Vendor Network Architectures�Part XXVII: Zultys Technologies

Zultys Technologies, founded in October 2001, is an example of a VoIP startup that is approaching its fifth birthday, and rolling out converged network products that are getting the attention of both their competition and enterprise managers. Zultys is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, but now employs over 240 people—56 percent of which are devoted to engineering-related functions—and branch offices located in 10 countries around the globe. Even more impressive is the fact that they have a distribution presence in over 115 countries, and product support available in 19 different languages.

Zultys’ design philosophy differs from many of their competition, in that they did not start from the voice side of the equation and subsequently add on data (like Lucent, Avaya, and Nortel), nor did they start from the data side of the equation and then add on voice (like Cisco and 3Com). Instead, they started in the middle, with the objective of designing a converged system that could interact with both elements of business communication. In addition, the Zultys products adhere to open standards, including the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), the LINUX operating system, the Voice Extensible Markup Language (XML), and the Telephony Application Programming Interface (TAPI), which facilitates interoperability between other systems.

And this design approach appears to be working: In 2004 and 2005, Zultys introduced an average of one new product per month, divided into three different product families: Media Exchanges (MX), which combine an IP PBX with data communication servers; IP Phones, including both wired and wireless products, from simple desktop phones to more complex conferencing units; and Peripherals, including modular gateways, battery backup systems, and Power over Ethernet (PoE) switches. In this tutorial, we will focus on the Zultys MX line of switching products.

The Media Exchange family integrates six different voice and data communications elements: an Internet Gateway based upon the Internet Protocol (IP); a Data Communications Server, supporting the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) and the Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP); a Collaboration Server, supporting instant messaging and chat features; a Fax Server, that operates in both origination and termination modes; a Telephony Gateway, for connections to the existing Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and an IP PBX, supporting both end user and attendant voice call processing features.

Three models of the MX family have been developed, each intended for a different customer application. The MX30 is a multimedia communication system designed for workers in a small office, with support for 30 users in a single platform, or up to 10,000 users at multiple locations. The MX30 can interoperate with any SIP-compatible telephone, and can connect to one or more Internet Telephony Service Providers (ITSPs), and/or the PSTN, thus allowing the maximum flexibility in call routing and cost control.

The MX250 supports from 5 to 250 users on a single platform, with the interconnection of up to 32 platforms to support up to 8,000 end users. The system is capable of routing voice, data, fax, and video information, and can interface with up to four T1/E1 circuits, 24 analog circuits, 12 ISDN circuits, or a combination of these circuits. The MX250 also implements a Quality of Service (QoS) function based upon the IEEE 802.1P standard, and can define up to eight levels or classes of service, with traffic marked and placed in queues based upon the priority and time sensitivity of that traffic.

The MX1200 is the largest system, supporting from 25 to 1,200 end users. It can connect up to eight T1/E1 circuits, plus ISDN and analog trunks, and can also connect remote users via either fiber optic or twisted pair Ethernet circuits. The system can support a total of 48 simultaneous voice streams to the auto attendant and voice mail modules, and has a voice mail capacity of 400 hours of recorded messages.

In addition to the base MX30, MX250 and MX1200 systems, Zultys has clustering and group products that allow multiple systems to be networked for expansion in both the number of end users and number of locations served. Further details on the Zultys products and applications can be found at Our next tutorial will continue our examination of vendors’ architectures.

Copyright Acknowledgement: © 2006 DigiNet ® Corporation, All Rights Reserved

Author’s Biography
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.

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