Part 1 explained why firewalls break video conferencing calls. Part 2 described how Polycom's Real Presence Access Director solves this problem. In Part 3, we review the Polycom Video Border Proxy. How does it work? Which models of Video Border Proxy do you need?
There are two flavors of VBP: E and ST.
VBP E Series solutions enable and enhance secure access to video collaboration (and ONLY video collaboration!) from your company's network. It allows external calls to/from partners and customers who are not part of an organization’s video network. VBP E Series solutions provide versatile networking and security solutions and are based on open standards, which help protect your communication investments. (Think E for External calling)
VBP ST Series solutions enable your virtual workforce to benefit from seamless, secure, remote access to video collaboration. Easy to use and manage, the ST solutions provide access to every remote user within your company who needs to securely collaborate. It also delivers versatile networking and security solutions that help you protect your communication investments. (Think ST for Secure Traversal for your employees)
Which do you need? Likely both. If you want to be able to call people outside your organization, you need an VBP E. If you want to allow your remote workers to be part of your video network, you need a ST. The majority of organizations get one of each.
What do the VBPs do?
They are formal, packet-inspection firewalls in combination with an application-layer gateway. They fix the problem showin in Part 1 where they ensure H.323 video devices can communicate through the firewall.
So what does it really do?
The video network inside an organization is like a private video phone system -- like a PBX. It allows internally connected video devices (or phones) to communicate using the internal network. The VBP E connects the private video network to the rest of the world, in the same way you can connect the PBX to the PSTN network. The VBP ST connects remote company-owned phones or video devices to the company's network just as if they were internal.
How do I size VBPs?
VBPs come in three hardware models based on the amount of bandwidth they support.
- VBP 200 - 1 Mbps video traffic (for SOHO users) -VBP E model only
- VBP 4555 - 3 Mbps video traffic (for SOHO or Small/Remote Offices) - VBP E model only
- VBP 5300 - 10 - 85 Mbps video traffic (licensable for the speed necessary, for most organizational uses) - Both VBP E and ST
Note the VBPs make an excellent stand alone firewall, and can handle data traffic greatly in excess of the licensed video speed.
To learn more about the VBPs, see the whitepapers:
or the product page.
Next up: Part 4 - Other SBCs (including Acme Packet)