PortaOne Announces PortaSwitch Maintenance Release 21

PortaOne launches an upgraded version of the company's telecommunication services and subscriber management platform for telephony service providers.

Communications infrastructure company PortaOne announced the release of PortaSwitch Maintenance Release 21, an updated version of the company's telecommunication services and subscriber management platform for telephony service providers.

PortaSwitch MR21 is expected to be made available before the end of the year at no charge to subscribers of the company's PortaCare 24/7 technical support and maintenance program.

The comprehensive product consists of a real-time billing system, a class 4/5 SIP softswitch, and application servers that deliver converged VOIP billing and provisioning, SIP call control, unified messaging, IP Centrex and hosted IP PBX, callback management, IVRs, conferencing and more. The upgraded product will be available to new PortaSwitch customers in January, the company said.

Features include 64-bit Oracle Enterprise Linux OS (with MR21, PortaSwitch migrates from the FreeBSD operating system to 64-bit Oracle Enterprise Linux) and call recording, which can be deployed to any hosted IP PBX or IP Centrex system, and supports recording and playback on both incoming and outgoing calls. Recording can even be initiated in the middle of a call by dialing a special key combination on the phone's keypad. PortaOne said the capability will be especially useful for medical and legal offices.

The upgrade also includes a software client, the PortaPhone, a PC dialer/softphone client that supports PC-to-phone dialing. PortaPhone allows end users to dial and receive calls from their computer screen and gives service providers a feature base for popular PC-to-phone or Skype-like services. PortaSwitch MR21 also introduces a new unified management interface that stores all configuration information. Through one interface, users can now control all other servers that compose PortaSwitch, even in large-scale deployments.

"Maintenance upgrades for telecom products usually involve a few bug fixes and relatively mild performance improvements. PortaSwitch MR21 demonstrates our commitment to keep PortaSwitch at the top of the pack in reliability, usability and end-user value," said Andriy Zhylenko, chief technical officer for PortaOne. "We believe our customers will appreciate the list of tangible features that will have real impact in their day-to-day operations."

All new releases and builds of PortaSwitch can now be distributed from the configuration server to individual servers-PortaSIP, for example-as an image, like the firmware images used in products such as Cisco gateways. Images can be applied to the server without affecting the current operation, becoming effective after reboot. Using the image procedure, migrations can be executed quickly and with minimal downtime, and the previous image is preserved in case a rollback is required.

In addition to executing operations such as migrating applications from one server to another, the configuration server provides the ability to collect, process and store session logs (e.g., SIP messages exchanged between IP phones and the server) and other business-critical data. PortaSwitch now offers the same capability for ITSPs managing trouble tickets involving end users, due to the integrated bundling of RT (Request Tracker), a ticketing system from Best Practical Solutions. RT manages customer requests via the Customer Info screen in PortaBilling100, where a list of the customer's open tickets can be seen and accessed.