MyTELEPATH, Ecessa Partner for Reliable IP Telephony

Ecessa's ClariLink appliance facilitates use of SIP calling over multiple low-cost broadband connections.

By Ted Stevenson | Posted Sep 4, 2009
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Burnsville, Minn.-based MyTelepath has been delivering business communications services since 2002. This week the company announced its embrace of the ClariLink appliance from Plymouth, Minn-based Ecessa, a WAN link controller that is specially adapted for use with SIP traffic.

MyTelepath has as its mission delivering high-quality communications services that reduce capital expense without increasing operating expense. The ClariLink appliance plays directly into this scenario, allowing small to medium-size businesses to operate high-reliability SIP telephony over multiple low-cost broadband IP connections—as opposed to a costly dedicated line—with fully managed quality of service (QoS) and automatic real-time fail-over.

According to Ecessa's vice president of sales, Jason Breyer, ClariLink offers functionality that simply isn't available in any other solution:

"If a client wants to deploy voice over IP over a broadband connection, depending on the quality of that connection you may or may not get good call quality," Breyer told Enterprise VoIPplanet. "When you install the ClariLink appliance into that client's network—and you bring in two or more connections—when that call hits our appliance, we're taking into account all the issues that affect call quality and making a judgment as to which connection to use for that call. If that connection fails, there would be a very short delay and the calling parties would still continue to be connected on the call. That never existed before that we know of."

ITSPs (IP telephony service providers) typically lean in the direction of urging their customers buy a T-1 or other type of dedicated connection into their networks, according to Breyer. (T-1s currently average around $450 per month, depending on location and local competition.) "This can be cost-prohibitive to a small business deploying VoIP and get in the way of their achieving all the added benefits and functionality they get with voice over IP, simply because that jump-off point is so high," he said.

So, two or more broadband connections—from different providers—not only provide potentially better QoS, they can bring down the cost of IP telephony significantly.

The key to ClariLink's prowess, according to MyTelepath president Tom Drill, is the expertise that Ecessa has developed in link aggregation or 'clustering routers,' as he puts it. "That's the baseline functionality," Drill told VoIPplanet—"and then to add a SIP proxy server that allows you to manage the call while it's transitioning to another service provider's network in real time, that is the secret sauce here."

"The value of the product is when you have multiple service providers with different networks and different addressing schemes," Drill continued. "It's difficult [to make these work together], and Ecessa does this as well as anyone in the business. What they've done is they've expanded their product to be well suited to managing IP telephony or VoIP calls."

In addition to intelligent outbound load balancing and seamless call fail-over for both inbound and outbound traffic, ClariLink incorporates a SIP proxy and in integrated SIP registrar for authentication and registration. Moreover it manages the potentially troublesome issues that SIP and RTP (real-time protocol) have when used in conjunction with NAT (network address translation) –based security. The appliance also provides protection against DoS and DDoS (denial of service and distributed denial of service) attacks.

While ClariLink is available in three different models, capable of handling up to 100 simultaneous calls on the high end, Ecessa's 'sweet spot' and focus, according to Breyer, is small business. Models span the price range from $3,995 to $7,995. They are available directly from Ecessa.

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