Enterprise Communications System sipXecs
Screenshot of the sipXecs Admin UI
|Stable release||14.04.2 / July 7, 2014|
|Operating system||CentOS RHEL|
|Available in||English, prompts in 15 languages|
|Type||IP telephony, Software as a service, CAAS|
|License||Affero General Public License|
sipXecs is an open source enterprise communications system. It was initially developed as a proprietary voice over IP telephony server in 2003 by Pingtel Corporation in Boston, MA, and later extended with additional collaboration capabilities in the SIPfoundry project. Its core feature is a software implementation of the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), which makes it an IP based communications system (IP PBX).
sipXecs is often compared to other open source telephony and softswitch solutions such as Asterisk, FreeSWITCH, and the SIP Express Router, but the design of sipXecs is substantially different from Asterisk and FreeSWITCH.
Development of sipXecs was started in 2003 by Pingtel Corp, a Boston, MA based venture backed company. In 2004, Pingtel adopted an open-source business model and contributed the codebase to the not-for-profit organization SIPfoundry. It has been an open source project since then.
Pingtel's assets were acquired by Bluesocket in July 2007. In August 2008 the Pingtel assets were acquired from Bluesocket by Nortel. Subsequent to the acquisition by Nortel, Nortel released the SCS500 product based on sipXecs. SCS500 was positioned as an open and software-only telephony server for the SMB market up to 500 users and received some recognition. It was later renamed SCS and positioned as an Enterprise Communications System.
Subsequent to the Nortel bankruptcy and the acquisition of the Nortel assets by Avaya, Avaya has backed away from SCS in an effort to rationalize its product portfolio post acquisition of Nortel. The sipXecs solution continued to be used as the basis for the Avaya Live cloud based communications service.
sipXecs is typically deployed by enterprises wanting to replace a traditional private branch exchange (PBX) with a software-based solution that can be produced in a cloud environment. In addition to telephony features, sipXecs offers collaboration capabilities such as enterprise instant messaging and conferencing.
sipXecs is designed as a software-only, distributed cloud application. It runs on the Linux operating system CentOS or RHEL on either virtualized or physical servers. A minimum configuration allows running all of the sipXecs components on a single server, including database, all available services, and the sipXecs management. Global clusters can be built using built-in auto-configuration capabilities from the centralized management system.
sipXecs uses MongoDB as a distributed and partition tolerant database for global transactions, includes CFEngine for orchestration of clusters and JasperReports for reporting. The management and configuration system is based on the Spring Framework. sipXecs includes FreeSWITCH as its media server and Openfire for presence and instant messaging services.
sipXecs follows standards such as Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), SRTP, Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP), SIP and XMPP over TLS, and several Web standards including WebRTC, WebSOCKET and Representational State Transfer (REST).
Adoption of open source solutions is difficult to quantify. SIPfoundry claims on its Web site that over one million users adopted sipXecs in small and large companies worldwide.
Amazon.com was an early adopter of sipXecs. This initial 5,000 user deployment expanded considerably in the following years.
OnRelay, a company in the UK, selected sipXecs for its fixed-mobile convergence solution sold to carriers.
Colorado State University and Cedarville University of Ohio committed to sipXecs in 2010.
Red Hat deployed sipXecs globally in 2012.
Under the SIPfoundry Higher Education Program (HEP) and as of 2014 Lafayette College, Holy Cross University, St. Mary's University, Messiah College, Colorado School of Mines, Carthage College, and Francis Tuttle University deployed sipXecs to replace their respective PBX systems.
sipXecs is used by small and large enterprises ranging up to about 20,000 users per cluster. SIPfoundry lists the following users on its Web site: Garrett County MD, Brevard County FL, Cash Advance America, Dutch Police, Coral Telecom, Globant, PennyMac, Easter Seals, Prosodie (Cap Gemini), Siemens Transportation, Genesys, CareSpot Healthcare, Axcess Financial, Shoreline Public Schools, British Airways.
sipXecs is available for Red Hat Linux and CentOS. It runs virtualized in different cloud environments such as the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, the Google Compute Engine, the HP Cloud, IBM SoftLayer, VMware vCloud and VMware ESX, OpenStack environments, and clouds from other vendors using these technologies.
Licensing and Copyright
Many different corporate and individual contributors contributed to sipXecs, including Pingtel, Bluesocket, Nortel, Avaya, and eZuce as some of the larger corporate contributors. In addition, the sipXecs solution includes many other open source components. SIPfoundry holds Copyright on all derivative work. Contributions to sipXecs are made under a Contributor Agreement, which grants SIPfoundry shared Copyright with the original author on all contributed code.
sipXecs supports a wide range of SIP compatible hardware, such as PSTN gateways, desk phones, softphones and mobile phone applications. A plug n'play auto-configuration capability is available for phones from currently (software release 14.04) 18 different vendors.
SIP Reference Implementation
In addition to the above-mentioned, the sipXecs system represents a reference implementation of the SIP standard. It was used at SIPIT interoperability events organized by the SIP Forum to test interoperability of SIP solutions from many different vendors.
- Enterprise Communications System
- "The Essential Guide to Open-Source VoIP - VoIP News". Retrieved 2008-03-13.
SipX is an open-source VoIP telephony server.
- "Asterisk NOW vs. sipXecs vs. SwitchVox vs. Trixbox Pro - Comparing User Benefits". Retrieved 2009-05-08.
comparison between Asterisk NOW, SwitchVox, Trixbox Pro and sipXecs
- "New Version of sipXecs Uses FreeSWITCH for Automated Attendant, Conferencing". Retrieved 2009-04-28.
...includes FreeSWITCH as an underlying component of the automated attendant and conferencing systems
- "Pingtel Goes Open Source with IP Telephony Platform". Retrieved 2004-03-25.
Small Massachusetts company form a nonprofit SIPfoundry
- "SIPfoundry on GitHub". Retrieved 2014-08-24.
- "Bluesocket snaps up open source IP PBX maker Pingtel". Retrieved 2007-07-24.
Wireless security vendor Bluesocket has bought open source IP PBX maker Pingtel .
- "Nortel picks up Pingtel from Bluesocket". Retrieved 2008-08-13.
Nortel picks up Pingtel from Bluesocket.
- "First Look: Nortel Ramps Up SCS500 Platform". Retrieved 2008-09-16.
The technologies from Pingtel's SIPFoundry suite would evolve into Nortel's Software Communications System 500 (SCS500).
- "Asterisk may be older, but sipXecs is better". Retrieved 2008-06-12.
SCS500 is the culmination of more than 250 groundbreaking contributions from Nortel into SIPfoundry.
- "Nortel Expands Software Communication System Solution". Retrieved 2009-06-26.
Nortel announced it is expanding its Software Communication System solution to accommodate enterprises beyond small and medium-size businesses.
- "Nortel Networks Files for Chapter 11". Retrieved 2009-01-15.
Nortel Networks Files for Chapter 11.
- "Avaya to Purchase Nortel Unit". Retrieved 2009-09-15.
Avaya to Purchase Nortel Unit.
- "SIPfoundry Founders Go Commercial with eZuce". Retrieved 2010-10-01.
SIPfoundry Founders Go Commercial with eZuce.
- "Open Source Communications and SIP come to Amazon.com". Retrieved 2006-10-09.
Amazon.com will soon be deploying 5,000 phones connected to the Pingtel ECS platform running on Linux..
- "OnRelay Chooses open source sipXecs to Power Mobile Telephony". Retrieved 2008-09-11.
OnRelay's Hosted MBX with sipXecs allows businesses to deploy a mobile office communication system.
- "SIPfoundry and the University Community Announce Unified Communications Initiative". Retrieved 2010-09-29.
Colorado State University and Cedarville University Commit to Open Source Unified Communications Projects to Replace Their Legacy IP-PBX Systems.
- "SIPfoundry: RedHat deploys sipXecs". Retrieved 2014-05-29.
SIPfoundry: RedHat deploys sipXecs.
- "SIPfoundry HEP Program". Retrieved 2014-08-28.
SIPfoundry Web site and company information.
- "SIPfoundry Higher Education Program Expands Its Membership.". Retrieved 2011-03-04.
The SIPfoundry Higher Education Program has expanded its community with the recent addition of its newest member: Colorado School of Mines..
- "Easy Guide – Fast Start for sipXecs Admins". Retrieved 2014-08-23.
Large production systems that we know exist in real companies scale to about 20,000 users per cluster.
- "Licensing - SIPfoundry". Retrieved 2011-11-18.
- "sipXecs Project on OpenHub (former ohloh)". Retrieved 2014-08-20.
...has had 11,604 commits made by 80 contributors representing 864,791 lines of code.
- "SIPfoundry, the leading Open Source Community dedicated to SIP Solutions and Development". Retrieved 2005-03-12.
Close relationships exist with the SIP Forum where SIPfoundry and the SIP Forum cooperate on SIPIT.