Building On MIDCOM: Read It Here First

Last month at the Fall VON 2004 show in then-Bosox-obsessed Boston, VoIP equipment vendor Veraz Networks announced it would head up an initiative foran open standards Border Gateway Controller. But you already knew that.

Last month at the Fall VON 2004 show in then-Bosox-obsessed Boston, VoIP equipment vendor Veraz Networks announced it would head up an initiative foran open standards Border Gateway Controller.

But you already knew that. Read on, though, because I am going to break some news here.

Today, I had the pleasure of exploring the topic further with Ed Camarena,senior director of product marketing for Veraz.

Before I tell you what he told me, let me say that it is possible some of you may not know what a Border Gateway Controller is,does, and why they are essential to IP networks. Carriers needBorder Gateways to manage such issues asNAT/firewall issues, as well as to hide remote customers from each other,securing the network against denial of service attacks directed at VoIP, normalizing varied protocols, and assuring quality of service consistent with Service Level Agreements.

You have your stand alone Session Border Controllers that run on a proprietary approach. In Veraz' view, these are relativelyexpensive and inefficient, due to an excessive amount ofbackhauling to a centralized location, and what they view as duplicate functionalities.

The Internet Engineering Task Force has a solution called MIDCOM that seeks to soothe some of these issues. The IETF feels that Midcom's key advantages are the fact that the modular approach used avoids signal duplication as such, is a cleaner, more cost-effective architecture.

Veraz feels they can improve on Midcom, where the IP to IP Border gateway is incorporated into the Media Gateway Chassis as a blade, and with Veraz's softswitch software that is application and protocol-aware.

That said, Ed told me today that efforts to draw up standards should bear fruit by the end of this year. He added that negotiations with prospective standards vendor-partners are ongoing, with some announcements expected within the next two to three months.

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