Applications in Modern Networks
United Telecom – in collaboration with our valued technology partners, has designed, built and delivered new complete and redundant high-speed secure networks to our customers. In the next level, we are delivering ready platforms enabling applications to run on robust and secure networks.
Herebelow, we are presenting a sample of such platforms which form the base for added value applications.
| • IPTV
||• Multimedia Broadcasting||• Unified Communications & CallCenter Solutions
| • CDN
||• PCI-DSS||• Universal Mobile Access|
IPTV - Multimedia over IP
The transmission of television programs used to be based on a dedicated & single-use cabling and a dedicated distribution system.
The digitization of the TV-signal on one side, and it’s transport via Ethernet networks (using the IP protocol) on the other have formed the base for the transmission of a group of TV-signals to long distances with perfect quality. For the transmission hereof special coding is used. Examples of such coding are MPEG-2 or MPEG-4-AVC (2,5 to 8 Mbps) for SD (Standard Definition) or MPEG-4-AVC (10 to 20 Mbps) for HD (High Definition) per TV channel.
The TV-channels can be any combination of Free-2-Air or Subscription-based or Private Channel, and the distribution can be any combination of LIVE, VoD (Video-On-Demand), nVoD (NearVoD), Time-Delayed, etc. All these combinations are now possible because the content is already digital and because the systems for control, programming, flow, charging, interactivity and response all share the same IP network infrastructure and are able to interact with each other using standardized communication logic and protocols.
Apart from this, this same infrastructure can interact with the installed intelligence in the new TV-sets (Smart-TV) and the digital IP set-top-box’s (IP-STB) for interactive functions, for combined smartphone- και tablet-based applications, and other local functions like local storage of pictures, programs, movies, music, internet-browsing and many more.
Content management software is used to manage each piece of digital content from its entry into the system to the point of obsolescence.
Software is used to import and index media. From that point it can be uploaded to the distribution server.
Applying systems provided by Novra Technologies we can build complete applications for Digital Signage, Private TV broadcast, Message Broadcasting, DataCasting, IPTV, IP unicast and multicast in terrestrial and satellite networks.
We can also realize compete new special purpose multimedia networks (BOT – Build-Operate-Transfer).
The speed at which today’s businesses are run, require extreme speed and accuracy. This leaves no time to jump from legacy network to legacy network and from terminal device to terminal device, which results in interruptions and in a broken communication flow.
The pressure for speed, in combination with cost reductions as well as the new facilities securing uninterrupted communication and collaboration and the resulting productivity gains, has led many enterprises to embrace the new technology of Unified Communications & Collaboration –UC&C, which unifies various communication types and devices under one umbrella.
The Unified Communications & Collaboration - UC&C, is not a specific product. Rather it is a combination of many different technologies which altogether compose a unified service experience for the users.
This development started with the legacy telephony service and since then has expanded to almost all forms of communication like the conferencing between many participants (conferencing), the video, the instant messaging (IM), the presence systems (presence) and other platforms of collaboration like tele-training, etc.
The private telephony systems (PBX’s) with analogous and proprietary telephone devices connected to the public telephony network using TDM – Time Division Multiplexing type lines are giving way to unified IP networks with IP telephone-sets, soft-phones, distributed IP-PBXs and UC&C servers connected with new-technology lines with SIP technology - Session Initiation Protocol. These new lines provide new functionalities which can be implemented in phases providing functions like Presence, Video, Instant Messaging (IM) and File-sharing, all through one line, accelerating and simplifying drastically the collaboration in a team and between teams, independently of geographical locations, and based on a very attractive cost-base .
With this, a new market was born, called Enterprise Unified Communications providing UC&C Solutions.
The build of new generation networks which are optimized for UC&C requires the specific building blocks combined and interconnected between them and working perfectly and non-stop, as well as economically in order to support the business life of the enterprise as one of it’s critical infrastructures.
United Telecom AE is in the business of building, servicing and delivering UC&C networks.
CAPABILITIES AND REQUIREMENTS
The new unified communications and collaboration UC&C networks present unquestionable and unique advantages, enhance the competitiveness and secure efficiency in the business processes, at the same time lowering the cost-base for the operations.
The resulting benefits are:
• A single unified IP network for data, voice and video
• New contemporary unified facilities like Presence, IM, filesharing, etc
• Variety of terminal devices (IP phones, softclients for PCs and smartphones)
• Centralized Applications in the cloud, which serve fixed and portable devices, wherever they might be via the internet
IP technology is the basis of the Unified Communication and Collaboration - UC&C networks. It is a very strong and thoroughly tested basis, which will provide brilliant results if designed, implemented and serviced appropriately and given the necessary attention to some critical issues, among those:
• Security— The open, public and flexible IP networks are exposed to security threats.
• Quality of service (QoS)— The IP networks are built on the architecture and principles of packet switching, which means that measures are necessary in order to provide a quality level and QoS which is comparable or better than the legacy public voice networks.
• Reliability— Being a vital component in the corporate life, the unified IP networks must meet stringent reliability criteria.
• Performance—In large projects it is absolutely paramount to provide all the above-mentioned capabilities at the same time, in real-time and in the requested quantitative and qualitative levels.
• IP packet loss,
• Packet delay, and
• Delay variation (jitter).
In order to fulfill these requirements, the Network must provide for the necessary QoS mechanisms, it must be high-performance, must be redundant, must be secure, and must comply with open specifications like those of the Unified Communications Interoperability Forum (UCIF)
The infrastructure of a unified network UC&C must include as a minimum the following functional modules:
• Registrar and Call Routing Server—The registrar server is responsible for registering the various terminal devices in the domain. The registration process can identify all the devices, assign to them various functions, store their geographic location and combine it with information coming from databases describing the characteristics of each geographic location.
• Session Border Controller—The Session Border Controller (SBC) enables the communication of terminal devices and users registered in one domainή with external domains. The Session Border Controller function can be centralized or it can be distributed in the network in order to handle the signaling and call-routing in a more efficient manner by positioning the SBC-function as near to the Terminal Devices as possible. Apart from this, SBC’s can also provide security services, hiding topology, QoS activation, as well as they can be combined with various media gateways and provide media-transcoding. Examples of such SBC are the Audio Codes Mediant 3000 E-SBC and the Acme Packet SBC.
• Media Gateway—They can be positioned at many locations in the network providing signaling translation towards the existing PSTN networks, using modules for Foreign Exchange Office (FXO) or Primary Rate Interface (PRI) of the classic telephony networks. Examples of such devices are Avaya G450, G650, IPM blades of Audio Codes and others.
CONNECTIVITY – Variety of Technologies
A UC&C Network can provide connectivity to a variety of network types and topologies, among them:
• LAN access: Terminals & Devices connected to the enterprise LAN
• WLAN access: Terminals & Devices connected to the wireless unwired enterprise network.
• WAN connectivity: Terminals & Devices connected to the local LAN of a distant geographical location, which is interconnected with the enterprise DataCenter over the WAN - Wide Area Network.
In all cases, a high-speed enterprise backbone network with MPLS in the WAN is mandatory.
A complete and thorough security design requires a multi-level and scalable security design from the edge of the network to it’s core and to the terminal devices
The necessary security levels, as a minimum are:
• Protection against Denial of service (DoS) at the edge of the Network
• Firewalls for controlled inwards and outwards access to the Network
• VPNs for controlling the internal traffic between dispersed geographical locations which are interconnected over the infrastructure of the public internet
• System for Intrusion prevention (IPS) for hindering general purpose attacks in the application layer.
• Protection against internal threats by use of Network Access Control
• System for Secure Access to the enterprise resources from anywhere and by any device which will connect via the internet and will be authenticated with known credentials.
• Mobile Device Management (MDM) for control and management of the various portable and mobile devices.
MANAGEMENT – CENTRAL POLICIES & NETWORK CONTROL
Unified communications are dynamic by their nature. The terminal devices can travel between home and office. The Service/Application normally resides in the DataCenter of the Enterprise or in the Cloud with dynamic load sharing and redundancies across geographic locations. The administration as well as the design and the management of such a network of unified communications & collaboration are all functions that can endanger the proper operation of such network if they are not performed with advanced techniques and tools, which ideally can even automate most of these functions.
The centralized management of the policies and the controls provides for networks which are secure and reliable for the applications as well as for the users, given that it provides the required levels for access control, generation of policies and network & application control.
It is important to gain a visual of the traffic passing through the network and the security events happening, in order to provide for a good, reliable and secure network operation.
It is also important to collect statistical data about the IP traffic in order to gain a map of the traffic load on the network. It is only with such information that one can gain knowledge on the traffic characteristics and take action for improvements, re-routings and decompression and even proceed with cutting of unnecessary capacities and lines.
QoS, LATENCY AND JITTER
The unified communication and collaboration networks provide real-time services which include voice services which is gradually phasing-out the classical legacy telephony service.
QoS mechanisms are the basic tool which can hinder or cure such cases. It is critical to define the required QoS, which will be acceptable by the network applications, among them UC&C.
At least three levels of QoS must defined, whereby each one must define the priority of each application and of each resource:
For telephony and Video applications this specification of the QoS is extremely critical because it defines the complete and final QoS end-to-end of each application/service.
High availability - HA is a major requirement in enterprise networks for unified communications and collaboration and must be examined in combination with what is happening within the LAN as well as with what is happening within the links towards the critical remote locations, like the DataCenter and the branch offices. The high availability of the Network provides for redundant interconnection lines (for example towards internal and external connection points) as well as for redundancy of critical network devices (complete devices or some critical modules like Power Supply, Fan units, Routing-Engines, etc) in order to achieve a non-stop Network..
End users, news organizations, and social networks, among many others, generate immeasurable content daily. Users want to view the vast wealth of media rich content anywhere, anytime, and on any IP-enabled device, and their expectation is to have a TV-like viewing experience. Moreover, consumption patterns are unpredictable.
The market for IP video, in particular, is growing due to the growth of Internet content, as well as viewer demand for personalization and flexibility. There is also an emerging trend to deliver content simultaneously to a large audience across three screens (PCs, TVs, and mobile devices). The technical implication of this volume growth and content diversity is that networks must efficiently handle multiple data formats, protocols, streaming bit rates, and device types. They must also adapt to the change in traffic patterns, especially across three screens, without re-provisioning.
The data-volume passing through the networks has increased dramatically (increase of 1.700% in the last 12 years) and it is assumed that this trend will continue (with a steady increase of +25-30% per anno) for this type of traffic.
The potential business impact is that continuous network investments can easily outstrip revenues.
As a result the pressure upon the CDN’s is enormous, since they have to come up with more economic, more functional, more complete, more integrated and smarter proposals in order to keep their role and significance in the marketplace.
Juniper Networks is offering a complete set of systems, addressing exactly this situation.
Junos Content can be deployed as a transparent caching infrastructure to reduce the costs of delivering OTT video and content. These same platforms can also be used as the foundation for innovative new content delivery services that drive new revenue and increase customer loyalty.
The Juniper Networks Junos Content portfolio is comprised of the following suite of systems and equipment which is already commercially available. The portfolio is centered around Junos Content Encore—a high-performance caching and content delivery software system—and includes a wide range of hardware options, as well as optional applications for management, publication, and content routing.
The PCI Security Standards Council offers robust and comprehensive standards and supporting materials to enhance payment card data security.
Also called UMA/ GAN/ Unlicensed Mobile Access (Generic Mobile Access).
Customers are getting nowadays more than one source to buy such services. They are being offered this functionality by various providers, which include not only amateur providers, state & municipal organizations, large enterprises, public hotspot operators like coffee-houses, but also professional operators like ISP’s, WISP’s, VMNO’s, alternative telephony operators as well as Mobile Operators.
The Mobile Operators have invested heavily in their Mobile User Authentication & Billing infrastructure, namely they have built up a heavy knowledgebase in RADIUS, in SS7 networks and HLR. They want to leverage their experience in these systems for the new services.
In order to realize this, the SS7 and the IP worlds have to be bridged. Additionally a secure user and network authentication system must be put in place.
The proposed SIM Server, based on the worldwide de-facto standard RADIUS system “SBR-Steel Belted Radius” of FUNK Software Inc (acquired by Juniper Networks Inc) is the means to accomplish this integration.
For the secure user-authentication, the EAP-SIM profile in the frame of the IEEE 802.1x standard will be used. The credentials for the user authentication will be coming from the SIM of the mobile operator, which is the standard way for the mobile operators to authenticate and bill their customers.
The system described above, is based on well-standardized and open platforms.
The new (NextGen) networks are steadily replacing the many different special purpose networks, which are in service up to now.
The first step in this evolution is the “digitization” of these special-purpose networks and the datastreams transferred on them. This step has already been completed to a great extent. An interesting case in this landscape is the DIGITAL public terrestrial television which is replacing the traditional analogue TV-signal transmission using the digital signal broadcast (DVB-T Digital Video Broadcast-Terrestial).
The second step is to channelize all the special purpose digital signal-streams to a unified transmission and distribution media and platform and having it delivered to the customers-users as a digital information.
This unified digital transmission channel utilizes the same technology as the high-speed computer-networks utilizing IP-technology (Internet Protocol).
This second step is now in the realization phase and there are many applications which are already working in a digitized manner and they are being transferred by the new high-speed data networks. The Services Providers who have embraced this technologies are already gaining benefits from their investments enjoying a lower cost-base and also their ability to combine information and provide a higher level of service to their customers & users, resulting in a chasm of service-level between competitors.