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Virtual SBC - Virtual Session Border Controller (vSBC)
What is a virtual session border controller? Traditionally, a session border controller (SBC) is a device positioned between carrier networks or between an enterprise LAN and a service-provider WAN. In the latter case, the border controller is called an enterprise session border controller or eSBC. Whether it is delivered as a dedicated hardware session border controller or a virtualized network function, (a.k.a. software SBC) the border controller manages call (session) setup and teardown. The SBC also provides network demarcation (demarc), or separation (border) between network domains, as well as other types of management (control) over the data streams that pass between networks. With the growing popularity of software defined networking (SDN) and the burgeoning market development and adoption of network function virtualization (NFV), eSBC functionality is more and more often de-coupled from a dedicated hardware device and delivered as a virtual instance running as a virtual machine (VM) on top of a hypervisor. It is generally not well understood in the market why an eSBC is such a critical network element for a secure and reliable SIP-based enterprise phone system. The following publication will help close that knowledge gap.

Get the Guide: Who needs a Session Border Controller?

Why Virtualize?
Virtualization offers valuable benefits, including touchless, automated service deployment and activation, flexible real-time service scalability (up or down/more or fewer session licenses) through cloud-based edge orchestration, as well as greater reliability and high availability with no hardware limitations.

Virtualized eSBC Applications
Whether virtualized and delivered in the cloud, or operated on bare-metal virtual customer premise equipment (vCPE), or implemented as a dedicated hardware device, an enterprise SBC is useful -- actually necessary -- for organizations that choose to implement SIP trunking, Hosted PBX, or unified communications (UC) services such as Microsoft Teams , Microsoft Skype for Business and Office 365 These applications, as delivered in the NFV or VNF model, are described below.

Virtual SBC for SIP Trunking



In this scenario, virtualized software eSBC provides all the essential session border controller services as VNF for the organization that uses SIP trunking to provide the business phone system. The virtual SBC (vSBC) protects the corporate LAN form intrusions and other security threats emanating from the wide area network (WAN) with a clear network separation or demarcation point. Protocol translation (SIP normalization) ensures interoperability between the enterprise and the ITSP implementations of the SIP protocol. A common issue with Microsoft UC services is translation between industry-standard UDP protocol data units (PDUs) for SIP/RTP encoding versus Microsoft's divergent TCP implementation.

Virtualized SBC for Hosted PBX



When implementing a business phone system or hosted telephony system delivered in the cloud, the software session border controller is an essential network element. For this hosted-PBX business telephony scenario, the virtual session border controller provides such critical services as:

  • Secure demarcation between service provider WAN and enterprise LAN
  • SIP normalization and interoperability among all SIP systems
  • QoS for crystal clear voice quality
  • Multi-WAN support for business continuity with voice and data survivability
  • Station to station calling preserves intra-office phone service during Internet or WAN outage
Edge Orchestration
Whether the eSBC is virtualized in the cloud or installed on a universal CPE (uCPE) at the subscriber premise, Network Edge Orchestration (a.k.a. intelligent edge) is typically required to activate, configure, scale (up or down), monitor and control VNF-based virtualized eSBC services.

 

Show Me: Virtualized Session Border Controller

 
 

Virtual Enterprise Router / Access Router


vSN WAN Access Router / Internet Access Router

Deliver scalable, flexible, and reliable Internet access and WAN access for your organization with Patton's virtual SmartNode (vSN) business-class virtual router. In this VNF use case, the virtual router software may be implemented as a virtual machine (VM), which resides in the cloud or it may be downloaded and installed on bare-metal, uCPE hardware on the enterprise customer premise. The virtual access router provides virtual load balancer services for support and management of multiple WAN links. The vSN enterprise-grade router also delivers network survivability, network address translation (NAT), network address and port translation (NAPT), DHCP server capability, and access control list (ACL) functionality-plus IPv6 support along with all the standard routing protocols, including VRRP, GRE, RIP, and BGP. All this is delivered with high availability through virtualized network technology, including cloud-controlled license key management and Patton Cloud edge orchestration.
 
 

Teach Me: Virtualized Session Border Controller

 
Virtualized Network Functions employ virtualization technology to deliver networking services traditionally provided by dedicated hardware appliances. Virtualization removes a software function or service from interdependence with a resident hardware device. This de-coupling allows multiple hardware devices and multiple instances of the software to be geographically and logically distributed, thus providing redundancy, enabling greater scalability, and delivering higher availability. Server virtualization is a common application that employs a hypervisor-a layer of software used to emulate the underlying hardware in a conventional server implementation.

Typical NFV Applications
Virtual machine technology, that is VNF-based products and services, can be used to address many different challenges when implementing a complex communications network. Several of the most common NFV use cases are described in the examples above.

Virtual Session Border Controller Terminology
Short Glossary of Related Acronyms
eSBC - Enterprise Session Border Controller
vSBC - Virtual Session Border Controller
SIP - Session Initiation Protocol
PBX - Private Branch eXchange
NFV - Network Function Virtualization
uCPE - Universal CPE
vCPE - Virtual CPE
NFV - Network Function Virtualization
VNF - Virtualized Network Function
SDN - Software Defined Networking
VM - Virtual Machine
CPE - Customer Premise Equipment
IaaS - Infrastructure as a Service
SaaS - Software as a Service

Common vSBC Synonyms and related terms
MMBR - Multimedia Border Element
CUBE - Cisco Unified Border Element
Border Controller
Whitebox CPE
Bare Metal CPE
NFV CPE
Hypervisor
Virtual Operating System
Virtualization Technology
Virtual System
VMS software
Virtual Network
Cloud Computing
Server Virtualization
SD-WAN
SDWAN



 
 
 
 
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