VoiceCon 2009: Acme Packet announces low-end SBC for enterprises

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On Monday, Acme Packet officially announced its new Net-Net 3800, a "low-end" session border controller (SBC) targeted at small enterprise sites, contact centers and service providers. The new box, designed to handle up to 500 simultaneous VoIP/UC sessions, is 50 percent cheaper than Acme's previous lower-end model.

The new 1U-sized box has a system throughput of 5 Gbps, can handle up to 5,000 TLS sessions, 5,000 IPsec tunnels, and 500,000 route table entries. It has four active GigE interfaces (either fiber or copper), and three separate 10/100 Mbps Ethernet interfaces for management interfaces. Optional in-line, wire-speed hardware accelerators are available for enhanced speed IPsec tunnels and encryption/decryption.

"SIP trunking service providers are being very aggressive and want to sell SIP trunks to all locations of an enterprise," said Acme Packet VP of Marketing and Product Management Seamus Hourihan. "If [IT/network management] buy into that architecture, then you need an SBC at all those locations and need one appropriate for the employee population at that location."

Hourihan said the Net-Net 3800 opened up a new market for Acme. Within the U.S., there are about 5,500 locations that have 1,250 or more employees and Acme has been effective in selling larger SBCs to enterprises that had a centralized network architecture, such as a headquarters campus and/or a data center with a large IP PBX.

The Net-Net 3800 is targeted for use at smaller and distributed locations that have anywhere from 100 to 500 employees, with 11,000 locations falling in that category. "We increase the market by 200 percent," Hourihan said.

Payback on a distributed architecture using SIP trunks is very attractive. Distributed offices can get a SIP trunk and receive flat-rate local and long-distance calling. "These days, Most enterprises are only making investments on things that pay back within 6 months," said Hourihan. "The payback on SIP trunks is two months, three months."

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