Earlier in March, I had a briefing with Rod Hodgman, VP Marketing and co-founder of Covergence. The company, based in Maynard MA was founded in 2003 and is focused on innovating in the [[Session Border Controller]] market. 

The company's original products have been deployed in leading VoIP Service Providers including Vonage, VoipLogic and McLeod. To address this segment, the SBC must deliver features like enormous scalability (processor and memory) to handle millions of simultaneous SIP and RTP sessions. Covergence also has a high performance registration processing capability for managing large volumes of session registration – a problem that was at the heart of Skype's service disruption of 2007.  

At Voicecon, Covergence announced a virtual SBC. The idea is to let customers deploy SBC functionality on commodity hardware leveraging the VMWare player.

Key features of the virtual SBC include:

  • Near-end and far-end NAT traversal
  • Cryptographic authentication
  • TLS, SRTP and IPSec signaling and session privacy services
  • Signaling and media validation and SIP protocol repair
  • Intrusion and DOS attack prevention
  • Session admission control
  • Session detail recording
  • Call recording
  • QOS monitoring
  • Feature server and IP PBX interoperability
  • Dynamic routing based on cost, congestion or other criteria

The Web Services implementation is particularly interesting. Many of the emerging SOA-based IP PBX releases (NEC's Sphere, BlueNote, Nortel's Agile Communications Environment for example) expose core call functionality to Web Services but not necessarily in a way that maintains control over the addressing and security requirements. That's where a Web Services-oriented SBC can help.

With this functionality the application developer can include specific SBC-oriented  services that complement the VoIP services integrated into the new application.

Clearly, this represents a powerful step towards enabling security for the next generation of enterprise VoIP-oriented communications-driven business processes. Today, enterprises can download the beta software at no charge. Once the CVA-50 goes generally available, the solution will cost $5,000 for 50 concurrent sessions.

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