Demand for IMS Solutions Drives Acme Packet’s “Decomposed” SBC

Published: 11 Sep 2006

By Shirley Hunt, Strategic Industry Analyst, IP Carrier Infrastructure

Acme Packet, a provider of carrier-class session border controllers (SBC), announced new product line enhancements and configuration options for its Net-Net product family at the Fall 2006 VON show. The configurations, which "decompose" the SBC into separate signaling and media control systems for SIP interconnect applications, are included in the Net-Net Border Gateway (BG), Session Controller (SC) and Signaling Firewall (SF) products. These new configuration options are supported on both the smaller 4000 and large-scale 9000 series hardware platforms

How is a Decomposed SBC Better?

There are two primary methods for implementing the session border control function —integrated and separated, what Acme Packet calls "decomposed". An integrated SBC integrates signaling and media control in a single hardware-based system. Alternatively, session border control may be implemented using an architecture that physically separates 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 separated SBC model.

Previously, many of Acme Packet’s competitors have suggested that the physically separated model is superior, and used it as a competitive selling point against Acme. Acme responded by showing that tier-1 carrier customers buy its products for their superior technology and packaging options, and did not require the complete separation of the two functions. However, with the adoption of IMS, and the trend toward the distribution of gateway functions and media control out to the borders, there were significant drivers for Acme Packet to add configuration options to its products.

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