Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Understanding VoIP Protocols

Nearly any device ever designed to transmit video and audio packets between computers that communicate with one another, uses Real-Time Protocol (RTP). After the can serve as became evident that people communicating online has the potential for ease dropping on their communication, RTP (Real-Time Protocol) was enhanced to us more secure level. The secure RTP was developed for authentication, encryption and integrity of the video and audio packets that were transmitted online to communicating devices.

Part of the process of transmitting video and audio media between computers is the employment of various protocols. One such protocol locates the remote device to negotiate exactly how the media will transfer flow between each device. These types of protocols are known as call-signaling protocols, with the most popular being SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) and H.323. Each protocol relies on static provisioning and other protocols as a way to locate a variety of users.

First originated 1995, both SIP and H.323 were developed to solve the initial communication between two computers as a way to effectively exchange video and audio media streams. H323 experienced commercial success while SIP progressed at a slower level before being recognized as a standard in 1999.

Both protocols have the ability to perform the same action: to establish a multimedia level of communication including video, audio and other communications. However, there are designed significantly different with SIP being ASCII-based and H.323 being built on the foundation of binary protocol and legacy communication systems.

Although the jury is still out on whether SIP or H.323 can be held as the true standard for media transfer functionality, no one disputes the fact that both perform well. However, H.323 appears to be superior in a variety of ways including offering better support for videos, optimal interoperability with PSTN, premium interoperability of legacy video systems a more dependable out of band transport of DTMF.

Alternatively, SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) was never designed to work as a solution for the problems handled by H.323. Additionally, it gained its popularity by misinformation of being “easy to debug and implement”. Built as a complex communication system, they both perform identical amounts of work using to different approaches.

Of the two, SIP implementation is far easier to troubleshoot or develop. Likewise, H.323 is still the protocol to use in bulk VoIP deployments, especially when transmitting voice calls globally. Additionally, H.323 is the protocol most used for room-based videoconferencing and serves as the #1 protocol for nearly all IP-based video systems.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

BYOD! Is Cisco’s Idea of Bring Your Own Device Really Working for Business?

BYOD stands for Bring Your Own Device, and they’re not just talking about a friendly get-together, but an actual business policy that states workers ought to bring their own iPad, iPhone, PDA or laptop.  More companies are jumping on the bandwagon, and workers have no problem obliging since they are familiar and comfortable with their own Smartphone. 

The claim is that these companies can increase productivity among employees as well as contribute to their own satisfaction by supporting BYOD.  (Workers no longer have to learn a new company system)  Of course with new opportunities for growth also comes significant challenges.  Not everyone is on board…why some companies are still banning employees from taking their Smartphones and tablets to work, since they are considered a distraction and a security risk.  Some companies even “block” these systems. 

According to an IBSG Horizon Study, the Cisco Company states that a whopping 76% of organizations (600 surveyed businesses in the United States) were in favor of the BYOD, particularly for IT departments.  About 95% of the surveyed companies stated that employees are allowed to bring their own devices to work.  Furthermore, statistics reveal that by 2014, connected devices per worker will reach 3.3, a notable increase.  So we’re not just bringing units to work…we’re bringing more than one!

Cisco has supported the BYOD concept, even going so far as to launch a new Smart Solutions kit that helps businesses learn how to take advantage of this increased mobility—and also avoid the most common mistakes associated with such a policy.  Cisco says that BYOD is going to be part of its so-called Cisco Unified Workplace” portfolio, which is a specially created environment allowing workers all the information they need to work more efficiently.  Cisco’s Senior Vice President Padmasree Warrior told the press that the “intelligence network” would help workers to “work anywhere, anytime and [the way] they want.”

The Way Business is Heading

One thing’s for sure.  Whether or not big business approves of BYOD, everyone knows what it is—and has a strong opinion on it.  About 98% of all respondents said they were aware of the option for BYOD and about 68% said worker jobs (particularly knowledge-oriented workers) can be done using desktop virtualization.  A centralized network of information may be precisely what workers and companies need to feel comfortable.  It’s a win-win situation that is starting to look very attractive to pragmatic thinkers.

As for the prejudice against BYOD and bringing “phones to work” only time will tell if the climate changes.  We do know that Bring Your Own Device concept is making a lot of noise in big business and the popularity of mobile devices is pressing the issue.  If we don’t use all of this great technology, are we not squandering resources AND micromanaging workers’ free time?

What do you think?  Are we going to see a widespread BYOD vision fulfilled in the near future?