Edgewater Networks, Inc., a fairly young firm headquartered in Santa Clara, California, develops networking and security products that ensure the secure and reliable delivery of IP based voice and video. The company focuses on both enterprise and service provider applications, providing infrastructure products that improve the security, setup, and support of real-time communications over IP.
The company’s executives, bringing experience from such notable firms as Businessland, Cisco, Nortel, Kagoor, and Siemens, make it their prime business objective to simplify the customer premises, lowering the operational expenses of their products through improved connectivity, security, support, and device setup, which in turn increases their customers’ profitability.
The Edgewater VoIP connectivity, security, and network management solution includes four components.
The EdgeMarc converged networking appliance combines multiple voice and data features into a single, easy-to-use, converged networking router. The product supports H.323, SIP and MGCP, and provides an all-in-one platform that incorporates switching, a PSTN gateway, a VoIP aware Network Address Translation (NAT)/Firewall, traffic shaping, call admission control, passive call quality monitoring and QoS, plus network management functions using the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) in a single box. Three models of the EdgeMarc appliance are available that include up to two gigabit LAN/WAN Ethernet interfaces, dual redundant power supplies, and up to 300 concurrent WAN VoIP calls.
The EdgeConnect Power over Ethernet (PoE) switch is designed for converged voice, video, and data applications. It includes prioritization using IEEE 802.1Q VLANs, up to 24 autosensing Ethernet ports, and up to two Gigabit Ethernet uplink or high-speed server ports, with either RJ-45 or fiber optic interfaces. It has control for broadcast storms, and can manage traffic and troubleshoot at the Link, Transport, and Application layers. The network management capabilities are especially strong, with support for the IETF’s Remote Monitoring (RMON) standard, defined in RFC 2819 (see ftp://ftp.rfc-editor.org/in-notes/pdfrfc/rfc2819.txt.pdf).
The EdgeProtect Session Border Controller secures critical VoIP and data infrastructure components such as VoIP softswitches, gateways, and media servers. It includes support for SIP, MGCP and H.323, plus SNMP, Telnet, PING, Traceroute, and TCPdump network management utilities. Complete topology hiding for the VoIP operations infrastructure is used for service provider peering applications, to ensure that the real IP addresses of key networking elements are not revealed to unauthorized parties. A stateful packet inspection firewall provides data port scans, blocking many types of Denial of Service (DOS) attacks. The system automatically detects when a VoIP subscriber is behind a NAT/Firewall device, and performs the packet translations required to connect the subscriber to the hosted service. This feature is useful where the VoIP-aware Application-layer gateways are not installed at the customer premises.
For media that do not require the NAT/firewall transversal services, an adaptive shortest Real Time Protocol (RTP) architecture eliminates “hairpinning,” which minimizes the effects of jitter and latency on voice calls. A dynamic access control list identifies and authenticates VoIP subscribers as they register with the hosted service, which eliminates the need to manually program IP addresses of valid subscribers in other firewalls around the perimeter of the data center, and also enables the service provider to easily support mobile subscribers that perform frequent IP addressing changes. In addition, speech quality assessment is provided on a per-call basis.
Two models of the EdgeProtect are available. The 5300 model supports SIP, MGCP, and H.323, and can handle up to 500 concurrent G.711 calls. Both the network and LAN connections can support up to a Gigabit Ethernet interface, with the unit itself supplied in a 19-inch, 1U rack mounted chassis. The 6400 model supports SIP and MGCP, and can handle up to 1,000 concurrent G.711 calls. It also can handle Ethernet interfaces that run at the Gigabit rate, and is supplied in 19-inch, 2U chassis.
The Edgeview VoIP support system provides remote monitoring, configuration, and troubleshooting for customer premises equipment or branch office equipment, including the EdgeMarc, EdgeConnect, EdgeProtect series, plus many IP telephones. It’s key features include plug and dial, software image management, group upgrades, configuration backup and restore, active call count monitoring, call quality statistics, including Mean Opinion Score (MOS), jitter, latency, packet loss, trend analysis, and utilization statistics. When poor call quality is identified, notifications can be proactively sent using SNMP Trap messages, or via e-mail. The product is delivered in an appliance form factor, and is typically installed in the network operations center, with console access provided through a browser-based graphical user interface. The system is designed for high availability applications, with optional dual redundant, hot swappable AC or DC power supplies.
Further details on the Edgewater architecture and products can be found at www.edgewaternetworks.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.