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Sonus Enhances Video Support: Provides a Complete SBC Powered UC Experience

November 5, 2013 | David S. Maldow, Esq.


Sonus has announced the release of the latest version of their SBC 5000 series of session border controllers. Session border controllers have historically been known for handling general media, interworking and network security issues, but I found this release interesting because of its heavy new support for video traffic. Overall, the release has over 100 updates, including the increasingly essential advanced Lync support. Once again, the ever increasing pervasiveness of video in the workplace is having ripple effects beyond the traditional telepresence paradigm. Today, even SBCs are all about the video.

We spoke with Walter Kenrich, Sonus SBC Product Manager, to learn more about the strategy behind this release. Some say there are two kinds of companies in the media world, those who are embracing video, and those who risk getting left behind. Walter and I had a deep conversation about the rapid adoption of video, and it soon became clear that Sonus does not intend to get left behind when it comes to video support in the SBC arena.

An SBC, to oversimplify, is an agent at the core, or edge, of a data / communications network which provides control and management of media signaling. SBCs are most often associated with security, as they can provide remote workers with access to internal network resources, while still protecting the network from malicious attacks. More advanced SBCs offer additional features related to network traffic, such as usage reporting, traffic policy enforcement, and protecting network quality of service.


Over recent years, SBCs have added even greater functionality focused on interworking and media transcoding. Sonus is particularly proud of their SBC's capabilities in these areas. As Walter explained, the common workplace may have many various communications and media solutions in place. Users need a way to pull it all together. The Sonus SBC does just that, providing a common directory, while allowing users to mix and match various clients for IM, video, PBX, etc. The result is a UC experience without forcing a top down choice of endpoints and clients on the workforce.

The Sonus SBC allows users to add 3rd party apps, to even further enhance the functionality of the solution. Sonus offers its own PSX server as just such an enhancement, but the option is not limited to Sonus designed apps. Sonus clearly understands that there is no such thing as a typical communications environment, and their SBC must be as flexible and adaptable as possible.


While discussions of network traffic, SIP trunking, policy routing, and NAT Traversal may seem like technical issues for the guys in the back room to deal with, in reality this all has a very immediately impact on your real working environment. Putting these tools in place empower your team and open up more collaborative possibilities. Walter gave an example of how Sonus likes to "drink their own Champaign" by using the power of their SBC to enable their CEO to hold a secure, QoS, video meeting with over 1000 team members using MS Lync. That is an example of the true power of their SBC.

If you are flustered by all the clients and apps (and now video solutions as well) being used at your workplace, and want a way to bring them all together safely in your network, the new Sonus SBC might be just the solution you didn't know you were looking for, but actually needed all along.

About the Author
David_Maldow, Esq.David Maldow, Esq. is a visual collaboration technologist and analyst with the Human Productivity Lab and an associate publisher at Telepresence Options. David has extensive expertise in testing, evaluating, and explaining telepresence and other visual collaboration / rich media solutions. David is focused on providing third-party independent analysis and opinion of these technologies and helping end users better secure their visual collaboration environments. You can follow David on Twitter and Google+.

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