Telecom and hosted service providers are adopting Microsoft® Lync™ Server 2010 Multitenant Pack to create next generation unified communications services for enterprise customers. Using a Microsoft reference architecture, service providers can add IP telephony services to their UC offering by connecting Lync Hosted Pack to a SIP trunk service. The reference architecture recommends using Acme Packet Session Border Controllers (SBCs) to connect the Lync Hosted Pack environment to the SIP trunk service. The Net-Net Session Director SBC mitigates a range of interoperability, codec incompatibility, service quality and security issues that often occur when connecting to a SIP trunk.
Microsoft and Acme Packet have collaborated to enable direct SIP connectivity between Microsoft Lync Mediation Servers and Acme Packet SBCs and they perform regular interoperability testing as part of the Microsoft Unified Communications Open Interoperability Program (UCOIP). In addition both companies are founding members of the Unified Communications Interoperability Forum (UCIF) – an alliance of worldwide communications technology leaders who work together to promote UC interoperability.
Further information on Lync Server and Acme Packet solutions is provided below.
Why do I need Acme Packet SBCs with Microsoft Lync Hosted Pack? +
For service provider deployments of Microsoft Lync Server, Microsoft supports the use of a Session Border Controllers (SBC). Benefits of the Acme Packet solution include:
- Interoperability: Acme Packet SBCs resolve multi-vendor interoperability and multi-protocol interworking issues which often hamper SIP trunk deployments. The products normalize SIP messages to mitigate vendor incompatibilities and provide comprehensive signaling, transport and media encryption interworking functions as well as codec translation capabilities to streamline SIP trunk service deployment.
- Reliability: Acme Packet SBCs can balance loads across SIP trunks and statefully reroute sessions around SIP trunk failures to optimize performance, circumvent equipment and facility problems, and ensure business continuity. In addition, the products provide granular admission control and QoS marking capabilities to ensure service quality.
- Session Routing: Acme Packet SBCs provide rich session routing and control functions including centralized call routing and dial plan management capabilities for cases where Microsoft Lync co-exists with legacy enterprise telephony systems. This allows for the centralized management of all enterprise telephony routing in a single network element.
There are many functions the SBC can perform in hosted Lync Server deployments:
- Signaling transport interworking (many Internet telephony service providers are not ready or willing to terminate Lync Server TLS or TCP signaling on their service provider network)
- Media encryption interworking (many Internet telephony service providers are not ready or willing to terminate Lync Server SRTP on their service provider network)
- Transcoding between G.711, which is supported by Lync Mediation server, and different formats that may be required by service providers for bandwidth efficiency
- Off-load of customer network complexity from service provider edge SBC to hosting provider SBC (a two-tier, hierarchical SBC model)
- Centralized call routing & dial plan management for cases where Lync Server co-exists with legacy enterprise telephony systems
Tight collaboration between Acme Packet and Microsoft includes successful interoperability, scalability, reliability, and performance testing as well as joint documentation of the Acme Packet and Lync Server product deployments, which gives customers a proven solution with the assurance of lower cost and risk.
- Comparing SBCs to Firewalls
SBCs are able to completely and effectively control SIP sessions and associated media flows in ways that firewall cannot
- Acme Packet Net-SAFE
A comprehensive security framework for enterprise IP communications
How do I deploy Microsoft Lync Server with Acme Packet SBCs? +
The Acme Packet team has worked and tested with the Lync Server product team to make sure that Acme Packet SBCs provide a compatible solution for delivering Lync Server traffic in mutually supported service provider reference architectures. A deployment guide has been developed to assist with the implementation of Acme Packet SBCs with Lync Server. The Acme Packet team has also worked with the Exchange UM product team on a similar qualification exercise. A deployment guide for this application is also provided below and the qualification details can be found at this Microsoft link.
A Microsoft case study of a real world implementation of the Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Multitenant Pack for Partner Hosting reference architecture is available here. This document describes the best practices learned, and a real world BOM for deploying this reference architecture, including the Acme Packet SBCs.
What Acme Packet offerings do I need for a Microsoft Lync Server solution? +
Acme Packet’s entire portfolio of Session Border Controller products can be used to ensure your Lync Server deployment is always secure, interoperable, and reliable. For more information on individual products, click the following links: