by Bhupen Chauhan (edited by Alan J Weissberger)
A recent advancement in Session Border Controllers (SBCs) involves moving them to the cloud and utilizing elasticity. The use of Containers (defined below) intensifies this change even more. SBC solutions are essential for businesses. Service providers depend on Voice over IP (VoIP), because they provide security, interoperability, quality, and compliance in their communication infrastructure. We’ll delve further into the world of Cloud Native/Elastic SBCs using containers in this post.
What is a SBC?
A Session Border Controller (SBC) is a specialized hardware device or software program that controls how phone calls are answered, carried out, and ended as VoIP. They act as gatekeepers between internal and external networks, managing the media streams and signals necessary for establishing, carrying out, and terminating calls.
A SBC establishes and keeps track of each session’s quality of service (QoS) state, guaranteeing calls must be answered correctly, and urgent calls take precedence over all other calls. Additionally, an SBC can act as a firewall for session traffic by enforcing its QoS policies and recognizing particular inbound threats to the communication environment.
SBC’s Significance in Communications:
By providing security, guaranteeing interoperability, and enabling the effective use of network resources, SBCs strengthen communication networks. Here are several reasons to have Session Border Controller in VoIP Phone System and protect IP communications, defending against intrusions and offering essential functions, including:
- Security: An SBC’s most important responsibility is to defend the network against hostile assaults, including fraud, eavesdropping, and denial of service (DoS) attacks. They add a layer of security by concealing the network topology.
- Quality of Service (QoS): SBCs ensure that voice calls have the capacity and resources to remain high-quality by prioritizing voice traffic over other kinds of traffic.
- Interoperability: SBCs provide smooth communication between various devices, protocols, and signaling in IP networks by offering the required protocol translations.
- NAT Traversal: VoIP communication may encounter problems due to Network Address Translation (NAT). By fixing NAT traversal issues, SBCs guarantee reliable and continuous communications.
- Call Routing and Policy Enforcement: SBCs effectively route calls according to rules and specifications. They can also control bandwidth usage and implement various payment methods.
- Regulatory Compliance: Communication service providers are required in some areas to offer the ability to intercept communications legally. SBCs help VoIP service providers in fulfilling these kinds of legal obligations.
- Media services: Comprise functions like tone production, DTMF (dual-tone multi-frequency) interworking, and transcoding (changing one codec to another).
SBCs are essential to today’s communications environment, particularly regarding IP-based voice and video communications. Cloud-based and elastic SBCs will play a more significant role as communications change and more services go to the cloud. Now, we will together understand the concept of Cloud Native and Elastic SBCs.
What are Cloud Native and Elastic SBCs?
A strategy for developing and executing programs that takes advantage of the cloud computing concept is known as cloud-native. Conversely, Elastic SBCs describe a system’s capacity to adjust automatically to variations in workload by allocating and releasing resources.
Traditional SBCs and Cloud Native/Elastic SBCs are different as we now explain.
Traditional SBCs vs. Cloud Native/Elastic SBCs:
Traditional SBCs lack flexibility and are usually hardware-based. They might be expensive and difficult to expand or change. In comparison, Cloud Native/Elastic SBCs are highly adaptable. They provide cost-effectiveness and agility by effortlessly scaling up or down in response to demand.
Elasticity’s Function in Communication Services:
Elasticity guarantees continuous communication services that can adjust to heavy demands, particularly during peak hours. It implies that networks may scale resources without human intervention, ensuring service quality without taxing the infrastructure or adding needless expenses.
What are Containers?
Containers are small, independent, executable software packages containing all the necessary components to run a piece of software, guaranteeing that it performs consistently in various computing settings.
Function of Containers in the Modern Applications Deployment:
Containers offer an unequaled level of consistency and speed, revolutionizing how programs are delivered. They contain an application and all its dependencies, guaranteeing that it functions the same everywhere it is deployed.
Kubernetes and Docker:
Docker technology creates, transports, and operates applications inside containers. Meanwhile, Kubernetes’s container orchestration technology ensures that massive container deployments are effectively scaled and managed.
The Research and Markets predicts the global Kubernetes market is anticipated to expand significantly, rising from USD 1.8 billion in 2022 to USD 7.8 billion by 2030, with a spectacular Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 23.4%
Use of Containers in SBCs:
SBCs benefit from unrivaled scalability, flexibility, and agility thanks to containers. They enable rapid deployments, guarantee consistency across many environments, and dramatically cut overall overheads—financially and in terms of time. Using Containers involves:
- Individual micro-services package and deploy using containers such as Docker. It guarantees scalability, isolation, and effective resource use.
- It can easily update services, rolled back, and versioned.
Architectural Considerations for Creating Cloud-Native Applications:
Scalability, Redundancy, Resilience, and Performance considerations are crucial when constructing Cloud Native/Elastic SBCs with containers. Architectures must be modular, and facilities must be made for smooth upgrades and patches that don’t interfere with running services. The following architectural factors should be taken into account while creating and deploying Cloud Native/Elastic SBCs using containers:
Disentanglement of Elements:
- Conventional SBCs frequently integrate several features into a single monolithic system.
- Micro-services design, in which every function (signaling, media processing, transcoding, security, etc.) is a separate, independent service, is the best way to create cloud-native SBCs.
- Containerized SBC micro-services can be managed and orchestrated by tools such as Kubernetes, which guarantees their efficient scheduling, scaling, and maintenance.
- Consider putting service mesh technologies into practice for enhanced traffic management and security.
- Active call sessions require careful management.
- Consider utilizing state full sets in Kubernetes or distributed databases to maintain a session state.
High Redundancy and Availability:
- Should guarantee redundancy over several zones or regions Via cloud-native design.
- Incorporate self-healing procedures and health checks to ensure uninterrupted service availability.
Converting SBCs to a containerized, cloud-native architecture has benefits for maintainability, scalability, and flexibility. However, careful architectural considerations are necessary to guarantee cost-effectiveness, security, and performance.
Containers Networking for Real-Time Communication:
The networking element of containers is essential in the area of real-time communication. It guarantees seamless switching between media streams, satisfies low-latency specifications, and ensures that Quality of Service (QoS) standards.
Elastic and Cloud Native SBC Security and Compliance:
SBCs play a crucial role in addressing security. Strong security measures are required for Cloud Native/Elastic SBCs to thwart threats, prevent unwanted access, and guarantee data privacy. They must also adhere to industry norms and laws to ensure reliable communication connections.
Prospects for the Future and the Changing Scene for Cloud Native SBCs:
SBCs will likely interact more deeply with cloud ecosystems in the future, utilizing AI and machine learning to provide more innovative and adaptive features. To support developing IoT and 5G use cases, edge computing may also play a more significant part in Cloud Native SBCs.
A significant improvement in the evolution of network security and telecommunications has been realized cloud-native and elastic principles and the power of containers. This new paradigm is poised to completely reshape communication networks in the future since it provides agility, scalability, and efficiency. As we embrace containerization and the cloud, the possibilities are endless, opening the prospect of a more efficient, safe, and networked world.