ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Brent Kelly
Dr. Brent Kelly is President of KelCor, Inc. and a Telecommunications Council Member (consultant) at Gerson Lehrman Group. He focuses...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Brent Kelly | June 05, 2013 |

 
   

WebRTC Integration with Enterprise and Public Communications Infrastructure

WebRTC Integration with Enterprise and Public Communications Infrastructure Some WebRTC-enabled sites will likely need to connect with enterprise communications systems and to the PSTN. Here we discuss architectures for how this can be done.

Some WebRTC-enabled sites will likely need to connect with enterprise communications systems and to the PSTN. Here we discuss architectures for how this can be done.

Editor's Note: This is the second in a series of articles from Brent Kelly (KelCor and Constellation Research) offering a primer on WebRTC; Part One can be found here.

Because the barriers to entry are small, we are likely to see numerous websites that are "WebRTC-enabled". As a consequence, there will be thousands, and perhaps millions of websites, that become WebRTC islands in which communications is only between those users with browsers connected to the same Web server. However, some WebRTC-enabled sites will likely want to connect WebRTC clients to enterprise communications systems and to the public switched telephone network (PSTN). In this post we discuss architectures for how this can be done.

The Need for Border Controllers
Organizations that deploy WebRTC and wish to integrate with existing communications systems should expect to deploy border controllers. A border controller is a device that sits between the WebRTC world and a) another WebRTC domain, b) SIP communications infrastructure, or c) the PSTN. As Jim Donovan of Acme Packet noted, border controllers may provide a number of capabilities including:

1. Signaling gateway--The WebRTC draft standard does specify that signaling must occur when establishing a communication session; however, it does not specify what kind of signaling or the parameters in the signaling protocol used. Each web developer can use what they want for signaling connections and call parameters.

If a WebRTC application does not use SIP signaling, then there must be some type of translation between how the WebRTC application establishes and controls a communications session and how the SIP or PSTN world does communications. Even if the WebRTC application uses SIP, there are so many different "SIP-compliant" implementations that a signaling gateway may still be required.

2. Media gateway--WebRTC may not use the same voice and video codecs as are found in an enterprise or public communications system. If this is the case, then media transcoding will be required to enable communications between these disparate systems.

3. Flash gateway--It may be necessary to support Flash for some time until it is fully displaced by WebRTC. A Flash gateway will assure that browsers that are not yet WebRTC-enabled can still be used in an "always works" service offering .

4. Security and compliance--WebRTC uses cryptography to provide security, by encrypting both the control data and the media. A border controller may be required to decrypt WebRTC control and media flows before they can be integrated with another WebRTC domain or the SIP/PSTN world.

5. NAT and firewall traversal--Most browsers reside behind both firewalls and network address translation (NAT) devices. These devices tend to block real-time voice and video.

WebRTC uses a protocol called ICE (Interactive Connectivity Establishment) for traversing NATs and firewalls. ICE in turn relies on STUN (Session Traversal Utilities for NAT) and TURN (Traversal Using Relay NAT) protocols and servers. A WebRTC deployment will probably need to establish STUN and TURN servers to provide higher likelihood that voice and video packets will traverse the network boundary. As an alternative, for securely allowing WebRTC voice and video traffic to traverse NATs and firewalls, an organization can place a WebRTC-compliant session border controller in the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone); in this model, the SBC handles the ICE/STUN/TURN dialogs for NAT traversal.

Session border controllers can be purchased that handle only one, some, or all of these border traversal issues. Several session border control companies make WebRTC-compliant border elements, including Acme Packet, Genband, Sansay, Mavenir and others. At least one PBX vendor has plans to integrate WebRTC into the PBX fabric so that no SBC is required.

Next Page: Integration with SIP Infrastructure and PSTN



COMMENTS



Who's Who at Enterprise Connect

NEC

Featured This Week:
Sponsored By

April 24, 2014
Small centers are both excited and nervous about the new wave of innovation converging on them as major disruptive forces - cloud, mobile, big data and social - rock the contact center world. They rea...
April 9, 2014
Recent advances in cloud technology have given rise to wide variety of new tools designed to support contact center performance, staffing and reporting. Join us for a live webinar focused on helping c...
March 26, 2014
As more organizations are focused on maximizing customer experience as a key differentiator to stay ahead of the competition and customer expectations, the focus needs to be on interactions across mul...

Sign up to the No Jitter email newsletters

  • Catch up with the blogs, features and columns from No Jitter, the online community for the IP communications industry. Each Thursday, we'll send you a synopsis of the high-impact articles, podcasts and other material posted to No Jitter that week, with links for quick access.

  • A quick hit of original analysis by the experts who bring you Enterprise Connect, the leading event in Enterprise Communications & Collaboration. Each Wednesday, this enewsletter delivers to your email box a thought-provoking, objective take on the latest news and trends in the industry.

Your email address is required for membership. For details about the user information, please read the UBM Privacy Statement

As an added benefit, would you like to receive relevant 3rd party offers about new products/services and discounted offers via email? Yes

* = Required Field

No longer instrested? Unsubscribe here.