Sonus Aims at the Enterprise
Bringing carrier-class scalability to bear on the growing enterprise demand for IP session management and security.
Recently, Sonus Networks expanded from its carrier focus to begin serving enterprise accounts via its carrier-class session border controllers (SBCs). While SBCs are on their way to becoming a staple of the data centers that support real time communications, enterprise class offerings are still emerging.
SBCs are still relatively new and often misunderstood. As the market has expanded from just a few players, procuring SBCs now represents a more complex evaluation process. Many enterprise softswitch/IP-PBX vendors make their own SBCs, thus organizations need to sort out the product-family solution vs. best of breed.
Sonus is attempting to differentiate with scalability. Toward that end, Sonus announced the general availability of the SBC 5100 aimed at customers in the 250-10,000 "session" market.
With TDM, we measured capacity in terms of "trunks," which was typically a fraction of the site's employee count. In contrast, the newer metric of "session" count can be much higher than the employee count, because each employee may have multiple IP endpoints. In particular, BYOD is introducing a lot more SIP traffic--some of which isn't currently managed by IT.
Sonus wants organizations to think big with SIP, and stresses scalability associated with this new world of multiple sessions per user. Scalability is also required in order to deal with DoS attacks which attempt to overwhelm the SBC. Sonus cites, as validation for its own product claims, Miercom tests that can be found here.
The new 5100 line offers high performance hardware and density with integrated transcoding and native IPv6 support. The products combine traditional SBC security with advanced routing, a policy engine, and the ability to manage multiple SBCs at once.
"As companies connect in more ways, through more devices, across even more platforms, the requirement to bring capability and simplicity back to enterprise networks is essential," said Ray Dolan, Sonus President and CEO. "As a result, more large enterprises see their communications requirements similar to that of a small service provider and have subsequently turned to Sonus for solutions."
Sonus intends to ride the BYOD wave of confusion into the enterprise. CIOs are looking for flexible approaches to real time communications on both fixed and mobile devices. The emerging requirement of up to five SIP endpoints per person has put scalability on top of the list, and Sonus's experience with carriers gives the company impressive credentials. Sonus is positioning its devices to take on a lot of additional tasks, such as transcoding, since the SBC lives at the network edge.
The 5100 is a two U form factor. Another new model, the 5200, can support up to 64,000 sessions. Sonus counts several Fortune 500 enterprises among its SBC customers, including major banks, airlines, retailers and health care providers.