You have no doubt noticed how traditional information technology vendors have embraced communications in response to customers who are looking for integrated and cost-effective solutions which span both markets. This thought occurred to me during a conversation with Mark Goodman, VP of Marketing for Ecessa a company focusing on "Uptime for IP networks," according to Goodman.
Last year the company quietly changed its name from Astrocom and even if you haven't heard of either company it is worth looking at their products as they solve real-world corporate problems such as security through their ShieldLink family which takes the company's PowerLink line of load balancing WAN optimization controllers and adds VPN gateway and firewall capabilities.
More recently the company announced ClariLink which takes ShieldLink and adds a SIP proxy, registrar and SBC allowing real-time failover for SIP sessions going over IP networks. Goodman explains you don't need service provider peering relationships or BGP with this solution and this saves you money.
Instead, the company uses NAT to traverse the network and their SIP proxy alleviates the double NATing problem which plagued enterprise VoIP in the good old days.
It is worth clarifying that one benefit of using this solution is there is no session loss if a WAN link goes down.
The product line is peripherally competitive to Acme Packet but there is more of a focus on smaller companies which correspond to the company's recent Covergence acquisition. Ingate would be another competitor to the product family as well. A recent announcement at Interop is that these appliances are getting scaled up to a 500 model which joins the family of 50 and 25. Higher model numbers allow a larger number of supported simultaneous sessions and capacity and the 500 model can support one million concurrent sessions and has gigabit throughput.
As IP communications gains even more traction in the enterprise we can expect more products which are aimed at helping companies consolidate multiple disparate functions into single-appliance, single-server or single-vendor solutions.