IP Telephony News Wrap-up for Dec, 13 2005

1. CableLabs Issues RFP for VoIP Peering
CableLabs has issued a RFP for a VoIP peering solution for cable operators. The RFP covers architectures for service, specifications, and the associated operations and management requirements to develop a production grade environment.

Responses are due by December 14th.


3. Xelor Unveils QoS Solution for Avaya & Cisco IP PBXs
Xelor Software has introduced XelorRate Service Quality Manager, a Linux application for Red Hat that provides a QoS solution for Avaya’s Communications Manager and Cisco’s CallManager. The software delivers network configuration, dynamic bandwidth allocation and automated packet prioritization. The technology uses SNMP, including RFCs 1213, 1493, and 2674 for bridging and routing MIBs, to automatically discovering network elements and topology and then configuring these elements for QoS according to industry best practices and the network equipment provider’s reference manual.

XelorRate software configures Class of Service for VLANs and Layer 2 (as defined by IEEE standard 802.1 p/q) and Differentiated Services for Layer 3 (or Diffserv, as defined by RFCs 2474 and 2475) mappings and queues, establishes trust on trunk port interfaces, and defines service priority on egress port interfaces.

After the initial QoS configuration, the software enforces the QoS policy end-to-end by interfacing to the VoIP system to obtain call events, including inbound and outbound calls, internal and external calls, transfers, and multi-party conferences. For each new call, The product uses its Service Admission Control algorithm to evaluate available bandwidth and delay bounds along the end-to-end path of the call.

When the SAC returns a favorable response, the software can control network resources proactively by assigning the appropriate bandwidth allocation and flow treatment with Access Control List (ACL) entries on the access ports closest to the source and destination of the call. The ACL entries mark the IP packets for CoS Type 5 and Expedited Forwarding (EF), the highest priority treatment and the appropriate service classes for VoIP traffic. After, the product clears the ACL entry on call tear-down, re-sets the ports to the untrusted state and updates the network resource database to reflect the newly available bandwidth.

When the SAC returns an unfavorable response, the call proceeds but with the default Best Effort prioritization as opposed to the higher EF prioritization.

XelorRate runs on an off-the-shelf Linux server requiring a 2.4Ghz or faster Intel Pentium 4 processor, 1G or more of RAM, a 50G or larger hard drive and Red Hat Enterprise Server 4.0.

The software is currently available with pricing ranging from $14,700 for an organization with 200 seats to $61,000 for an organization with 1500 seats.

Xelor Software

5. Cisco Unveils New Service Exchange Framework-Based Products
Cisco Systems has introduced a wave of new products and product enhancements associated with its service exchange framework (SEF), the service convergence layer of its IP NGN architecture. SEF is an environment for bundling services and offering personalization through self selection, detailed billing and usage models and extensive prepaid and postpaid options. SEF, designed to interoperate with both IMS and non- IMS networks, enables the delivery of a plethora of new SIP applications such as dual mode telephony, push to talk, presence based services, and other fixed mobile convergence applications.

In non-IMS applications, SEF enables real time monitoring of VoIP call quality and integration with third party anti-virus, security and intrusion detection appliances. Service support ranges from IP VPNs to VOD to interactive gaming and IPTV.

The new products include an integrated session border controller on Cisco’s XR 12000 series router, enabling interoperability of SIP and H.323 signaling, and a MPLS-enabled media gateway.

New product enhancements are reflected in the release of version 3.0 of the vendor’s call session control platform (CSPC), version 3.0 of its service control engine (SCE), version 9.7 of its PGW2200 media gateway controller and version 4.5 of BTS 10200 softswitch.

CSCP release 3.0 includes support for the IMS ISC application interface along with enhancements in scalability, provisioning, security and QoS policy enforcement.

SCE Release 3.0 provides monitoring of VoIP call quality in real- time and reports on individual subscriber experience on a per- call basis. Additional enhancements include integration with third party anti-virus, security and intrusion detection appliances and performance enhancements allowing the system to scale to support 10 Gbps or greater throughputs.

PGW 2200 Release 9.7 supports Media Gateway Control Function (MGCF) for IMS and more than 90 SS7/C7 global signaling variants.

The BTS 10200 release 4.5 offers enhanced operational capabilities, new subscriber-focused features, platform support and IMS integration.

Cisco Systems

7. 3Com Introduces Stackable LAN Switch for SMBs
3Com has introduced its 4500 series of switches, a new product family designed to address SMB’s support of VoIP, security, and other converged applications. The product line includes a 26 port switch and a 50 port switch, each optionally available with PoE. The products include Layer 2 switching and dynamic Layer 3 routing functionality. The switches are interoperable in multi-vendor networks.

The switches feature automatic prioritization of voice traffic, auto VLAN assignment of voice calls, pre-programmed IP phones from multiple vendors, support for 802.1x authentication, as well as authentication for non-802.1x devices via RADA.

The 26 port switch goes for $695. The PoE version is $2,295. The 50 port switch is $1,295. The PoE version is $4,295.


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