IP Networks in Software

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IP Networks
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This book will not address the many benefits of IP over other means of transport. Why is IP becoming the preferred means of transport in the data world and soon to be the preferred means of transport for voice Because it is available almost everywhere. Originally designed for
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Figure 3-14 Legacy networks: separate voice and data networks
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Data Network
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Class 4 Switch Class 5 Switch Voice Network SS7 Class 4 Switch Class 5 Switch
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TDM Circuits IP Circuits
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Softswitch Architecture or It s the Architecture, Stupid!
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3
Applications Server
Figure 3-15 Converging networks: a mix of circuit- and packetswitched networks and technologies
Media Gateway IP Network Converged voice/data Enterprises Media Gateways
Class 5 Switch
Class 4 Switch
TDM Circuits IP Circuits
Application Server
Figure 3-16 A converged network is one network for voice and data.
IP IP Handset IP
Softswitch IP
IP Network IP
IP Enterprise Media Gateway
SOHO Media Gateway Carrier Grade Media Gateway
DARPANET, IP grew to be the dominant protocol for the network of networks, the Internet. It went on to serve as the transport medium of choice for data networks. The introduction of VoIP in the late 1990s focused the telecommunications industry on convergence, or the converging of voice and data networks as described earlier in this chapter. TDM was designed strictly for voice and does not handle data nearly as well as IP. New demands in business communications for email, instant messaging, video conferencing, and World Wide Web applications dictate a growing demand for data-based communications as opposed to circuit-switched communications. Wiring and managing two different networks are also inefficient, not to mention costly.
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Softswitch Architecture or It s the Architecture, Stupid!
Softswitch Architecture or "It's the Architecture, Stupid!"
Converging voice and data networks has the following advantages: lower equipment costs, the integration of voice and data applications, lower bandwidth requirements, and the widespread availability of IP. Large service providers (RBOCS and IXCs) in today s market operate the PSTN, the Frame Relay network, the ATM network, the IP network, the ISDN and DSL overlay networks, and, for some service providers, wireless and X.25 networks. Each of these networks requires separate maintenance, installation, operations, accounting, configuration, and provisioning systems with the necessary personnel and network management centers to monitor them. In contrast, IP offers the promise of replacing all those disparate systems with one central, efficient network. Today virtually every enterprise is already using the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)/IP protocol stack. IP is ubiquitous throughout the business world. Every personal computer supports IP. IP is used for LANs and WANs, dial-up Internet access, and handheld computers, and it is the preferred technology for wireless web and other next-generation applications. The result is a major opportunity to link systems and networks together through a combination of public and private IP infrastructures in much the same way as telephone systems combine PBXs, private voice networks, and the PSTN. With the possible exception of the SS7 signaling protocols, IP is the world s most widely deployed protocol. It also offers the world s only universal addressing scheme. The integration of voice and data services is only now beginning to come into fruition. Service providers now offer an expansion of high-margin services that differentiate them from circuit-switched service providers. Examples include follow-me services, click-n-call, and the use of an email address as the equivalent of a telephone number. Video conferencing over IP is another benefit of converged voice and data networks. Economic models emphasizing these advantages will be covered in a later chapter. The anticipation of almost unlimited demand for IP-based services drove the formation of IP backbone providers in the late 1990s. Unfortunately, the anticipated level of demand did not materialize as hoped, resulting in oversupply of IP backbone capacity. This has proven to be a boon for IP consumers, including VoIP service providers.
At the time of this writing, ATM is the predominant means of long-distance voice transport in North America. It replaced TDM based on its greater efficiency over TDM and has yet to be superceded by IP, given its
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Softswitch Architecture or It s the Architecture, Stupid!
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