Voice over IP: Security, stability, success

Summary:If you're thinking about voice over IP -- and sooner or later you'll have to -- we take a look at the steps involved in getting it set up and what's on offer from four major vendors.

Zultys

  Voice over IP

 VoIP at a glance
 Getting started with VoIP
 Bandwidth issues

 
Avaya
 
Cisco systems
 
Nortel
 
Zultys

 Final words
 Glossary of terms
 About RMIT
Zultys is the baby of the group at only three years old. Despite this, the products appear very well designed and manufactured with a lot of thought and effort going into their usability and functionality. Zultys says it has very aggressive product development and rollout plans, at least one product to market per month.

Where other systems may have many overlapping features and specific functions that not all users may want or need, Zultys' approach is to give the users and operators what they need while still maintaining a very easy upgrade path allowing customisation to be added almost on the fly. The key benefit of this is the simplicity of physically deploying and using the system.

The Zultys product range shows a surprising level of functionality while maintaining a very open standards based platform. All Zultys' products are based on the SIP protocol as well as other open architectures, for exanple each phone and gateway runs on embedded Linux with Power PC processors.

The system is based on one of several Media Exchanges: the MX250 (up to 250 users), MX1200 (between 25 to 1200 users), and the MX25. Each Media Exchange can run standalone or in a redundant array; they also support a battery backup module of -48V DC, similar to most traditional telephony systems. The Media Exchanges can also be clustered up to 16 units; 16 MX250s clustered around the world would support up to 4000 users.

For the purposes of this review and the Australian market in particular the MX250 would be the Media Exchange of choice. It supports three expansion cards to give it connectivity into the organisation's existing telephone lines. And it also has two hard disk drives running RAID 1 (mirrored data). These can be removed by the administrator, as can the innovative fan tray/clock battery backup module. An entry level MX250 costs around AU$8000 for five users, however most deployments range between AU$15,000 and AU$18,000 for 25 or so users.

Zultys ZIP4x5 handset
There are three Zultys handsets, the ZIP2, ZIP 4x4, and ZIP 4x5, these are priced AU$150, AU$550, and AU$640 respectively. Understandably the 4x4 and 4x5 are the power phones whereas the ZIP2 is the entry level. They support 128-bit AES encryption, which can be enabled by the user and shows up on the phone's display. The 4x5 handset even has Bluetooth integrated so users with Bluetooth headsets can connect and use these devices.

The current target markets for the Zultys team here in Australia is multi-site deployments of 150 users or less. However the solutions are available from five to 16,000 users. Zuyltys recently deployed a system for 4Logik, running an MX250 with around 80 users, 20 or so using ZIP 4x4 handsets and the rest running softphones.

Topics: Unified Comms, Networking, Reviews

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