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MakeAvayaRedGreatAgain

Is the 5ESS dead?

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I know 5ESS is still kicking, but was wondering it it's still supported in anywhich way. I believe Ericsson owns them? Do they still make parts or is it all refurbs?

I don't recall Lucent making a gateway (VOIP/rack mount) version of the switch) unlike what Genband has done with the DMS, if I am also right too.

 

Thanks!

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Nokia owns it now. The ex-Lucent team still treats it like their baby if I understand correctly. They still do support for the switch and sell replacement parts for it. The DMS family (including if I'm not mistaken the CS-2000; the C20 - the product Genband now markets is hardware-wise somewhat different), despite being forsaken by Genband, has ex-Nortel people looking after it: http://www.zttechsol.com/products-supported/switching-systems/dms-100/ .

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Posted (edited)

Awesome,

 

Reading posts here about the ESS and the long rumors of the death of landlines are apparently exaggerated. I guess it's playing possum! :)

 

I'm quite surprised that the IT-types didn't force the Lucent engineers to cave into rack mount carriers like the other guys and (obviously) in the PBX world. 

Edited by MakeAvayaRedGreatAgain
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Yeah, the 5ESS and DMS lines are still well supported as mentioned above.

 

I know there was a huge push to get packet switches in around the mid-2000s but that stopped around the time when landlines started to go downhill.

 

And we all know about how AT&T pushed hard to get rid of the 1AESS with Genband packet switches (completing that task in June).

 

But I still wonder how much longer until telcos start replacing the 5ESS and DMS lines with packet? I know Genband can easily replace the TDM "brain" of a DMS with a packet switch. Not sure about the 5ESS though.

 

And there seems to be an effort by AT&T to slowly replace the 4ESS tandem with the Nokia/Alcatel/Lucent "N4E" line.

 

But I guess there's no huge rush since landlines are maybe 40% of what they once were and there's lots of used parts on the market as replacements.

 

Which also leads me to another question - when did Nortel and Lucent finally quit making the DMS and 5E line? Something tells me it was around 2003.

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Quote

But I still wonder how much longer until telcos start replacing the 5ESS and DMS lines with packet? I know Genband can easily replace the TDM "brain" of a DMS with a packet switch. Not sure about the 5ESS though.

 

From what I understand, Genband really, really doesn't like to do this, and will whine and drag their feet the whole way if you want to plug a C20 into old cards. As for the lifespan of the 5E/DMS/other TDM switches, the engineers running these things seem like they're ready to keep them in good condition for a long time, and big telcos freeze like deers in headlights whenever you ask them to invest money in anything.

 

The real question is probably more regulatory than anything else; will the current crop of regulatory actors tell the local exchange carriers that they can walk away from their customers? And more importantly, will they be able to make that stick? I try not to dabble in politics too much here, but local exchange service would be caught up in the same legal battle as regulated trunking for CLECs, wholesale providers and other types. The lawyers from public interest groups, carriers with a lot of CLEC interests, etcetera would more than likely pile on quite fast. And this would be in addition to the cases accumulating from the net neutrality stuff.

 

Quote

And we all know about how AT&T pushed hard to get rid of the 1AESS with Genband packet switches (completing that task in June).

 

I think the economic incentive for that was a lot stronger because even ten years ago, there were only ~40 1AESSes, including three that belonged to Verizon. And that particularly project took them six years to complete. Phasing out the 1As probably gave AT&T legroom to stop paying Nokia for 1AESS support, let go of their specialized 1A staff (which is relative, I guess; I understand very few actually knew how they worked), and gave them the flexibility to not have to keep special practices ready for non-digital offices. Considering the much more readily available amount of knowledge, relative similarities between packet and digital circuit switches and sheer number of switches, it'd probably be of pretty limited financial - and certainly service benefits to start phasing circuit switched end offices out. If you want to save money on running a central office, there's probably much better ways to invest, like in solar power to offset the cost of powering everyone's phone line.

 

Edited by ThoughtPhreaker
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On 8/11/2017 at 5:12 AM, dmine45 said:

Yeah, the 5ESS and DMS lines are still well supported as mentioned above.

 

I know there was a huge push to get packet switches in around the mid-2000s but that stopped around the time when landlines started to go downhill.

 

And we all know about how AT&T pushed hard to get rid of the 1AESS with Genband packet switches (completing that task in June).

 

But I still wonder how much longer until telcos start replacing the 5ESS and DMS lines with packet [switching]? I know Genband can easily replace the TDM "brain" of a DMS with a packet switch. Not sure about the 5ESS though.

 

And there seems to be an effort by AT&T to slowly replace the 4ESS tandem with the Nokia/Alcatel/Lucent "N4E" line.

 

But I guess there's no huge rush since landlines are maybe 40% of what they once were and there's lots of used parts on the market as replacements.

 

Which also leads me to another question - when did Nortel and Lucent finally quit making the DMS and 5E line? Something tells me it was around 2003.

 

I don't get if this topic got derailed or someone doesn't understand the telco language or the language is being used very loosely. I thought hybrid setups  on the carrier side were called "softswitches" and newer hardware were on "gateways". I don't get how it can be "packet [switching if that's the case - vague language]" unless its all tied on it's own network connecting the gateways to the IP or server side. 

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I thought hybrid setups  on the carrier side were called "softswitches" and newer hardware were on "gateways". I don't get how it can be "packet [switching if that's the case - vague language]" unless its all tied on it's own network connecting the gateways to the IP or server side.

 

My understanding is the switch portion of the packet switch is called a call agent (typically -CA0 or whatever if you're looking at a CLLI). A media gateway is just something that takes analog or TDM trunks/lines or whatever and interfaces them with the call agent. Sorta like a huge ATA. What differentiates a packet switch from a circuit switch (as far as I know) is that a packet switch internally uses packetized transport, while a circuit switch uses a time slot interchange to connect traffic. Though this isn't always black and white; sometimes media gateways have time slot interchanges. I guess if you want to be all lawyerly about it, that's technically not part of the switch.

 

Then there's the term softswitch. As far as equipment vendors are concerned, I honestly think that's just a bullshit marketing term. A softswitch, as they put it, is a switch that's based entirely in software. A lot of packet switches will consolidate some components from the design of a circuit switch into software, but they're sold as custom, proprietary blades; there's a snowball's chance in hell you're running CS-2000 or Metaswitch software on a vanilla PC. There are things like Freeswitch and Asterisk that are actually softswitches, but the line between what is and isn't called one has been blurred by marketing weasels.

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On 8/29/2017 at 1:25 PM, MakeAvayaRedGreatAgain said:

I thought hybrid setups  on the carrier side were called "softswitches" and newer hardware were on "gateways". I don't get how it can be "packet [switching if that's the case - vague language]" unless its all tied on it's own network connecting the gateways to the IP or server side. 

 

I have an internship with a company that does work with VoIP, and I hear terms like "gateways" and all those VoIP terms a lot. Basically, a gateway is a router configured to connect to the VoIP world (at least in our case, we have a hosted VoIP system) whether that be a "softswitch" (basically what ThoughtPhreaker said, a bullshit marketing term to make people buy their product), a PRI, T1 line, or a POTS line. The analog equipment (like a POTS line) is connected using cards installed into the gateway, we use FXO cards to connect our POTS lines to the gateways. The remote buildings have their gateways pointed towards our call manager, from there we manage all of the Cisco VoIP phones. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, all of our equipment is Cisco.

 

On another note, I find it funny how Cisco run EVERYTHING when it comes to IT! All of our phones are Cisco's, all of our cards are Cisco's, hell Cisco could easily be compared to Ma Bell back when they ruled the telephone system. Their VoIP phones are built well, but god forbid the back stands breaks on the back of it, they are a pain in the ass to take apart and put back together. I'm not kidding when I say it took me fucking 20 minutes to try to put the back on a Cisco 7940!

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21 hours ago, Ru1722 said:

 

 

I'm going to leave profanity out of my reply, but I guess there is a disconnect between the enterprise and carrier. I'd strongly would be carefully mixing VOIP and TDM thoughts together. You can use VOIP-enabled systems (in the enterprise) without using VOIP. Or VOIP enable systems through a private network. A lot of the rack and stack carriers  say the Avaya and Nortel connect in the similar fashion to their legacy counter parts, and for Avaya Red, I believe the G700s could be tied on the back with straight cables. The IP Office too in older models, with separate units being tied WITHOUT IP. I guess it makes sense it's packet based, but it's not the packets that I dunno say the ISP side of carriers. In regards to a softswitch, I'm not going to it's bull from marketing. Theoretically the software that makes and receive calls are software based. Most of the CPU of the ESS is software anyways as well. It's just down to an app. 

 

If we are going to derail the subject with Cisco, well Cisco is hypocritical - they have their own standards.  I'm in the process of decommissioning a Cisco network and put ABC - that is Anythng But Cisco solutions. Let me tell you I regained 20 years of my IT/IS lifespan back. 

 

I would refrain from comparing Cisco to Ma Bell. I am not sure if you know the history that well (my museum site is currently down for a long time) but I am working on writing up that history for another outlet.) 

 

The 7900s are built well, but they do hog a lot of power and it's almost a 2/564 just with an IP stack. It can't compare to an Avaya, heck even a Nortel set in terms of features, lamp indicators - or even line appearances more than the buttons on the set themselves. Cisco is basic telephony with an IP stack over it. 

Edited by MakeAvayaRedGreatAgain
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On 9/1/2017 at 7:59 PM, MakeAvayaRedGreatAgain said:

I would refrain from comparing Cisco to Ma Bell. I am not sure if you know the history that well (my museum site is currently down for a long time) but I am working on writing up that history for another outlet.)

Come to think about it, I see what you mean. I know some history on Ma Bell, but I guess I thought I knew more than I do.

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The IP Office too in older models, with separate units being tied WITHOUT IP.

 

I don't think the older units use packetized transport internally. Not sure about the newer ones. It's like the Panasonic "pure IP" PBXes that have a H.100 bus xD .

 

Cisco is basic telephony with an IP stack over it.

 

While I don't have very high regard for the Callmanager (and I understand it's regarded as quite cumbersome internally), I wouldn't personally write Cisco off so quickly. Internally, if nothing else, they seem to judge protocols by their performance, and don't give a huge amount of stock to industry thinking. For example, they have a fairly expansive internal ISDN network. The WebEx stuff as well all has TDM trunks to the PSTN too. That being said, I just wound up buying a used IAD2431 router at gewt's suggestion, and will probably using it to connect my Definity to my POTS line; the CO trunk card is leaving a few things to be desired. I guess I'll find out for certain soon what a Cisco TDM experience is really like.

 

Getting back to the thread's original focus though, I have a friend who worked for a CLEC a few years ago. The CLEC was mulling the idea of starting a wireless network, and was weighing what to use as an MSC and base stations. They contacted Alcatel-Lucent about the idea of getting a 5ESS, and as it turns out, they wouldn't sell you any mobile gear without one! Though unfortunately, they also wanted some price into the seven figures for a 5E.

 

Also, has anybody dialed on an analog line from a 5ESS-2000? From what I understand, they're mostly in newer installations; CLECs and such, but they redesigned the space division stage that uses relays to connect you to a line card. If I understand right, it sounds different from the more common 5ESS noises.

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On 9/8/2017 at 1:36 PM, ThoughtPhreaker said:

 

While I don't have very high regard for the Callmanager (and I understand it's regarded as quite cumbersome internally), I wouldn't personally write Cisco off so quickly.

 

I think to quote myself again... 

 

Quote

The 7900s are built well, but they do hog a lot of power and it's almost a 2/564 just with an IP stack. It can't compare to an Avaya, heck even a Nortel set in terms of features, lamp indicators - or even line appearances more than the buttons on the set themselves. Cisco is basic telephony with an IP stack over it.

 

Meaning it's a POTS phone that connects to an IP network. Oh so I can check my weather, Oh I can put my "stupid dog" as a backdrop. I guess call appearances, features can't be programmed to a button with lamps is not their priority years later? Why should my DND be an icon or words on the screen, why can't I have it as a button with a lamp? It's the nerds way of pushing "their way is the only way and if you don't like it - you're old"...

 

Quote

Internally, if nothing else, they seem to judge protocols by their performance, and don't give a huge amount of stock to industry thinking. For example, they have a fairly expansive internal ISDN network. The WebEx stuff as well all has TDM trunks to the PSTN too. That being said, I just wound up buying a used IAD2431 router at gewt's suggestion, and will probably using it to connect my Definity to my POTS line; the CO trunk card is leaving a few things to be desired. I guess I'll find out for certain soon what a Cisco TDM experience is really like.

 

This was kinda off topic to be honest. Too technical on a simple narrative. And also real guys do NOT use Cisco for VOIP routing. I mean really... :P

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