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AnyEdge

Setup AnyEdge

ConnexCS AnyEdge, an anycast load-balancer/dispatcher, is a next-generation solution for Edge SIP providing high-reliability and custom Call Distribution algorithms (Weights and Priorities).

AnyEdge setup

Configure AnyEdge

Click the + to set the following:

  • UAC Test (NAT): Select which method will be used to detect whether NAT is in use. See Far-End NAT Traversal for details.
  • Algorithm: How to distribute calls. See Inbound Proxy / Dispatcher / Load Balancer for details.
  • CPS: Total calls per second allowed. See Metrics for details.
  • Insertion: Set whether the server acts 'Stateless' (no reply needed) or 'Transactional' (waits for reply).
  • Validate: Determine what checks, if any, will be used. For example, a Basic Check will verify all fields are correctly formed, or else the packet is rejected (protects from attacks such as buffer overflow). Select one or more checks to validate those fields. See SIP Packet Validation for details.
  • Compress In: Select method(s) to compress inbound data, not only for lower bandwidth use, but also avoid UDP fragmentation. See Compaction & Compression for details.
  • Compress Out: Particularly helpful when using Outbound Proxy. See Compaction & Compression for details.
  • Flags: currently n/a
  • Primary Attempts: (not useful for less than 3 servers) Set the number of attempts before going to a second zone
  • Secondary Attempts: (not useful for less than 3 servers) Set the number of attempts before going to a third zone

AnyEdge Domain

After AnyEdge configuration is complete, click the + next to Domains to configure a specific domain with same settings as above: customer call distribution, CPS, Validation, and so on. There is also an ability to provide additional TLS configuration for SIP protection.

AnyEdge Destinations

Click the + to specify the Destination IP, and one or more Limit (Primary) and Backup (Secondary) Zones.

Capabilities

The ConnexCS AnyEdge load balancer is a high-performance application designed for maximum throughput using multiple cores. Combined with our global PoPs and detailed metrics, we have you covered even if you have requirements that exceed 10K calls per second.

Far End NAT Traversal

NAT (Network Address Translation) is a technique which intermediates communication between a LAN (Local Area Network) and a WAN (Wide Area Network aka. Internet).

When a packet traverses NAT, the UDP packet headers are correctly re-written by your NAT device, however the headers in the SIP packet are often not rewritten. Here are some ways that AnyEdge facilitates these SIP rewrites:

  1. Hardcode the external IP Address
  2. STUN to find the external IP address
  3. SIP ALG
  4. Far End NAT Traversal

We can use any of the following indicators to detect if NAT is present in the UAC.

  • Search the Contact header field for the occurrences of RFC1918 / RFC6598 addresses
  • Use the "received" test: "address in Via" is compared against the source IP address used for signaling
  • Search the top most VIA for the occurrences of RFC1918 / RFC6598 addresses
  • Search the SDP for the occurrences of RFC1918 / RFC6598 addresses
  • Test if the source port is different from the "port in Via"
  • Compare the "address in Contact" against the source IP address used for signaling
  • Compare the "Port in Contact" against the source port used for signaling

Inbound Proxy / Dispatcher / Load Balancer

The primary use case for AnyEdge is to disseminate calls to a pool of SIP Servers. These can be configured by the following call strategies:

  • Hash over callid
  • Hash over from uri
  • Hash over to uri
  • Hash over request-uri
  • Weighted round-robin (next destination) - the destination's weight determines how many times it is chosen before going to the next one
  • Hash over authorization-username (Proxy-Authorization or "normal" authorization) - If a username is not found, weighted round-robin is used.
  • Random (using rand())
  • The first entry in set is chosen

Metrics

The load balancer's CPS limit must be set. You can view both the CPS and the totals on the amounts of calls which have failed because the CPS was breached.

Use the following graphs to view the metrics:

  1. CPS - Calls Per Second
  2. CPS Breach

SIP Packet Validation

Malformed packets can cause all sorts of problems for your internal network, such as, buffer overflow attacks. These problems can be stopped at the edge by selecting specific options when enabling SIP Packet Validation:

  • Check the integrity of the SDP body (if it exists)
  • Check the format and the integrity of each header body
  • Don't check the "Max-Forwards" header
  • Checks the "R-URI" and whether the domain contains valid characters
  • Checks the URI of the "From" field and whether the domain contains valid characters
  • Checks the URI of the "To" field and whether the domain contains valid characters
  • Checks the URI of the "Contact" field

If a packet fails to validate, you can choose how this must be handled. You can handle this with a "400" error or with an "X-Validate-Fail" header. The reasons why a packet fails to validate are:

  • No SIP message
  • Header Parsing error
  • No "Call-ID" header
  • No "Content-Length" header for transports that require it (for example, TCP)
  • Invalid Content-Length, different from the size of the actual body
  • SDP body parsing error
  • No "Cseq" header
  • No "From" header
  • No "To" header
  • No "Via" header
  • Request URI parse error
  • Bad hostname in "R-URI"
  • No "Max-Forwards" header
  • No "Contact" header
  • Path user for non-Register request
  • No "Allow" header in the 405 reply
  • No "Min-Expire" header in the 423 reply
  • No "Proxy-Authorize" header in the 407 reply
  • No "Unsupported" header in the 420 reply
  • No "WWW-Authorize" header in 401 reply
  • No "Content-Type" header
  • "To" header parse error
  • "From" header parse error
  • Bad hostname in the "To" header
  • Bad hostname in "From" header
  • "Contact" header parse error

Compaction & Compression

To reduce the size of packets (to prevent fragmentation), you can apply compaction and compression. Compression uses an algorithm such as "gzip" and compressing the message at the level of the data. Compaction uses well-established short notations for longer headers.

Compaction

To use compaction, you need to select "Compact Enabled". You can also whitelist a number of fields if you do not want them to be compacted. Compaction can be enabled for calls in and/or calls out.

The following short headers are available

  • y - Identity
  • x - Session-Expires
  • v - Via
  • u - Allow-Events
  • t - To
  • s - Subject
  • r - Refer-To
  • o - Event
  • m - Contact
  • l - Content-Length
  • k - Supported
  • j - Reject-Contact
  • i - Call-ID
  • f - From
  • e - Content-Encoding
  • d - Request-Disposition
  • c - Content-Type
  • b - Referred-By
  • a - Accept-Contact

Compression

Compression or Decompression can be enabled for Inbound and/or Outbound by selecting either "Compress Enabled (Deflate)", "Compress Enabled GZip" or "Decompress Enabled". There are additional flags to control how data must be compressed.

Registration Proxy

Having high availability with registrations ensures that you will always have an IP address which matches the hole punched when the UAC registers. Unlike other high availability setups, AnyEdge ensures that standard NAT hole-punching can work with UAC > UAS calls/messages after the end point that the UAC connects to, fails.

Outbound Proxy

If you have a pool of multiple servers, you can proxy your communications via AnyEdge, allowing for a single IP address to communicate externally.