26 March 2011

Followup on This Week Online Webcasts: New PortaSwitch Features Introduced in MR22 and MR23

PortaOne team would like to thank all those people who have attended the webcasts on new PortaSwitch features this week!

We hope you found it useful in learning more about the recently introduced features, performance improvements and usability enhancements as well as exciting features planned for the upcoming release.

We are excited about the turnout over the last two session and the many constructive feedback questions! You will find an abstract of the questions asked, and their answers attached below.

As always, please feel free to share your feedback via the known channels: either via our Customer Relationship Manager or via sales@portaone.com.

Q & A

1. Which hardware was used to handle 7500 simultaneous calls on a single PortaSIP node?

- We used Dell PowerEdge R710: 2xQuad Core Xeon E5620 2.4GHz; RAM 12G DDR3 1066MHz; Disk: RAID card H700 512MB cache, 2x146G 15k rpm SAS RAID0.

Essentially, you need to pay attention to have "server-grade" components in your production system. Entry-level servers are often sold with inferior components (RAID, NICs).

2. Is MR23 ready for production?

- Yes, MR23-1 should be released this week.

3. Does PortaPhone supports SIP over TLS?

- Please check directly with PortaOne technical support engineers - there might be a need for some additional modules.

4. When will the new Self-care Interface (IP Centrex) be available?

- It is planned for MR23-2 (June 2011), MR24-0 (May 2011).

5. Was the override tariff/Delta Tariffs a PortaOne initiative or a feature request?

- It was planned from our side for a while though as well, so we heavily subsidized this particular feature request.

6. Any change in operating system been used in the system?

- Yes, as of MR21 we switched from FreeBSD to Oracle Enterprise Linux v5; and with MR24 we are moving to Oracle Enterprise Linux v6.

Actually with the new update system we have implemented in MR21 (when a new version is installed on a separate partition), any future OS changes or upgrades are just a routine procedure and do not create any extra challenges during the upgrade.

7. Is it possible to have a web interface for sending Fax, or Email-to-Fax solution?

- It's not planned at this point, it might be better to use a 3rd party for this.

The main reason is that a lot of fax servers/drivers are Windows based and we would rather not bundle that with our platform at this point. We are interested and actively looking for potential 3rd party solutions to integrate.

8. The projection of 7500 concurrent calls in new PortaSIP: How does that change if RTP proxy is used?

- We were able to process 2,000 simultaneous calls on a single server and with the new multi-threaded architecture for RTP proxy in MR24 we expect to handle even more.

9. Are you planning to support H.323 directly?

- No, we are not planning to do that at this point. It's much more economical to use an SBC such as Cisco UBEs (previously IPIPGW) for this.

10. Is there a DB backward compatibility between releases (MR22,23,24)?

- The database is compatible going forward for at least one release (e.g. MR22 application can work with MR23 database). However since most of the changes are "non-destructive" (i.e. we would add a new column, but is some column is not used anymore, so it is not removed immediately), applications such as custom reports, which were developed for MR20, should function with MR21,22 and 23.

11. Are there any plans at all on working on an IPhone/Mobile applications?

- We are about to complete interop with MailVision (they have all the mobile clients for platforms such as iPhone, Android, Symbian, etc. and much more importantly the provisioning system that goes with it) and we will add other companies as technology partners in this area.

12. Is there a White paper or best practice document on how to handle incoming calls rating?

- We are working on this, it will hopefully be released soon.

13. Could you already share some details on the Service Provisioning Framework? What is the difference between SOAP API/Web services and this new framework?

- The framework is a complementary tool for XML API. Basically, it is a server which invokes a certain program/module each time there is an event of the specific type (e.g. change which affects service configuration of an account). After that, the program uses XML API to retrieve the required information about the modified object (e.g. blocked/active status, or configuration of a specific service).

14. With override tariff, will we be able to do a surcharge for 0800 number instead of having to have 2 different tariffs, one for Local Access and another for 0800 access?

- No, you would still require 2 tariffs for this at the moment, but the override tariff functionality is a basis for simplification in this regard too. So this can be implemented much more easier with a fairly minor customization.

15. There was a Porta Softphone in the list of clients, are these softphone terminals now available?

- Yes, PortaPhone is available. Please contact technical support for it.

16. What about Aperto Wimax solutions, can it be supported?

- Yes, certainly! The WiMAX ASNs seem to be reasonably similar to each other, but an official interop might still be required. Please contact us in sales@ about this.

17. The On-Demand recording, is this already included in MR22? Or from MR23?

- The latest update from the development team indicates that we are still doing internal testing to provide the best "user experience", since the end users prefer to just press the key combination during the conversation to activate the recording.

This unfortunately requires to proxy the media for each call via PortaSIP to extract the DTMF. So we are considering using phones with the "record" button as the better alternative. The final version of the code will most likely appear in MR24.

18. Can payback rates be distinguished from on-net calls? I.e. if a premium number is called on-net it is not charged as such.

- Yes, it is possible.

19. Will you open the IVR part to the end users? For example, give us the ability to write our own VXML apps without PortaOne's development effort?

- The source code, and everything else required is already available. However, there is no VXML interpreter available as part of PortaUM. Most of our client's subscribers would not want to venture that deeply into the technical territory.

20. How did you manage such a large increase of concurrent calls in MR22 PortaUM?

- The factors which contributed were 64bit operating system (and ability to use more RAM), internal code re-factoring and mainly large amount of tuning and optimization.

21. Is a billing module included in the RT? So I can charge customers when I answered a ticket?

- Interesting idea! It has not come up yet at this point, but should be fairly easy to implement using an "import billing events" functionality in PortaBilling.

22. Is the slow start/late offer-answer model on the roadmap?

- Not at this point, it will require quite some extensive modifications of the internal architecture of B2BUA in PortaSIP. Since as a work-around it is possible to use some basic and inexpensive SBC (such as Cisco UBE) between the IP PBX, which only supports late offer-answer, and PortaSIP - we would rather allocate this engineering resources to develop some other functionality, such as clustering with live fail-over, which would benefit all PortaOne customers.

23. Will there be some improvements to the Web-API (SOAP) so more administrative tasks could be done via SOAP rather than the admin-webinterface?

- Yes, absolutely! There were some additions to XML API in MR23 to support the new self-care interface and for sure we are always looking to expand that functionality. Please let us know which ones you are interested in sales@portaone.com or contact technical support.

24. Codec enforcement - IVR currently uses g711, if IVR answers and codec enforcement is set to g729, would this not cause issues?

- No, codec enforcement policies apply to outgoing connections only. It does not apply to internal PortaSIP/PortaUM connections.

25. Have you published an upgrade guideline for a safe and quick upgrade to MR-22 on a running production system? How much downtime do you estimate?

- Each system is different, so we suggest to discuss that with your technical support group directly. They are the experts and will be able to suggest the best approach and prepare the detailed migration plan for you.

26. Any plans for Dutch IVRs?

- Not at this point. Any IVRs that we added were done as request basis from customers.

27. Will the new web interface provide more flexibility in regard to translations (i18n)? E.g. ability to translate Destination Description or Country names?

- Not at this point.

28. What about the ability to manually terminate an active call?

- This is already available.

30. Is it possible to integrate more IP phones into PortaBilling for auto-provisioning?

- Yes, certainly. Due to the fluent nature of different models, they will be done on a per-request basis.

31. Is it possible to lock an account from his soft/hard phone?

- Yes, this can be done as custom feature development.

32. Call recording on demand. My SNOM phone has a RECORD button, which is meant to be pressed DURING the call, not before dialing. Is that possible?

- Yes, but we will have to see what SIP message gets generated by this RECORD button.



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