Session Border Controllers are the Air Traffic control of VoIP

September 26, 2016 by Jeff Quinn

Recently I have been thinking about how to explain what exactly a session border controller (SBC) is and why it’s so important to have. It has been difficult but I always find that a good analogy does the trick and that is when an air traffic controller popped into my head.

There are some major features and aspects of a session border controller that I wanted this analogy to cover. Let’s get right into it and you can be the judge if the analogy fits!

Keep yourself safe from hackers

The first aspect of a session border controller is SECURITY. An SBC is basically a firewall that is optimized for VoIP traffic. The SBC can make sure that any incoming SIP trunks are the proper ones and don’t allow for any attacks. Your VoIP system can be intruded by hackers who will than make multiple long distance calls skyrocketing your bill.

These attacks normally happen outside of normal business hours. Your SBC will block these attacks so you don’t have to be on 24 hour watch.

How does this relate to Air Traffic control?

You want to be assured that traffic is properly monitored at both ends of your flight! An air traffic controller only allows in planes that are supposed to be landing at that location, at that time. They keep the airport secure and make sure everything’s running smoothly. There is an air traffic control at every single airport and some are larger than others, but each airport has one. You need an air traffic controller at your site also.

Your service provider will be secure at their end but you need to be secure at your end. Don’t forget to have air traffic control at your airport.

Keep everything secure with the best SBC for your size office.


Keep track of what is coming in and out of your VoIP System

An air traffic controller keeps records of what airline are leaving and when. With multiple airlines using the same airport you need a good way to keep track of who is doing what and when.

An SBC is able to understand and tell you where problems are coming from. When you have an issue with your phone system there are basically three places the issue could be coming from, your VoIP Service provider, Internet provider or the VoIP hardware. When your phone system has issues the last thing you want to be doing is calling all three of these providers and having them tell you it not them it is something else.

With an SBC, you have records of all the traffic and that helps to narrow down the problem for all parties involved. It isn’t about pointing fingers here, it is about saving you time and aggravation. Once the problem has happened let’s get it fixed first and then decide if bigger changes need to happen.

Did my analogy work for you?

Hopefully, this analogy gives you a better idea of why you need an SBC for your VoIP System.

Please comment below and let me know if you agree or disagree with me. I’m always up for some constructive criticism!

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