterprise VoIP network and the service provider's SIP-based services such as SIP trunking or hosted unified communications applications. Mediant E-SBCs are tailored specifically for the enterprise and built on years of carrier-grade VoIP deployments and expertise. The E-SBC line starts from the Mediant 500, offering a complete connectivity solution for small- to medium-sized enterprises and scaling to 250 sessions, and ranges all the way to the Mediant 9000, supporting up to 25,000 concurrent sessions for deployments in large enterprises. Five additional platforms (800, 1000, 2600, 3000, 4000), are available for different scenarios in between. All Mediant E-SBCs are based on the same code, feature parity, and configuration methodology. They support high availability at any scale to ensure uninterrupted communications. Software SBCs are also available. Mediant E-SBCs are managed with either an embedded Web interface or via the One Voice Operation Center, a centralized lifecycle management suite.
When connecting from the edge of the enterprise network to the service provider network, organizations can deploy session border controller technology with SIP trunking to gain benefits such as substantial cost savings, improved reliability and rich collaboration with customers, partners and suppliers. Cisco Unified Border Element is Cisco's SBC, a key part of Cisco's Collaboration Edge Architecture. Unlike other standalone SBCs, CUBE is a software solution that can be deployed virtually or on Cisco routers. Its unique benefits are as follows. Smoother migration to SIP trunking: Deploy CUBE and Cisco voice gateways simultaneously on the router, allowing time to test and learn the new technology until the cutover. Because CUBE is activated with a simple software upgrade on the router, often no new hardware is required. Deployment flexibility: CUBE is scalable and cost effective, with multiple deployment options (centralized, distributed, or hybrid), so customers can customize their SIP trunk architectures. CUBE also interoperates with standards-based IP PBXs. Better security: CUBE's integrated voice policy goes beyond static white/black lists to policy-based evaluation of call patterns and media flows, to prevent abuses such as toll fraud or telephony denial of service. Investment maximization: CUBE offers additional services, including secure rich-media collaboration for remote workers, call recording, contact center integration, and more.
Edgewater Networks (News - Alert) is a leader in providing managed services platforms for the delivery of IP-based voice, video and data services. More than 4 million Edgewater Networks’ E-SBC sessions are currently deployed by some of the largest service providers and enterprise organizations, including two of the largest U.S. carriers and three of the top five U.S. cable operators. Edgewater Network’ E-SBCs are suitable for any deployment size, from small and medium businesses to enterprise-sized organizations. Basic functionality includes device and protocol interoperability, security and policy management, quality of service, flexibility, scalability, and reliability. The latest addition to the product line is the EdgeMarc 4700 series, an E-SBC that supports up to 100 concurrent calls and 1,000 registered devices with up to a 100mbps symmetric data rate. It is ideal for SIP trunking and IP telephony business needs requiring high availability and security functionality. Edgewater Networks also understands the importance of management and metrics, so it offers the EdgeView Virtual Appliance, its E-SBC monitoring software. The EdgeView enables service providers and enterprise customers to identify and resolve network impairments that negatively affect VoIP call quality. Edgewater Networks helps you balance data, VoIP, and security applications between the core and the edge.
Ingate E-SBCs make it easy to deploy SIP trunks and UC applications. The Ingate SIParator is a cost-effective E-SBC that’s interoperable with major IP PBXs and SIP trunking service providers. Ingate’s SIP Trunking Startup Tool configures the SIParator in three easy steps. For service providers, Ingate products offer a high-quality, reliable SIP trunk demarcation point between the customer’s IP PBX (News - Alert) and the service provider network. Placed at the customer edge, Ingate provides secure firewall traversal, diagnostics, and security to simplify SIP trunk implementations whether over a managed connection or the public Internet. The Ingate Firewall is an enterprise firewall that enables SIP, offering all the benefits of the SIParator in an all-in-one appliance for data security as well as the E-SBC. Ingate E-SBCs can support up to 20,000 sessions and are available as appliances and software deliverables. Ingate’s WebRTC & SIP PBX Companion integrates the PBX, call center, and UC infrastructure with WebRTC. It includes Ingate’s Q-TURN technology, enabling WebRTC’s video and audio to be delivered with high quality into the enterprise LAN. Q-TURN incorporates a TURN server in the SIParator so enterprises can control access to their network and enable packet tagging for WebRTC quality of service.
Network functions virtualization is one of the best things that ever happened to enterprises, and in fact to service providers. Enterprises will be the first ones to take advantage of NFV, by starting to adopt what is called virtual CPE. The vCPE will be the one device on the premises that will host all the networking functions of the enterprise. One of the many virtual functions that reside on the vCPE is the SBC function. Perimeta vSBC from Metaswitch is a session border controller that can be deployed as a VM on a vCPE, and affords tremendous advantages over the previous generation of appliance-based, vertically integrated session border controllers. Perimeta vSBC can scale up or down depending on the enterprise’s needs, and performs all the functions required by an SBC, with added security, analytics, and optimized performance in a virtual environment. It can be deployed on a variety of vCPE platforms, and works with different orchestrators. Perimeta vSBC on a vCPE provides significant economic advantages to enterprises and service providers – from reduced capex for purpose-built SBC, to reduced opex and management costs of a single vCPE for all network functions required by an enterprise.
The OneAccess SBC Nano eSBC software license option, available on the One Series Multi-Service Routers, enables service providers to overcome the challenges inherent in routing SIP-based calls between their networks and customer premises equipment. SBC Nano enables service providers to efficiently deliver higher quality hosted PBX and SIP trunking services to SMB and enterprise customers with lower operational costs. When integrated with a high performance MSR, it is a cost-effective solution for signal interworking, media interworking, address translation, network demarcation, quality of service, survivability, and security for IP PBXs and SIP endpoints. SBC Nano is part of the portfolio of software features available on the One Series of high performance MSRs that scale up to 600 simultaneous calls.
The Oracle Communications Session Border Controller is an element of what enables IP-based real-time communications networks for fixed line, mobile, and over-the-top service providers. Specifically, the SBC is designed to protect the service provider’s network and the services the network delivers. The SBC sits at the edges of the network – both access and interconnect – and can satisfy service providers’ border control requirements, including user authentication, quality, reliability, scalability, policy control, call routing, regulatory compliance, and revenue/cost optimization. Similarly, the Oracle Communications Enterprise Session Border Controller connects disparate IP communications networks while mitigating security threats, alleviating interoperability problems, and enhancing reliable communications for businesses. The solution is specifically designed to address the unique security, interoperability, and reliability challenges that businesses often encounter when extending voice, video, and unified communications across SIP trunks. It is offered in virtual machine software or appliance models and scales from the needs of small offices to large enterprises.
Patton specializes in making state-of-the-art IP communications accessible and affordable for small to medium businesses. As a privately-held, U.S. manufacturer, Patton understands the needs of SMBs. Many such companies are eager to realize the cost savings and productivity gains of Internet telephony and unified communications, yet cannot afford to replace their working POTS or ISDN handsets and PBX equipment. By offering FXS, FXO, T1, E1, BRI, and PRI telephony interfaces, Patton’s E-SBCs provide the pathway to IP-enable such legacy phone systems. Branded SmartNode Enterprise Session Border Routers, Patton offers compact, space-saving E-SBC solutions for as few as two concurrent calls, with solutions for four, eight, 12, 24 or up to 256 SIP sessions. SmartNode ESBRs can be ordered with an integrated WAN access port (ADSL, G.SHDSL, fiber optic), which simplifies LAN architecture – saving valuable set-up time as well as facility space. Patton’s innovative DownStreamQos technology ensures phone calls don’t get mangled by big data downloads – or co-workers watching videos. Transcoding between high- and low-bandwidth codecs preserves high-quality voice within the organization while optimizing available capacity on the Internet access link.
Session border control equipment is primarily intended for session security and admission control between two network endpoints across a network border. In an IMS architecture, the SBC was never intended to provide transcoding between mismatched endpoint codecs, particularly video transcoding, resulting in scaling limitations between signaling and media transcoding requirements. Increasingly, network planners are embracing network functions virtualization and decomposed SBC architectures, where border signaling gateway requirements are scalable and independently deployed from transcoding performed in adjunct media processors. Radisys media processing solutions, deployed globally for VoLTE, conferencing and VAS services, are an ideal IP-IP multimedia transcoding solution for network operators, as well as decomposed SBC and gateway vendors. Radisys supports a wide range of high-volume codec requirements, including AMR-WB transcoding for VoLTE deployments, or HD H.264-to-VP8 video transcoding and transrating for WebRTC gateway applications. Radisys transcoding capabilities can be controlled using SIP- or web-based interfaces in 3rd Party Call Control architectures, or deployed inline in a Back-to-Back User Agent configuration. Radisys transcoding capabilities can be economically delivered as virtualized media processing for the telecom cloud, software media processing on Intel servers, or high-capacity media processing on the MPX-12000 Broadband MRF.
Sangoma provides an array of both carrier-class SBCs and enterprise SBCs. Its carrier-class SBC is designed to handle the high call volumes that carriers experience and provide a full range of features required for carrier operations. The NetBorder Carrier SBC is field upgradeable and supports up to 4,000 sessions. The E-SBCs from Sangoma are right-sized for the corporate network and even the small business.
The Sonus Session Border Controller Software edition is the industry's first software-based session border controller that delivers unmatched scalability with the same advanced features and functionalities as hardware-based SBCs. The SBC SWe features the same code base, media transcoding, and security technology found in Sonus' award-winning hardware-based Sonus SBC 5000 series on a virtualized platform – without compromise. The only difference is how customers choose to deploy it: on industry-standard servers, in virtualized environments, or as a hosted service. The software can be deployed on existing servers in a virtual machine environment for greater scalability and efficiency. The portability and flexibility of the SBC SWe solution makes it the ideal choice for customers and partners that have invested in virtualization technology; require prepackaged solutions in a box; require remote network deployments; are smaller enterprises; and are supporting opportunities such as entering a new geographic market where deploying a hardware solution would be impractical or cost prohibitive. The SBC SWe operates seamlessly with the existing Sonus SBC product portfolio, rapidly extending interworking capabilities with just a license and delivering the same advanced SBC functionality and features to small, medium, and large businesses anywhere in the world.
Edited by Maurice Nagle