Commetrex and NetGen: On the Road Again

Commetrex at ITEXPOIt’s hard to believe that ITEXPO Miami is next week! If you haven’t made plans to attend yet, you really should. Commetrex and NetGen Communications will be in booth 610 and we have something new for you. We’ll been showing live demos of Commetrex’ BladeWare Fax-to-Email, right in the booth. If a fax/email solution isn’t what you’re looking for, we have two other products that we’ll be showcasing: FaxTap for SIP and Smart ATA®.

If your FoIP implementation isn’t working properly and you just can’t determine the source of the problem, you need FaxTap for SIP. It’s our FoIP analysis tool that allows you to analyze an FoIP call in great detail, including an image of the fax itself, even for V.34 faxes. We like to say the FaxTap for SIP “picks up where WireShark leaves off.”

Maybe you want to eliminate your POTS lines and move to an all-IP network, but you haven’t found a reliable analog telephone adapter for all those legacy fax machines. Smart ATA – powered by Smart FoIP® and available from NetGen Communications – will enable you and your subscribers to do just that.

Stop by any time and see how we can help you make FoIP work! If you’re not going to the show, give us a call at 770-449-7775 or email us.

Autoprovisioning and the Service Provider Industry

The barriers to market entry faced by the aspiring Internet-telephony service provider (ITSP) have never been lower, and they continue to be pushed down by industry-wide innovations in this wide-open market. With so many companies entering the market, one of the biggest decisions that must be made by the ITSP is on what basis it should compete, and evolving market structures continue to change the mix and offer new choices.

Wholesale services allow an ITSP to choose to compete by offering superior channel infrastructure and partner support, outsourcing nearly everything else. Others choose to compete through superior marketing at the retail level. And still others compete by the efficient development of their service-delivery infrastructure. And for those that don’t roll-their-own, there is an army of infrastructure vendors ready to serve their needs. Recently, more technically aware ITSPs have chosen to compete, at least in part, by offering superior FoIP through intelligent routing and CPE equipped with Smart FoIP®.

But there is one need that nearly all ITSPs share, especially those that serve businesses: Equipment for the customer premises, such as IADs, ATAs, and SIP phones, must be procured, provisioned, shipped, installed, integrated into the ITSP’s network, and supported. Of course, the ITSP’s scale might support keeping all this value contribution in house, but, for many, that isn’t economically viable, especially when there are distributors that offer this logistical chain as a value-added service that is so extensive the ITSP never even touches the premises equipment.

These value-adding distributors have proprietary software that integrates the ITSP’s order-entry and provisioning requirements, right down to the individual subscriber, with the distributor’s logistics infrastructure. The distributor then connects the target CPE to their provisioning server, which responds to the unit’s request upon power up to provision and configure it for the end subscriber. The newly configured unit is then shipped direct to the subscriber. And some do not quit there since they also provide P1 and P2 support. We call it “no-touch logistics,” at least as far as the service provider is concerned.

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BladeWare F2E and E2F Upgrades

Both BladeWare Fax-to-Email and Email-to-Fax now support 64-bit CentOS 6, and the Web user interface has been improved. Furthermore, of the three methods F2E offers for subscriber identification, the SOAP interface to an external subscriber database has been improved by basing it on gSOAP, which is well supported by the open-source community. As part of that, the SOAP facility now uses Web Services Description Language (WSDL) to describe the services offered by the SOAP interface, making user customization much simpler.

FoIP Dream Team Offers New Technology

BabyTEL (Montreal), Copia International (Chicago), and Commetrex (Atlanta) have developed a high-availability technology we call active-active that delivers inbound availability in excess of 99.999% while it offers business continuity benefits.

It began with BabyTEL, a service provider that, among other offerings, makes FoIP work (making BabyTEL and Commetrex kindred spirits). BabyTEL provides a service that simultaneously delivers an inbound call to multiple locations. Copia, an Interop-proven BabyTEL partner, added support for BabyTEL’s simultaneous-call-delivery feature to Copia’s CopiaFacts BladeWare-based enterprise-fax-server application, which took advantage of a unique BladeWare feature.

The inbound process begins with BabyTEL delivering a call to different servers, which, of course, can be in different cities or countries. That’s the business-continuity feature. The key innovation is for one of the Copia servers to immediately accept the call and the other to delay accepting the call, say for 200-milliseconds. The BabyTEL SIP server ACKs the first 200 OK and cancels the INVITE to the other server, awarding the call to the server responding first. That raises the question of how the CopiaFacts server determines whether to answer immediately or wait. The answer is to utilize another special BladeWare feature.

BladeWare will deliver calls to client applications in either the alerting or connected state. To implement active-active, CopiaFacts requests that inbound calls be delivered in the alerting state. The application then extracts the SIP Call-ID from the call-specific information BladeWare’s SIP service manager delivers to the application. (Note: Call-ID uniquely identifies a call. It’s not caller ID and not the sending fax’s SID.) A dual-redundant server will be assigned to immediately accept either odd or even numbered Call-IDs, guaranteeing that each server receives half the calls.

Take either server off line? No problem. Daytime maintenance? No problem. Welcome to active-active high availability.

Want to know more about active-active? Give us a call at 770-449-7775 or an email.

Smart ATA Undergoes Broadsoft Interop Testing

On some of their installs, one of NetGen‘s major service-provider customers used a two-step configuration process for Smart ATA. First, they have their distributor, as described above, configure Smart ATA for a two-step process. This means that the configuration file the distributor installs on Smart ATA points to the secondary configuration server. So, when the ATA is powered up at the customer’s premises, it “asks” the Broadsoft server for the final configuration file. It also means the ATA must be Broadsoft certified, which turns out to be a non-trivial task since it entails passing 115 tests (that’s not a typo).

Curious about Smart ATA? Learn more on NetGen’s website or call 770-449-7704.