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Update on SIP over IPv6 Test Program

An early goal of the #UCIForum was to facilitate inter-vendor interoperability of SIP implementations.  The Voice Study Group was formed in 2011 to examine the state of voice interoperability.  Its conclusion was that there was a significant gap in the readiness of SIP networks and technologies to interoperate over IPv6.

IANA allocated the final blocks of IPv4 addresses in February 2011.  With the rapid expansion of the internet and the end-points that operate on it, in particular various classes of mobile devices, it was therefore inevitable that the bulk of voice traffic would be carried on IPv6 networks in the future.  Nevertheless, there was no global standards group or forum that had established interoperability guidelines or certification for SIP over IPv6 (SIPv6).  The closest to such a standard was a set of US Department of Defense documents (Unified Capabilities Requirements 2008 Change 3) defining the requirements for SIP technologies to operate on an IPv6 network; although few, if any, vendors were able to demonstrate compliance with this specification.

The ‘SIP over IPv6’ (SIPv6) Task Group of the Test and Certification Working Group (CWG) was chartered in 2012 to address this challenge.  Using the UCR Change 3 requirements as its starting point, it defined a plan for a pre-certification program that would enable vendors to establish their readiness for the JITC certification process.  The goals of this program would be:

1.    A comprehensive test plan that would establish compliance with the UCR Change 3 requirements.

This test plan would comprise a set of test cases that would exercise either a client element (e.g. a SIP-enabled device) or an infrastructure element (e.g. a ‘SIP Proxy’) with repeatable procedures and expected results.

2.    An automated test tool that would implement the test plan.

This test tool would run in a test network that would initiate various connections that would exercise the test plan and produce results of the test.

3.    A secure IPv6 test network over which testing could be conducted

4.    A test environment that would contain various components (e.g. IPv6 compliant routers) that could be used to simulate a comprehensive SIPv6 network.

After CWG had established its Test Vendor program, the University of New Hampshire’s InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) was selected to implement the SIPv6 program.  Rapid progress has been achieved over the last few months and the test plan is in the final stages of acceptance by UCI Forum members.  This very comprehensive document is 400 pages long containing all of the test cases required for compliance with the UCR 2008 Change 3 document, including:

·         IPv6 Core Operations

·         Neighbor Discovery

·         SLAAC

·         Path MTU

·         ICMPv6

·         Addressing Architecture

·         DHCPv6

·         Comprehensive SIPv6 session scenarios

The test tool is based on the UNH IOL INTACT™ test scripting platform and was demonstrated to the UCI Forum membership in October.  Completion of the remaining 3 deliverables was completed in December and acceptance testing is currently being conducted by the CWG.

Once the deliverable has been accepted, this tool will be available for download free of charge by the UCI Forum members on completion of acceptance testing.  In the future, it will also be possible to use the test network to conduct interoperability testing with other members as well as to interoperate with equipment that is installed in the test environment that is hosted at UNH-IOL.  UCI Forum has plans to use this network not only to verify SIPv6 compliance but also to conduct public demonstrations and interop events throughout 2014 and beyond.

With the accelerating deployment of IPv6 voice and data networks, 2014 promises to be the start of a new era in unified communications.

Unified Communications Interoperability Forum and Open Networking Foundation Announce Collaborative Relationship between Unified Communications and Software-Defined Networks

Collaborative relationship ensures that work leverages framework-development
in the SDN community, accelerating wider adoption

SAN RAMON, Calif., November 20, 2013 – The Unified Communications Interoperability Forum (UCI Forum) today announced that it has signed an agreement with the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) to establish a collaborative relationship in the area of SDN integration into unified communications (UC) environments. Under the terms of the agreement, the two organizations have identified areas of mutual interest for their collaborative efforts:

  • Research and publication of use cases that leverage SDN architectures and protocols to enhance or enable UC
  • Demonstration and communication of the effective deployment of UC solutions that are supported by SDN architecture
  • Identification of a basic framework for a common northbound interface for UC applications

The UCI Forum will define a UC SDN framework and API that describes the interaction of UC with various SDN functions and will attempt to build on frameworks that are being proposed or developed by other SDN communities like ONF. As ONF is developing their framework for Northbound APIs to SDN controllers, the UCI Forum will liaise with ONF to leverage the ONF framework development efforts.

“The UCI Forum is pleased to be working with ONF, and we see this relationship as a great way to support SDN integration into UC,” said Matt Collier, president of UCI Forum.

This collaboration reinforces both organizations’ commitments to openness and promoting the interests of SDN. As part of this collaboration, UCI Forum participated at the ONF Northbound Interface Leadership Roundtable on November 19 in Santa Clara, CA.

“Our relationship with the UCI Forum supports and demonstrates the exciting potential of providing SDN’s benefits to user applications,” said Dan Pitt, executive director of the Open Networking Foundation. “The collaboration between our two organizations will further accelerate the adoption of open SDN, within UC.”

About the Unified Communications Interoperability Forum

The Unified Communications Interoperability Forum (UCI Forum) is a non-profit alliance of worldwide communications technology leaders working together to realize the potential of unified communications (UC) by increasing efficiency, decreasing implementation costs and improving the interoperability experience for UC customers. Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook or visit http://www.uciforum.org and the UCI Forum blog to learn more.

The UCI Forum is an open industry alliance that works with its members to fully leverage customers’ investments in communications systems and unite their global organizations. To learn more about the UCI Forum, please complete the online interest form.

See also: http://www.ucstrategies.com/unified-communications-strategies-views/uci-forum-and-open-networking-foundation-announce-collaborative-relationship.aspx

UCI Forum Signs Agreement with University of New Hampshire

UCI Forum Signs Agreement with University of New Hampshire
Establishes SIP over IPv6 Pre-Certification Test Program for Members

SAN RAMON, Calif., July 23, 2013 – The Unified Communications Interoperability Forum (UCI Forum) today announced that it has signed an agreement with the University of New Hampshire’s InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) to develop SIP over IPv6 (SIPv6) test tools for the use of its members to establish a SIPv6 Test Network, a SIPv6 Interoperability Environment and a pre-certification suite for compliance to the US DoD SIP over IPv6 profile. Under the terms of the agreement, UNH-IOL will develop the SIPv6 software, documentation and provide pre-certification testing services for validating DoD UCR 2008 Change 3 requirements.

Benefits to UCI Forum members:

  • Any UCI Forum member company that passes the UCI Forum SIPv6 DoD pre-certification test will have a high degree of confidence in passing the DoD UCR 2008 Change 3 test.
  • UCI Forum members may schedule on-site SIPv6 testing to be run by UNH-IOL laboratory staff on UCI Forum member equipment that has been delivered to the laboratory by the UCI Forum member. At the conclusion of testing, an official laboratory report will be issued to the UCI Forum member.
  • UCI Forum members have the option to install and operate a stand-alone version of the test environment within their own network to conduct the SIPv6 DoD pre-certification test.
  • Access to a secure and remote IPv6 virtual network, scheduled on a booked reservation basis. Using this network, UCI Forum members may perform pre-certification testing for their internal testing purposes
  • A SIPv6 interoperability environment where members can host their products in a secured and supported site where they may hold a virtual plug fest or to do their own interoperability testing while connected to the UCI Forum SIPv6 network.

“We are delighted to team with UNH-IOL to deliver this valuable interoperability testing service to our members. We selected UNH-IOL after an extensive search for labs because of their strong reputation for independent, vendor-neutral testing and years of experience,” said Matt Collier, president of UCI Forum. “We are providing our members access to the labs for interoperability testing, which helps simplify the process and streamline the resources required when seeking certifications like this.”

“The UCI Forum was founded with an aggressive goal of enabling interoperability of UC hardware and software across enterprises, service providers, and consumer clouds, as a means of protecting customer’s existing investments,” said Henry Dewing, Principal Analyst at Forrester Research. “The newly announced agreement with UNH-IOL is one more proof point that the forum is delivering on that promise. The industry as a whole is better able to meet business’ ever-increasing appetite for innovative solutions when working together to enable reliable communication and collaboration across network boundaries and among heterogeneous infrastructures.”

About the UNH-IOL

Founded in 1988, the UNH-IOL provides independent, broad-based interoperability and standards conformance testing for data, telecommunications and storage networking products and technologies. Combining extensive staff experience, standards bodies’ participation and a 32,000+ square foot facility, the UNH-IOL helps companies efficiently and cost effectively deliver products to the market. For more information, visit http://www.iol.unh.edu/, or connect with the UNH-IOL on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/UNHIOL, on Twitter at @UNH_IOL and on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/company/unh-interoperability-lab.

About the Unified Communications Interoperability Forum

The Unified Communications Interoperability Forum (UCI Forum) is a non-profit alliance of worldwide communications technology leaders working together to realize the potential of unified communications (UC) by increasing efficiency, decreasing implementation costs and improving the interoperability experience for UC customers. Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook or visit http://www.uciforum.org and the UCI Forum blog to learn more.

The UCI Forum is an open industry alliance that works with its members to fully leverage customers’ investments in communications systems and unite their global organizations. To learn more about the UCI Forum, please complete the online interest form.

© 2013 Unified Communications Interoperability Forum (UCI Forum). All rights reserved. The UCI Forum logo and UCI Forum are trademarks and/or service marks of the Unified Communications Interoperability Forum. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

New Scalable Video Coding (SVC) Specification Developed to Ensure Interoperability Among Video Conferencing Solutions – UCI Forum Members and Board Approve H.264 Specification

SAN RAMON, Calif., February  11, 2013 – The Unified Communications Interoperability Forum (UCI Forum) today announced that its Board of Directors has approved the Unified Communications Specification for H.264/MPEG-4 Part 10 AVC and SVC Modes Version 1.0. Coupled with a certification program that is currently under development, it will allow customers to deploy mixed-vendor solutions with confidence.

Video conferencing solutions from a number of leading vendors have already incorporated H.264/SVC; however, current implementations may not fully interoperate. The approved specification defines configurations of H.264/SVC-based systems to ensure their interoperability.  The approved specification builds on the profiles submitted by the UCI Forum to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), and adopted in early 2012, concerning use of H.264/MPEG-4 Part 10 AVC and SVC in Unified Communication (UC) systems.

The UCI Forum approved H.264/SVC specification defines a carefully selected set of capabilities that have proven to be effective in real-life deployments from different vendors.  The specification takes into consideration  the needs of UC users that use various devices, ranging from handheld and mobile devices (e.g., smart phones, tablets, and notepads) to larger, location systems (e.g., desktop computers and video conference suites) to connect into visual collaboration meetings.

The new specification is the first step in the UCI Forum’s planned interoperability certification program for H.264/SVC-based video systems and covers the bit stream. Additional specifications are planned in the area of transport and signaling, enabling the negotiation of different transmission modes between the video source and the video destination, as well as parameters such as picture resolution, video refresh rates and screen size.

“The UCI Forum’s approval of the H.264/SVC specification is a significant milestone because it represents the first step towards enabling the video conferencing and unified communication industries to offer fully interoperable video solutions,” said Bernard Aboba, president of the UCI Forum. “The H.264/SVC task group defined a specification that addresses market needs as well as interoperability challenges among vendors.”

The UCI Forum is an open industry alliance that works with its members to fully leverage customers’ investments in communications systems and unite their global organizations.  To learn more about the UCI Forum, please complete the online interest form.

About the Unified Communications Interoperability Forum

The Unified Communications Interoperability Forum (UCI Forum) is a non-profit alliance of worldwide communications technology leaders working together to realize the potential of unified communications (UC) by increasing efficiency, decreasing implementation costs and improving the interoperability experience for UC customers.  Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook or visit www.uciforum.org and the UCI Forum blog to learn more.

© 2013 Unified Communications Interoperability Forum (UCI Forum).  All rights reserved. The UCI Forum logo and UCI Forum are trademarks and/or service marks of the Unified Communications Interoperability Forum.  All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

 

 

 

Two Years and Counting!

It’s hard to believe two years have passed since the Unified Communications Interoperability Forum (UCI Forum) came together to form the non-profit alliance we know today.  We’re an organization dedicated to realizing the potential of unified communications – which means we’re committed to increasing efficiency, decreasing implementation costs and improving the interoperability experience for UC customers.

Over the past two years, UCI Forum membership has grown to 40 organizations sharing a vision to enable interoperability of standards-based UC hardware and software across enterprises, service providers and consumer clouds.  Just this year, we welcomed five new members to the Forum including GENBAND, ShoreTel, Meru Networks, Wipro and Blue Jeans Network.

Our next big event is our Fall Annual Member Meeting, which will be held in Austin, Texas and co-located with IT EXPO West in October. We hope you will join us Oct. 2 – 3 for the meeting, which will have a full agenda including analyst and end-user tracks (open to the public), a networking reception (open to the public), task group updates and a State of the Union address from Bernard Aboba, chairman of the UCI Forum Board.

We’re also making great strides in addressing the interoperability challenges of the UC industry.  Below are some highlights and milestones since our one-year anniversary:

  • In March of this year we were extremely proud to announce that the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) reviewed and approved a set of video coding profiles developed by the UCI Forum. The UCI Forum submitted these profiles to the ITU for inclusion in the Scalable Video Coding (SVC) design for its H.264 Advanced Video Coding (AVC) standard.
  •  November 2011 saw the UCI Forum launch the SIP over IPv6 Task Group, chartered to establish a SIP over IPv6 test network infrastructure for vendors to test their IPv6 SIP interoperability.
  •  In October, 2011 we held our Second Annual All Member Meeting Hosted in Austin, Texas. The meeting was a huge success and featured guest speakers like industry analysts Irwin Lazar of Nemertes and Henry Dewing of Forrester. We also heard from a number of end users about the UC interoperability challenges they face very day.
  •  In August 2011, the UCI Forum grew its Board of Directors to include members from both RADVISION and Vidyo.
  •  And one year ago this month, the UCI Forum received great news when the UCIF USB Webcam recommendation was adopted by the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) Video Work Group and submission of the completed specification was delivered to the USB-IF board.

As you can see, we’ve accomplished quite a bit, but there still a lot of work to be done including establishing our first certifications. We’re working hard on achieving a certification program for H.264 SVC. In order to succeed, we count on volunteer members like you to participate. If you’re interested in helping us achieve our goals, please let us know by contacting info@ucif.org.

Are you interesting in learning more about the UCI Forum? If so, please check out the resources below.  Thanks!!

Please follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube

ITU and ISO/IEC Adopt UCI Forum H.264/MPEG-4 SVC Profile Recommendations

Enterprise Connect 2012

SAN RAMON, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Unified Communications Interoperability Forum (UCI Forum) today  announced that the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has reviewed and approved a set of video coding profiles developed by the UCI Forum. The UCI Forum submitted these profiles to the ITU for inclusion in the Scalable Video  Coding (SVC) design for its H.264 Advanced Video Coding (AVC) standard. A corresponding adoption of the same profiles into the MPEG-4 Part 10  AVC standard has also entered into the approval process of the International  Organization for Standardization (ISO) and International  Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

SVC is already implemented in enterprise-class videoconferencing solutions from a number of leading vendors including RADVISION, Teliris and Vidyo, with the intent to implement SVC on the roadmap for companies like LifeSize, Microsoft and Polycom.  However, current SVC implementations are not fully interoperable, and therefore a standard needs to be defined in order to certify interoperability scenarios.

“The UCI Forum is gaining momentum and making great strides toward defining interoperability, and this is another positive step in that direction,” said Bernard Aboba, president of UCI Forum.  “ITU and ISO/IEC acceptance of our SVC profile proposal will accelerate interoperability verification and give end users the confidence that their UC technologies are fully interoperable, even in heterogeneous environments.”

To see the entire release, please visit:

http://bit.ly/GCCboM

UCI Forum Launches SIP over IPv6 Task Group

The UCI Forum continues making advances toward unified communications interoperability. Most recently, the forum launched its SIP over IPv6 Task Group. The new Task Group, which successfully completed the member review and comment period, is the first test program chartered to operate under the Test and Certification Work Group (CWG).

This Task Group will establish a SIP over IPv6 test network infrastructure for vendors to test their IPv6 SIP interoperability.  Members will be able to stand up their gear anywhere in the world and be able to test interop with any other member regardless of proximity.   Additionally the IPv6 infrastructure will be capable to host a virtual plugfest to test SIP voice sessions over IPv6.

The IPv6 test infrastructure will be based on the Department of Defense Unified Capabilities Requirement (UCR) 2008 Ch 3 specification.   The UCR specifies the functional requirements, performance objectives, and technical specifications for DoD networks that support Unified Communications.  One of the major benefits of this task group will be aiding members in achieving IPv6 SIP interoperability for the DoD UCR by pre-testing their solutions.

The SIP over IPv6 Task Group is chartered to:

  • Provide a secure environment that allows members to perform online testing for SIP over a known good working IPv6 infrastructure.
  • Provide a test suite for member companies to simulate DoD UCR 2008 Ch 3 IPv6 requirements. Some examples of tests that can be performed are: make an IP call, receive an IP call, transfer a call, call to PSTN, incoming call from PSTN and call to E911.
  • Provide a cloud-based test platform that is available online and at any time.
  • Provide a platform for virtualized interoperability testing at various formal events.

For more information on the SIP over IPv6 Task Group and the UCI Forum in general, please contact info@ucif.org.

 

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