Asterisk and Ranch Networks make Asterisk secure and more scalable

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Randy Savicky
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Asterisk and Ranch Networks make Asterisk secure and more scalable

Today at Internet Telephony Conference & Expo, Digium and Ranch Networks have announced that they are teaming up to make Asterisk a secure and scalable VoIP solution. I have a meeting with Mark Spencer, Mr. Asterisk himself at 4pm today to discuss this new relationship, but I wanted to share this news before it hit the news wires.

Digium, the original creator of Asterisk and pioneer of open source telephony, and Ranch Networks, the first IP telephony network appliance provider to integrate security and bandwidth control for IP-based applications, today introduced its security code for the Asterisk open source IP telephony platform. When combining Asterisk with Ranch Networks new RN series appliances, the solution provides unprecedented security and scalability to the open source telephony industry. The code is available for download at www.ranchnetworks.com and ftp.digium.com

Ranch Networks solves the problems associated with VoIP implementations through both its MIDCOM integration with the Asterisk platform, and several of its Patent-Pending technologies. The MIDCOM integration provides for dynamic per-call firewall control, bandwidth management, NAT traversal, and RTP traffic bridging - all supporting encrypted signaling streams, while the Patent-Pending technologies separate voice, video, and data traffic into multiple, secure zones without having to reconfigure IP addresses.

"Security is potentially an issue for SIP deployments since ports need to remain open at all times in order to enable voice traffic-leaving potential open doors for intruders," said Mark Spencer, president of Digium and creator of Asterisk. "In providing this technology, we are proactively addressing the security of VoIP before it becomes a major concern, while also providing quality of service and increased scalability."

Ranch Networks' technology sends instructions to the firewall to open the ports on an as needed basis. Media streams can flow from one phone to another, then close ports when the call is terminated. Instructions are also sent to the appliance determining the amount of bandwidth needed. As calls come in, data is shrunk to allow necessary bandwidth on a protocol basis.Ranch Networks guarantees that voice is given priority over data. This technology supports multiple phones behind any number of firewalls.

"We expect this will change the mindset of large enterprises and service providers that were previously skeptical of VoIP and open source technologies, to look more closely at the customization, flexibility and huge costs savings that a platform like Asterisk provides," said Ram Ayyakad, founder and CEO of Ranch Networks. "We have eliminated any security and scalability issues that could be argued by proprietary vendors."

The Ranch Networks security code has received the highest certification through ICSA.The security code is available by the download of Asterisk 1.2.2 and is available for download from www.ranchnetworks.com and ftp.digium.com

Further, Ranch Networks today introduced the RN series of appliances which are the first to integrate security and bandwidth control for VoIP applications. The company's IP telephony network appliances secure, manage and scale VoIP traffic beyond existing firewall technologies. Ranch Networks' appliances separate voice, video, and data traffic into multiple secure zones without having to reconfigure IP addresses. Several patent-pending technologies, allow service providers to deliver VoIP services to enterprises without affecting existing data networks.

Ranch Networks' technology is designed to work with leading IP PBXs and supports all sizes of enterprise and carrier deployments. Instead of requiring labor intensive access lists or protocol specific application layer gateways, Ranch Networks' IP PBX controlled appliances provide dynamic, protocol independent, per-call authenticated network access. This unique approach both simplifies and increases network security, while allowing encrypted signaling streams.

Starting with Asterisk, the open source PBX, Ranch Networks' offers the RN300, RN20, RN40 and RN41 to provide dynamic, protocol independent, per-call authenticated network access. These products will supply unprecedented VoIP security, bandwidth management, VPN, accounting and switching capabilities to small to mid-size enterprises, service providers and carriers.

"Asterisk was a logical starting point for us as it allows us to leverage a vast growing user base, a focused and enterprising reseller channel and avoid the red tape of the proprietary PBX vendors," said Ram Ayyakad, founder and CEO of Ranch Networks. "We believe now that this puts Asterisk in line with the leading proprietary IP PBX vendors."

The RN300, RN20, RN40, and RN41 are available through leading Asterisk resellers worldwide ranging in price from $750 to $20K.



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