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Acme Packet Unveils Decomposed Session Border Control Configurations; Demonstrations to Occur at VON Boston and MultiService Forum's GMI 2006.

BURLINGTON, Mass. -- Acme Packet(R), the leader in session border control solutions, formally unveiled today several new session border control configurations of its Net-Net product family. These configurations feature subsets of Acme Packet's Net-Net OS software technology used by Acme Packet's integrated session border controller (SBC), the Net-Net Session Director (SD). The configurations, which decompose the SBC into separate signaling and media control systems for SIP sessions, include the Net-Net Border Gateway (BG), Session Controller (SC) and Signaling Firewall (SF). Supported on both the Net-Net 4000 and 9000 series hardware platforms, they provide Acme Packet's distribution partners and service provider customers with increased flexibility and scalability in implementing next-generation IMS and derivative service architectures such as ETSI TISPAN, MSF and PacketCable. Demonstration of the SF will occur at Fall VON, September 11-14, 2006 in Boston and demonstration of the SC and BG will occur during the MultiService Forum's GMI 2006 interoperability event, October 16-27, 2006.

Within the next-generation, converged fixed-mobile IMS architecture defined by 3GPP and extended by ETSI TISPAN, MSF and PacketCable, Acme Packet SBCs are designed to integrate several functional elements to provide service providers with critical support for real-time interactive IP-based voice, video and multimedia sessions in five areas -- security, service reach maximization, SLA assurance, revenue and profit protection, and regulatory compliance. Within these architectures, two different types of session border controllers play very important roles. The Access Session Border Controller satisfies the requirements at the border where a service provider's subscribers access the IMS core. The Interconnect Session Border Controller addresses the requirements at the boundary where different service provider networks interconnect or "peer."

There are two architectural options for implementing the session border control function --integrated and decomposed. An integrated SBC, like Acme Packet's Net-Net 4000 or 9000 SD configurations, integrates signaling and media control in a single hardware-based system. Alternatively, session border control may be implemented using a decomposed architecture using physically separate signaling and media control systems. Acme Packet's Net-Net 4000 and 9000 series platforms now may be configured to support either the integrated or decomposed SBC model.

"While IMS and other next-gen service architectures provide a complete blueprint in terms of functional elements, they provide absolutely no guidance on how to select products and implement them," observed Stephane Teral, Principal Analyst for Infonetics Research. "Acme Packet now offers choice and flexibility in implementing the session border control functions critical to the successful deployment of secure, high quality services."

New Acme Packet session border control configurations

Acme Packet's new decomposed SBC configurations feature subsets of Acme Packet's Net-Net OS software technology used in its integrated SBC, the Net-Net Session Director (SD). Three configurations are available which decompose the SBC into separate signaling and media control systems for SIP sessions.

--Border Gateway (BG) provides media control for voice, video and multimedia RTP/RTCP flows via an H.248 interface to a master Acme Packet Session Controller, or a third-party SIP softswitch or core IMS CSCF signaling element. The BG supports Acme Packet's Net-SAFE(R) media security features including media firewall, access control, network address and port translations, media relay and latching for NAT traversal, VLAN tagging, QoS marking, QoS and flow statistics reporting, bandwidth policing, media replication for lawful intercept, DTMF insertion/extraction, media timers and transcoding.

--Session Controller (SC) provides signaling control and security for voice, video and multimedia SIP message flows. It also uses an H.248 interface to control slave Acme Packet Border Gateways or third-party media proxies/relays. The Session Controller is implemented as a dialog stateful SIP back-to-back user agent (B2BUA) and is functionally equivalent to Acme Packet's SD configuration in terms of SIP signaling control. This includes support for Acme Packet's Net-SAFE signaling security features such as SBC DoS/DDoS protection, admission control based upon session agent load or interface to external policy server, call gapping by session agent or destination number, SIP protocol repair, transport and encryption protocol interworking, number/address and response code translations, load balancing, routing including ENUM, lawful intercept and accounting.

--Signaling Firewall (SF) provides security for core SIP signaling elements such as softswitches, IMS CSCF elements and application servers. The SF is available in four SIP security level options ranging from stateless firewall with static ACLs and SIP flow rate policing to dialog stateful SIP B2BUA. The highest security level option supports the entire SIP signaling functionality of Acme Packet's market-leading SD configuration like the SC described above.

All configurations -- BG, SC, SF and SD -- are supported on both Acme Packet's Net-Net 4000 and 9000 series SBC hardware platforms. The SC, SF and SD support highly scalable, hardware-based TLS and IPSec encryption for SIP signaling. Any of the configurations may be software upgraded to different configuration should border requirements change.

"Some of our distribution partners and service provider customers prefer a decomposed SBC implementation so they can scale the signaling and media control elements independently," stated Seamus Hourihan, Acme Packet's vice president of marketing and product management. "Deployed in over 275 service provider networks, our integrated Net-Net 4000 Session Director provides a proven technology base for offering decomposed SBC configurations to those that desire this architectural solution."

About Acme Packet

Acme Packet, the leader in session border control solutions, enables service providers to deliver trusted, first class interactive communications--voice, video and multimedia sessions--across IP network borders. Our Net-Net family has been selected by over 275 service providers, including 21 of the top 25 wireline and wireless providers in the world, to satisfy critical security, service assurance and regulatory requirements in wireline, cable and wireless networks. These deployments support multiple applications--from VoIP trunking to hosted enterprise and residential services; multiple protocols--SIP, H.323, MGCP/NCS and H.248; and multiple border points--interconnect, access network and data center. For more information, contact us at +1 781.328.4400, or visit www.acmepacket.com.
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