The VoIP Peering Puzzle�Part 40: SBC Architectures�Huawei
Though not a household name in N. America, this company provides equipment to more than half of the world's top VoIP providers.
Huawei Technologies Company, Ltd., headquartered in Shenzhen, China, is a powerhouse in the exploding Asian telecommunications marketplace. Its products are used by 31 of the world's top 50 service providers, and over one billion users worldwide.
Huawei has a very diverse product line, with solutions that encompass CDMA, GPRS/GSM, and WiMAX wireless technologies, core networking products supporting the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) and next generation networking technologies, networking products including LAN switches, routers and xDSL systems, plus software applications and terminals.
The major products are designed around a Huewei ASIC (application specific integrated circuit) chipset, and utilize shared platforms, yielding more consistent quality and cost-effective production methods.
FutureWei, founded in 2001, is the North American subsidiary of Huawai Technologies, with headquarters in Plano, Texas. FutureWei has around 150 employees, involved in research and development in wireless networks, optical transport and broadband networks, plus customer service, technical support and marketing functions.
Huawei Technologies posted revenues of $11 billion in 2006, and has 61,000 employees worldwide, 48 percent of whom are devoted to research and development activities.
Huawei markets two lines of products that include session border controller functions. The first of these is the SessionEngine2000 series SBC, which became generally available in January 2007, and is marketed worldwide. This device is placed at the edge of an IP network, and provides network security, monitors the network quality of service (QoS), and implements the traversal of signaling streams and media streams on the Network Address Translation (NAT) device or firewall.
The system supports SIP, H.323, MGCP and H.248 signaling protocols, with SIP, SIP-T (the Session Initiation Protocol for Telephones, defined in RFC 3372, see ftp://ftp.rfc-editor.org/in-notes/rfc3372.txt), and H.323 peering. Its NAT support is also strong, including support for single and nesting NAT traversal, access to multiple private networks after NAT, and the overlap of address domains on private networks. The system also provides rigorous defense against attacks, with support for access control lists (ACL) and packet filtering, a call admission control function, and a signaling denial of service (DOS) defense function. QoS features are also strong, including a session-based QoS policy function, and Type of Service/Differentiated Service (ToS/DiffServ)-based packet priority retagging.
Two models of the product are available. The SessionEngine2200 can support up to 500 concurrent calls, 5,000 registered users, and 220,000 busy hour call attempts (BHCA). The SessionEngine2300 supports 5,000 concurrent sessions, 50,000 registered users, and 512,000 BHCA.
Huawai's second SBC product, named the Quidway ME60 Multi-Service Control Gateway became generally available in April 2007, and is a much more comprehensive solution. The ME60 is touted as the first 10 Gigabit multi-service control platform, which incorporates broadband access, service integration, and control processing.
The ME60 is designed for deployment at the edge of an IP/MPLS multi-service network, and features high capacity service processing and integrated service control. It is designed to transform an IP-based, Internet-services-only network into a multi-service network that includes voice, data, video, 3G cellular, and next generation networking services.
With its location at the network edge, the ME60 MSCG can check the legality of all user requests, execute policy control, guarantee QoS parameters for communication sessions, properly allocate network resources, and distribute traffic flows.
The access layer security of the ME60 includes a number of SBC functions. The unit authenticates the identity of terminals with either a username and password combination, or by using the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). This authentication can then differentiate between, for example, a PC needing Internet access and an IPTV account accessing a video stream. Access control lists also define which network services are allowable within a particular scope of service.
Other integrated SBC capabilities include a signaling agent for SIP, MGCP, H.248- and H.323-based systems, and a media agent for RTP (Realtime Transport Protocol) and HTTP sessions. The system also provides NAT/Firewall functionality, to further secure and supervise the media streams. A Deep Packet Inspection function is also provided, which analyzes active packets and enables policy controls. Another feature that distinguishes the ME60 from many other SBC products is its support for IPv6, the next generation Internet protocol. The ME60 supports the IPv6 routing protocols, including ICMPv6, RIPng, OSPFv3 and BGP4+, and includes IPv6 technologies for access and packet tunneling, including IPv6 to IPv4 and IPv6 over IPv4 algorithms.
The ME60 is available in two models. The ME60-8 has a forwarding capacity of 200M packets per second, and slots for 8 line cards. The ME60-16 has a forwarding capacity of 300M packets per second, and slots for 16 line cards. Both units are designed for carrier-class reliability, with a 'mean time between failure' greater than 19 years.
Further details on the Huawei architecture and products can be found at www.huawei.com. Our next tutorial will continue our examination of vendors' SBC architectures.
Copyright Acknowledgement: © 2007 DigiNet Corporation ®, All Rights Reserved
Mark A. Miller, P.E. is President of DigiNet Corporation®, a Denver-based consulting engineering firm. He is the author of many books on networking technologies, including Voice over IP Technologies, and Internet Technologies Handbook, both published by John Wiley & Sons.