Our friends at IBM have been supporting the SIP protocol within WebSphere Application Server since version 6.1, and at the beginning of this year we launched a joint project to bring high availability, SSL offload and health monitoring to WebSphere SIP. To be clear, WebSphere has a built-in SIP server and SIP proxy that you can deploy, without additional add-ons. Our test results were positive and through much collaboration between F5 Networks and the IBM WebSphere team, I’m pleased to announce the completion of the deployment guidance. The guidance is available on developerWorks: “Achieving High Availability with WebSphere Application Server SIP Container and F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager.”  The link takes you to the developerWorks site and the document is linked at the bottom.

With this solution, BIG-IP flexes its SIP muscles by cooperating with the IBM SIP Proxy as well as the WebSphere Application Server itself.  Built-in SIP monitoring is used for up-to-the-second information about the health and availability of each SIP proxy, SSL is offloaded to maximize available CPU resources on the proxies and F5’s understanding of the SIP protocol allows for affinity based on SIP Call details such as Call-ID. Of course, like all of our solutions, high availability is at the heart of the architecture. The solution is detailed for both UDP and TCP scenarios as well.

The WebSphere SIP deployment is used in many industries, from click-to-call on websites, to carrier grade applications but regardless of your use of SIP, we look forward to you trying it out and hearing your comments.