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Softswitch Product Performance in DS0 Density
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Figure 6-3 Softswitch is overcoming the performance deficiency of low density relative to Class 4.
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Downloaded from Digital Engineering Library @ McGraw-Hill (www.digitalengineeringlibrary.com) Copyright 2004 The McGraw-Hill Companies. All rights reserved. Any use is subject to the Terms of Use as given at the website.
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Softswitch: More Scalable Than CLASS 4 or 5
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6
information that is used by the switch fabric to direct packets to the appropriate line card/external interface. The VoIP modules consist of a farm of digital signal processors (DSPs) that perform the actual conversion of the voice streams between the PSTN and packet worlds. The DSP industry has strived to increase the ratio of conversations per DSP chip to help the media gateway industry achieve greater gateway density. Progressions in DSP chip technology and the software that controls those chips enable greater media gateway density.2 In summary, by building denser media gateways, softswitch vendors have overcome the objection that the softswitch solution will not scale up to a port density comparable to a Class 4 or 5 switch (see Figure 6-3). This is a matter largely of mechanical and software engineering to build a bigger gateway. Figures 6-3 and 6-4 demonstrate how softswitch compares favorably with Class 4 or 5 in scalability both in terms of density and busy-hour call attempt (BHCA) processing. In the United States, approximately 1,400 Class 4 switches and 25,000 Class 5 switches are being utilized. An alternative long-distance solution, for example, would be to install a media gateway(s) in each central office and connect them via an IP network. As a result, the market demand would be for media gateways that scaled down rather than up. If that were the case, softswitch, given its flexibility to scale up as well as down, would be in greater demand than Class 4. The other issue of scalability is the call-processing power of softswitch. The media gateway controller (MGC) in the softswitch solution handles this. Early versions of softswitch could not compete with Class 4, for example, in terms of calls per second or BHCAs. Recent releases from softswitch vendors offer BHCA counts well into the millions (such as Clarent at 5 million). This exceeds Nortel s DMS-250, which boasts 700,0003 and competes with Lucent s 4ESS at a stated 5 million BHCAs.4 In 2000, softswitches were reported to offer BHCA ranges from 250,000 to 500,000.5 Figure 6-4 illustrates this progression in BHCA counts. It should be noted that no independent verification of these BHCA counts exists either for legacy vendors of Class 4 and 5 switches or for softswitch solutions.
Texas Instruments. Carrier-Class, High Density Voice over Packet (VoP) Gateways. A white paper hosted by the International Engineering Consortium, 2001, www.iec.org. 3 Nortel Networks. The DMS300/250 System Advantage. Product brochure at www.nortel.com. 4 Lucent Technologies. Long Distance Network Solutions. Product brochure at www.lucent.com. 5 Wolter, Charlotte. Long and Winding Road. xchange Magazine. July 15, 2000. www. x-changemag.com/articles/072feat2.html.
Downloaded from Digital Engineering Library @ McGraw-Hill (www.digitalengineeringlibrary.com) Copyright 2004 The McGraw-Hill Companies. All rights reserved. Any use is subject to the Terms of Use as given at the website.
Softswitch: More Scalable Than CLASS 4 or 5
Softswitch: More Scalable Than CLASS 4 or 5
5 million
Softswitch Product Performance in BHCAs
Figure 6-4 Softswitch callprocessing capacity now exceeds that of the Nortel DMS-250 Class 4 switch (Source: Sounding Board Magazine).
2 million
Softswitch Call Processing Capacity
200,000
Class 4 Call Processing Capacity
Year
The limited number of Class 5 replacements taking place at the time of this writing (mid-2002) usually consists of port-for-port replacements of the Class 5 by a dense media gateway at the central office. The softswitch and application servers are usually colocated with the media gateways. As this technology gains experience in the marketplace, examples of distributed architecture will be more clearly in evidence. This chapter will address alternative architectures later on.
Scaling Down
Although most of the early objections to VoIP and softswitch solutions held by service providers regarded scaling as high as a Class 4 or 5 switch, much of that debate failed to focus on the flexibility offered by VoIP solutions in
Downloaded from Digital Engineering Library @ McGraw-Hill (www.digitalengineeringlibrary.com) Copyright 2004 The McGraw-Hill Companies. All rights reserved. Any use is subject to the Terms of Use as given at the website.
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