[VoiceOps] New to VoIP

Jon Radel jradel at vantage.com
Mon Jun 21 14:49:42 EDT 2010

On 6/21/10 1:38 PM, Matthew S. Crocker wrote:
> Everything is software, a 'Session Border Controller' is software.
Well mostly.  As an example, Acme Packet SDs have very expensive 
(comparatively speaking, at least) content addressable memory (CAM) 
wherein lives the lookup table for all active SIP sessions, thus 
allowing the hardware to deal with a much higher volume of RTP packets 
than a general purpose computer of the same general size and "power" 
could hope to process, not to mention making it more resilient to DoS 

Just like with, say, routers, you can do wonderful things with a general 
purpose computer until you hit a capacity barrier, where you realize 
that there's yet one more reason that people send Cisco boatloads of 
money for high-end routers.  ;-)

> For 2000 subscribers I would highly recommend you partner with an existing VoIP provider and resell their service.  They can handle all of the VoIP heavy lifting and send you the Call Detail Records which you can then use to bill.
He said 2,000 concurrent sessions, which is rather larger unless is town 
is occupied solely by call centers squeezing out every penny from their 
carrier.  Actually, that's a suspiciously big number--maybe he meant 
2,000 subscribers.

I'd worry about who is going to do the customer service, not to mention 
what level you want to live up to, early in this process.  That's likely 
to have more to do with customer satisfaction and consequent retention 
than whether you outsource your voicemail server.
> If you want to do it yourself you'll probably have to live in the open source world to keep below the $50,000 limit.
If you go fully commercial, high-end, with some redundancy, you can 
easily blow through a million before you're ready to turn on the first 
customer.  I quite agree with Matthew on your two basic choices.

To the list of open source switches you're looking at, I'd add Freeswitch.

And, yes, it can certainly be done with some of the products you've 
mentioned (I'm not familiar enough with some of them to have an 
opinion).  It doesn't come with a nice SE to help you design everything 
at "no extra charge" like Broadworks would, but it can certainly be done.

I know of one small provider who uses Asterisk and a bunch of their own 
software, with a staff of 3ish, one of them spending most of his time as 
a programmer doing his best to provide the customers with a nice 
experience in their custom, web-based front end.

--Jon Radel

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