Tag Archives: STUN

Webrtc handshake

Interfaces of webrtc and tracks to stream addition

Process to perform webrtc handshake

1.Setup Client side for the caller
PeerConnectionFactory to generate PeerConnections
PeerConnection for every connection to remote peer
MediaStream audio and video from client device

2.caller creates SDP offer for the callee
peerConnection.createOffer();

3.Callee process the offer
peerConnection.setRemoteDescription(offer);

4.Callee generates an SDP answer for the caller
peerConnection.createAnswer();

5.Caller receives and prcesses the answer from callee
peerConnection.setRemoteDescription(answer);

6.Proceed to Add stream
7. Proceed to do ICE for NAT

Webrtc call setup and incoming call callflow between remote peer , peerconnection actory , peerconnection and application

setup a call
receive a call

Interactive Connectivity Establishment (ICE) for NAT traversal

Protocols using offer/answer are difficult to operate through Network Address Translators (NATs) since flow of media packets require IP addresses and ports of media sources and sinks within their messages. Also realtime media emphasises on reduced latency and decreased packet loss .

an extension to the offer/answer model, and works by including a multiplicity of IP addresses and ports in SDP offers and answers, which are then tested for connectivity by peer-to-peer connectivity checks.
Checks done by STUN and TURN
also allows for address selection for multihomed and dual-stack hosts

ICE allows the agents to discover enough information about their topologies to potentially find one or more paths by which they can communicate. Then it systematically tries all possible pairs (in a carefully sorted order) until it finds one or more that work.

Gathering Candidate Addresses

An agent identifies all CANDIDATE whic is a transport address. Types:

  • HOST CANDIDATE – directly from a local interface which could be Wifi, Virtual Private Network (VPN) or Mobile IP (MIP)
    if an agent is multihomed ( private and public networks) , it obtains a candidate from each IP address and includes all candidates in its offer.
  • STUN or TURN to obtain additional candidates. Types
    1.translated addresses on the public side of a NAT (SERVER REFLEXIVE CANDIDATES)
    2.addresses on TURN servers (RELAYED CANDIDATES)

Mapping Server Reflexive address
Agent sends the TURN Allocate request from IP address and port X:x,
NAT will create a binding X1′:x1′, mapping this server reflexive candidate to the host candidate X:x ( BASE).
Outgoing packets sent from the host candidate will be translated by the NAT to the server reflexive candidate.
Incoming packets sent to the server reflexive candidate will be translated by the NAT to the host candidate and forwarded to the agent.

Allocate Request and response fom TURN – Informing the agent of this relayed candidate

only STUN based Binding
agent sends a STUN Binding request to its STUN server which will get server reflexive candidate and send back Binding response.

STUN Binding request for connectivity checks on CANDIDATE PAIRS

The candidates are carried in attributes in the SDP offer . The remote peer also follows this process and gather and send lits own sorted list of candidates. Hence CANDIDATE PAIRS from both sides are formed.

PEER REFLEXIVE CANDIDATES – connectivity checks can produce aditional candidates espceialy around symmetric NAT

Since the same address is used for STUN. and media ( RTP/RTCP) Demultiplexing based on packet contents helps to identify which one is which.

Checks
TRIGGERED CHECKS – accelerates the process of finding a valid candidate
ORDINARY CHECKS – agent works through ordered prioritised check list by sending a STUN request for the next candidate pair on the list periodically.

ICE checks are performed in a specific sequence, so that high-priority candidate pairs are checked first

Checks ensure mainting frozen candidates and pairs with some foundation for media stream

Each candidate pair in the check list has a foundation and a state. States for candidates pairs
1.Waiting: A check has not been performed for this pair, and can be performed as soon as it is the highest-priority Waiting pair onthe check list.
2. In-Progress: A check has been sent for this pair, but the transaction is in progress.
3. Succeeded: A check for this pair was already done and produced a successful result.
4. Failed: A check for this pair was already done and failed, either never producing any response or producing an unrecoverable failure response.
5. Frozen: A check for this pair hasn’t been performed, and it can’t yet be performed until some other check succeeds, allowing this pair to unfreeze and move into the Waiting state.

Example of ICE gather state

icegatheringstatechange – gathering

icecandidate (host)
sdpMid: 0, sdpMLineIndex: 0, candidate: candidate:1511920713 1 udp 2122260223 192.168.0.2 58122 typ host generation 0 ufrag vzpn network-id 1 network-cost 10

icecandidate (srflx)
sdpMid: 0, sdpMLineIndex: 0, candidate: candidate:4081163164 1 udp 1686052607 106.51.26.168 37542 typ srflx raddr 192.168.0.2 rport 58122 generation 0 ufrag vzpn network-id 1 network-cost 10

icecandidate (host)
sdpMid: 0, sdpMLineIndex: 0, candidate: candidate:345893049 1 tcp 1518280447 192.168.0.2 9 typ host tcptype active generation 0 ufrag vzpn network-id 1 network-cost 10

icecandidate (relay)
sdpMid: 0, sdpMLineIndex: 0, candidate: candidate:2130406062 1 udp 41886207 74.125.39.44 27190 typ relay raddr 106.51.26.168 rport 37542 generation 0 ufrag vzpn network-id 1 network-cost 10

icecandidate (relay)
sdpMid: 0, sdpMLineIndex: 0, candidate: candidate:3052096874 1 udp 25108479 172.217.163.158 28049 typ relay raddr 106.51.26.168 rport 37543 generation 0 ufrag vzpn network-id 1 network-cost 10

icegatheringstatechange – complete

Exmaple Candidate Checking

iceconnectionstatechange : checking

setRemoteDescription L type: answer, sdp: v=0

m=audio 9 UDP/TLS/RTP/SAVPF 111 103 104 9 0 8 110 112 113 126
c=IN IP4 0.0.0.0
a=rtcp:9 IN IP4 0.0.0.0
a=ice-ufrag:ydvf
a=ice-pwd:mb4ousBoT6B0l//ljjD/9Z/M
a=ice-options:trickle

m=video 9 UDP/TLS/RTP/SAVPF 98 100 96 97 99 101 102 122 127 121 125 107 108 109 124 120 123 119 114 115 116
c=IN IP4 0.0.0.0
a=rtcp:9 IN IP4 0.0.0.0
a=ice-ufrag:ydvf
a=ice-pwd:mb4ousBoT6B0l//ljjD/9Z/M
a=ice-options:trickle

addIceCandidate (host)
sdpMid: , sdpMLineIndex: 0, candidate: candidate:1511920713 1 udp 2122260223 192.168.0.2 56060 typ host generation 0 ufrag ydvf network-id 1 network-cost 10

iceconnectionstatechange : connected

Candidate Nomination for Media Path

selectig low-latency media paths can use various techniques such as actual round-trip time (RTT) measurement
controlling agent gets to nominate which candidate pairs will get used for media amongst the ones that are valid. Ways
regular nomination and aggressive nomination

tbd

Ref :

http://w3c.github.io/webrtc-pc/ WebRTC 1.0: Real-time Communication Between Browsers – W3C Editor’s Draft 31 August 2019
RFC 5245 Inter

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Kamailio DNS and NAT

DNS sub-system in Kamailio

To resolve hostname into ips it can do either of below

  • use libresolv and a combination of the locally configured DNS server /etc/hosts and the local Network Information Service (NIS/YP a.s.o)
  • or cache the query results and first look into internal cache

DNS failover – if destination resolves to multiple addresses tm can try all of them until it finds one to which it can successfully send the packet or it exhausts all of them , with internal DNS cache. Also used when the destination host doesn’t send any reply to a forwarded invite within the SIP timeout interval (tm fr_timer parameter).

DNS load balancing – SRV based load balancing with weight value in the DNS SRV record.

Drawbacks

  1. Only the locally configured DNS server (usually in /etc/resolv.conf) is
    used for the requests (/etc/hosts and the local Network Information Service are ignored).
    Workaround: disable the DNS cache (use_dns_cache=off or compile without -DUSE_DNS_CACHE).
  2. The DNS cache uses extra memory
    Workaround: disable the DNS cache.
  3. The DNS failover introduces a very small performance penalty
    Workaround: disable the DNS failover (use_dns_failover=off).
  4. The DNS failover increases the memory usage (the internal structures
    used to represent the transaction are bigger when the DNS failover support is compiled).
    Workaround: compile without DNS failover support (DUSE_DNS_FAILOVER).Turning it off from the config file is not enough in this case (the extra
    memory will still be used).

NAT ( Network Address Translation)

Network address translation replaces the IP address within packets with a different IP address which internet endpoints can relate with
Enables multiple hosts in a private subnet with their pwn private address ( 10.x.x.x or 192.x.x.x etc ) to share single public IP address interface, to access the Internet.

NAT ( Network Address Translation)

NAT is bidirectional- If the private ip:port got translated to public ip:port on the inside interface while entering outside internet, on arriving from outside interface it will get translated from public ip:port to private ip:port

For a SBC ( Session border controller ) or where the kamailio server is directly customer facing , where you dont have a private line or VPN to clients, then it is often encountered with NATed endpoints. Read more about NAT traversal using STUN and TURN here

Why is Nat important in SIP?

These characteristics of SIP design and operation flows demonstrate why NAT solutions are so important ,

  • RFC 3261 for SIP presumed end-to-end reachability and does not specify much around ANT issues .
  • No NLRI (Network Layer Reachability Information) translation layer exists, such as DNS or ARP
  • SIP is designed to used RTP which uses dynamically allocated ports to stream media.
    It is comparable to FTP which creates ephemeral connections on unpredictable dynamic ports to send multiplexed data and “metadata”, instead of protocol like HTTP where all data is sent on same connection.
  • UDP (default transport for SIP) is connection less and session tracking requires these be mapped onto a statelful flow, rigorous keepalives and other such techniques like using TCP instead have their own tradeoffs
  • since sip packets put network and transport information right on sip header they are limited by the rateability and awareness of their network interface thereby prevent other endpoint from reaching its ip or port

Types of NAT solutions

Client-side NAT traversal – clients are responsible for identifying their WAN NLRI and adding ip and port to navigate them in outside world

Server-side NAT traversal – SIP server should discover the client’s WAN addressing while clients continue to work transparently behind NAT. Requires that DIP server look at the source and destination ip and port of actual packets instead of relying on the encapsulated sip headers and SDP body.

ALG (Application Layer Gateways) – mostly applied at router itself. wodk by susbtitung public IP/port information inplace of provate and vice versa for return packets . Limitataions – they dont provide a fullproof fix example they may fix Via but not the Contact address or SDP body or RTP ports

NAT behaviours

Cone NAT

Local client performs an outbound connection to a remote UA and a dynamic rule is created for the destination IP tuple, allowing the remote machine to connect back. Further subdivied into:
– Full Cone NAT
– Restricted Cone NAT
– Port-Restricted Cone NAT

Symmetric NAT

Local client allows inbound connections from a specific source IP address and port, also NAT assigns a new random source port for each destination IP tuple

NAT behaviours

Cone NAT

Local client performs an outbound connection to a remote UA and a dynamic rule is created for the destination IP tuple, allowing the remote machine to connect back. Further subdivied into:
– Full Cone NAT
– Restricted Cone NAT – all requests from the same internal IP address and port are mapped to the same external IP address and port.
– Port-Restricted Cone NAT

Symmetric NAT

Local client allows inbound connections from a specific source IP address and port, also NAT assigns a new random source port for each destination IP tuple

RTP NAT

NAT not only applies to sip signalling packets but also to RTP. Even SIP packets are abel to transverse accross private -public network interfaces to the right place across a NAT’d connection, that doesn’t solve two-way media.
RTP performs RTP latching where client listens for at least one RTP frame arriving at the destination port it advertised, and harvests the source IP and port from that packet and uses that for the return RTP path. RTP latching works out of the box for puclin RTP endpoints but not for ones behind NAT.

It is thus recommended to use an intermediate RTP relay such as RTPengine on kamailio. It is controlled via a UDP control socket by kamailio as an external process. More on installation and descrition of RTP engine on kamailio is covered here. When RTPengine control module receives RTP offer /answer from akmailio , it opens a pair of RTP/RTCP ports to receive traffic and substitues in SDP. Doing so for both ends makes RTP engine come in media stream packets of both directions

Fixing NAT

when the client is behind NAT, following needs to be taken careof to provide smooth operation

  1. Ensuring Tranactional replies are sent to correct source address ( maybe using ;rport param and forcerport() method ) instead of just relying on via header transport protocol and port.
    example:
if (client_nat_test("3")){
    //CALL RE-INVITE/UPDATE Nat DETECTED $ci\n");
    force_rport();
    fix_contact();
    ...
}

also Change Media ip address to public IP

if(nat_uac_test("8") && search("Content-type: application/sdp")) {
        // RE-INVITE/UPDATE CALL fix SDP- NAT
        fix_nated_sdp("2");
}
  1. Any far-end NAT traversal solution ( TURN server) if employed should stay i path of entire Dialog not just for initial INVITE transaction which many times results in ACK being dropped. This can be achived by adding Record-Route header of rr module to the initial INVITE request itself
  2. set the advertised address of the public-facing inetrface to the Public NAT IP using “listen” parameter
  3. Ensure contact URI is NAT processed by using NATHelper modules which rewrites the domain portion of the Contact URI to contain the source IP and port of the request or reply. add_contact_alias([ip_addr, port, proto]) in NAThelper module which adds “;alias=ip~port~transport” parameter to the contact URI containing either received ip, port, and transport protocol or those given as parameters , so
    Contact:
    is turned into:
    Contact:
  4. implement RTP proxy which performs NAT for streams such as rtpengine module

NAT Traversal Module

Provides far-end NAT traversal to kamailio’s SIP signalling .
Its role is

  • detect user agents behind NAT
  • manipulate SIP headers so that user agents can continue working behind NAT transparently
  • keepalives to UA behind NAT to preserve their visibility in network

pros

  • even detect UAs behind multiple cascaded NAT boxes, complex distributed env with multiple proxies
  • handle env where incoming and outgoing paths are diff for SIP messages
  • handle cases when routing path may even change between consecutive dialogs
  • can work for other than registered UA’s also

cons

  • built for IPv4 NAT handling not adapted to support IPv6 session keepalives.

Why use keepalive when Registrations are already there for NATing ?

  1. NAT binding works for registered users who want incoming calls. However for cases like outgoing calls or for presence subscription notifications, failings registration implies inability to receive further in-dialog messages after the NAT binding expires. This artificial binding for registrations makes system unreliable and volatile as it doesnot guarantee the delivery of in-dialog messages for outgoing calls without registration renewal. Therefore keepalive are adopted which also works for unregistered users.
  2. Minimizes the traffic as only border proxies send keepalives which send keepalives statelessly, instead of having to relay messages generated by the registrars.
  3. Also for situations when DNS resolves diff proxies for outgoing or incoming path traditional register based keepalives fail to associate or dissociate correct routes.

How keepalives work for NATing ?

This mechanism works by sending a SIP request to a user agent behind NAT to make that user agent send back a reply. The purpose is to have packets sent from inside the NAT to the proxy often enough to prevent the NAT box from timing out the connection.

Module sends Keeplaives to preserve their visibility only in :

  • Registration – for user agent that have registered to for incoming calls, triggering keepalive for a REGISTER request.
  • Subscription – for presence agents that have subscribed to some events for receiving back notifications with SUBSCRIBE request.
  • Dialogs – for user agents that have initiated an outgoing call for receiving further in-dialog messages.
    When all the conditions to keepalive a NAT endpoint will disappear, that endpoint will be removed from the list with the NAT endpoints that need to be kept alive.

function nat_keepalive() :

  • the function needs to be called on proxy directly interacting with UA behind NAT.
  • call only once for the requests (REGISTER, SUBSCRIBE or outgoing INVITEs) that triggers the need for network visibility.
  • call before the request gets either a stateless reply or it is relayed with t_relay()
  • for outgoing INVITE , it triggers dialog tracing for that dialog and will use the dialog callbacks to detect changes in the dialog state.

Dependencies – sl , tm and dialog module

Params

keepalive_interval – time interval between sending a keepalive message to all the endpoints that need being kept alive. A negative value or zero will disable the keepalive functionality.

modparam("nat_traversal", "keepalive_interval", 30) // 30 seconds keeplaive inetrval

keepalive_method – SIP method to use to send keepalive messages.usual ones are NOTIFY and OPTIONS. Default value is “NOTIFY”.

modparam("nat_traversal", "keepalive_method", "OPTIONS")

keepalive_from – SIP URI to use in the From header of the keepalive requests. default sip:keepalive@proxy_ip,with IP address of the outgoing interface

modparam("nat_traversal", "keepalive_from", "sip:keepalive@altanai.com")

keepalive_extra_headers – extra headers that should be added to the keepalive messages. Header must also include the CRLF (\r\n) line separator. Multiple headers can be specified by concatenating with \r\n separator.

modparam("nat_traversal", "keepalive_extra_headers", "User-Agent: Kamailio\r\nX-MyHeader: some_value\r\n")

keepalive_state_file – filename where information about the NAT endpoints and the conditions for which they are being kept alive is saved . It is used when Kamailio starts to restore its internal state and continue to send keepalive messages to the NAT endpoints that have not expired in the meantime. Also used at kamailio restart as it avoids losing keepalive state information about the NAT endpoints.

modparam("nat_traversal", "keepalive_state_file", "/var/run/kamailio/keepalive_state")

Functions

client_nat_test – Check if the client is behind NAT. Tests to be performed gievn by int can be :
1 – tests if client has a private IP address or one from shared address space in the Contact field of the SIP message.
2 – tests if client has contacted Kamailio from an address that is different from the one in the Via field.
4 – tests if client has a private IP address or one from shared address space in the top Via field of the SIP message.

For example calling client_nat_test(“3”) will perform test 1 and test 2 and return true if at least one succeeds, otherwise false.

fix_contact() – replace the IP and port in the Contact header with the IP and port the SIP message was received from. Usually called after a succesfull call to client_nat_test(type)

if (client_nat_test("3")) {
    fix_contact();
}

nat_keepalive() – Triggers keepalive functionality for the source address of the request. When called it only sets some internal flags, which will trigger later the addition of the endpoint to the keepalive list if a positive reply is generated/received (for REGISTER and SUBSCRIBE) or when the dialog is started/replied (for INVITEs). For this reason, it can be called early or late in the script. The only condition is to call it before replying to the request or before sending it to another proxy. If the request needs to be sent to another proxy, t_relay() must be used to be able to intercept replies via TM or dialog callbacks.

If stateless forwarding is used, the keepalive functionality will not work. Also for outgoing INVITEs, record_route() should also be used to make sure the proxy that keeps the caller endpoint alive stays in the path.

if ((method=="REGISTER" || method=="SUBSCRIBE" ||
    (method=="INVITE" && !has_totag())) && client_nat_test("3"))
{
    nat_keepalive();
}

Pseudo Variables
$keepalive.socket(nat_endpoint)
$source_uri

Statistics

  • keepalive_endpoints – total number of NAT endpoints that are being kept alive.
  • registered_endpoints – NAT endpoints kept alive for registrations
  • subscribed_endpoints – NAT endpoints kept alive for subscriptions.
  • dialog_endpoints – Indicates how many of the NAT endpoints are kept alive for taking part in an INVITE dialog.

NATHelper Module

NAT traversal and reuse of TCP connections
Helps symmetric UAs who are not able to determine their public address.

NAT pinging types

UDP packet – 4 bytes (zero filled) UDP packets are sent to the contact address.
pros : low bandwitdh traffic, easy to generate by Kamailio;
cons : unidirectional traffic through NAT (inbound – from outside to inside); As many NATs do update the bind timeout only on outbound traffic, the bind may expire and closed.

SIP request – a stateless SIP request is sent to the UDP contact address.
pros : bidirectional traffic through NAT, since each PING request from Kamailio (inbound traffic) will force the SIP client to generate a SIP reply (outbound traffic) – the NAT bind will be surely kept open.
cons : higher bandwitdh traffic, more expensive (as time) to generate by Kamailio;

Dependencies – usrloc

Params

force_socket – Socket to be used when sending NAT pings for UDP communication.

modparam("nathelper", "force_socket", "127.0.0.1:5060")

natping_interval
ping_nated_only
natping_processes – How many timer processes should be created by the module for the exclusive task of sending the NAT pings.
natping_socket
received_avp – AVP) used to store the URI containing the received IP, port, and protocol by fix_nated_register
sipping_bflag
sipping_from
sipping_method
natping_disable_bflag
nortpproxy_str
keepalive_timeout
udpping_from_path
append_sdp_oldmediaip
filter_server_id

Functions

fix_nated_contact() -rewrites the “Contact” header field with request’s source address:port pair
fix_nated_sdp() adds the active direction indication to SDP and updates ource ip address information too
add_rcv_param() – add a received parameter to the “Contact” header fields or the Contact URI.
fix_nated_register() exports the request’s source address:port into an AVP to be used during save()
nat_uac_test()- check if client’s request originated behind a nat
is_rfc1918()
add_contact_alias() – Adds an “;alias=ip~port~transport” parameter to the contact URI
handle_ruri_alias() – Checks if the Request URI has an “alias” parameter and if so, removes it and sets the “$du” based on its value.
set_contact_alias()

Pseudo Variables

$rr_count – Number of Record Routes in received SIP request or reply.
$rr_top_count – If topmost Record Route in received SIP request or reply is a double Record Route, value of $rr_top_count is 2.

RPC Commands

nathelper.enable_ping

Ref :

Session Border controller for WebRTC

Unified communication services build around WebRTC should be vendor agnostic and multi-tenant and be supported by other Communication Service Providers (CSPs), SIP trunks, PBXs, Telecom Equipment Manufacturers (TEMs), and Communication Platform as a Service (CPaaS). This can happen if all endpoints adhere to SIP standards in most updated RFC. However since not all are on the boat , Session border controllers are a great way to mitigate the differences and provide seamless connectivity to signalling and media , which could be between WebRTC, SIP or PSTN, from TDM to IP .

Session Border Controllers ( SBC )  assist in controlling the signalling and usually also the media streams involved in calls and sessions.

They are often part of a VOIP network on the border where there are 2 peer networks of service providers such as backbone network and access network of corporate communication system which is behind firewall.

A more complex example is that of a large corporation where different departments have security needs for each location and perhaps for each kind of data. In this case, filtering routers or other network elements are used to control the flow of data streams. It is the job of a session border controller to assist policy administrators in managing the flow of session data across these borders. – wikipedia

SBC act like a SIP-aware firewall with proxy/B2BUA.

What is B2BUA?

A Back to back user agent ( B2BUA ) is a proxy-like server that splits a SIP transaction in two pieces:

  • on the side facing User Agent Client (UAC), it acts as server;
  • on the side facing User Agent Server (UAS) it acts as a client.

B2BUAs keep state information about active dialog. Read more here .

Remote Access

SBC mostly have public url address  for teleworkers and a internal IP for enterprise/ inner LAN . This enables users connected to enterprise LAN ( who do not have public address ) to make a call to user outside of their network. During this process SBC takes care of following while relaying packets .

  1. Security
  2. Connectivity
  3. Qos
  4. Regulatory
  5. Media Services
  6. Statistics and billing information

Topology hiding

SBC hides and anonymize secure information like IP ports before forwarding message to outside world . This helps protect the internal node of Operators such as PSTN gateways or SIP proxies from revealing outside.

Explaining the functions of SBC in detail

1. Security

SBCs are often used by corporations along with firewalls and intrusion prevention systems (IPS) to enable VoIP calls to and from a protected enterprise network. VoIP service providers use SBCs to allow the use of VoIP protocols from private networks with Internet connections using NAT, and also to implement strong security measures that are necessary to maintain a high quality of service. The security features includes :

  • Prevent malicious attacks on network such as DOS, DDos.
  • Intrusion detection
  • cryptographic authentication
  • Identity/URL based access control
  • Blacklisting bad endpoints
  • Malformed packet protection
  • Encryption of signaling (via TLS and IPSec) and media (SRTP)
  • Stateful signalling and Validation
  • Toll Fraud – detect who is intending to use the telecom services without paying up

2. Connectivity

As SBC offers IP-to-IP network boundary, it recives SIP request from users like REGISTER , INVITE  and routes them towards destination, making their IP. During this process it performs various operations like

  • NAT traversal
  • IPv4 to IPv6 inter-working
  • VPN connectivity
  • SIP normalization via SIP message and header manipulation
  • Multi vendor protocol normalization

Further Routing features includes  :
Least Cost Routing based on MoS ( Mean Opinion Score ) : Choosing a path based on MoS is better than chooisng any random path . 

Protocol translations between SIP, SIP-I, H.323.

In essence SBC achieve interoperability, overcoming some of the problems that firewalls and network address translators (NATs) present for VoIP calls.

Automatic Rerouting

connectivity loss from UA for whole branch is detected by timeouts . But they can also be detected by audio trough SIP OPTIONS by SBC .  In such connectivity loss , SBC decides rerouting or sending back 504 to caller .

SBC 2 (1)

4. QoS
To introduce performance optimization and business rules in call management QoS is very important . This includes the following :

  • Traffic policing
  • Resource allocation
  • Rate limiting
  • Call Admission Control (CAC)
  • ToS/DSCP bit setting
  • Recording and Audit of messages , voice calls , files
  • System and event logging

5. Regulatory

Govt policies ( such as ambulance , police ) and/ or enterprise policies may require some calls to be holding priority over others . This can also be configured under SBC as emergency calls and prioritization.
Some instances may require communication provider to comply with lawful bodies and provide session information or content , this is also called as Lawful interception (LI) . This enables security officials to collect specific information rather than examining all the traffic that passes through a particular router. This is also part of SBC.
6. Media services

Many of the new generation of SBCs also provide built-in digital signal processors (DSPs) to enable them to offer border-based media control and services such as- DTMF relay , Media transcoding , Tones and announcements etc.

WebRTC enabled SBC’s also provide conversion between DTLS-SRTP, to and from RTCP/RTP. Also transcoding for Opus into G7xx codecs
and ability to relay VP8/VP9 and H.264 codecs.

7. Statistics and billing information

SBC have an interface with and OSS/BSS systems for billing process , as almost all traffic that pass through the edge of the network passes via SBC. For this reason it is also used to gather Statistics and usage-based information like bandwidth, memory and CPU.  PCAP traces of both signaling and media information of specific sessions .

New feature rich SBCs also have built-in digital signal processors (DSPs). Thus able to provide more control over session’s media/voice . They also add services like Relay and Interworking, Media Transcoding, Tones and Announcements, DTMF etc.

Session Border Controller (SBC)
Session Border Controller for WebRTC , SIP , PSTN , IP PBX and Skype for business .

Diagram Component Description

Gateways provide compression or decompression, control signaling, call routing, and packetizing.

PSTN Gateway : Converts analog to VOIP and vice versa . Only audio no support for rich multimedia .

VOIP Gateway : A VoIP Gateway acts like a translator converting digital telecom lines to VoIP . VOIP gateway often also include voice and fax. They also have interfaces to Soft switches and network management systems.

WebRTC Gateway : They help in providing NAT with ICE-lite and STUN connectivity for peers behind policies and Firewall .

SIP trunking : Enterprises save on significant operation cost by switching to IP /SIP trunking in place of TDM (Time Division Multiplexing). Read more on SIP trunk and VPN  here. 

SIP Server : A Telecom application server ( SIP Server ) is useful for building VAS ( Value Added Services ) and other fine grained policies on real time services . Read more on SIP Servers here . 

VOIP/SIP service Provider :   There are many Worldwide SIP Service providers such as Verizon in USA , BT in europe, Swisscom in Switzerland etc .

Building a SBC

The latest trends in Telecommunications industry demand an open standardized SBC to cater to growing and large array of SIP Trunking, Unified Multimedia Communications UC&C, VoLTE, VoWi-Fi, RCS and OTT services worldwide . Building an SBC requires that it meet the following prime requirements :

  • software centric
  • Cloud Deploybale
  • Rich multimedia (audio , video , files etc) processing
  • open interfaces
  • The end product should be flexible to be deployed as COTS ( Commercial Off the shelf) product or as a virtual network function in the NFV cloud.
  • Multi Configuration , should be supported such as Hosted or Cloud deployed .
  • Overcome inconsistencies in SIP from different Vendors
  • Security and Lawful Interception
  • Carrier Grade Scaling

Flow Diagram 

SBC WebRTC to SIP

Thus we see how SBC became important part of comm systems developed over SIP and MGCP. SBC offer B2BUA ( Back to Back user agent) behavior to control both signalling and media traffic.


TURN server for WebRTC – RFC5766-TURN-Server , Coturn , Xirsys

STUN (Session Traversal Utilities for NAT) and TURN (Traversal Using Relays around NAT) are protocols that can be used to provide NAT traversal for VoIP and WebRTC. These projects provide a VoIP media traffic NAT traversal server and gateway.

TURN Server is a VoIP media traffic NAT traversal server and gateway.

I come accross the question of difference between turn and stun a lot . Here I wanted to specify in very clear words that TURN is an extension of STUN .

rfc5766-turn-server

This is a VoIP gateway for inter network communication which is popular and MIT based .

platforms supported :

Any client platform is supported, including Android, iOS, Linux, OS X, Windows, and Windows Phone. This project can be successfully used on other *NIX platforms ( Aamazon EC2) too. It supports flat file or Database based user management system ( MySQL , postgress , redis ). The source code project contains ,  TURN server ,  TURN client messaging library and some sample scripts to test various modules like protocol , relay , security etc .

Protocols :

protocols between the TURN client and the TURN server – UDP, TCP, TLS, and DTLS. Relay protocol – UDP , TCP .

Authentication

The authentication mechanism is using key which is calculated over the user name, the realm, and the user password. Key for the HMAC depends on whether long-term or short-term credentials are in use. For long-term credentials, the key is 16 bytes:
key = MD5(username “:” realm “:” SASLprep(password))

Installation

Since I used my Ubuntu Software center for installing the RFC turn server 5677 .

Screenshot from 2015-03-05 15:22:30

More information is on Ubuntu Manuals : http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/trusty/man1/turnserver.1.html

The content got stored inside /usr/share/rfc5766-turn-server.

Also install mysql for record keeping

sudo apt-get install mysql-server

mysql

mysql2mysql4

Intall MySQL workbench to monitor the values feed into the turn database server in MysqL. connect to MySQL instance using the following screenshot

mysql5

The database formed with mysql after successful operation is as follows . We  shall notice that the initial db is absolutely null

mysql8empty

Terminal Commands

These terminal command ( binary images ) get stored inside etc/init.d after installing

turnadmin –

Its turn relay administration tool used for generating , updating keys and passwords . For generating a key to get long term crdentaial use -k command and for aading or updateing a long -term user use the -a command. Therefore a simple command to generate a key is

format : turnadmin -k -u -r -p
examples : turnadmin -k -u turnwebrtc -r mycompany.com -p turnwebrtc

The generated key is displayed in console . For example the following screenshot shows this :

rfc5677turnkey

To fill in user with long term credentails

Format : turnadmin -a [-b | -e | -M | -N ] -u -r -p

exmaple : turnadmin -a -M “host=localhost dbname=turn user=turn password=turn” -u altanai -r mycompany.com -p 123456

Check the values reflected in MySQL workbench for long term user table . ( screenshot depicts two entries for altanai and turnwebrtc user )

turnkeylongterm

you can also check it on console using the -l command

format :turnadmin -l –mysql-userdb=””

example :  turnadmin -l –mysql-userdb=”host=127.0.0.1 dbname=turn user=turnwebrtc password=turnwebrtc connect_timeout=30″

longtermuserlcommand

or we can also check using the terminal based mySQL client

mysql> use turn;
Database changed

mysql> select * from turnusers_lt;
+------------+----------------------------------+
| name | hmackey |
+------------+----------------------------------+
| altanai | 57bdc681481c4f7626bffcde292c85e7 |
| turnwebrtc | 6066cbe0b5ee14439b2ddfc177268309 |
+------------+----------------------------------+
2 rows in set (0.00 sec)

turnserver –

Its command to handle the turnserver itself . We can use the simple turnserver command to start it without any db support using just turnserver. Screenshot for this is

turnserverstart

We can use a database like mysql to start it with db connection string

Format : turnserver –mysql-userdb=””

Example : turnserver –mysql-userdb=”host=127.0.0.1 dbname=turn user=turnwebrtc password=turnwebrtc connect_timeout=30″

turnservermysqldb

turnutils_uclient:

emulates multiple UDP,TCP,TLS or DTLS clients.

turnutils_peer:

simple stateless UDP-only “echo” server. For every incoming UDP packet, it simply echoes it back.

turnutils_stunclient:

simple STUN client example that implements RFC 5389 ( using STUN as endpoint to determine the IP address and port allocated to it , keep-alive , check connectivity etc) and RFC 5780 (experimental NAT Behavior Discovery STUN usage) .

turnutils_rfc5769check:

checks the correctness of the STUN/TURN protocol implementation. This program will perform several checks and print the result on the screen. It will exit with 0 status if everything is OK, and with (-1) if there was an error in the protocol implementation.

Specifications :

TURN specifications include :

  • RFC 5766 – base TURN specs
  • RFC 6062 – TCP relaying TURN extension
  • RFC 6156 – IPv6 extension for TURN
  • DTLS
  • Mobile ICE (MICE)

STUN specifications :

  • RFC 3489 – Simple Traversal of User Datagram Protocol (UDP) Through Network Address Translators (NATs) (STUN) to discover the presence and public IP
  • RFC 5389 – STUN serves as a tool for other protocols in NAT traversal. It can be used by an endpoint to determine the IP address and port allocated to it , keep-alive  , check connectivity etc .
  • RFC 5769 – test vectors for STUN protocol . FINGERPRINT, MESSAGE-INTEGRITY, and XOR-MAPPED-ADDRESS involving binary-logical operations (hashing, xor)
  • RFC 5780 – experimental NAT Behavior Discovery STUN usage

ICE specifications :

  • RFC 5245 – ICE
  • RFC 5768 – ICE–SIP
  • RFC 6336 – ICE–IANA Registry
  • RFC 6544 – ICE–TCP
  • RFC 5928 – TURN Resolution Mechanism

Test :

1. Test vectors from RFC 5769 to double-check that our
STUN/TURN message encoding algorithms work properly. Run the utility to check all protocols :

$ cd examples
$ ./scripts/rfc5769.sh

2. TURN functionality test (bare minimum TURN example).

If everything compiled properly, then the following programs must run
together successfully, simulating TURN network routing in local loopback
networking environment:

console 1 :

$ cd examples
$ ./scripts/basic/relay.sh

console2 :

$ cd examples
$ ./scripts/peer.sh

If the client application produces output and in approximately 22 seconds
prints the jitter, loss and round-trip-delay statistics, then everything is
fine.

Usage

iceServers:[
{ ‘url’: ‘stun: altanai@mycompany.com’},
{ ‘url’: ‘turn: altanai@mycompany.com’, ‘credential’: ‘123456’}]

Insert the above piece of code on peer connection config .

Now call from one network environment to another . For example call from a enterprise network behind a Wifi router to a public internet datacard webrtc agent . The call should connect with video flowing smoothly between the two .

tooltips

website : https://code.google.com/p/rfc5766-turn-server/

Download the executable from : http://turnserver.open-sys.org/downloads/v3.2.5.4/

you can read about setting a carrier grade TURN infrastructure on amazon EC2 here –

coturn

Project Coturn evolved from rfc5766-turn-server project with many new advanced TURN specs beyond the original RFC 5766 document.
Here the databses supported are : SQLite , MySQL , PostgreSQL , Redis , MongoDB

Protocols :

The implementation fully supports the following client-to-TURN-server protocols: UDP  , TCP  , TLS  SSL3/TLS1.0/TLS1.1/TLS1.2; ECDHE , DTLS versions 1.0 and 1.2. Supported relay protocols UDP (per RFC 5766) and TCP (per RFC 6062)

Authetication :

Supported message integrity digest algorithms:

  • HMAC-SHA1, with MD5-hashed keys (as required by STUN and TURN standards)
  • HMAC-SHA256, with SHA256-hashed keys (an extension to the STUN and TURN specs)

Supported TURN authentication mechanisms:

Installation :

Install libopenssl and libevent plus its dev or extra libraries .
OpenSSL has to be installed before libevent2 for TLS beacuse When libevent builds it checks whether OpenSSL has been already installed, and its version.

Download coturn readonly  from

svn checkout http://coturn.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/ coturn-read-only

extract the tar contents
$ tar xvfz turnserver-.tar.gz

go inside the extracted folder and run the following command to build
$ ./configure
$ make
$ make install

Adding users in the format using turnadmin
$ Sudo turnadmin -a -u -r -p

Example
$ Sudo turnadmin -a -u altanai -r myserver.com -p 123456

Start the turn Server using turnserver from inside of /etc/init.d using the start command

$ sudo /etc/init.d/coturn start

Screenshot from 2015-01-06 12-08-15

The logs are usually stored in /var/log . Screenshot of log file

tuenlog2

The default configured port is 3478.If other port is needed, change the file /etc/turnserver.conf

Usuage:

Specify the  values in Peer Connection

Format:
iceServers: [
{ ‘url’: ‘stun: @: ‘},
{ ‘url’: ‘turn: @: ‘, ‘credential’: ”}]

example:

iceServers:[
{ ‘url’: ‘stun: altanai@myserver.com’},
{ ‘url’: ‘turn: altanai@myserver.com’, ‘credential’: ‘123456’}]

Specifications:

TURN specs:

STUN specs:

  • RFC 3489 – STUN – Simple Traversal of User Datagram Protocol (UDP) Through Network Address Translators (NATs)
  • RFC 5389 – Session Traversal Utilities for NAT (STUN)
  • RFC 5769 – test vectors for STUN protocol testing
  • RFC 5780 – NAT behavior discovery support
  • RFC 7443 – Application-Layer Protocol Negotiation (ALPN) Labels for STUN and TURN

ICE :

  • RFC 5245 – ICE
  • RFC 5768 – ICE–SIP
  • RFC 6336 – ICE–IANA Registry
  • RFC 6544 – ICE–TCP
  • RFC 5928 – TURN Resolution Mechanism

website : https://code.google.com/p/coturn/

Xirsys

Xirsys is a provider for WebRTC infrastructure which included stun and turn server hosting as well .

The process of using their services includes singing up for a account and choosing whether you want a paid service capable of handling more calls simultaneously or free one handling only upto 10 concurrent turn connections .

The dashboard appears like this :

xirsys1

To receive the api one need to make a one time call to their service , the result of which contains the keys to invoke the turn services from webrtc script .


<script src="http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/2.1.0/jquery.min.js"></script><script>// <![CDATA[

$.post("https://api.xirsys.com/getIceServers", {
ident: "altanai",
secret: "< your secret key >",
domain: " < your doemain >",
application: "default",
room: "default",
secure: 1
},
function(data, status) {
alert("Data: " + data + "n Status: " + status);
console.log("Data: " + data + "nnStatus: " + status);
});
});
</script>

The resulting output should look like ( my keys are hidden with a red rectangle ofcourse )

xirsysedited

The process of adding a TURN / STUN to your webrtc script in JS is as follows :

iceServers:[
{“url”:”stun:turn2.xirsys.com”},
{“username”:”< put your API username>”,”url”:”turn:turn2.xirsys.com:443?transport=udp”,”credential”:”< put your API credentail>”},
{“username”:”< put your API username>”,”url”:”turn:turn2.xirsys.com:443?transport=tcp”,”credential”:”< put your API credentail>”}]

website : http://xirsys.com/technology/

NAT traversal using STUN and TURN

We know that WebRTC is web based real-time communications on browser-based platform using the browser’s media application programming interface (API) and adding our JavaScript & HTML5 t control the media flow .
WebRTC has enabled developers to build apps/ sites / widgets / plugins capable of delivering simultaneous voice/video/data/screen-sharing capability in a peer to peer fashion.

But something which escapes our attention is the way in which media ia traversing across the network. Ofcourse the webrtc call runs very smoothly when both the peers are on open public internet without any restrictions or firewall blocks . But the real problem begins when one of the peer is behind a Corporate/Enterprise network or using a different Internet service provider with some security restrictions . In such a case the normal ICE capability of WebRTC is not enough , what is required is a NAT traversal mechanism .

STUN and TURN server protocols handle session initiations with handshakes between peers in different network environments . In case of a firewall blocking a STUN peer-to-peer connection, the system fallback to a TURN server which provides the necessary traversing mechanism through the NAT.


Lets study from the start ie ICE . What is it and why is it used ?

ICE (Interactive Connectivity Establishment )  framework ( mandatory by WebRTC standards  ) find network interfaces and ports in Offer / Answer Model to exchange network based information with participating communication clients. ICE makes use of the Session Traversal Utilities for NAT (STUN) protocol and its extension, Traversal Using Relay NAT (TURN)

ICE is defined by RFC 5245 – Interactive Connectivity Establishment (ICE): A Protocol for Network Address Translator (NAT) Traversal for Offer/Answer Protocols.

Sample WebRTC offer holding ICE candidates :

type: offer, sdp: v=0
o=- 3475901263113717000 2 IN IP4 127.0.0.1
s=-
t=0 0
a=group:BUNDLE audio video data
a=msid-semantic: WMS dZdZMFQRNtY3unof7lTZBInzcRRylLakxtvc
m=audio 9 RTP/SAVPF 111 103 104 9 0 8 106 105 13 126
c=IN IP4 0.0.0.0
a=rtcp:9 IN IP4 0.0.0.0
a=ice-ufrag:/v5dQj/qdvKXthQ2
a=ice-pwd:CvSEjVc1z6cMnhjrLlcbIxWK
a=ice-options:google-ice
a=fingerprint:sha-256 F1:A8:2E:71:4B:4E:FF:08:0F:18:13:1C:86:7B:FE:BA:BD:67:CF:B1:7F:19:87:33:6E:10:5C:17:42:0A:6C:15
a=setup:actpass
a=mid:audio
a=sendrecv
a=rtcp-mux
a=rtpmap:111 opus/48000/2
a=fmtp:111 minptime=10
a=rtpmap:103 ISAC/16000
a=rtpmap:104 ISAC/32000
a=rtpmap:9 G722/8000
a=rtpmap:0 PCMU/8000
a=rtpmap:8 PCMA/8000
a=rtpmap:106 CN/32000
a=rtpmap:105 CN/16000
a=rtpmap:13 CN/8000
a=rtpmap:126 telephone-event/8000
a=maxptime:60
m=video 9 RTP/SAVPF 100 116 117 96
c=IN IP4 0.0.0.0
a=rtcp:9 IN IP4 0.0.0.0
a=ice-ufrag:/v5dQj/qdvKXthQ2
a=ice-pwd:CvSEjVc1z6cMnhjrLlcbIxWK
a=ice-options:google-ice
a=fingerprint:sha-256 F1:A8:2E:71:4B:4E:FF:08:0F:18:13:1C:86:7B:FE:BA:BD:67:CF:B1:7F:19:87:33:6E:10:5C:17:42:0A:6C:15
a=setup:actpass
a=mid:video
a=sendrecv
a=rtcp-mux
a=rtpmap:100 VP8/90000
a=rtcp-fb:100 ccm fir
a=rtcp-fb:100 nack
a=rtcp-fb:100 nack pli
a=rtcp-fb:100 goog-remb
a=rtpmap:116 red/90000
a=rtpmap:117 ulpfec/90000
a=rtpmap:96 rtx/90000
a=fmtp:96 apt=100
m=application 9 DTLS/SCTP 5000
c=IN IP4 0.0.0.0
a=ice-ufrag:/v5dQj/qdvKXthQ2
a=ice-pwd:CvSEjVc1z6cMnhjrLlcbIxWK
a=ice-options:google-ice
a=fingerprint:sha-256 F1:A8:2E:71:4B:4E:FF:08:0F:18:13:1C:86:7B:FE:BA:BD:67:CF:B1:7F:19:87:33:6E:10:5C:17:42:0A:6C:15
a=setup:actpass
a=mid:data
a=sctpmap:5000 webrtc-datachannel 1024

Notice the ICE candidates under video and audio . Now take a look at the SDP answer

type: answer, sdp: v=0
o=- 6931590438150302967 2 IN IP4 127.0.0.1
s=-
t=0 0
a=group:BUNDLE audio video data
a=msid-semantic: WMS R98sfBPNQwC20y9HsDBt4to1hTFeP6S0UnsX
m=audio 1 RTP/SAVPF 111 103 104 0 8 106 105 13 126
c=IN IP4 0.0.0.0
a=rtcp:1 IN IP4 0.0.0.0
a=ice-ufrag:WM/FjMA1ClvNb8xm
a=ice-pwd:8yy1+7x0PoHZCSX2aOVZs2Oq
a=fingerprint:sha-256 7B:9A:A7:43:EC:17:BD:9B:49:E4:23:92:8E:48:E4:8C:9A:BE:85:D4:1D:D7:8B:0E:60:C2:AE:67:77:1D:62:70
a=setup:active
a=mid:audio
a=sendrecv
a=rtcp-mux
a=rtpmap:111 opus/48000/2
a=fmtp:111 minptime=10
a=rtpmap:103 ISAC/16000
a=rtpmap:104 ISAC/32000
a=rtpmap:0 PCMU/8000
a=rtpmap:8 PCMA/8000
a=rtpmap:106 CN/32000
a=rtpmap:105 CN/16000
a=rtpmap:13 CN/8000
a=rtpmap:126 telephone-event/8000
a=maxptime:60
m=video 1 RTP/SAVPF 100 116 117 96
c=IN IP4 0.0.0.0
a=rtcp:1 IN IP4 0.0.0.0
a=ice-ufrag:WM/FjMA1ClvNb8xm
a=ice-pwd:8yy1+7x0PoHZCSX2aOVZs2Oq
a=fingerprint:sha-256 7B:9A:A7:43:EC:17:BD:9B:49:E4:23:92:8E:48:E4:8C:9A:BE:85:D4:1D:D7:8B:0E:60:C2:AE:67:77:1D:62:70
a=setup:active
a=mid:video
a=sendrecv
a=rtcp-mux
a=rtpmap:100 VP8/90000
a=rtcp-fb:100 ccm fir
a=rtcp-fb:100 nack
a=rtcp-fb:100 nack pli
a=rtcp-fb:100 goog-remb
a=rtpmap:116 red/90000
a=rtpmap:117 ulpfec/90000
a=rtpmap:96 rtx/90000
a=fmtp:96 apt=100
m=application 1 DTLS/SCTP 5000
c=IN IP4 0.0.0.0
b=AS:30
a=ice-ufrag:WM/FjMA1ClvNb8xm
a=ice-pwd:8yy1+7x0PoHZCSX2aOVZs2Oq
a=fingerprint:sha-256 7B:9A:A7:43:EC:17:BD:9B:49:E4:23:92:8E:48:E4:8C:9A:BE:85:D4:1D:D7:8B:0E:60:C2:AE:67:77:1D:62:70
a=setup:active
a=mid:data
a=sctpmap:5000 webrtc-datachannel 1024

Call Flow for ICE

STUN call flow for WebRTC Offer Answer

STUN call flow for WebRTC Offer Answer


WebRTC needs SDP Offer to be send to the clientB Javascript code from clientA Javascript code . Client B uses this SDP offer to generate an SDP Answer for client A. The SDP ( as seen on chrome://webrtc-internals/ ) includes ICE candidates which punchs open ports in the firewalls.
However incase both sides are symmetric NATs the media flow gets blocked. For such a case TURN is used which tries to give a public ip and port mapped to internal ip and port so as to provide an alternative routing mechanism like a packet-mirror. It can open a DTLS connection and use it to key the SRTP-DTLS media streams, and to send DataChannels over DTLS.

In order to Understand this better consider various scenarios

1 . No Firewall present on either peer . Both connected to open public internet .

Diagrammatic representation of  this shown as follows :

WebRTC signalling and media flow on Open public network

WebRTC signalling and media flow on Open public network

In this case there is no restriction to signal or media flow and the call takes places smoothly in p2p fashion.

2.  Either one or both the peer ( could be many in case of multi conf call ) are present behind a firewall  or  restrictive connection or router configured for intranet .

In such a case the signal may pass with the use of default ICE candidates or simple ppensource google Stun server such as

iceServers:[
{ ‘url’: “stun:stun.l.google.com:19302”}]

Diagram :

WebRTC signalling when peers are behind  firewalls

WebRTC signalling when peers are behind firewalls

However the media is restricted resulting in a black / empty / no video situation for both peers  . To combat such situation a relay mechanism such as TURN is required which essentially maps public ip to private ips thus creating a alternative route for media and data to flow through .

WebRTC media flow when peers are behind NAT . Uses TURN relay mechanism

WebRTC media flow when peers are behind NAT . Uses TURN relay mechanism

Peer config should look like :

var configuration =  {
iceServers: [
{ “url’:”stun::”},
{ “url”:”turn::”}
]
};

var pc = new RTCPeerConnection(configuration);

3. When the TURN server is also behind a firewall .  The config file of the turn server need to be altered to map the public and private IP

The diagrammatic description of this is as follows :

WebRTC media flow when peers are behind NAT and TURN server is behind NAT as well . TURN config files bind a public interface to private interface address.

WebRTC media flow when peers are behind NAT and TURN server is behind NAT as well . TURN config files bind a public interface to private interface address .


WebRTC layers

WebRTC stands for Web Real-Time Communications and  introduces  a real-time media framework in the browser core alongside associated JavaScript APIs for controlling the media frame and HTML5 tags for displaying.

From a technical point of view, WebRTC will hide all the complexity of real-time media behind a very simple JavaScript API . 

WebRTC simplified :

In simple words its a phenomenal thing , that will revolutionize internet telephony .  Also it will emerge to be platform independent ( ie any browser , any desktop operating system any mobile Operating system ) .

WebRTC allows anybody to introduce real-time communication to their web page as simply as introducing a table.

Codec Confusion :

Audiio Codecs

Currently VP8 is the codec of choice since it is royalty free. In mobility today, the codec of choice is h264. H264 is not royalty free. But it is native in most mobile handsets due to its high performance.

Voice Codecs

Opus is a lossy audio compression format developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) targeting a broad range of interactive real-time applications over the Internet, from speech to music. As an open format standardized through RFC
6716, a reference implementation is provided under the 3-clause BSD license. All known software patents Which cover Opus are licensed under royalty-free terms.
G.711 is an ITU (International Telecommunications Union) standard for  audio compression. It is primarily used in telephony. The standard was released in 1972. It is the required standard in many voice-based systems  and technologies, for example in H.320 and H.323 specifications.
Speex is a patent-free audio compression format designed for speech and also  a free software speech codec that is used in VoIP applications and podcasts. Some consider Speex obsolete, with Opus as its official successor, but since
significant content is out there using Speex, it will not disappear anytime soon.
G.722 is an ITU standard 7 kHz Wideband audio codec operating at 48, 56 and 64 kbit/s. It was approved by ITU-T in 1988. G722 provides improved speech quality due to a wider speech bandwidth of up to 50-7000 Hz compared to G.711 of 300–3400 Hz.

AMR-WB Adaptive Multi-rate Wideband is a patented wideband speech coding standard that provides improved speech quality due to a wider speech bandwidth of 50–7000 Hz. Its data rate is between 6-12 kbit/s, and the codec is generally available on mobile phones.

Architecture :

WebRTC offers web application developers the ability to write rich, realtime multimedia applications (think video chat) on the web, without requiring plugins, downloads or installs. It’s purpose is to help build a strong RTC platform that works across multiple web browsers, across multiple platforms.

WebRTCpublicdiagramforwebsite

Web API – An API to be used by third party developers for developing web based videochat-like applications.

WebRTC Native C++ API – An API layer that enables browser makers to easily implement the Web API proposal.

Transport / Session

The session components are built by re-using components from libjingle, without using or requiring the xmpp/jingle protocol.

RTP Stack – A network stack for RTP, the Real Time Protocol.

STUN/ICE – A component allowing calls to use the STUN and ICE mechanisms to establish connections across various types of networks.

Session Management

An abstracted session layer, allowing for call setup and management layer. This leaves the protocol implementation decision to the application developer.

VoiceEngine

VoiceEngine is a framework for the audio media chain, from sound card to the network.

iSAC / iLBC / Opus

iSAC: A wideband and super wideband audio codec for VoIP and streaming audio. iSAC uses 16 kHz or 32 kHz sampling frequency with an adaptive and variable bit rate of 12 to 52 kbps.

iLBC: A narrowband speech codec for VoIP and streaming audio. Uses 8 kHz sampling frequency with a bitrate of 15.2 kbps for 20ms frames and 13.33 kbps for 30ms frames. Defined by IETF RFCs 3951 and 3952.

Opus: Supports constant and variable bitrate encoding from 6 kbit/s to 510 kbit/s, frame sizes from 2.5 ms to 60 ms, and various sampling rates from 8 kHz (with 4 kHz bandwidth) to 48 kHz (with 20 kHz bandwidth, where the entire hearing range of the human auditory system can be reproduced). Defined by IETF RFC 6176.

NetEQ for Voice– A dynamic jitter buffer and error concealment algorithm used for concealing the negative effects of network jitter and packet loss. Keeps latency as low as possible while maintaining the highest voice quality.

Acoustic Echo Canceler (AEC) – The Acoustic Echo Canceler is a software based signal processing component that removes, in real time, the acoustic echo resulting from the voice being played out coming into the active microphone.

Noise Reduction (NR) -The Noise Reduction component is a software based signal processing component that removes certain types of background noise usually associated with VoIP. (Hiss, fan noise, etc…)

VideoEngine 

VideoEngine is a framework video media chain for video, from camera to the network, and from network to the screen.

VP8 –Video codec from the WebM Project. Well suited for RTC as it is designed for low latency.
Video Jitter Buffer – Dynamic Jitter Buffer for video. Helps conceal the effects of jitter and packet loss on overall video quality.
Image enhancements -For example, removes video noise from the image capture by the webcam.


w3c

—Media Stream Functions

—API for connecting processing functions to media devices and network connections, including media manipulation functions.

—Audio Stream Functions

—An extension of the Media Stream Functions to process audio streams (e.g. automatic gain control, mute functions and echo cancellation).

—Video Stream Functions

—An extension of the Media Stream Functions to process video streams (e.g. bandwidth limiting, image manipulation or “video mute“).

Functional Component Functions

—API to query presence of WebRTC components in an implementation, instantiate them, and connect them to media streams.

—P2P Connection Functions

—API functions to support establishing signalling protocol agnostic peer-to-peer connections between Web browsers

  • API specification Availability

WebRTC 1.0: Real-time Communication Between Browsers –  Draft 3 June 2013 available

  • -Implementation Library: WebRTC Native APIs

Media Capture and Streams – Draft 16 May 2013

  • Supported by Chrome , Firefox , Opera in desktop of all OS ( Linux , Windows , Mac )
  • Supported by Chrome , Firefox  in Mobile browsers ( android )

ietf

  • —Communication model
  • —Security model
  • —Firewall and NAT traversal
  • —Media functions
  • —Functionality such as media codecs, security algorithms, etc.,
  • —Media formats
  • —Transport of non media data between clients
  • —Input to W3C for APIs development
  • Interworking with legacy VoIP equipment

WG RFC   Date

  • draft-ietf-rtcweb-audio-02      2013-08-02
  • draft-ietf-rtcweb-data-channel-05      2013-07-15
  • draft-ietf-rtcweb-data-protocol-00      2013-07-15
  • draft-ietf-rtcweb-jsep-03      2013-02-27
  • draft-ietf-rtcweb-overview-07      2013-08-14
  • draft-ietf-rtcweb-rtp-usage-07     2013-07-15
  • draft-ietf-rtcweb-security-05      2013-07-15
  • draft-ietf-rtcweb-security-arch-07      2013-07-15
  • draft-ietf-rtcweb-transports-00      2013-08-19
  • draft-ietf-rtcweb-use-cases-and-reqs-11      2013-06-27
  • Plus over 20 discussion RFC drafts

Next -> webRTC business benefits


SIP VoIP system Architecture

Updated on Jan 2017


SIP solutioning and architectures  is a subsequent article after SIP introduction, which can be found here.

A VOIP Solution is designed to accommodate the signalling and media both along with integration leads to various external endpoints such as various SIP phones ( desktop, softphones , webRTC ) ,  telecom carriers  , different voip network providers  , enterprise applications  ( Skype , Microsoft Lync  ), Trunks etc .

A sufficiently capable SIP platform should consist of following features :

  • audio calls ( optionally video )
  • media services such as conferencing, voicemail, and IVR,
  • messaging as IM and presence based on SIMPLE,
  • programmable services through standardized APIs and development of new modules
  • near-end and far-end NAT traversal for signalling and media flows
  • interconnectivity with other IP multimedia systems, VoLTE ( optional interconnection with other types of communications networks as GSM or PSTN/ISDN)
  • registry , location and lookup service
  • Backend support like Redis, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, Radius, LDAP, Diameter
  • serial and parallel forking
  • support for Voip signalling protocols (SIP, H,323, SCCP, MGCP, IAX) and telephony signalling protocols ( ISDN/SS7, FXS/FXO, Sigtran ) either internally via pluggable modules or externally via gateways

Performnace factors :

  • High availability using redundant servers in standby
  • Load balancing
  • IPv4 and IPv6 network layer support
  • TCP , UDP , SCTP transport layer protocol support
  • DNS lookups and hop by hop connectvity

Security considerations :

  • authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA)
  • Digest authentication and credentials fetched from backend
  • Media Encryption
  • TLS and SRTP support
  • Topology hidding to prevent disclosing IP form internal components in via and route headers
  • Firewalls , blacklist, filters , peak detectors to prevent Dos and Ddos attacks

The article only outlines SIP system architecture  from 3 viewpoints :

  • from Infrastructure standpoint
  • from core voice engineering perspective
  • and accompanying external components required to run and system

Infrastructure Requirements

  • Data Centers with BCP ( Business Continuity Planning ) and DR ( Disaster Recovery )
  • Servers and Clusters for faster and parallel calculating
  • Virtualization
    VMs to make a distributed computing environment with HA ( high availability ) and DRS ( Distributed Resource Scheduling )
  • Storage
    SAN with built in redundancy for resiliency of data.
    WORM compliant NAS for storing voice archives over a retention period.
  • Racks, power supplies, battery backups, cages etc.
  • Networking
    DMZs ( Demilitarised Zones)  which are interfacing areas between internal servers in green zone and outside network
    VLANs for segregation between tenants.
    Connectivity through the public Internet as well as through VPN or dedicated optical fibre network for security.
  • Firewall configuration
  • Load Balancer ( Layer 7 )
  • Reverse Proxies for security of internal IPs and port
  • Security controls In compliance with ISO/IEC 27000 family – Information security management systems
  • PKI Infrastructure to manage digital certificates
  • Key management with HSM ( hardware security Module )
  • truster CA ( Certificate Authority ) to issue publicly signed certificate for TLS ( Https , wss etc)
  • OWASP ( Open Web Application Security Project )  rules compliance

Integral Components of a VOIP SIP based architecture

sip entities
SIP platform components
  • Call Controller
  • Media Manager
  • Recording
  • Softclients
  • logs and PCAP archives
  • CDR generators
  • Session Borer Controllers ( SBCs)

Detailing some of the protocols apart from SIP used in VOIP solution

RTP ( Real Time Transport Protocol )

RTP handles realtime multimedia transport between end to end network components . RFC 3550 .

Image result for RTP packet structure

Packet structure of RTP     

RTP Header contain timestamp , name of media source , codec type and sequence number .

Image result for RTP header structure

RTCP

– tbd

DTMF( Dual tone Multi Frequency )

delivery options:

  • Inband –  With Inband digits are passed along just like the rest of your voice as normal audio tones with no special coding or markers using the same codec as your voice does and are generated by your phone.
  • Outband  – Incoming stream delivers DTMF signals out-of-audio using either SIP-INFO or RFC-2833 mechanism, independently of codecs – in this case the DTMF signals are sent separately from the actual audio stream.

Types of SIP servers are listed below . It is important to understand the roles a SIP server can be moulded to take up which in turn defines its placement in overall voip communication platform such as stateless proxy servers on the border , application and B2BUA server at the core etc

SIP Gateways:

A SIP gateway is an application that interfaces a SIP network to a network utilising another signalling protocol. In terms of the SIP protocol, a gateway is just a special type of user agent, where the user agent acts on behalf of another protocol rather than a human. A gateway terminates the signalling path and can also terminate the media path .

sip gaeways

To PSTN for telephony inter-working
To H.323 for IP Telephony inter-working
Client – originates message
Server – responds to or forwards message

Logical SIP entities are:

User Agent Client (UAC): Initiates SIP requests  ….
User Agent Server (UAS): Returns SIP responses ….
Network Servers ….

Registrar Server

A registrar server accepts SIP REGISTER requests; all other requests receive a 501 Not Implemented response. The contact information from the request is then made available to other SIP servers within the same administrative domain, such as proxies and redirect servers. In a registration request, the To header field contains the name of the resource being registered, and the Contact header fields contain the contact or device URIs.

regsitrar server

Proxy Server

A SIP proxy server receives a SIP request from a user agent or another proxy and acts on behalf of the user agent in forwarding or responding to the request. Just as a router forwards IP packets at the IP layer, a SIP proxy forwards SIP messages at the application layer.

Typically proxy server ( inbound or outbound) have no media capabilities and ignore the SDP . They are mostly bypassed once dialog is established but can add a record-route .
A proxy server usually also has access to a database or a location service to aid it in processing the request (determining the next hop).

proxy server

 1. Stateless Proxy Server
A proxy server can be either stateless or stateful. A stateless proxy server processes each SIP request or response based solely on the message contents. Once the message has been parsed, processed, and forwarded or responded to, no information (such as dialog information) about the message is stored. A stateless proxy never retransmits a message, and does not use any SIP timers

2. Stateful Proxy Server
A stateful proxy server keeps track of requests and responses received in the past, and uses that information in processing future requests and responses. For example, a stateful proxy server starts a timer when a request is forwarded. If no response to the request is received within the timer period, the proxy will retransmit the request, relieving the user agent of this task.

  3 . Forking Proxy Server
A proxy server that receives an INVITE request, then forwards it to a number of locations at the same time, or forks the request. This forking proxy server keeps track of each of the outstanding requests and the response. This is useful if the location service or database lookup returns multiple possible locations for the called party that need to be tried.

Redirect Server

A redirect server is a type of SIP server that responds to, but does not forward, requests. Like a proxy server, a redirect server uses a database or location service to lookup a user. The location information, however, is sent back to the caller in a redirection class response (3xx), which, after the ACK, concludes the transaction. Contact header in response indicates where request should be tried .

redirect server

Application Server

The heart of all call routing setup. It loads and executes scripts for call handling at runtime and maintains transaction states and dialogs for all ongoing calls . Usually the one to rewrite SIP packets adding media relay servers, NAT . Also connects external services like Accounting , CDR , stats to calls .

Developing SIP based applications

Basic SIP methods

SIP defines basic methods such as INVITE, ACK and BYE which can pretty much handle simple call routing with some more advanced processoes too like call forwarding/redirection, call hold with optional Music on hold, call parking, forking, barge etc.

Extending SIP headers

Newer SIP headers defined by more updated SIP RFC’s contina INFO, PRACK, PUBLISH, SUBSCRIBY, NOTIFY, MESSAGE, REFER, UPDATE. But more methods or headers can be added to baseline SIP packets for customization specific to a particular service provider. In case where a unrecognized SIP header is found on a SIP proxy which it either does not suppirt or doesnt understand, it will simply forward it to the specified endpoint.

Call routing Scripts

Interfaces for programming SIP call routing include :
– Call Processing Language—SIP CPL,
– Common Gateway Interface—SIP CGI,
– SIP Servlets,
– Java API for Integrated Networks—JAIN APIs etc .

Some known SIP stacks
– SailFin – SIP servlet container uses GlassFish open source enterprise Application Server platform (GPLv2), obsolete since merger from Sun Java to Oracle.
– Mobicents – supports both JSLEE 1.1 and SIP Servlets 1.1 (GPLv2)
– Cipango – extension of SIP Servlets to the Jetty HTTP Servlet engine thus compliant with both SIP Servlets 1.1 and HTTP Servlets 2.5 standards.
– WeSIP – SIP and HTTP ( J2EE) converged application server build on OpenSER SIP platform

Additionally SIP stacks are supported on almost all popular SIP programming lanaguges which can be imported as lib as used for building call routing scripts to be mounted on SIP servers or endpoints such as :
– PJSIP in C
– JSSIP Javascript
– Sofia in kamailio

Some popular SIP server also have proprietary scripting language such as
Asterisk Gateway Interface (AGI) , application interface for extending the dialplan with your functionality in the language you choose – PHP, Perl, C, Java, Unix Shell and others

Adding Media Management

Media processing is usually provided by media servers in accordance to the SIP signalling. Brideges, call recording, Voicemail, audio conferencing, and interactive voice response (IVR) are commomly used.
RFC 6230 Media Control Channel Framework decribes framework and protocol for application deployment where the application programming logic and media processing are distributed

Any one such service could be a combination of many smaller services within such as Voicemail is a combitional of prompt playback, runtime controls, Dual-Tone Multi-Frequency (DTMF) collection, and media recording. RFC 6231 Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Control Package for the Media Control Channel Framework.

SIP platform Development

A sufficiently capable SIP platform shoudl consist of following features :

  • audio calls ( optionally video )
  • media services such as conferencing, voicemail, and IVR,
  • messaging as IM and presence based on SIMPLE,
  • programmable services through standardized APIs and development of new modules
  • near-end and far-end NAT traversal for signalling and media flows
  • interconnectivity with other IP multimedia systems, VoLTE ( optional interconnection with other types of communications networks as GSM or PSTN/ISDN)
  • registry , location and lookup service
  • serial and parallel forking

Performance factors :

  • High availability using redundant servers in standby
  • Load balancing
  • IPv4 and IPv6 support

Security considerations :

  • digest authentication and credentials fetched from backend
  • Media Encryption
  • TLS and SRTP support
  • Topology hiding to prevent disclosng IP form internal components in via and route headers
  • Firewalls , blacklist, filters , peak detectors to prevent Dos and Ddos attacks

Add NAT and DNS components

To adapt SIP to modern IP networks with inter network traversal ICE, far and near-end NAT traversal solutions are used. Network Address traversal is crtical to traffic flow between private public network and from behind firewalls and policy controlled networks
One can use any of the VOVIDA-based STUN server, mySTUN , TurnServer, reStund , CoTURN , NATH (PJSIP NAT Helper), ReTURN, or ice4j

Near-end NAT traversal

STUN (session traversal utilities for NAT) – UA itself detect presence of a NAT and learn the public IP address and port assigned using Nating. Then it replaces device local private IP address with it in the SIP and SDP headers. Implemented via STUN, TURN, and ICE.
limitations are that STUN doesnt work for symmetric NAT (single connection has a different mapping with a different/randomly generated port) and also with situations when there are multiple addresses of a end point.

TURN (traversal using relay around NAT) or STUN relay – UA learns the public IP address of the TURN server and asks it to relay incoming packets. Limitatiosn since it handled all incoming and outgong traffic , it must scale to meet traffic requirments and should not become the bottle neck junction or single point of failure.

ICE (interactive connectivity establishment) – UA gathers “candidates of communication” with priorities offered by the remote party. After this client pairs local candidates with received peer candidates and performs offer-answer negotiating by trying connectivity of all pairs, therefore maximising success. The types of candidates :
– host candidate who represents clients’ IP addresses,
– server reflexive candidate for the address that has been resolved from STUN
– and a relayed candidate for the address which has been allocated from a TURN relay by the client.

Far-end NAT traversal

UA is not concerned about NAT at all and communicated using its local IP port. The border controller implies a NAT handling components such as an application layer gateway (ALG) or universal plug and play (UPnP) etc which resolves the private and public network address mapping by act as a back to back user agent (B2BUA).
Far end NAT can also be enabled by deploying a public SIP server which performs media relay (RTP Proxy/Media proxy).

Limitations of this approach
security risks as they are operating in public network
enabling reverse traffic from UAS to UAC behind NAT.

A keep-alive mechanism is used to keep NAT translations of communications between SIP endpoint and its serving SIP servers opened , so that this NAT translation can be reused for routing. It contains client-to-server “ping” keep-alive and corresponding server-to-client “pong” messages. The 2 keep-alive mechanisms: a CRLF keep-alive and a STUN keep-alive message exchange.

The 3 types of SIP URIs,

  • address of record (AOR)
  • fully qualified domain name (FQDN)
  • globally routable user agent (UA) URI
    SIP uniform resource identifiers (URIs) are identified based on DNS resolution since the URI after @ symbol contains hostname , port and protocl for the next hop.

Adding record route headers for locating the correct SIP server for a SIP message can be done by :
– DNS service record (DNS SRV)
– naming authority pointer (NAPTR) DNS resource record

Steps for SIP endpoints locating SIP server

  1. From SIP packet get the NAPTR record to get the protocl to be used
  2. Inspect SRV record to fetch port to use
  3. Inspect A/AAA record to get IPv4 or IPv6 addresses
    ref : RFC 3263 – Locating SIP Servers
    Can use BIND9 server for DNS resolution supports NAPTR/SRV, ENUM, DNSSEC, multidomains, and private trees or public trees.

Cross platform and integration to External Telecommunication provider landscape

connection to IMS such as openIMS
support for Voip signalling protocols (SIP, H,323, SCCP, MGCP, IAX) and telephony signalling protocls ( ISDN/SS7, FXS/FXO, Sigtran ) either internally via pluggable modules or externally via gateways

Database Integration

Need backend , cache , databse integration to npt only store routing rules with temporary varaible values but also account details , call records details, access control lists etc. Should therefore extend integartion with text based db, redis, MySQL, PostrgeSQL, OpenLDAP, and OpenRadius.

The obvious starting milestone before making a full scale carrier grade, SIP based VoIP system is to start by building a PBX for intra enterprise communication. There are readily available solutions to make a IP telephony PBX kamailio , freeswitch , asterisk , Elastix , SipXecs


There are other external components to setup a VOIP solution apart from Core voice Servers and gateways like the ones listed below, I will try to either add a detailed overall architecture diagram here or write about them in an seprate article . Keep watching this space for updates

  • Payment Gateways
  • Billing and Invoice
  • Fraud Prevention
  • Contacts Integration
  • Call Analytics
  • API services
  • Admin Module
  • Number Management ( DIDs ) and porting
  • Call Tracking
  • Single Sign On and User Account Management with Oauth and SAML
  • Dashboards and Reporting
  • Alert Management
  • Continuous Deployment
  • Automated Validation
  • Queue System
  • External cache