December 9, 2013

Enterprise Session Border Controllers, or Firewalls with SIP Application Layer Gateways?


Enterprise firewalls protect IP data networks, servers, and applications against a variety of threats through stateful inspection and filtering. To enable basic VoIP connectivity through the firewall, some firewalls add SIP application layer gateways (SIP ALGs) that translate embedded SIP addresses, in effect allowing the firewall to maintain a single end-to-end SIP session between endpoints residing on either side of the firewall.

By comparison, session border controllers (SBCs) implement a SIP back-to-back user agent. Because a B2BUA divides each SIP session into two distinct segments the SBC is able to completely and effectively control SIP sessions, as well as the associated media flows, in ways that SIP ALGs cannot. This unique capability gives SBCs a clear edge in their ability to securely deliver reliable, high-quality, IP-based interactive communications.



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