IntelePeer Inc. has expanded security and encryption options for its Session Initiation Protocol trunking services and announced a new failover protection package for enterprises seeking disaster recovery options for their SIP trunks.
Enterprises that have made the move off of the public switched telephone network (PSTN) and onto SIP trunking services still worry about SIP security and resiliency. Voice is a critical business function and requires a disaster recovery plan to ensure high availability and reliability in the event of SIP failure or downtime.
SIP security, failover and resiliency for the enterprise
IntelePeer has added the failover protection package to its CoreCloud UC SIP Trunking service, the San Mateo, Calif.-based vendor's cloud-based SIP trunking offering, said Neil Griffiths, senior director of product management for IntelePeer. CoreCloud UC SIP Trunking is qualified to work with any standards-based legacy UC system -- including products from Cisco, Avaya and Microsoft.
The failover protection package offers a redundant trunking option that automates the provisioning of backup SIP trunking connections, an important feature for businesses requiring disaster recovery, Griffiths said.
To ensure disaster recovery, enterprises have historically had to buy additional channels for redundant connections, which often remain underutilized, said Charles Studt, vice president of product management and marketing at IntelePeer. "Businesses now will have failover capacity available on demand, without huge overhead costs, to create a resiliency option that [enterprises, as well as service providers], haven't had access to before," Studt said.
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IntelePeer has also integrated its Transport Layer Security and Secure Real-Time Transport Protocol encryption into CoreCloud UC SIP Trunking to protect Voice and Video Traffic over IP. These SIP security enhancements will allow enterprises to route communications over their existing data networks, eliminating the costs associated with paying for dedicated access -- such as a T1 circuit or Multiprotocol Label Switching network -- for SIP connections.
While most SIP providers offer SIP trunking through dedicated circuits, IntelePeer offers its SIP trunking service over the public Internet, which requires its services to use encryption, said Irwin Lazar, vice president and service director at Mokena, Ill.-based Nemertes Research Group Inc. Whether a business is using SIP services over the Internet or through a dedicated connection, failover is important. "If a business is having a problem with inbound call routing, they should be able to easily fail over to a backup location -- something that's very difficult to do without SIP trunking," he said.
SIP trunking services: Security features still not uniform across the market
Most SIP trunking architectures centralize calls to a single location -- such as a company's headquarters. While this approach can save money, customers face risks around resiliency in the event of failure at the central location. Seamless failover options reduce those risks, Lazar said.
The allocation of bandwidth for simultaneous calls from an SIP trunking provider with encryption, instead of buying expensive, redundant connections from telcos, is also becoming more appealing to enterprises, said Matt Brunk, president of Telecomworx, a Washington, D.C.-based communications service implementer and consultancy.
Most SIP trunking providers offer failover, but security features still vary by provider. Different businesses also have varying SIP security requirements. While some small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) may not be as worried about locking down every phone call, large enterprises subject to regulatory compliance will need encryption from end to end, Brunk said.
"Large enterprises have always been more structured and rigid, but we are seeing consolidation in even the SMB space -- like the consolidation of smaller medical practices -- that are bringing their voice and data together but need encryption," he said. "It might be cheaper to bond those practices together in the data center with services like SIP."