Open Source Review TADSummit 2022

These TADSummit 2022 reviews are a chance to give all the excellent content deserved attention and add my commentary on its importance.

In this article I cover the presentations focused on Open Source, the bedrock of programmable communications. Here are the links to the review of the Keynotes, to my presentation What Happened Since we Last Met?, the review of Conversation Intelligence, the review of Telcos and Programmable Communications.

With these links you can get to all the TADSummit content directly: PhotosVideosSlidesBrief Agenda with videos and slidesFull Agenda with videos and slides.

Thank you to STROLIDBroadvoice / GoContactRadisysRingCentralStacuity, and AWA Network / Automat Berlin for sponsoring TADSummit 2022. And thank you to all the presenters and attendees in making the event excellent.

I’ll cover in this review:

  • Programmable Testing for Programmable Telcos. Andreas Granig, Founder & CEO at Sipfront. Slides and Video.
  • Open Source Telecom Software Survey Results. Alan Quayle, independent. Slides and Video.
  • How to bring down your own RTC platform. Running DDoS simulations on your own. Sandro Gauci, CEO / Senior Penetration Tester / Chief mischief officer at Enable Security. Slides and Video.
  • OpenSIPS 3.3 – Messaging in the IMS and UC ecosystems. Bogdan-Andrei Iancu, Founder and Developer at OpenSIPS Project. Slides and Video.
  • Architecting your WebRTC application for scalability, Arin Sime and Alberto González Trastoy. Slides and Video.
  • Building a sub-second virtual ThunderDome: Considerations for mass scale sub-second production broadcasts. Jerod Venema, CEO and Co-Founder, LiveSwitch (REMOTE). Slides and Video.
  • Beyond “simply meeting” in a connected world: research and case studies. Luca Pradovera, Lead Solutions Architect, SignalWire. Slides and Video.

Programmable Testing for Programmable Telcos.

Andreas Granig, Founder & CEO at Sipfront. Slides and Video.

We’ve covered Andreas’ new venture, Sipfront, in CXTech Week 18 2022 when he raised the first round, and CXTech Week 44 2020 when he founded Sipfront.

Sipfront simulates phone calls and video conferences for its customers and checks whether connections get established and call quality meets predefined requirements. “We’ve all experienced video conferences with participants either not seeing or hearing each other, or suddenly got dropped in a corporate call center while waiting on hold. Testing and reproducing these scenarios is very difficult and involves a lot of manual work, compared to other areas of software development,” says Sipfront founder Andreas Granig.

Sipfront automates the entire test process of real-time communication systems and increases the service quality, lowers the cost and improves the overall end user experience for their customers.

In his TADSummit presentation Andreas provides a great intro to testing / monitoring, his enthusiasm is contagious, and he reviews the 3 steps of passive monitoring, active monitoring, and ad-hoc testing. Then gets into the Sipfront’s testing framework, based on sipp, an open source test tool / traffic generator for the SIP protocol that’s been around since 2004. It’s a great example of the power of mashing up open source projects to provide a powerful way to visualize your system under test. The test scenario generator is really neat. Sipfront is definitely helping testing of programmable telecoms.

Open Source Telecom Software Survey Results.

Alan Quayle, independent. Slides and Video.

We’ve run the survey since 2019, thank you to everyone who contributes. You can see the previous surveys and results in this weblog. This year we focused on general questions: DDoS, Security, STIR/SHAKEN, IP Messaging and SMS, IPv6, broader open source usage, impact of the recession and investment plans, accelerators, RTC device lifecycle management, and vCon.

The two main shifts in the people who responded this year is a better balance between Europe and North America. Previously we were more European biased. And more service providers than consultants / resellers. I felt this year the results were closer to what I see as the overall market perspective. We also improved the survey design, so some questions has 3 to 4 times the responses. Simply, it’s easier to click on an option than write it down.

Backing up a point Andreas made in his presentation, there are an impressive range of excellent open source projects to choose from, e.g. Grafana, open source analytics and visualization.

The nice thing with the popularity tables, see below for web/enterprise projects, is it gives some insight within the programmable communications industry on the popular packages. When you commit to the project, knowing it will be around is important, but also knowing there are others out there who may come across similar problems in programmable communication is really helpful.

Insights on internet accelerators was interesting. It showed AWS Global Accelerator being bundled in standard pricing along with the commoditization of voice made pricing challenging for Subspace. This survey is a great way to test our ideas and propositions.

Clearly this is not the group to ask SMS related questions, but that is also helpful in focusing on the questions the group understand well. The market was evenly split on the need for end to end security / encryption for real time communications. Tracking with will be useful, as I think the trend will be towards with Yes camp given Matrix and Olm have this solved.

The IPv6 results made sense and seemed to accurately reflect the market. The need for vCon is clear. The bias appears to be we need to do something for device lifecycle management, finally. The DDoS, Security, and STIR/SHAKEN analysis demonstrated their growing importance and highlighted some interesting developments over the past year.

Please let me know what you think I should cover in the 2023 survey, thank you.

How to bring down your own RTC platform. Running DDoS simulations on your own.

Sandro Gauci, CEO / Senior Penetration Tester / Chief mischief officer at Enable Security. Slides and Video.

I was really happy Sandro was able to make TADSummit. Not only do my son and I have matching SIPViscous t-shirts 🙂 The DDoS session, both the presentation and then the non-broadcast or recorded discussion was excellent.

Like Andreas’ earlier presentation, testing is critical. And though security protection is often implemented, it is rarely properly tested. Sandro reviews an excellent process in reviewing and maintaining your DDoS protections. Also see his blog post: Why volumetric DDoS cripples VoIP providers and what we see during pentesting.

I recommend you get in touch with Sandro if you have any RTC Security questions or concerns.

OpenSIPS 3.3 – Messaging in the IMS and UC ecosystems.

Bogdan-Andrei Iancu, Founder and Developer at OpenSIPS Project. Slides and Video.

I’m really happy Bogdan was able to make it to TADSummit. He got to meet with the breadth of people in programmable communications, many of which are potential partners for OpenSIPS.

OpenSIPS is a highly customizable SIP server. It is multi-process, low resource usage (written in C); with bespoke configuration language (opensips.cfg); and is flexible and powerful (178 modules). It was an excellent and engaged community, as confirmed by the Open Source Telecom Survey of previous years.

OpenSIPS 3.3 is focused on instant messaging. He provides a great review of MSRP (Message Session Relay Protocol), and lots of implementation examples and advice. For example, with RCS he reviewed the string-managing techniques needed to shape
up the RCS capabilities of the egress SIP messages: https://www.opensips.org/Documentation/Tutorials-RCS-Managing-Capabilities.

OpenSIPS is one of the backbone projects of our industry. Without them programmable communications simply would not scale.

Architecting your WebRTC application for scalability

Arin Sime and Alberto González Trastoy. Slides and Video.

Arin gave a shorter version of the presentation at TADSummit, the full version is here. While OpenSIPS provides the scalability, as well as lots of other features, for real-time communications using SIP. The exact same problem exists for WebRTC. So Arin and Alberto shared their insights and experience. They’ve covered some of this at previous TADSummits, e.g. How to architect your WebRTC application at TADSummit 2021.

The options are:

  • Building to the WebRTC Standard – implement the stack
  • Unbundling WebRTC (pick and mix) use what makes sense for your applications, e.g. Web Transport. Something we discussed in the panel session.
  • Open Source Media Servers, e.g. Janus, Jitsi, Pion, etc.
  • CPaaS – Communications Platforms, e.g. Agora, Amazon Chime, Twilio, Vonage, /daily, Liveswitch, etc.

It’s all about tradeoffs…

WebRTC architectureWebRTC StandardUnbundled WebRTCOpen Source Media ServersCPaaS
Up front costHighHighMediumLow
Ongoing costLowLowLowHigh
Technical difficultyHighMedium-HighMediumLow
Features includedLowHigh*MediumHigh
*Not really included, but you have flexibility to build your own on top of the underlying APIs

They then review the MCU (Multipoint Control Unit) versus SFU (Selective Forwarding Unit) options and architectures as its application specific. And also cover scalability, autoscaling rules, testing, and more.

Building a sub-second virtual ThunderDome: Considerations for mass scale sub-second production broadcasts.

Jerod Venema, CEO and Co-Founder, LiveSwitch (REMOTE). Slides and Video.

After Arin and Alberto’s review, it was nice to then see an interesting real-world implementation from Jerod. In fact, he covered an interesting list of services enabled by LiveSwitch. The core of what LiveSwitch delivers is:

  • Broad platform support
  • A/V encoding on all the above
  • High quality audio/video capture and render
  • High quality stream @ sub-second for interactivity
  • Large scale

Jerod then got into details of their Thunderdome implementation. Delivering two-way remote wrestling matches, where the wrestlers have a real-time live audience, see picture below. There’s lots of details on the implementation and is best watched in the video, as the slides are a summary.

Beyond “simply meeting” in a connected world: research and case studies.

Luca Pradovera, Lead Solutions Architect, SignalWire. Slides and Video.

We wrap up the open source review with a presentation from Luca, he helps customers use APIs, so has lots of war stories. He highlights the importance of multi-channel communications, in particular messaging to accelerate time to revenue, especially for people aged under 28. Companies like Clickatell are focused on Chat Commerce, which I mentioned in my Welcome and What Happen presentation.

The war stories included:

  • Digital Signatures (agree.live), uses recorded conferences to show the people signing the contract were in the same video conference looking at the same document when it was mutually agreed.
  • Webinar tool that logs the time people watch the videos, with quizzes to ensure they are watching. Recorded professional development hours for lawyers and accounts is an implementation example.
  • Celebrity meeting tool, people are given the chance to ask a sports person a question. So the services needs to be able to promote an audience member to the speaker, with all the timing delays and editorial controls. And of course scale, as once people discover the service, viewers can spike quickly. The reminded me of the Famous4Money hack from the first TADHack in 2014.
  • And finally a health application, automated calling of elderly people to check up that they are taking their medications and if they are feeling OK. We’ve covered in a TADSummit presentation fromm 2021 by Shona D’Arcy how powerful voice is for determining people’s health.

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