Friday, May 21, 2010

A ClueCon Preview...

A while back I saw a preview for the new A-Team movie. While the movie itself looks horrible I was reminded of the original TV series with its many interesting characters and catch phrases. Among my personal favorites?

I love it when a plan comes together.

That's exactly how I feel with one of my "pet projects" from the past couple of months. Much like Hanibel and the A-Team I was up against formidable issues in trying to accomplish my task: implementing a flexible (very flexible), reasonably high performance LCR server that could be added to my existing architecture.

First I needed to select an LCR "engine". Multiple possibilities were considered but I left the final recommendation up to the DB and billing teams I work with. They selected mod_lcr from FreeSWITCH. While I was certain droute from OpenSIPS (or something similar) would have higher performance I accepted their recommendation. After playing with mod_lcr a bit I can also see its potential.

So now the question was: can FreeSWITCH respond with the proper SIP signaling (300 Multiple Choices)? Using the redirect application from mod_dptools it could not. I created a bounty to add multiple Contact/300 Multiple Choices functionality to FreeSWITCH. Tony had it implemented that day.

With the ability to respond properly I now had to get the data. Mod_lcr looked nice but it certainly wasn't designed for this application. All of the default syntax, tables, etc showed it being used with FreeSWITCH for FreeSWITCH. The tables and code used several bridge specific syntax examples. I hacked mod_lcr to return data to mod_dptools/redirect properly. A created a JIRA issue with my patch and a couple of days later Rupa had it committed.

So now FreeSWITCH could be a route server. All I needed to do was make sure OpenSIPS could route from what FreeSWITCH returned. Turns out it could not. RFC 3261 (section 21.3.1) states "...the SIP response MAY contain several Contact fields or a list of addresses in a Contact field." The Sofia stack from FreeSWITCH used multiple Contact headers, each with its own URI. OpenSIPS would only parse the first one returned. Sofia couldn't be changed easily so OpenSIPS would need to be changed (it was non-compliant anyway). Without this change there is no ability to handle multiple contacts and only the first would be used. It could be worse but obviously this wasn't good enough.

I contacted Bogdan from OpenSIPS to see what it would take to update the parser to handle multiple Contact headers. He indicated it would take four hours or so. Once he got back to me I had an OpenSIPS system that would handle multiple contact headers and create new branches from a failure route as desired.

So how did it all turn out? Well, you have two ways to hear the end of this story:

1) Attend ClueCon at the Trump Hotel in Chicago, IL in early August.
2) Wait until mid-August for an update here.

I'll make sure to post all of my materials - conference presentation, sipp scenarios for testing, OpenSIPS configuration, FreeSWITCH configuration, DB tweaks, etc.

Too late to make it to ClueCon this year? Just make sure to register next year, I'm sure I'll be there.

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