What’s New in ViBE 3
ViBE Version 3 is now available. The release of version 3 cements ViBE as a premium featured VPN technology for the ISP and Telco environment. The features deliver real voice and data convergence supported by further enhancements to optimisation, bonding and failover options.
MPLS Policy Based Routing
ViBE has always been available as a standalone VPN technology enabling full QoS to be offered across a variety of connectivity types including ADSL. Customers now wishing to deploy ViBE as part of an existing or new MPLS network can now do so with version 3’s enhancement delivering Policy Based Routing and the ability to configure multiple virtual connections to a ViBE appliance device such as an SPS-601. This allows for the virtualisation of multiple VPNs and reduces the requirement for additional dedicated hardware for each configured VPN at the enterprise level. It also allows service providers to create MPLS-VPN type functionality even if their core network is not MPLS enabled.
Split voice and data tunnels on single CPE
ViBE now allows multiple tunnels to be configured to a single end device or CPE. This enables increased flexibility as to how Voice and Data can be transmitted with ViBE and allows the core network to treat the voice and data tunnels differently. RAIN mode can be configured individually for voice and data tunnels, for example it can be set for voice only whilst data can be transmitted across a standard bonded connection. This helps greatly in reducing the amount of bandwidth used when unnecessarily transmitting voice and data simultaneously across RAIN configured links. Data, which is less susceptible to packet loss, may be sent independently and not duplicated. Voice on the other hand can now be duplicated across two links to minimise the effects of, say, packet loss.
User permissions and security
The ViBE management interface now has increased flexibility to provide permissions based on no access, view only or full access on a page by page basis. This greatly increases the integrity of the system and existing reliance on one master user.
RAIN mode, a feature normally deployed across two links may now be deployed over a single link. Rather than a parallel delivery of packets the Single Link RAIN mode or SLR now enables a sequential delivery of packets. It is also possible to delay the duplicate packets in order to limit the effects of ‘bursty’ packet loss that could affect the link from time to time. Used in conjunction with feature 2 above, this can be configured to carry voice only.
EsP or “Estimated Performance” is a new and unique feature from Voipex that allows ViBE to continuously monitor the real bandwidth available on the underlying link. In turn, this enables ViBE to both maintain the integrity of its QoS profiles and to control call access in order to avoid over-subscription. This feature is specifically designed to counter the effects of variable bandwidth links such as 3G, or cases where there may be congestion in the core network.
Keep alives are ViBE’s way of understanding whether a link is functioning effectively and whether a failover condition should be actioned. Keep Alives are configurable by the user and normally work to a sub-second rate to ensure calls are maintained in the event of a failover. There is now further Keep Alive functionality available that allows the user to configure the rate based on a scenario when calls are in progress and when calls are not in progress. The theory being that ViBE can be less aggressive during low or no call periods such as out of hours vs times when there are call in progress. The result of this is that less bandwidth is used overall by the Keep Alive packet transmission over the course of a day, week or month.
Variable Link Failover (Final release date to be defined)
One of the key issues with bonded link connections is that the overall bonded link performance is often dictated by the performance of the weakest link (especially in terms of packet loss). ViBE now, in conjunction with EsP is able to dynamically assess the performance of all links in a bonded configuration and suspend a poorly performing link. Once the performance of the link in question stabilises then the link will be re-instated. Note that when the link is suspended the overall bandwidth delivered is reduced however the integrity of the remaining bonded set is preserved. Once the link is re-instated the overall performance of the bonded set is resumed.
With Version 3, ViBE introduces native 128 bit AES encryption. Due to the inclusion of this within the main ViBE protocol, it is much easier to work with through firewalls and NAT routers. All parts of the original packets which are sent through an encrypted ViBE tunnel are encrypted, and there is no correlation between tunnelled packets and protocol packet, so it is not even possible to determine how many packets are being transmitted or what size those packets might be, unlike traditional IPSEC which has a 1:1 relationship between encrypted and non-encrypted packets.
SIP management across NAT environments
SIP signalling does not work effectively in NAT based environments. Since ViBE is a VPN technology, networks using it can eliminate the requirement to use NAT in many situations. This feature is particularly important in hosted IP-PBX environments. In cases where NAT is still desirable, the availability of a SIP-ALG on ViBE enabled CPE devices such as the Mikrotik, Billion and proprietary devices, means that there are more options available to the service provider when trying to solve SIP/NAT conflicts.
Performance Enhancing Proxy
Traditionally TCP connections such as file or web page transfers suffer when the bandwidth of a link is far higher than would be expected given its latency, such as on satellite or multiply bonded links. The built in PeP of ViBE V3 eliminates bottlenecks due to this problem, so that the full available bandwidth can be used by individual TCP streams.
The VMware instance of ViBE is now available in all regions It is certified to 200 concurrent calls however may scale based on VM host used.