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Posts from February 2013

"Catching Up With Dan York" On The VUC Call Tomorrow At Noon US Eastern - Please Join Us!

VucWant to learn more about what I'm doing these days? Both with my work with the Internet Society Deploy360 Programme as well as other various projects? And what any of that has to do with VoIP and real-time communications these days?

If so, join us tomorrow, Friday, March 1, at 12 noon US Eastern on the "VoIP Users Conference (VUC)". You can join a Google+ Hangout, or call in via:

There's also an IRC backchannel where links are shared, questions are answered and other comments occur.

As long time readers know, I've been a huge fan of - and participant in, when I've been able to - the VUC calls and community that Randy Resnick has been spearheading since March 2007.

I don't remember when precisely I first started joining in... maybe sometime in 2007 or 2008. In those early days (and still today) it was a great place to discuss open source telephony solutions like Asterisk, Freeswitch and others. The VUC became a place where many of us gathered weekly to learn about the latest technologies from various projects or vendors... and just to chat about various topics relating to VoIP, Unified Communications, SIP and whatever else. We'd get down in the weeds in really geeky discussions about wideband audio... and then get into higher level discussions about trends in VoIP and UC.

When I was at Voxeo for four years, the VUC calls were a way to connect with the telephony developer community - and in fact there were several VUC sessions related to various Voxeo Labs products and services. There were also a couple of VUC sessions relating to IPv6 and several relating to security in which I was a participant (including discussion of my UC security book at one point). It's been a great community and several good friendships have evolved out of meeting people within the VUC world.

When I joined the Internet Society back in September 2011, my attention shifted rather dramatically away from VoIP as I focused more on IPv6, DNSSEC and now routing resiliency/security (and the drop-off in posts here at Disruptive Telephony was also apparent), but VoIP has always been a strong interest and I continued to dip into VUC episodes now and then.

For the last, oh, 6 or 7 months (or maybe 9 or 10!) Randy's been repeatedly asking me if I would be the guest on a VUC episode to talk about all the various stuff I've been up to. His persistence finally wore me down and I agreed to a date... hence the show tomorrow. :-)

Given the conversational nature of the VUC shows, I suspect we'll probably travel all over various topics. There's an abstract up that says this:

Dan York has been a member of the VUC community for many years now but he’s been away for a bit and in this episode we’ll learn about what he’s doing now and how it relates to VoIP and UC. We’ll talk about his work with the Internet Society Deploy360 Programme related to IPv6, DNSSEC and routing resiliency (and touch on what exactly the Internet Society is all about) as well as his views on WebRTC and some of the other standards relating to real-time communications being developed within the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). We’ll also cover Dan’s favorite topic of VoIP security and some of the changes that are being seen there. We’ll probably also talk about some of Dan’s other activities and interests related to podcasting and social media.

How much of that we actually discuss will be an open question.

You're welcome to join us... we always do take questions from people calling in to the show and also via the IRC channel. This time there will also be a Google+ Hangout so people will get to see my smiling face! ;-)

And yes, for better or worse it will be archived for posterity for later listening/viewing...

P.S. If you'd like to join the VUC "community" yourself, a great way beyond attending the calls is to join the "IP Communications & VoIP" Community on Google+, as a lot of good interaction happens there.

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WebRTC Passes Huge Milestone In Rewiring The Web - Video Calls Between Chrome and Firefox

WebrtcThis week the WebRTC/RTCWEB initiative passed a HUGE milestone in adding a real-time communications layer to the Web with achieving interoperability between Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Google and Mozilla celebrated with a pair of blog posts:

They also published the video I've embedded below. On the surface, the video doesn't appear terribly exciting: two guys having a basic conversation over video. But consider this:

  • The video conversation was initiated from within web browsers.
  • There were NO plugins used... no Flash, Java or anything else.
  • The entire conversation was securely encrypted.
  • The call used "wideband audio" (also called "HD audio") to provide a much richer experience that far exceeds any kind of conversation you can have on traditional telecom and mobile networks.
  • The call did not have to involve any external telecom networks or services and could have been initiated directly from one browser to the other. (I don't know exactly how they set up this call.)

And perhaps most importantly:

Any web developer can now create this kind of real-time communication using a few lines of JavaScript and other web programming languages.

As I'm said before, WebRTC will fundamentally disrupt telecommunications and add a real-time communications layer to the Internet that is based on open standards and is interoperable between systems. Creating applications that use voice, video and chat is being removed from the realm of "telecom developers" and made truly accessible to the zillions of "web developers" out there.

Congrats to the Google and Mozilla teams... this is a huge step forward for WebRTC!

You can see the video below... and if you are a developer interested in playing with WebRTC further, both the Google and Mozilla blog posts offer pointers to source code. The team over at Voxeo Labs also released a new version of their Phono SDK yesterday with WebRTC support that may be helpful as well.

UPDATE #1: The discussion threads on Hacker News related to the Google and Chrome blog posts make for quite interesting reading and provide many additional links for exploration:

UPDATE #2: Over at Forbes, Anthony Wing Kosner weighed in with a similar piece and proved he can write far more poetic headlines than mine: Google And Mozilla Strike The Golden Spike On The Tracks Of The Real Time Web

UPDATE #3: And over on No Jitter, Tsahi Levant-Levi gets the "wet blanket" award for dampening enthusiasm with his post: WebRTC Browser Interoperability: Heroic. Important. And...Expected

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Oracle Buys Acme Packet For $2 Billion To Gain SIP Session Border Controllers (SBCs) And More

AcmepacketFascinating news today out of Oracle that they have purchased Acme Packet in a transaction estimated to be around $2 billion US. For those of you not really tracking the VoIP security space, Acme Packet is probably the world's largest vendor of "session border controllers (SBCs)", devices that are used to securely and reliable interconnect VoIP networks. SBCs also provide a very important role in helping with interoperability of Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) signaling between the SIP products and networks of different vendors.

As Andy Abramson writes, the fascinating aspect of this acquisition is this:

This is an interesting grab by one of the tech world's true giants because it sqaurly puts Oracle into a game where they begin to compete with the giants of telecom, many of whom run Oracle software to drive things including SBC's, media gateways and firewall technology that's sold.

This acquisition does put Oracle VERY firmly into the telecom sector at a carrier / large enterprise level, as Acme Packet's products are widely used within that tier of companies. As the news release notes:

"The company's solutions are deployed by more than 1,900 service providers and enterprises globally, including 89 of world's top 100 communications companies."

Acme Packet has also long been recognized as a leader by analyst firms such as Gartner. People from Acme Packet, in particular Hadriel Kaplan, have also been extremely involved with industry efforts such as the SIP Forum and standards activity in the IETF.

As far as integration, Oracle already has a wide array of "communications" products, including several unified communications (UC) products that could potentially interact with Acme Packet products extremely well. Beyond all of that, though, this acquisition will have Oracle being a strong player in providing telecom infrastructure as we continue to collectively move to basing all our communications on top of IP.

Congratulations to my friends at Acme Packet and Oracle... and I wish them the best as they proceed down the path to completing this acquisition.

More information here:

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