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Monday, December 9, 2013


SBC or Session Border Controllers are devices that are regularly used in VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) networks in order to gain control through the signaling involved in the setting up, tearing, and conducting of media streams down the lines for telephone calls and other communications used in interactive media. 

The early implementations of SBCs were mainly focused on the borderline in between two service network providers in a peer environment. The role has currently stretched in order to include certain deployments existing in the access of a service provider’s network, as well as a backbone network in order to offer service to enterprise and/or residential customers.

‘Session’ refers to the communication existing in between two separate parties. In the field of telephony, session refers to the exchange of a single, or multiple call signaling messages, which controls the call. At the same time, one or more streams of call media will carry the video, audio and other data involved during the call, together with the quality and call statistics information.

‘Border’ refers to a demarcation point in between one point of a network. For example, in the edge point of a business network, a firewall is used to demarcate the local network from the rest of the Internet, outside the business. Also, large businesses with different departments have a security need in each location. In this scenario, there is a need to filter routers and other elements in order to control the flow of streams of data.

Session Border Controllers – Details

SBCs are usually overlooked despite their importance. They are generally a very important infrastructure in Unified Communications. Together with the translation services implemented in between multiple incompatible services and devices, these SBCs play a very important role in providing protection to the business network, as well as Unified Communications platforms from toll fraud, denial of service, as well as other attacks. While SIP trunking, and VoIP access providers provide protection to their networks using large scale SBCs, they do not generally provide protection to the networks using E-SBC (enterprise session border controller). Even running under the carrier MPLS networks, an open communication to the infrastructure serves as a representation to the security risk for several organizations.

Session Border Controllers – Usage

Aside from giving much focus on the translation and security concerns, more and more companies have been deploying E-SBCs in order to provide support to mobile devices, which are generally outside the walls of the corporate UC architecture. In this kind of network deployment, different users can safely use mobile UC applications in the field without having to connect to a VPN (Virtual Private Network). This eliminates the overhead and hassle, which are usually associated with the use of VPNs.

Looking forward, E-SBCs are most likely to become a very important aspect of WebRTC applications. They are generally implemented at the network edge, which is typically referred to as a demilitarized zone. E-SBC is in a very good and strategic position to offer conversionservices in between SIP compatible UC servers, as well as external WebRTC clients. Several vendors offering SBC services also implement WebRTC gateway support in their product roadmaps. The rest of the services are most likely patterned according to the WebRTC standards, which have become more and more formalized.

In line with this realization, Session Border Controllers play a very important role within Unified Communications architecture. Businesses and IT departments should play their part in searching for more detail regarding the devices involved, and how the setup would ultimately impact VoIP security. In the end, this new technology in IT works to enhance the productivity and data security of a company.

Author Bio

Michelle Patterson has been learning and writing about the new IP based communication technologies. She loves sharing her information so that businesses and business owners could take advantage of these technologies.

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