Tuesday, 1 June 2010

NET’s 21st Century Gateway

Network Equipment Technologies (NET) are due to launch a brand new gateway branded as the UX. This gateway will be designed with the 21st Century in mind breaking away from the TDM world gateways are usually found in.

Gateways were originally designed for bridging the TDM world with the IP world for purposes such as:

  • Connecting TDM PBXs together over an IP Network,
  • Providing connections to Software Products such as:
    • Microsoft Exchange
    • Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS).
    • Software Fax Solutions
  • Providing TDM connectivity for  Softswitches.

Today the Telephony landscape has changed, organisations find their Telephony Estates are made up of a mix of PBXs which could be IP or TDM, and usually from a number of different vendors.

This is usually due to acquisitions or different regions doing their own thing. In order to link these together to provide functionality such as PSTN Bypass and Centralised Voicemail third party gateways are often required.

This is due to PBXs supporting different protocols such as H323 or SIP, and some may be pure TDM. Others require more complex number transformation and translation than is possible on the PBX.

The problem with the vast majority of gateways available today is that they were designed for a TDM world and while many have been updated to provide IP to IP Routing, there are still limitations around functionality such as Transcoding.

This is where the UX changes the playing field as it being designed with the new Telephony Landscape in mind.

While the UX will take the best parts from the NET VX and Quintum DX Gateways, it is being built from the ground up and for all intense purposes will be unrecognisable from its predecessors.

The UX is not going to replace the VX or DX which are still excellent gateways; the VX is more scalable and designed for the more complex and usually larger deployments, with the DX being for smaller deployments.

The fit for the UX appears to be branch offices or medium sized deployments.

Looking into the telephony side of the UX it will support two interface modules allowing for a combination of E1\T1 Ports along with FXS ports.

It will provide full support for features such as Any to Any routing, LDAP based routing logic and Transcoding.

The UX will be capable of providing Transcoding capabilities when used as a SIP Demarcation Device due to it not requiring E1\T1 Line Cards to provide this capability.

The UX will also provides the following:

  • Session Border Controller
  • SIP Registrar
  • IP Router and Switch
  • Application Solution Model (ASM)

The ASM will be a module within the gateway and for all intense purposes will be a standalone server based on the latest Intel i7 architecture. This will be an optional module and will not be required for the gateway to function.

The purpose of the ASM will be to provide a platform for Telephony Applications which would usually run on a separate server, this could include:

  • emFast Fax Solutions
  • FMC Solutions from Tango
  • Microsoft Communications Server Survivable Branch Appliance, announced at Voicecon Orlando 2010

Hopefully this gives an insight into what NET are going to provide at a relatively high level. My aim is to provide a more detailed and technical post as and when more information becomes available.

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