PortaSIP, a softswitch and SBC:
PortaSIP is a clusterable and highly scalable SIP softswitch of class 4 and class 5 with media application that plays IVR (voice prompts). It offers a variety of both advanced class 5 features for hosted IPPBX or IP Centrex services as well as the majority of functionality normally attributed to session border controllers (SBC), usually called class 4 features, for example:
In this sense, PortaSIP combines two major VoIP network elements in one: it can seamlessly play a double role of a highly sophisticated softswitch for hosted IPPBX/IPCentrex services and a very robust SBC at the same time. Multiple PortaSIP servers can create geographically distributed clusters for load balancing, redundancy, and linear capacity scalability.
As an integral part of PortaSwitch, it also provides a powerful LCR, preference-based, priority-based, and dynamic (e.g. ASR, PDD) routing engine.
Based on the Session Initiation Protocol, PortaSIP provides a full array of call routing capabilities to maximize performance in both small and large packet voice networks. PortaSIP allows carriers and IP telephony service providers to deliver communication services at incredibly low initial and operating costs, which cannot be matched by yesterday's circuit-switched and narrow-band service provider PSTN networks.
With PortaSIP, services that combine elements from telephony and other web applications such as e-mail, messaging, Internet and video streaming can be created easily and in a shorter planning and implementation cycle, allowing increased market responsiveness.
PortaSIP offers a platform for delivering innovative, high-margin services that may be deployed over IP, as well as cable, POTS, Broadband, and ISDN networks.
The Customer Dialing Rules & Abbreviated Dialing feature works with both SIP and H.323, with adequate support of either a SIP server or Cisco TCL IVR. A PortaBilling customer can set up Dialing Rules as an international prefix, outside prefix, direct number (e.g. 911) or abbreviated dialing for his accounts. More than one dialing rule may be assigned to each account.
The system allows "clustering" of any media gateways and other servers to "roll over" in case of capacity constraints or failure. This allows several devices to be used in tandem, with one overflowing to the next if the number of calls being handled exceeds the limitations of a current device, or if a device fails. Any IP-to-PSTN SS7 media gateway will work. For example:
We provide our PortaSIP customers with significantly discounted secondary PortaSIP licenses to build robust and reliable networks. There is a number of ways to make use of multiple PortaSIP servers achieving such benefits as fault-tolerance, geographic distribution, and high volumes of proxied traffic.
Clustering for Redundancy
Several physically independent PortaSIP servers may be used in a single system cluster environment to provide fault-tolerant services. Connected to PortaBilling, the system of multiple PortaSIP servers provides all the required service provisioning information and maintains a global database of SIP phone registrations.
A SIP phone user may connect to any of the available PortaSIP servers. If one server is unavailable due to a hardware failure or network problem, calls will be handled by the other PortaSIP servers.
Network Load Balancing
Service providers with global business exposure may chose to install a clustered system of multiple PortaSIP servers in various separate geographical locations. This allows them to keep the service running even if a whole hosting center in one place is down.
This kind of architecture also improves the network utilization: for instance, users in Asia would primarily use a PortaSIP server hosted in Singapore or Hong Kong, while European customers will work with a PortaSIP server in Frankfurt or London.
ITSPs with a high volume of proxied calls within their network can transfer the RTP proxying function to a dedicated secondary PortaSIP server. This will allow them to efficiently prioritize the transmission of IP packets carrying the voice media and prevent any resource-intensive operations on the SIP side from affecting the voice quality.
Since fast and reliable connectivity between PortaSIP server and RTP proxy is important, both main PortaSIP server and the secondary PortaSIP used as an RTP proxy server should be installed on the same LAN and connected by the FastEthernet link.
Media Server Applications
The PortaSIP media server includes: