Nominum, Inc., headquartered in Redwood City, Calif., recently announced the availability of version 3.0 of its Navitas product, claiming that it will accelerate carriers' migration to IP telephony.
Navitas 3.0 is an ENUM-based IP Routing Directory (IPRD) targeted for Tier 1 or Tier 2 carriers across multiple segments of the industry, including fixed, mobile, cable, wholesale, and ISP/virtual network operators. The product integrates data from many sources, including peering partners, portability databases, and service bureaus. It is capable of providing ENUM-based directory services to both legacy and next-generation applications, including VoIP peering, wholesale interconnection, IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS)-based networks, multimedia messaging service (MMS) exchanges, and voice-enabled Web 2.0 applications.
According to Georges Smine, senior director of product marketing at Nominum, this latest release places the product in a category by itself, as carriers would "need to assemble a patchwork of various solutions to reach some level of equivalency" if they were comparing this latest release with competitive options. "Navitas 3.0 is very disruptive, since its architecture takes advantage of low-cost hardware and running a massively scalable and replicable database," said Smine.
Furthermore, Nominum touts the product as being both "switch agnostic" and "data-source agnostic". The switch agnostic claim means that Navitas 3.0 supports open standards including SIP and ENUM, which augment the value of existing networks and extend the life of IP networks that are already in the field. The data source agnostic feature means carriers can rely on numbering directories from both within and outside their network, including clearinghouses, registries, peering fabrics, and so on, thus letting them tap either internal or external numbering plans, as business operations dictate.
But Navitas 3.0's strong suit is its ability to solve legacy telephony routing challenges, such as least-cost or best-path routing. For these, the product creates a virtual telephony data cloud in an IP network, allowing real-time availability of the best possible routes to all switching or application elements. This eliminates the need to touch and configure routes in every network element.
When number portability is added to the mix, the product enables portability correction in conjunction with the route priorities at the same time, thus sidestepping queries to the Signaling System 7 (SS7) processes within the routing infrastructure. The system can also integrate the data from multiple sources, which makes it that much easier to manage. Applications that extend to routing challenges in other carrier markets, such as toll-free, emergency call routing, mobile data services, and IMB-based services, are also possible.
The new product includes three key features: an Application Routing Module (ARM); support for Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) to Electronic Numbers (ENUM) translations, and an Element Management System (EMS).
- The Application Routing Module enhances an ENUM IPRD, making it switch agnostic, and allows it to retrieve data from multiple sources, while at the same time applying logic that controls that information retrieval.
- The SIP support allows the product to broker SIP requests to ENUM requests, interpret the SIP parameters, and retrieve the ENUM IPRD.
- The Element Management System monitors the health of the ARM and IPRD servers within the network, allowing remote configuration and reporting functions, and providing carriers with a single point of administration for data collection, reporting, and quality of service measurements.
Nominum claims that this enhanced product will provide some unique industry benefits, including solving legacy telephony routing applications, such as resolution of number portability or toll free, all within the context of an IP network. With previous solutions, you had to go from the IP network to the TDM network for resolution. With Navitas 3.0, all of these can be solved using SIP translations.
However, the capabilities also extend to optimized routingeither least-cost or best-path routingfrom within the system, based upon key criteria such as the rates of the terminations, the quality of the codecs, and other factors, thus improving carriers' financial margins.
The software runs on Sun Solaris 10 SPARC, Sun Solaris 10 x86, or Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 platforms; specific memory requirements depend on the carrier application. In addition, the system can be scaled either horizontally (with multiple instances on distributed boxes) or vertically (for higher-end applications). It is specified with a query response time under 1 millisecond, a throughput of tens of thousands of queries per second, and updates in excess of 10,000 records per minute.
The software is currently shipping, and has already been implemented by several carriers on their production networks. Further details on the Navitas 3.0 architecture are available at www.nominum.com.
Copyright Acknowledgement: © 2007 DigiNet Corporation ®, All Rights Reserved
Mark A. Miller, P.E., is President of DigiNet Corporation®, a Denver-based consulting engineering firm. He is the author of many books on networking technologies, including Voice over IP Technologies, and Internet Technologies Handbook, both published by John Wiley & Sons.